RIP Comrade Efeso Collins 1974-2024

My 50th coBirthday with Mr Tim Selwyn last month

Fes was one of my longest friendships.

I have known him for 30 years, he was at my and Tim Selwyn’s joint 50th Birthday just last month.

I first met him at University in the 90s and he was so striking.

His mana, his composure, his grace and his good looks created a swirling magnetism about him.

His charm, his infinite kindness and strong sense of articulated intelligence made Fes a leader before he walked through the door.

He was the kind of Christian that made you think there could be a God.

I didn’t agree with him on his stances against Cannabis, or abortion, or Gay Marriage and would argue long into the night about why he was wrong, and to his credit he softened those perspectives later in his political career.

His representation of his Community was first and foremost for Fes, he was a humble servant of his neighbours and on numerous occasions he stepped up for South Auckland.

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His appeal to the better angels of our nature and to put those who work hard but are still denied by rigged systems of capitalism first and forefront when enabling policy is his legacy.

He was the best amongst us and a unique Gen X voice in politics.

You can not mention Efeso without mentioning his beloved wife and mother of his fabulous wee daughters, Fia. She was his rock, his partner, his strategist, his everything. My family and his would bump into each other out and about in Auckland and you’ve rarely seen two children adore a father more.

The shock of his passing for them is a grief too great to conceive right now.

We should cry. We have been robbed of someone splendid and unique.

With Fes that grief seems infinitely deeper, for we not only miss out on him but what he could have achieved.

We talked at my 50th about all the things he was aiming to achieve in Parliament this year and I felt relief and happiness that someone with his courage and intelligence was in there.

He never got the opportunities he deserved from Labour. Fes saw the mountain top but others were too scared to follow him there.

He died doing charity work. That is so Fes.

I am devastated and have not stopped weeping since the news broke.

As a mark of respect TDB we will mourn and not post for 3 days.

Kia kaha to Efeso’s whanau and the many people whose lives he touched.

Blogs will restart Saturday.


  1. Care like, come here, our soul you understand, and our care you have. Green eh!
    Well, not quite said, only these can speak, outside our present Prime Minister, those rest, their coming shame shall know.

  2. Thanks Martyn. Lovely words and must be hard to write right now for your beloved friend. It’s just heartbreaking for everything you say here and we have been crying.

  3. God bless you Martyn for not posting for three days.

    Lovely man was Efeso, I met him after he had seen that “Love the sinner not the sin” was a slipper side step around the core theological position of love. Because it, in itself, was hate , and made the ability to love divine that much harder.

    Remember a wonderful chat about the Polynesian Panthers, we exchanged their war stories. Always on the look out for new and good stories. We both missed our bus stop. Just rode till it turned back, which was not far. Great afternoon, one I’ll always cherish.

    Only highlight of today, knowing that Jesus got the company of one of the best of us.

    • I am trying to understand how the core theological position of love would allow someone to live under the control of something that will result in their death? (Rom 6:23) While John 3:17 is often neglected by the self righteous who seem to enjoy condemning others they dislike that does not remove the obligation to encourage others in a loving way to accept the fullness of God’s salvation for them. It is a free gift and if you want to deny it to people because it seems too hard to decide what is acceptable that seems to be an uncaring attitude to take

  4. Mr Bradbury, my condolences for the loss of your good friend. I know from personal experience the sadness of losing a close friend at a young age. My sympathy to you as you deal with the loss.

  5. Sorry for your loss of a friend Martyn, must be devastating for you to lose someone so close, so young and with so much ahead of him.

    He certainly came across as someone with genuine warmth and, I have to say it, class.

    Far far too young.

    Kia kaha fella.

  6. Great way for TDB to honour Fa’anānā Efeso Collins.

    Sincere condolences to his family, and much empathy for Martyn who was there during his political trajectory.

    Efeso being in Parliament this term was one very good reason for not switching off the place while the vandals go about their work.

    A great loss for Aotearoa NZ.

  7. It still is unbelievable.

    My thoughts are with you Bomber and with all those who had the opportunity to know and love this exceptional New Zealander.

    Fa”anana Efeso travel well my friend.

  8. “We not only miss out on him but what he could have achieved.” This is why Fa’anānā Efeso Collins’ death is so devastating even to people like me who never met him. That, and his obvious mana and goodness. If only we had a Parliament packed with Efesos.

    • @Lesley – I totally agree with your comment and I am very moved by all the kind comments from everyone above. These comments are so touching and emotional for me.

      Like Lesley, I never met Efeso but I admired and respected him for the work he did. He stood up for the under-privileged and those who did not have a voice of their own. He stood up for everything that was right and for the rights of so many.

      Sadly, one of the shocking pieces of news I heard on the television news on the day of Efeso’s passing was that he received numerous death threats directed towards him and his family when he ran for the Auckland Mayoralty. Such haters are despicable individuals who live in their own world of selfishness and self-righteousness.

      Finally, MB – your article is wonderful and it keeps Efeso’s spirit alive. Thank you.

  9. Efeso was the epitome of the best of humanity. And for a too a short time he lived and served amongst us. I believe he could have been the politician to have changed Aoteoroa for the better.

    My sincere condolances to Fia and the
    children, as well as his extended whanau, colleagues and friends, including yourself

    RIP Efeso.

  10. This is just such a dreadful shock, and a sad loss, even for someone who spent a lot of time and energy opposing him. I consume almost no NZ media, so I found this out looking at the cover of the Herald in a petrol station, and I think my exclaimed reaction probably weirded out the other customers. It’s just a staggering tragedy, whatever way you look at it.

    It’s probably nearly a 1/4 Century since I had any direct dealings with Efeso, but he was a special fellow with charisma to burn, and his public speaking abilities were second to none. He had a lot of dignity, gravitas and maturity even then, that made him seem much older than he was. He was never nasty, or liable to get personal, unlike so many of his Leftist peers and contemporaries. He was a worthy, respectable, and fearsome opponent to have, and I concur with many that he was destined for greater things. Politics, and society, would be vastly improved if everyone conducted themselves the way Efeso did.

    Aside from all that, it’s so hard to see a family lose their Dad and husband. His wife and kids are in my prayers.

    May his memory be eternal! He died too young, and too soon. It is very, very sad.


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