A “who’s who” of New Zealand turned out for Sir Paul Holmes’ funeral in Auckland this afternoon.
More than 1000 people packed the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell at 1pm when the service got under way.
If the funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary in 2008 is anything to go by, the service could last several hours, with many wishing to give eulogies to the colourful and controversial broadcaster.
Already, some are dubbing him the greatest broadcaster in New Zealand’s history.
Whatever one’s view of that, he was certainly the pre-eminent broadcaster of his generation and was a trailblazer for television advocacy journalism.
Viewers loathed him or loved him, but whatever camp they were in they always watched him as he pushed the boundaries.
It was edgy stuff at times and the Holmes show, which ran for 16 years on TVNZ, often got into hot water.
To this writer, the person who best summed him up was television producer Chas Toogood, who knew him better than most.
“Holmes at his best was without peer, absolutely brilliant, but at his worst he was dreadful.”
Good or bad, Sir Paul, 62, was a workaholic who followed a punishing schedule and drove himself to an early death.
What now masquerades as a current affairs show in the 7pm time slot he occupied so successfully and for so long, Seven Sharp, will no doubt make him turn in his grave.
Photos by Caleb Allison
Clockwise: Ex-Labour Party president Mike Williams, Sir Paul's step-daughter Millie Elder, Sir Paul's son Reuban Holmes, Sir Paul's brother Ken Holmes.
Mark Sainsbury and Simon Dallow
Broadcaster Mike Hosking
Sir Peter Leitch, aka The Mad Butcher
Jason Gunn and Kate Hawkesby
TV newsreader Bernadine Oliver-Kirby
Veteran broadcaster Bill Francis
Former head of TVNZ News Bill Ralston
Dancer Candy Lane
TV journalists Guyon Espiner (left) and Duncan Garner
Labour Party leader David Shearer
David Southcombe and Aja Rock
Epsom MP John Banks
Radio broadcaster Leighton Smith
Auckland mayor Len Brown
Former Close Up host Mark Sainsbury
Michael and Dame Rosie Horton
Minister of Conservation and Housing Nick Smith (right)
TV producer Richard Harman
Ex-NZ Idol judge Paul Ellis (left) and long-time broadcaster Jason Gunn
Media couple Paula Penfold and Mike McRoberts
TV newsreader Peter Williams
Sports broadcaster Murray Deaker