Tributes flow for Green MP Fa'anānā Efeso Collins

Politicians from across the spectrum are offering tributes for the life and contribution of Green MP Fa'anānā Efeso Collins who died suddenly in Auckland this morning.

The news has brought Parliament to a standstill, leaving the Greens caucus in particular in a state of disbelief and deep sadness.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said: "I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins' sudden death".

"Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and south Auckland communities.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, his community and colleagues."

Greens co-leader James Shaw became emotional during a press conference, saying he along with other Green members were devastated.

Fa'anānā's loss would be felt across the political divide, he said.

"It was clear he had respect across the House."

Shaw said Fa'anānā's ability to talk about love in the House "spoke volumes to me".

Fa'anānā Efeso Collins was a devoted husband and father. Photo: NZ Herald
Fa'anānā Efeso Collins was a devoted husband and father. Photo: NZ Herald
He was "the most beautiful man" and Shaw was hopeful Pasifika people would be inspired by Fa'anānā's example to enter both local body and national politics.

"In many ways Efeso's political career was only just beginning. He was such an authentic, genuine, warm man who had respect for everyone. It's a model of politics that I aspire to and I hope more people will live up to that standard."

Former prime minister Helen Clark said on X: "Efeso will be remembered for his strong sense of social justice and fairness."

ACT leader David Seymour agreed Fa'anānā was liked and would be missed by both sides of the House.

He said Fa'anānā was "a passionate, articulate, and charismatic advocate for south Auckland".

Health leader Sir Collin Tukuitonga said he was in a state of shock at the loss of a man who was "on the same mission" as other Pacific leaders.

"It's absolutely devastating for his family, for the Pasifika community, for NZ and beyond."

He said Pasifika people could not afford to lose an outstanding man who was "ethical, strong, community minded".

"It feels like a sudden stop in someone who has already had a big impact."

Health and Pacific Peoples Minister Dr Shane Reti said he was deeply saddened.

"Fa'anānā Efeso was a pillar of our communities, particularly the Pacific community and his hometown, South Auckland's Ōtara.

"Fa'anānā Efeso worked hard to serve all communities for many years, dedicating his time in both local and more recently in national politics to progress issues he was passionate about, particularly supporting young people to realise their potential."

He was among many offering condolences to Fa'anānā's widow and two daughters.

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown who defeated Fa'anānā in the mayoral race in 2022 said Fa'anānā's death was a sad day for the city.

"He is someone I had a lot of respect for, and although we competed for the mayoralty, we actually became quite good friends."

Leader of the House Chris Bishop said all of Parliament was in deep shock and after tributes this afternoon, it would adjourn until 27 February as a mark of respect.