Former Labour MP Dave Hereora has died after a short illness, just days before his 58th birthday.
Hereora, who died on Tuesday, was a list MP from 2002 to 2008 and chaired Labour's Maori caucus in his second term.
Labour leader David Cunliffe extended condolences to Hereora's whanau on behalf of the party.
Hereora worked with the Service and Food Workers' Union before going to Parliament in 2002, where he continued to fight for low-income workers.
Cunliffe said Hereora was a constructive and collegial member of the Labour team, who would be remembered by his colleagues as a "truly principled and kind man".
He stood unsuccessfully against Judith Collins in the new Papakura electorate in 2008, but missed re-election due to his low list ranking and the big swing to National. Hereora returned to union work, and mediated talks with the Service and Food Workers' Union at the Papakura Griffin's Foods plant.
A tangi will be held at Hereora's home marae in Tauranga today.
Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer