A family spokesperson for Fa’anānā Efeso Collins has shared details about the public celebration to be held following the Green MP’s sudden death on Wednesday.

Collins, 49, died after collapsing at a charity event raising money for safe drinking water for children in the Pacific on Wednesday morning.

His family released a statement this morning expressing their gratitude to the public for their outpouring of love and support, and now have invited “everybody” to join in celebrating Collins’ life with a public event next week.

“To reflect that [public support] and to honour his memory we will be hosting a public celebration of his life at Due Drop in Manukau next week Thursday at noon. That will start at 12pm and is an open invitation for people and communities to come and share in remembrance,” said family spokesperson for Fa’anānā Efeso Collins, Taito Eddie Tuiavii.

Tuiavii told 1News that Efeso Collins was lying in state at the Tipene Funeral home in Auckland’s Onehunga while immediate family were given the opportunity to visit and grieve.

“He was the glue of the family, he was the anchor. [They are a] very tight-knit family and now he’s no more.

“It’s incredibly devastating and we’re really, really feeling it at this time,” he said..

Tuiavii said tributes have “poured and flooded in” on social media and elsewhere as many people mourned the loss and celebrated the “larger than life personality that he was”.

Tuiavii said the family were “quite overwhelmed and also pleasantly surprised” at the sheer number of lives that Collins touched and had an impact on — inviting smaller communities to hold “more intimate” moments at the Tipene funeral home before the wider public celebration.

Giving thanks to the Tipene Funeral home directors, he said “this is essentially going to be the marae”.

“I think it’s quite fitting. It allows the family and immediate family to be intimate, but it also allows the community to come through in whatever numbers, and pay their respects.

“Efeso will be here and will lie in state here until Thursday, which is the public memorial.”

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