More than 600 people have crowded a South Auckland church to remember and mourn the late Jonah Lomu.
It is the first public memorial for the former All Black, who died a day after returning from overseas.
Jonah Lomu's mother Hepi Lomu wept openly as she was seated at the front of the Mangere church.
The service's organiser, Salote Heleta-Lilo, said the community was paralysed by the death of someone loved and admired.
And Pacific Islands Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga told the mourners Jonah Lomu was an ambassador for rugby, for New Zealand, and for Tongan people when he put the black jersey on.
Mr Lotu-Iiga said this continued until his death.
Forty candles were lit during the service - one for each year of Jonah Lomu's life.
A second, and much larger public memorial service which could be held at Eden Park, is still being planned.