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Fitzsimons to step down from Greens’ co-leadership

Written By: - Date published: 1:54 pm, February 23rd, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: greens - Tags:

Jeanette  has announced she will be stepping down at co-leader of the Greens. Technically, she will just not be putting her name up for re-election – the Greens elect/re-confirm their leaders at their annual conference (the only party that elects their leaders with the votes of the membership, not just the MPs).

Jeanette has made an enormous contribution to the environmental and social justice movements throughout her life. She has been the face of the Greens and a strong voice in Parliament, and intends to continue in that role as a backbencher. She had intended to step down earlier but Rod Donald’s death, still much mourned within the movement, caused her to stay and provide continuity of leadership.

I have no doubts that the Greens will continue to prosper and have a significant impact on New Zealand politics under the new leadership team, just as they have with Fitzsimons. As for who the new female co-leader will be, both Sue Bradford and Metiria Turei have put their names in so far. As with Russel Norman’s succession, the Greens have shown a willingness to make a generational leap, skipping more senior MPs for a newer face. If they go with that logic again, maybe we could see Metiria Turei take the lead. Or they could go with a candidate outside the MPs.

Here’s Jeanette’s video:

As a member of the Greens, a very inactive one, I just want to congratulate Jeanette on all her achievements and say that she has been a model leader who never let leadership go to her head.

20 comments on “Fitzsimons to step down from Greens’ co-leadership ”

  1. Pat 1

    Is it necessary that the Greens have a Co-Leader?

    If yes, then is it required that the Co-Leader must be a woman?

    I thought that having one leader in someone like Russell Norman might be a better option to present to the electorate.

  2. DeeDub 2

    I never voted Green but I respect this woman hugely. Her ‘get real granny’ attitude will be missed in the NZ political scene.

    I hope the Greens go for Metiria Turei. It would seem the smart, if somewhat obvious political move to get an intelligent and well-spoken young Maori as woman co-leader given there will soon be quite a few dissaffected Maori Party voters looking for an alternative to NACTM.

  3. Pat. Both are requirements of the Greens’ constitution. It’s normal Green practice around the world because it prevents the movement being hijacked by a single person. It’s actually a very old practice. The Roman’s used it for their annually elected Consuls before the fall of the Republic, and so did many of the other civilisations even into modern times. It prevents too much power getting into one person’s hands and promotes the rotation of leadership.

  4. In one way, I pray they don’t select Bradford, in another I do.

  5. Ianmac 5

    Jeanette always seemed to be well-informed, consistent and warm-hearted. She seemed to talk sense on topics that she chose to speak on and made bumblers like Brownlee sound and look like Billie Bunter. Glad that she will still there for a while but NZ will miss her in the long run.

  6. Daveski 6

    The Greens will definitely miss her.

    I like the “get real granny” comment – regardless of her politics, I suspect she was an acceptable representation of an alternative view. I doubt Sue Bradford or Metiria Turei will have the same broader support.

    It will be fascinating to see how the Greens position themselves. The opportunity for the Greens is to become the de facto left ie attack Labour’s support. The alternative is to try and eke out support from the centre but that now looks more challenging with Get Real Granny gone.

    Interesting times ahead

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    The Roman’s used it for their annually elected Consuls before the fall of the Republic…

    I think the Spartans did something similar, though in their case it was driven by the need to have one king in the field leading the army from the front, and another at home keeping the damn peasants and spartans-in-training under control…

  8. Billy 8

    Lucky for the Romans, they didn’t need to know how to use apostrophes. Steve has no such luxury. Mind you, I suspect he’d struggle with the genitive case as well.

    [that’ll teach me to rush. 🙁 .SP]

  9. Pat 9

    Davski wrote “I doubt Sue Bradford or Metiria Turei will have the same broader support”.

    I agree. Looks like the Greens constitution forces them to pick one of them [no it doesn’t. any female member of the Greens may be female co-leader, and besides there’s another female MP, Sue Kedgley. SP], and I suspect Bradford will pull rank, or get ugly if she misses out.

    Either way, it may be best for the Greens re-election chances if the new co-leader takes a back-seat, otherwise 5% might become a big hill to climb.

  10. IrishBill 10

    Bradford will pull rank, or get ugly if she misses out

    Based on what? Your inability to realise that most people are not driven by venal ambition? I’ve had dealings with Sue on and off for quite a while and as such I have to say your prediction is one of the more absurd I’ve read on this site for some time.

  11. Pat 11

    Based on what? Based on Bradford’s recond as one of the hardest workers for the party, and one of the hardest fighters for what she believes in. So forgive me for thinking she will lie down and let herself be passed over for Turei or someone else.

  12. Daveski 12

    SP – thanks for that clarification – I was about to ask a question along those lines.

    It’s also interesting that Sue Kedgely has not indicated she will stand (or has she?)

    She would certainly project the environmental focus of the Greens while the others would seem to be more along the watermelon analogy.

  13. How nice for her, retiring as a party leader and now qualifies for the full ex mp perks package. Nice work.

    [umm, she’s not leaving Parliament but when she retires she will qualify for the travel rebate because she was a member before 1999. There’s also something, can’t remember what, that you can only get when you’ve been a member for two terms, Fitzsimons came into Parliament in 1996, so is now in her fifth term. The idea that she was holding on for perks is dumb, nothing more. SP]

  14. QoT 14

    So true, barnsley – if there’s one MP who’s only in Parliament for the fat cash, it’s Jeanette. *headdesk*

    I’m also interested to know why Kedgley hasn’t thrown her name in yet, Daveski.

  15. r0b 15

    Thank you Jeanette. If only there were more politicians with even half of your sanity, decency and commitment. Go well, and good luck to The Greens under their new leadership.

  16. burt 16

    I think it’s quite cute that the Green party rules state one male and one female co-leader.

    I wonder how the Green party can represent homosexual males and straight males with only one male co-leader, same with only one female co-leader…

    Still I guess it’s not about having the best people the party can have as leaders irrespective of their gender – it’s about being seen to be covering the bases. Cute…

  17. mike 17

    “It’s also interesting that Sue Kedgely has not indicated she will stand”

    Kedgely would be the perfect political choice but as the Greens are obviously bereft of political nous they will most likely go with Bradford – who’s addiction to social engineering and saving us from ourselves should see them dip below the threshold.

  18. Rex Widerstrom 18

    I’m always saddened to see one of the diminishing number of MPs who actually believe in something – beyond their own divine right to rule – stepping aside or taking a lesser role.

    The Greens have been particularly lucky to be led by two such people – Rod Donald and Jeannette.

    The latter was one of those people to whom television did no favours, I feel. It wasn’t till I was up against her in a debate that I realised the full extent of her belief, commitment and determination (albeit to several things I didn’t agree with!). On TV she comes across as though – to coin a phrase – we’re watching her through glass.

    Them’s some big shoes to fill. I’m not sure either of the two contenders has what it takes to fll them. Turei’s too green (pardon the pun) but might mature in the role I guess, while Bradford is a little too abrasive for a position that requires an ability to project soothing reassurance while at the same time advocating what are, to many, radical ideas.

  19. Ari 19

    Is it necessary that the Greens have a Co-Leader?

    If yes, then is it required that the Co-Leader must be a woman?

    I thought that having one leader in someone like Russell Norman might be a better option to present to the electorate.

    Originally the Greens had no leaders, only four spokespeople, however it was decided to move to a co-leadership model as something that could be better understood by the media and the electorate. So in that sense, it’s not necessary, but the Party has decided to do it, and unless we change our Party constitution it’s going to stay that way.

    Yes, it’s required that one co-leader is male and the other is female. This way there is some representative guarantees that different views make their way to leadership level.

    Having one leader is not the Greens’ style. We’re ground up, not top-down, so it makes more sense to have more than one person sharing the top-level work so that nobody gets too attached to it.

    I hope the Greens go for Metiria Turei. It would seem the smart, if somewhat obvious political move to get an intelligent and well-spoken young Maori as woman co-leader given there will soon be quite a few dissaffected Maori Party voters looking for an alternative to NACTM.

    Well, I think Metiria is a good choice too. Very level-headed, legal experience, and she appeals both to the radical and centrist wings of the party.

    Sue B would be a good leader, but there’s no doubt that she’d get stuck in a rut over some of the good yet controversial policy she’s worked on.

  20. northpaw 20

    Re the Romans back then wasn’t there a high turnover rate.. by the sword and shield and so forth..

    Re: Barnsley Bill — access does that.. the longer they stay – (heck who would want to!) – the more they get.

    Re the blog topic.. I heard the two with Sean Plunket on RNZ this morning and felt Metz bid ambitious, Sue’s overly experienced.. Which prompts the question – it is their AGM after all and this might meet agenda biz – howse about a co-co-leadership where both get elected by the membership.. everybody happy 🙂

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