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Thanks Jeanette

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, January 29th, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: greens - Tags:

So Jeanette Fitzsimons is, as expected, resigning from Parliament. After 13 years her last day will be February 11th. Parliament will miss her energy, her honesty, her sanity, and her clear strong voice on Green issues. It is a huge loss, but no one deserves a long and happy retirement more than Jeanette. Frogblog has a thread where people can leave personal comments and tributes. I would like to say here – thank you Jeanette for everything you have done, you are one of the very few politicians that I truly admire.

This marks the end of an era for the Greens – a generational change. As NRT points out: “The co-leadership has passed to new, younger, hands, and there are now only two MPs left out of the original intake: Sue Kedgley and Keith Locke”. And from Metiria Turei: “We will have a very new team shortly in Parliament and that team is standing on the shoulders of Jeanette and Rod and Sue and all of those who first came in in 1999”. I wish the new generation of Greens well, but like many of the writers here I have strong reservations about the direction of their leadership.

There will be some focus now on Jeanette’s replacement (from the list), Gareth Hughes, at 28 soon to be the youngest MP in parliament. Gareth is a long time green activist, and lately coordinator of the high profile Sign On campaign for action on climate change. Disappointing to see initial media coverage starting with the cheap shots, like last night’s Stuff front page which lead with the image to the right and the banner “Meet the Green Party’s new MP – A man once arrested while dressed up as Ronald McDonald is to be the new Green Party MP”. Good on him I say – the last thing Parliament needs is another grey suit.

14 comments on “Thanks Jeanette ”

  1. Marty G 1

    gidday, r0b!

    thanks for writing this. Agree completely

    • r0b 1.1

      Gidday Marty. I meant to get back to posting around about now, and there was nothing in the queue about Jeanette, so this seemed as good a place to start as any. Loved your posts on the tax proposals – the best analysis that I saw anywhere!

  2. Dan 2

    Thank you Jeanette for your calm serenity and dogged determination over the years. I was surprised to hear a TV report of your 11 years in politics. That is only part of it. You were a leading hand in the Values Party and stood for principles back in the ’70s which were left field then but are now deemed mainstream. Your personal following carried a substantial number to the Green Party. Your commitment to an ideal and selflessness has been exemplary.
    Best wishes.

  3. Speaking as an unashamedly tribal member of the Labour Party I always thought that Jeanette was one of the best MPs that Parliament has seen for a long time. She was intelligent, principled and calm and no matter what the provocation never lost her cool or indulged in personal attacks. When she talked about issues you heard quality and coherence and understanding, not waffle. If only there were more like her.

    Labour MPs please take note.

  4. democracymum 4

    This is definitely an end of the era for the Greens – which is why I believe the Party now needs a new name. All suggestions welcome.

  5. Chris 5

    Gareth Hughes is cute!

    LOL Captcha: him

  6. Bored 6

    I hope that is not the last we see of Jeanette, she has too much ability to lose. Honesty, integrity and brains, plus dogged determination. Thank you.

    For the new fella, those are big shoes but plenty of honesty will fill them. I hope you do well.

  7. RedLogix 7

    I’ve met Gareth a few times, and he’s one impressive young man, politically savvy and a specialist on the climate change issue. Plus he struck me as a very genuine, committed person. If the Greens can keep on getting people like him into high profile roles, they will continue to do well as a third party. I really liked him.

    Part of me was pretty offended on Gareth’s behalf over the Post’s cheap “Whose this clown?” shot, but another part can see the sense in not getting outraged about these things. It’s puerile shite, but I guess that’s the kind of braindead media filtering you have to tolerate when in the public eye.

    Jeanette has served this nation with dignity and capacity for a very long time now. How many times have I heard her being interviewed, her calm demeanour and complete mastery of the topic making a total fool of her witless opposition? She’s a huge loss, not just to the Greens, but to our nation’s political life as a whole.

  8. Paul Williams 8

    Jeanette has served this nation with dignity and capacity for a very long time now. How many times have I heard her being interviewed, her calm demeanour and complete mastery of the topic making a total fool of her witless opposition? She’s a huge loss, not just to the Greens, but to our nation’s political life as a whole.

    Well said Red. A fine politican and a thoroughly decent human being.

  9. Dobby 10

    To be fair, Gareth did post the Ronald McDonald arrest incident on his own Green Party profile page twice, including under “Achievements”, where he called it a “highlight” of his career.

    Can’t exactly blame the media for picking up on it.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/people/candidates/garethhughes

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