NZ Local News

Family of former Green MP Fa’anānā Efeso Collins thank public for love and support in difficult time

Editor Written by Editor · 2 min read >


The family of Efeso Collins have paid tribute to the former Green MP following his tragic death yesterday, thanking the public for their messages of love during a “difficult time” and saying they are “devastated” by the loss.

Fa’anānā Efeso Collins was taking part in a ChildFund Water Run in Auckland’s Britomart to raise money to support local communities in the Pacific when he collapsed and died at the scene.

“Efeso was the anchor of our tight-knit family and we are devastated at our loss,” a statement from the family read.

A Givealittle page had been set up to support the educational aspirations and needs of Collins’ two daughters Kaperiela and Asalemo.

“Anyone who knew Efeso, knew that his daughters were at the heart of everything he did. They were his inspiration and drive,” the statement read.

“We have begun planning and preparation for a fitting celebration of his life, for the many who loved him and want to pay their respects.”

A bereavement notice was also released by Collins’ family earlier tonight on Facebook, quoting Bible verses and indicating details of the funeral service will be released shortly.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear husband, son, brother, uncle and loving father, Fa’anānā Efeso Collins,” the notice read.

“Words cannot express our gratitude for all the messages of love, support and comfort received since Fa’anānā was called to rest. Thank you for your prayers and wrapping us firmly in your love as we navigate through this difficult time.”

The notice included a Bible verse, Psalms 121: 1-2, in English and Samoan, which read: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”

The family requested privacy and patience as they “come to terms with the loss and prepare the final celebration of his life”.

“Details of where Fa’anānā will lie in state and funeral service, will be confirmed shortly,” the notice read.

Despite immediate medical treatment by event staff and then St John Ambulance officers when he collapsed after the event on Wednesday, Collins died at the scene, his friend and ChildFund chief executive Josie Pagani said.

People embrace following the collapse of Green MP Efeso Collins after the ChildFund Water Run in downtown Auckland on Wednesday morning. Collins died at the scene. Photo / Jason Oxenham
People embrace following the collapse of Green MP Efeso Collins after the ChildFund Water Run in downtown Auckland on Wednesday morning. Collins died at the scene. Photo / Jason Oxenham

“We are deeply shocked and thinking only of his family at this time,” Pagani said.

Only a couple of hours later, outgoing Greens co-leader James Shaw choked back tears, saying they were “absolutely devastated” at the loss of their friend and colleague.

Shaw said his contribution as a community leader, particularly around South Auckland, and as a Pasifika mayor candidate for the country’s largest city, gave many hope, especially Māori and Pasifika – and others would follow the path Collins had made.

“His love for his family essentially extended to all families… he truly was the most beautiful man with an orientation of love,” Shaw said.

Green MPs observe a moment of silence during to a tribute to Efeso Collins at Parliament on Wednesday. Photo / Hagen Hopkins.
Green MPs observe a moment of silence during to a tribute to Efeso Collins at Parliament on Wednesday. Photo / Hagen Hopkins.

Collins was a longtime Labour Party member before switching to the Greens and leader Chris Hipkins described him as someone who “may not have had a tribal political allegiance, but he was very clear about his values”.

“I want to acknowledge the tragedy of his passing just as he arrived here at Parliament. He was a passionate advocate for Pasifika New Zealanders.”

The tributes, too, came from his political rivals, including Prime Minister Christopher Luxon.

Efeso Collins and community leader Dave Letele pose together in 2022. Photo / Dave Letele
Efeso Collins and community leader Dave Letele pose together in 2022. Photo / Dave Letele

“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,” Luxon said.

Community leader Dave Letele, who stayed at Collins’ side following his collapse, said his friend’s work was “only just beginning”.

“Now… being in Parliament, the impact that he was meant to have for us [Pasifika] was going to be huge. It’s a huge loss for his family, for his wife and New Zealand as a whole – especially our people.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com