Wednesday, April 24

New Zealand MP Efeso Collins Dies After Charity Run

Edited by Aishwarya Krishnan

The nation of New Zealand is in a state of mourning after Green Party Member of Parliament Fa’anana Efeso Collins tragically died after collapsing during a charity event in Central Auckland on Wednesday morning.

Despite efforts from medical professionals at the scene, he was pronounced dead at approximately 10 a.m. He was 49 years old.

The news of Collins’ untimely death has resulted in tributes pouring in from across the political spectrum. His party, fellow MPs, friends, former colleagues, and community leaders have been left reeling from the loss of a compassionate role model and an advocate for his community.

Collins collapsed after participating in the ChildFund Water Run, a fundraising event aimed at bringing clean water to children in the Pacific region.

As a mark of respect, Parliament has been adjourned until next week, with tributes from party leaders scheduled for 2 p.m. A complete tribute to Collins will be held in the House at a later date.

A visibly shaken, James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party, struggled to contain his emotions as he paid tribute to Collins during a press conference shortly after the news broke. Shaw described Collins as “the most beautiful man” with an unwavering commitment to his beliefs.

Before joining the Green Party, Collins was a longtime member of the Labour Party, where he garnered respect and admiration for his advocacy on behalf of the Pacific community. Labour MP Barbara Edmonds highlighted Collins’ immense impact as a staunch advocate for his community, drawing strength from his faith, family, and commitment to service.

Tributes to Collins have extended beyond the political realm, with Prime Minister Christopher Luxon expressing shock and sadness at the loss of a “true champion” for the Samoan and South Auckland communities, as per The Guardian report. Auckland mayor Wayne Brown also mourned Collins’ passing, describing him as a bold champion for South Auckland whose presence will be sorely missed.

A first-term MP, Collins had already made a significant impact in Parliament, delivering a poignant maiden speech just days before his passing. Reflecting on his journey as the son of Samoan immigrants and the challenges he faced in preserving his cultural identity, Collins’ words resonated deeply with his colleagues and supporters. As per The Post report, Collins stated in his speech, “There’s a saying in Samoan, ‘E le tu fa’amauga se tagata’, no one stands alone, no one succeeds alone, and for me, no one suffers alone.”

Collins, a dedicated family man and esteemed Auckland community leader, is survived by his wife and two daughters.