The body of Dr Hone Kaa took the long way home over the weekend as the funeral group was hosted on successive eastern Bay of Plenty marae before arriving in Rangitukia on the East Coast.
The 70-year-old Anglican Minister died in hospital on Thursday night.
The tangi for Dr Kaa is expected to take place at Rangitukia near Tikitiki, 147 km north of Gisborne.
Ngati Porou Runanga chairman Apirana Mahuika says Dr Kaa was expected in Rangitukia on Sunday afternoon, but the neighbouring iwi, Te Whanau a Apanui, have been paying their respects.
Dr Kaa was highly regarded far and wide and a Ngati Whatua leader Naida Glavish says not only was he able to command absolute silence during his sermons, but he also displayed a witty humour, often touching on rivalry between Ngati Porou and Ngati Whatua.
Ms Glavish says she fondly remembers his good sense of humour.