Efeso Collins: Emotional Matty McLean pays tribute to 'life-affirming, effervescent' MP

Broadcaster Matty McLean has paid tribute to Green MP Efeso Collins, who died on Wednesday at a charity event in downtown Auckland.

McLean was one of those taking part in the ChildFund Water Run event in Britomart to help raise funds to support communities in the Pacific when Collins collapsed and died at the scene.

Speaking on his Hits radio show on Wednesday afternoon, McLean said he "needed to talk about something".

"I was there when something really sad happened and I feel like it's important we talk about it," he said just after 3pm.

"We are usually a very upbeat show. [But] we are also humans [and] some days are harder than others," co-host PJ Harding said before McLean continued.

"I wanted to say a few words, because Green MP Efeso Collins died this morning. It's just a really awful, sad, heartbreaking situation," said McLean.

"He was married to his beautiful wife, and they had two gorgeous daughters together. He was a wonderful, wonderful man.

"I didn't know him particularly well, but we spent a fair bit of time together through work. He would often appear on [TVNZ show] Breakfast with us over the last few years and every time, without fail, whenever I saw Collins, he had the biggest smile on his face. He was effervescent. He was life-affirming. He was so positive. 

"And the biggest thing about it all was that he cared deeply about people and he cared about his community. And that is why he was a councillor. It's why he ran for mayor here in Auckland. It's why he became a Green MP. It's because he desperately wanted to help people."

McLean revealed he had been hosting the ChildFund Water Run event and the tragedy was a "heavy, heavy thing to witness happen".

"I so appreciate all the messages of support; my heart breaks for his friends, his colleagues. Efeso was life-affirming, he was so positive all the time. He gave me a big hug this morning - it was the perfect reminder of who he was."

"In honour of Efeso, I want to have a life-affirming show, in spite of what happened this morning," McLean concluded before a Backstreet Boys song played.

Tributes for Collins flowed quickly on social media following the news of his death on Wednesday morning, with a wide range of fellow MPs, friends and other colleagues expressing shock and devastation. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Parliament paid tribute to the new MP before recessing until Tuesday, February 27 out of respect to Collins and his family.