Former MP Taito Phillip Field, who has died in Auckland, was a source of both pride and shame for the Labour Party.
First elected in 1993, he was New Zealand's First Pacific Island MP but was later the first MP jailed for corruption after a slow and agonising political demise.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged his firsts when asked at a press conference today.
"Everyone will be familiar with the latter part of his political career. But ultimately today his family have lost him and the first Pacific MP in New Zealand so I do want to acknowledge that."
Field, who was born in Samoa, was aged 68 when died after a short illness - which is understood to be unrelated to Covid-19.
With the advent of MMP many other Pacific MP followed, such as Vui Mark Gosche and Luamanuvao Winnie Laban in Labour, and Arthur Anae and Alfred Ngaro in National.
Now, in the current Parliament, there are 11 MPs of Pacific heritage - mostly in Labour - with four of them being ministers, Carmel Sepuloni, Kris Faafoi, Aupito William Sio and Poto Williams.
But having been the first was always a big deal and made Field's demise all the more poignant and Labour's mishandling of allegations made matters worse.
After the 2002 election, Helen Clark made Field undersecretary to the Ministers of Pacific Island Affairs, Justice and Social Services and Employment.
Mark Gosche had leap-frogged Field and was made Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, among others, but he resigned in 2003 after his wife's cerebral haemorrhage.
In the reshuffle, Field was made an associate minister for the three portfolios which he held until 2005.
Shortly before the 2005 election that allegations were first raised by TVNZ that Field had received tiling and painting services on his properties in exchange for helping people on immigration matters.
No inquiry was ordered. It was shaping up to be a close election with National's Don Brash having closed the gap on the Labour government. And the Labour leadership was not willing to put the large and important South Auckland vote at risk - which former party president Mike Williams has said was crucial.
The allegations against Field persisted after the election and Noel Ingram, QC, was asked to conduct a ministerial inquiry into whether Field had had a conflict of interest as a minister.
The result was a foregone conclusion because Field's help on immigration matters was as an MP, not a minister, although reading between the lines of the 2006 report, its author doubted the veracity of some evidence.
Field and the Labour Party claimed he had been cleared and was guilty only of working too hard as a constituent MP.
Five months later, TVNZ aired further allegations of improper behaviour, the police began an inquiry and Labour put Field on leave.
In February 2007, after speculating that he might stand against Labour in 2008, he was expelled from the Labour Party.
His trial began in April 2009 on charges of corruption, bribery as a Member of Parliament and willfully perverting the course of justice.
After the verdict of guilty he was sentenced to six year's imprisonment which he served at Springhill. His wife, Maxine, told Stuff at the time he had been "treated like a chief".
Before being elected to Parliament, Field had been a union organiser for 18 years. He arrived from the Hotel and Hospital Workers' Union.
He was first elected as MP for Otara but switched to Mangere after the retirement in 1996 of former Prime Minister David Lange.
Aupito William Sio won Labour's selection for Mangere in 2008 and has held the seat since.
"For the Pacific communities, it is acknowledged that there is a stain on his service to the community. But at time like this, the Pacific communities would want me to recall the positive stuff that he did," Sio told the Herald.
When Field was elected to Parliament in 1993 he achieved the aspirations of the Pacific "community which had been advocating for representation for decades.
"The Pacific community had been agitating for a Pacific voice, one that understood our challenges, to be Parliament," he said.
"We envisioned then he would be able to break through that electoral ceiling and subsequently other MPs have been able to follow through."