A public funeral will be held for All Blacks legend Sir Colin Meads in his hometown of Te Kuiti, as locals turn out to pay tribute.
The rugby giant died yesterday at the age of 81.
Waitomo Mayor Brian Hanna told TVNZ a funeral would be held for “Pinetree” Meads next Monday at Te Kuiti’s Les Munro centre.
“That will be the final farewell — and we imagine it will be quite a big affair,” he said. “We’ll be working with various parties including the rugby union to make sure we cater for all the needs of the family.”
Flowers have been piling up at the base of a statue of Meads in the King Country town as locals pay their tributes, including one leaving a rugby ball with a farewell message.
The 2.9-metre-tall bronze sculpture was unveiled in June, with Meads attending the unveiling.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bill English says although State funerals are reserved for heads of State, the government will be considering another way to honour Meads, if his family approves.
“He’s their Colin, even if New Zealand thinks they own him,” English said. — NZN