New Zealand Greens MP Efeso Collins has died after taking part in a charity event in Auckland.
The 49-year-old collapsed on Wednesday morning in Auckland after running in the ChildFund Water Run, a fundraiser for Pacific communities.
He received medical treatment at Auckland’s Britomart, according to TVNZ, with screens in place to shield him from public view.
The Greens confirmed the news “with deep shock and sadness” at 10.45am.
‘We are absolutely devastated. “A beautiful family has lost a father, a husband and a dedicated community leader,” co-directors James Shaw and Marama Davidson said in a statement.
“Aotearoa and the Green Party have lost one of the kindest and most dedicated advocates for justice and equality.”
New Zealand Greens MP Efeso Collins died after taking part in a charity event on Wednesday morning in Auckland.
The Greens thanked the medical team on site who “immediately came to Ephesus’s aid and did everything possible to revive him.”
Collins, a south Auckland man of Samoan and Tokelauan descent, was new to parliament but no stranger to Kiwi politics.
He served on Auckland council from 2016 to 2022, when he was a high-profile mayoral candidate.
He lost that race, but won preselection for the Greens and entered parliament in 2023.
Collins gave his inaugural address last week and said he walked into the house with “an indescribable feeling” as the son of Samoan immigrants.
He dedicated his speech to alleviating poverty, citing James Baldwin, Paolo Freire and the Bible.
“There is a saying in Samoan: ‘E le tu fa’amauga se tagata’ (no one is alone, no one succeeds alone) and, to me, no one suffers alone,” he said.
‘It is difficult to be poor, it is expensive to be poor and, furthermore, public discourse makes being poor socially unacceptable.
‘Whether attacking beneficiaries, dragging our feet towards a living wage, casting a shadow over school breakfast programs or restricting people’s ability to collectively bargain for fairer working conditions, we must do better to raise aspirations and lived realities of all our people. ‘
Prime Minister Chris Luxon, Labor leader Chris Hipkins and his deputy Carmel Sepoluni, also originally from Auckland and of Samoan descent, offered their condolences.
“Epheso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true supporter of his Samoan and South Auckland communities,” Mr Luxon said.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to his family, his community and his colleagues.”
As a mark of respect, parliament is expected to be canceled on Wednesday, with leaders making brief remarks at 2pm before abandoning business for the day.