Fa'anānā Efeso Collins' family 'really broken' as public service details revealed

A public service celebrating Green MP Fa'anānā Efeso Collins' life will be held at Due Drop Events Centre in Manukau at midday on Thursday.

Collins was lying in state at Tipene Funerals in Ōnehunga, family spokesperson Taito Eddie Tuiavii confirmed to Newshub.

He said the family are devastated and heartbroken.

"[They're] just trying to come to terms, struggling to find the words, just really broken."

His eldest daughter Kaperiela, 11, was struggling, he said.

"She's lost her daddy and she's always had her daddy around."

Taito said Collins' three-year-old daughter Asalemo did not quite understand.

"In her words, her daddy's sleeping," he said. "It's both beautiful, and heartbreaking."

Two days after the father-of-two died suddenly at a ChildFund event in downtown Auckland, politicians on AM reflected on their memories of him.

For Government Minister Erica Stanford, she reminisced on her student politician days at Auckland University where she was on the council and Fa'anānā was the president.

"You had the left crowd, you had the right crowd but he just brought everyone together," Stanford told host Melissa Chan-Green.

"He had that incredible ability to just cut through the politics, he was genuinely a lovely human."

Stanford revealed she even tried to convince Collins to join the National Party before he became a Green member.

"He's just a guy who wants to get stuff done for his community, he always has," she said.

Labour MP Willie Jackson admitted they did not always get on but there was respect.

"This is one of the most significant Pacific Island leaders - maybe leaders, not just Pacific Island leaders - of the last generation and it's going to be a sad weekend in terms of his whānau, wish them all the best," Jackson said.

In a statement from Collins' family, his wife Fia and two daughters said they had lost their "anchor" but were so grateful for the outpouring of support after his death.

They said his daughters were his "inspiration and drive" and to honour that - in lieu of funeral contributions - they asked for support via their Givealittle page.