MP Parekura Horomia seriously ill

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(Stuff.co.nz) 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.

We don’t have an expectation, we just want him to get well and come back,” he said.

The family had put out the statement in reaction to speculation.

It read: “The whanau of Hon. Parekura Horomia is very humbled by all the love, support and kind wishes for their grandfather, father, brother and uncle. Parekura is at home in Mangatuna with his whanau, convalescing. They would appreciate privacy at this time.”

Horomia, 62, was born in Tolaga Bay and was Maori Affairs Minister for eight years in the Helen Clark Government.

He is a widower with three sons and one grandchild.

Horomia has spoken openly about his health battles in the past, particularly his weight and diet.

He has tried many times to lose weight, going on a very public diet in 2004 to try and encourage others to do the same.

In 2003, while then Maori Affairs minister, fellow Maori MPs questioned whether he was healthy enough to do the job.

I’m a chronic asthmatic born with an enlarged heart but I’m more than certain it doesn’t impinge on my ability to do the job. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that I’ve carried aroundtoo many kgs,” Horomia responded.

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