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RIP Jeanette Fitzsimons

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, March 6th, 2020 - 33 comments
Categories: Environment, greens, political parties, sustainability - Tags:

Just a short post to acknowledge the death of Jeanette Fitzsimons.

She was quite exceptional.  A totally dedicated politician who lived her life according to her beliefs.  Someone who always chose to argue the merits and not engage in the political game playing that is all too common in Parliament.

Someone who was completely on the right side of all of the significant issues that our world is facing.

She was of the firm belief that the role of politics was to achieve good, not to exercise power.

RIP Jeanette.

33 comments on “RIP Jeanette Fitzsimons ”

  1. This is really sad news. Jeanette deserved a long and happy retirement after a lifetime of dedicated work for the environmental movement. It's such a shame that's been cut short.

  2. When Jeanette won our family were overjoyed. She represented a breath of fresh air, and a challenge to old thinking about mining and the environment.

    Her family have lost a treasured member, and we too grieve at her passing.

  3. Ad 4

    A life lived to the full.

    A real lighthouse to me.

    Very sorry to hear it.

  4. Robert Guyton 5

    One hot summer's afternoon in the streets behind the cathedral in Nelson, I saw a woman hauling her wheeled-suitcase up a too-steep footpath, so I offered to help. The woman was Jeanette. As we walked, she chatted to me about her sons, one of whom, like one of mine, played Irish music. I found her a gracious person. I wondered to myself, why she hadn't called a taxi to deliver her to her accomodation. I figured she was modest and unassuming.

    Sometime later, at the invitation of Rod Donald, I stayed in the Thorndon cottage shared by him and Jeanette, at the peak of the "Corngate" brouhaha. Throughout that stressful time, and behind the scenes, Jeanette remained … modest and unassuming.

    I admired her enormously.

  5. About the only NZ politician I truly really respected since the infliction of Rogernomics on this country in the 1980s.

    RIP Jeanette, you will be missed.

  6. Sans Cle 7

    Very sad to hear.

    Inspirational woman and a trailblazer for Green politics.

  7. RedLogix 8

    Both Jeanette and Rod managed that rare feat of being both authentically committed to their cause, yet shorn the narrow zealotry that so often comes with it. Their loss, both too soon, has hurt this country in ways that only future generations might fully appreciate.

    A life lived to the full; far more than most of us can say. Let her example inspire.

  8. solkta 9

    It was a sad time for me this morning when this news broke. I had the utmost respect for Jeanette. To me her name meant integrity like no other.

  9. mary_a 10

    Reposted from Open Mike.

    RIP Jeanette Fitzsimons. A highly principled woman who lived her life through her green convictions. She and the late Rod Donald were the ultimate green team leadership in Parliament, with Jeanette being the first and only so far Green MP to win an electorate seat. A sad loss for NZ.

    Go well Jeanette.

  10. millsy 11

    Unfortunately her refusal to compromise on GE in 2002 blots her copybook.

    Threatening to bring down the government for allowing GE in very limited circumstances drove Helen into the arms of the God-botherers of United Future and Lab5 drifted rightwards from then on. Imgine what a Labour-Green-Jim Anderton government would have done from 2002-2005. We could have decarbonised the economy with minimal fuss.

    • KJT 11.1

      I don't think sticking to principles, is a blot.

      It would be better if more politicians did just that.

    • solkta 11.2

      GE was the more pressing issue of the time for the Party. It may not have been for you. Holding this ground so firmly is part of the integrity i speak of.

      Once GE is commercially released into the environment, as it will be eventually if the moratorium is lifted next year, there is no going back. That's why we felt it necessary to make it a bottom line. For other issues, it is possible to negotiate "progress towards" Green Party goals. But on commercial release of GE, it's all or nothing.


    • McFlock 11.3

      Didn't agree with it and I think they over-egged it, but there are a lot worse principles people live by.

      sadly, the days are long past (if they ever existed) where the worst criticism someone could come up with about me was along the lines of "stood up for a reasonable principle too strongly".

    • Rosemary McDonald 11.4

      I think you're drawing an awful long bow there millsy.

      I'd need much more than your opinion to accept that a "Labour-Green-Jim Anderton government could have decarbonised the economy…" with or without fuss.

    • pat 11.5

      " We could have decarbonised the economy with minimal fuss."


    • Scott 11.6

      This is a revisionist or one sided view, it was a tense time as Labour had been found out about 'Corngate' during the RCGM . We would not have our good reputation for high quality safe, natural food, if we had allowed commercial release of GMOs; the was the case and still is the case. We dodged a bullet and Labour should be happy with that. Look to Argentina and USA for what can go wrong. Check out the growth of the the non GMO project in the USA .The NZ Journalists were turned early. So Labour had a barely concealed contempt and paranoia for the Greens & the Eco-Labour branches for a time.

      Currently, its ground hog day , with the push for unregulated ‘gene editing’ with the risk returning. We still need the Jeanette's who are on the right side of history.

  11. Cinny 12

    Much respect.

  12. adam 13

    Jeanette had a aura about her which was special. I remember being at a protest when things went pear shaped – the police and some protesters decided to get into it. Jeanette just calmly told everyone she was very upset by their actions. At that point both groups walked away from each other. It was a surreal and very cool moment. I think it proved how all people respected her, and her opinion, no matter their political persuasion.

  13. Cricklewood 14

    Sad day, really enjoyed the Country Calender show they were on.

    I think it's fair to say the Green party has never really managed to replace Rod and Jeanette in terms of its Leadership.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      Different era, different challenges, different styles. Some of the new Greens are "Jeanettes" smiley

      • Cricklewood 14.1.1

        Takes a long time for a mighty Kahikatea to find the light and grow out of its junior foliage.

        I hope there is enough time left for those new Jeanettes…

  14. Ed 15

    Total Respect.

    [Welcome back, Ed. Please stick to this combination of user name + e-mail address from now on and the system will recognise you as you and only one of you – Incognito]

  15. Sacha 16

    Former Green MP, Coromandel neighbour and friend Catherine Delahunty talks with RNZ's Kathryn Ryan (20mins): https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018737257/former-greens-leader-jeanette-fitzsimmons-dies

  16. SHG 17

    I've tactically voted across the spectrum based on what I thought was important in each election year. At the last GE I party voted Green but I don't think of myself as a Greenie per se.

    Nevertheless I'm raising a glass to Jeanette right now. She walked what she talked, and we could use more like her these days.


  17. Sabine 18

    She was a great women, a skilled fighter, and as per her one and only debate on telly with Helen Clark and John Key a women of forsight and wit. I would have loved to vote for her.

    May she travels in peace, may the afterlife be kind to her. NZ is going to miss her.

  18. riffer 19

    Jeanette was responsible I guess for turning my party vote from Team Red to Team Green for the three elections prior to the last one. I wish we still had her likes in the greens today. A wonderful principled woman we'll not see the likes of again. Much respect. A sad occasion.

  19. Macro 20

    Today we gathered to celebrate the life of Jeanette. Around 400 gathered at the Kauranga Valley Hall, just down the road from the farm of Harry and Jeanette, to hear live music (Celtic of course), to eat and drink, to reminisce, and to dance. It was a beautiful event totally befitting a beautiful person.

  20. Scott 21

    Capitalism wont help the planet with austerity for many lately, nor did the severity of communism, still clarity comes from several quarters Bernie Sanders being one of them. The Greens’ consensus-based decision-making another.
    When the pre neo-liberal fore runner Values Party was formed: “If this planet’s a corporation, (then) it’s a corpse.” was a phrase used, we are still slow learning.
    Perhaps Greta is a younger version? We need the science-aware, peaceful protests or 'canaries in the coalmine' if you will : https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/03/11/climate-change-is-capitalisms-waterloo-irish-examiner/

    Thank you Janette, your legacy and imagination and the NZ Green party, allies, the international Green movement and Greenpeace. Lets hope we can integrate the red flesh, black pips and the green shell our our local kinder ,watermelon .

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