Hundreds have gathered at Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua to farewell Shaun Douglas, an emerging leader and educator from Te Arawa and Ngāti Porou.
Douglas died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday, his first day as acting principal at Owhata Primary School. He had been working as a teacher at the school for five years and had a huge passion for tamariki.
Douglas was an advocate for te reo Māori who represented Te Arawa-based kapa, Kataore, at the Te Matatini national kapa haka competition.
He was a loving teacher who was supportive of all his students, no matter what background they came from.
Douglas is survived by his wife, their two children and three mokopuna.