Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw have released a statement this morning saying they are “absolutely devastated” following the death of MP Efeso Collins.

Collins, 49, died after collapsing at a charity event this morning. He was participating in an event for ChildFund in Auckland’s Britomart when the incident occurred.

“We are absolutely devastated. A beautiful family has lost a dedicated father, husband, and community leader.

“The news today has come as a profound shock to everyone, and our absolute priority is to Efeso’s wife and young girls.

“Aotearoa and the Green Party have lost one of the kindest, most dedicated champions of fairness and equality.

“Efeso collapsed while taking part in the ChildFund Water Run in Auckland. ChildFund works to bring safe, clean drinking water to children in the Pacific and was a cause close to Efeso’s heart,” the statement read.

“Efeso devoted his life to serving and making a difference to the lives of those he met, including his constituents, colleagues, friends, and family. He held the deepest respect of the members of all political parties and communities.

“We will continue to aspire to the dedication and commitment Efeso showed to always put the greater good above our own. He showed us what that means every single day.

“We will miss Efeso dearly, but celebrate with gratitude the contribution he has made to Aotearoa.

“We ask that the privacy of his family be respected above all, in their time of loss.”

‘The most beautiful man’: Greens co-leader speaks on loss of Collins

A visibly emotional ougoing Greens co-leader James Shaw appeared for media on the black and white tiles at Parliament just after 11.30am.

He said the Green Party caucus was “absolutely devastated” by Collins’ death, and described Collins as having “an openness and non-defensiveness, a sense of humility about who he was and his place in the world”.

Shaw said that was an “incredibly rare” set of characteristics in politics and he had been looking forward to seeing Collins — who only delivered his maiden speech last week — “flourish” in Parliament.

He said Collins had an “orientation of love” and was steadfast in what he believed in.

“He truly was the most beautiful man … He was a decent human being.”

Collins’ role as a leader had been significant, he said, and meant other Pasifika leaders would follow in his footsteps.

Outgoing Greens co-leader James Shaw.

“He was also… very grounded in his values but he wasn’t a sort of partisan player. I think it was clear he had respect across the House [as someone] who was willing to work with anybody.”

Shaw said that was the type of politician he admired.

He said the House would sit at 2pm and would include statements from him, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, Labour leader Chris Hipkins and a Te Pāti Māori co-leader.

Leader of the House Chris Bishop earlier confirmed the House would then adjourn until next Tuesday. It had been due to sit and pursue its legislative agenda today and tomorrow.

Shaw said he understood at some stage the House would give a full tribute to Collins but today was not that day as it was too soon after the event, and many MPs were travelling to Auckland to rally around Collins’ family.

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