Labour Maori affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia is seriously ill and people close to him confirm they are very worried.
Some colleagues are believed to be on their way to his bedside.
They say he has been ill for some time and he has missed several high-profile events he would normally attend this year, including Ratana celebrations and the national Waitangi Day celebrations in the Bay of Islands.
The Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP’s family have requested privacy but say he is convalescing at home.
Labour’s acting leader Grant Robertson would not say what the nature of Horomia’s illness was nor when he would be likely to return to Parliament.
It’s a very tough time for Parekura’s family, friends and colleagues. My thoughts are with them.
UPDATE: And he has died. Condolences to those who knew him well.