Pauly Fuemana, the musician best-known for the hit song How Bizarre, has died aged 40.
His long-time friend Herman Loto Sakarria says the musician, who had been ill for several months, was surrounded by friends and family when he died at North Shore Hospital, about 8am on Sunday.
How Bizarre was released in 1995 by the Otara Millionaires Club, better known as OMC, which was led by Fuemana.
The song is the biggest-selling New Zealand record of all time and went to number one in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa and Austria.
It also topped the United States airplay charts and peaked at number five in the United Kingdom.
The Australasian Performing Rights Association's (APRA) director of New Zealand operations, Anthony Healy, says Fuemana was an extraordinarily important figure from New Zealand music history in the mid-1990s.
He says it was inspirational for a whole generation of young Pacific and Maori songwriters.
Mr Healy says the success of How Bizarre is almost unequaled in New Zealand music.