'We were smiling': Dave Letele shares heartbreaking video from charity run with Efeso Collins

'We were smiling': Dave Letele shares heartbreaking video from charity run with Efeso Collins

“It is my great honour that I was able to be with him."

Community leader Dave ‘Buttabean’ Letele has shared a touching tribute to his friend Efeso Collins after the Green MP's sudden death yesterday. 

Alongside a video of the two at a charity event where Collins collapsed and passed away shortly after, the 44-year-old food bank owner shared that he is “still processing” what happened and he “will be for some time.”

“It’s hard to wrap my head around this,” he continued. “It was a fine day in Auckland - the sun was shining, we were smiling.”

“We were doing what we can for our community, as we have been doing many times when our paths have crossed before. Efeso died on a day he was busy giving back to others. This is not lost on me."

“It is my great honour that, as chance would have it, I was able to be with Efeso.”

Letele added he was happy Collins was able to give his first-ever speech in parliament, which happened less than a week before he died. 

“I am so pleased he was able to set his intentions,” he wrote before reciting and agreeing with a quote from that speech.

“‘If I was to inspire anyone by getting to this House and my work over the next three years, I hope that it’s the square pegs, the misfits, the forgotten, the unloved, the invisible.’ I tautoko that.”

Finally, he sent “aroha and deepest sympathies” to Collin’s family “and all who knew him”. 

“Sending love to you my bro,” he continued. “We weren’t best friends, but we were friends. We didn’t agree on everything, but we were 100% aligned on seeking better outcomes for our people.”

“I had the utmost respect for you stepping forward for our people. And, most importantly, I’m glad I was there for you today. Rest in love.”

Collins’s passing is still being felt by many as he was such an important figure for a large community of people. Rest in peace.