Rest in Peace Jim Anderton, you were a bigger man than Labour’s treachery could ever contain.


One of the great Totara’s of progressive NZ politics has died. Jim Anderton resented the neoliberal free market dogma of the despicable and traitorous Labour Party and he fought tooth and nail to over throw it.

His Alliance Party was an experiment in MMP politics that transformed the country for the better and while many will not forgive his decision to support Helen Clark into Afghanistan that was ultimately the catalyst for the demise of the Alliance Party, his impact to champion a different kind of left wing politics that refused to acquiesce to the free market must be respected and honoured.

His legacy, I’m sure, would be to demand that we reflect upon the 30 year neoliberal experiment and demand change. Flawed as he may have been as leader at times, and bogged down in the animosity of the Alliance break up, he still had a mana and moral authority to challenge much of the Labour Party and National Party neoliberalism that sold this nation down the river for corporates and the rich.

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His passing leaves us intellectually poorer and without the necessary media to do justice to his legacy.

Tonight I’ll be raising a glass to him and his vision while forgiving his faults.

Rest in peace Jim, you were a bigger man than Labour’s treachery could ever contain.



  1. I no not believe in this Rest in Peace idea.

    Jim has moved on into another sphere, into the Spirit World, and may be in a better and happy place than where we are in.

    But, yes, he was certainly a figure in NZ politics, who deserves great respect, despite of some mistakes that he may have made.

    He and a few others had the guts to stand up against the Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble ‘gang’ that seized Labour after their 1984 win. That alone was something that deserves the highest respect.

    Those who do not know much about Jim Anderton, study NZ political history, or at least read up on Wikipedia and so.

    All the best, Jim, you will not be forgotten!

    • RIP is such a hackneyed meaningless phrase. And it only makes sense when said by an atheist or someone who believes that consciousness of any sort ends when one dies.

  2. A true friend of the working class and an actual left-wing politician; are there any left in No Zealand? May he rest in peace.

  3. Lawd, That really hurts. One of the very few people in political NZ for whom I had any time.

    I disagreed with him over Afghanistan and the ChCh cathedral but I can’t fault his cred.

    What a huge loss.

    • JS B,
      Jim saw the cathedral ( like many thousands of us) not as a church, but as Christchurch’s best known historic building.
      An RC himself he teamed up with his old political foe Phillip Burdon and made it happen.
      Incidentally the cathedral is the logo for CCC. If those spendthrifts had to change it they would spend millions on consultants!
      The restoration will mark the real restart of this fractured city.

  4. Mr Jim Anderton.

    While other cretinous politicians were selling out eagerly to the dictates of the Business Roundtable ,… you were vehemently opposing them and the subversive Mont Pelerin society agenda.

    One of the greatest who took all the slings and arrows , was a lone voice in a wilderness of political and economic insanity for the sake of his country … we salute you.


    This was the titanic cabal against which you struggled…

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?

    Stand honoured among other luminaries such as Michael Joseph Savage.

    Well done.

    A true servant of the people.

  5. I, a non entity, in 1981 once found myself for a few minutes alone in a room with JA. “You will be PM before you are finished” I said to him. “Don’t hold your breath” he replied. Well I didn’t and he didn’t – but he did become Deputy PM for a while, and he did hold a lamp high to the left. He has left a legacy that ought to inspire all of us. Jim was NZ’s Bernie Sanders, NZ’s Jeremy Corban, and – alas – there is no one now who can remotely fill his shoes. Indeed RIP Jim.

  6. I find all this a little sickly to be honest. Anderton formed the NLP, I was a founding member I couldn’t vote for those bastards that were the party of the working class. Then the Alliance came into being. Then in 2001 the Alliance fell apart and that was due to Jim Anderton supporting the invasion of Afghanistan. I do not and never would support the invasion of another country. There was nothing left wing about that. And let us be really clear he went on to become the deputy leader of the Labour government and he went along with their neo liberal policies.

    Please do not try and make him out to be some great left winger. He was not.

    • You can actually be a left winger and still support the invasion of a theocracy which basically violated every principle of feminism and human rights while hosting terrorist groups using the territory as a safe haven to conduct attacks on civilians.

      Remember, the first civilian victims of Al Qaeda terror attacks were Africans, not westerners – and those attacks were planned and prepared from their safe space (lol) provided by the Taleban who knew what they were doing and approved.

      And the people overthrowing such a theocracy do not themselves need to be perfect, or even have the perfect motivation. It’s a slippery slope I realise. I treat the Afghan and Iraqi wars in totally different contexts, because the Iraqi Baathists were total bastard, but they were not hosting transnational terror groups, were not violently enforcing Sharia, and had nothing to do with 9/11, the Cole bombing, or the African embassy attacks.

  7. Now this is one bloke I DON’T want to ‘rest in peace’.

    I want that spirit out haunting every single politician of any stripe at all, gnawing at their consciences, calling out their best values and service, hauling in their self interest, so they also serve all the people of this country over their time in parliament and beyond, regardless of personal griefs and losses.

    Be at peace in the land and may your spirit cause our best to rise. You did well by us; stay remembered.

  8. Lange had one thing as a positive legacy and that was the Nuclear free NZ policy that Jim Anderton pushed him into.

    J A – a great man, last of our three great Kiwi leaders

  9. The right wing media and its spokespeople who have covered the death of Jim Anderton were never going to do justice to this giant of the New Zealand political scene who had more courage and temerity than the likes of Lloyd Burr would ever have in ten lifetimes.

    He is an alien to these malcontents because unlike John Key Anderton actually had principles and was ready to fight for them and knew the harshness of the neo liberal system early on and fought against it when he realised it would destroy the Labour party and impoverish thousands of dispensable kiwis.

    His speech on election night on November 6th 1993 was one of the best he ever gave and summed up the consequences of having a right wing Labour party and even more right wing National government and the impact of this on his country and its people.

    His forming the Alliance was an incredible moment in our political history bringing four different parties into a coalition and formulating policy that nearly replaced the right wing Labour party as the official opposition it was polling that high in 1991-93 should not be underestimated and then coming into government after nine long years of terrifying National party dictatorship.

    His stature as a principled politician was in no doubt as unlike a former leader who rushed and gushed to accept a british knighthood Jim Anderton declined the title when it was offered.

    He was the best prospect since Kirk of a truly socialist Labour leader but it was not to be.

    Travel well James Patrick Anderton and thank you.

  10. I had the privilege of working briefly with Jim and other Alliance MPs in 1995 as a Parliamentary Assistant.

    The experience gave me insights into Parliamentary life and how being a politician could hermetically seal you away from the rest of the population. Much like being in a spaceship in deep space, cut off from the rest of humanity.

    It also allowed me to see the long hours Jim worked in Parliament, often staying till 10PM (or later?) in his office, working, reading…

    Even though the Alliance was small at the time (only two MPs in Parliament – this was pre-MMP), public support was pushing our polling to stratospheric levels. Jim gave incredible energy to the moment and galvanised the rank and file.

    When “Someone elses’ Country” was released at the Paramount Theatre in Wellington (TVNZ refused to broadcast it), Jim was there on Opening Night, giving a speech to the packed-out auditorium. He gave his own personal insights to the ‘Rogernomics’ storm that was sweeping the country. The applause was rapturous.

    At one point in the 1990s, Winston Peters’ popularity was outstripping that of Jim Anderton. Jim put it to the Alliance that the party join with NZ First; with Peters as leader; and Jim would step aside. This was to provide a strong counter to the then National government that was running rampant with it’s own neo-liberal reforms (and which Jim Bolger now regrets).

    That was how selfless Jim was; prepared to stand aside so someone else could lead the resistance against the New Right.

    The Alliance membership would have none of it and voted it down. I myself recall speaking at the Beehive theatrette against the idea.

    As Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson and their cronies were implementing policies that had never been put to the people, Jim gave hope that resistance was not futile.

    Indeed, it was our duty.

    The fad of so-called “free market” economics will be swept away in the coming years and it’s disciples soon forgotten. But the likes of Jim Anderton, who stood against this callous ideology of selfishness, will be remembered as someone who said, simply, “No”.

    • Jim Anderton and Winston Peters were very similar personalities both trying to do what is best for New Zealand.

      He was 100% correct if the Alliance Party had merged into NZF or vice versa we would not have the mess we have in NZ now.

      • +100 TAMATI TAUTUHI….and Helen Clark is right , Jim Anderton was so much more than Kiwibank … he showed up the Rogered neolib Labour Party. Along with Winston Peters he took a stand when it was important

        • Sorry Michal, your judgement to too harsh.

          Did you send the same distain to John Key also as he jumped right into all manner of “other countries wars didn’t he????

          Then he sold our country too for better measure!!!!!

          This seemed as making Jim Anderton appear as a choir boy didn’t key? and they gave him a knight hood to for our king hood John Key.!!!!!!

          It is all about allegiance for good not evil.

          Jim made one error in judgement while all others made countless errors.

          That makes Jim more worthy of knight hods and all the other accolades.

    • Frank you first hand experience with jim is much appreciated.

      Much of what he did was out of the public eye.

      Honesty to me means you don’t lie or tell others only part of the story so they get the wrong picture. Jim was honest to the point of gaining political discredit for saying it as it was.

      As we hear lies from our politicians almost daily, the public are taken as fools and those who believe or repeat the lies surely are our burden to carry.

    • Wow this was quite an eye opener, Frank – thanks for that little history lesson! A pact between Peters and Anderton would have been quite a thing to behold. Damn, I wish it had happened. NZF were a bit of a turn off for me back then, Peters was often a bit unkind and I feel like Anderton might have drained some of the poison in favour of the better side of him. They’d have certainly been more than a match for Bolger/Shipley! To think what might have been…

  11. I feel gutted that Labour did not bring Jim Forward on our Public service media RNZ/TVNZ after the campaign to get labour re-elected so now they must honour this real Labour man as the altimate example of how Labour intend to be in future.

    Honour Jim Anderton was a great New Zealander, and a true to heart Labour idealist that fought so hard for the rights and voice of the 99% who never had any voice to represent them, and as Helen Clark said yesterday Jim fought all hislife for labour party to be “a kinder gentler fair Government”

    Jim Anderton did all this, with style and character that everyone saw him as a true human face.

    Those principals now need to be engendered in everything this new labour coalition does from this point onward to ensure that Labour is to be re-elected in 2020.

    Most importaantly to do it to honour of our ‘true’ falllen hero of the labour movement.

  12. He had his flaws as we all do, but all in a politician who did a lot for us all and held to his principles. A fallen champion of the old school non-SJW left, he’ll be sorely missed. RIP, our generation owes you a couple times over.

  13. What made Jim Anderton and Winston seem so similar is that they shared the experience of having built a popular movement based on social justice and national integrity , by the strength of their own personality and dedication only to have it hijacked by carpetbaggers coming in pretending to be supporters but in fact making use of the political vehicle that had been created to push some other agenda, and divert the movement.
    They had both learned that they had to keep control of their movement to preserve it and that meant that they had to prevent anyone else with charisma and profile from gaining a position of rivalling authority within their party or risk loosing control of it again.
    They couldn’t have worked together in the same party but in parliament with enough seats they could have worked supportively.
    R I P Jim Anderton; You gave it a good try
    D J S

  14. Out of respect for Jim – all New Zealanders should move their money OUT of the “foreign owned” banks and shift it over to Kiwi bank.
    A small but fitting tribute to one of the few politicians who really did put New Zealanders first!

  15. The problem the Alliance and NZF Parties have had, is the two main parties National and Labour along with MSM have sought to destroy these parties via Dirty Politics.

    The Neoliberals got control of Labour and dismantled the country’s Infrastructure, Banking, Insurance, Rail, Coastal Shipping, Forestry, Telecommunications, Power Companies the list goes on.

    Strong economies like Japan and China protect their Assets from Foreign Investment, and protect their Sovereign Assets.

    We are fortunate that Jim Anderton and Winston have stood up and have tried to open New Zealanders eyes to what has been going on ?

  16. Jim Anderton was a man of principles and virtually the only politician who stood up to those that took over Labour by stealth.
    What a better country we would have had if we had had more politicians like him.

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