Remembering Jeanette Fitzsimons, a great Green


The news of Jeanette Fitzsimons’ death is so sad for me as a friend and former parliamentary colleague.  She symbolized Green politics and  was totally committed to the welfare of the planet and the people on it.

She never gave away any of her principles for short term gain.

What environmental protections we have achieved, such as in preventing GE crops being grown here, owe a lot to Jeanette’s efforts as the leader of the Green movement in New Zealand.

She will always be remembered for her integrity and her energy in pursuing the Green cause and for leading (with the late Rod Donald) the Greens entry into Parliament.

She was a radical Green, promoting a whole system change.  She strongly believed that the current capitalist economic model, based on more and more growth, was destroying the planet and its people.

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She led on the full Green agenda, not shying away from pressing social issues like wealth inequality and poverty.  In Parliament I always knew always she had my back I campaigned in my portfolio areas of peace and human rights.   She stood beside me against New Zealand’s participation in the Afghan war, and in defence of refugees like Ahmed Zaoui.   She knew we couldn’t save the planet amidst wars and violations of people’s rights.

She was ever active, ever humble and ever supportive of her Green colleagues.

I feel very sad for Jeanette’s partner Harry and the rest of her whanau.

[Keith Locke was a Green MP from 1999 to 2011]


  1. Jeanette Fitzsimons was a legend. It’s a huge loss to the country with her passing.

    Her quiet yet steely integrity, promotion of the green movement which in those days were centred around environmental, peaceful and local/community grassroots policy (stopping environmental pollution through mining, keeping food as natural as possible without genetic modification, buy NZ made to support local producers, nuclear free, supporting the treaty of Waitangi) were messages people could relate to and participate in without the hierarchy of identity politics, in/out group thinking, pronoun correctness, blaming and a neoliberal collaborative agenda to change things for the better in 2050…

    I wish we had more like her in parliament with the integrity and values that she fought for, now being eroded in parliament.

    I hope the Green Party lives on in her name and conduct.

    • Agreed the current Greens are a mere shadow of their predecessors. The Greens under Jeanette and Rod were true environmentalists and sensible, principled leaders of the progressive movement. I’m a Green party member but I must admit that I struggle with our current batch of MPs. Aside from Chloe, the Greens are frankly abysmal. Add in the way many of my brothers and sisters behave online and it is no wonder we are falling in the polls. We have let the woke, virtue signalling lunatic fringe take over. It’s a shame as it pushes many potential Green supporters away.

      • I really don’t get the Chloe thing, what has she actually done and what did she do to get that high listing? Stand for the mayoralty, what actual activism has she done? Personally I think this is the problem with the current Greens. Every single one of them should be able to say what grass roots work they did before getting there. Looking through them (and I was a member for 18 years), I doubt whether any of them can, no wait Gareth did some Greenpeace stuff. I think Jan is the best and has worked hard on the issue of domestic violence which is one of our great shames. I think Julie-Ann is good on transport overall but definitely not on social justice. I think social justice has largely fallen by the wayside and frankly environmental and justice issues are both part of the jigsaw that Rod and Jeanette and the team at the time were very aware of way back then.

        • Michal – “I really don’t get the Chloe thing.” Me neither. She may have had an appeal as being young and impudent, and playing to the gallery with her ‘experience doesn’t count’ waffle – and with her positioning older and perhaps wiser persons out the same wayside which Marama Davidson kicked white NZ’ers.

          I dumped the Greens because of their girls’ age-ism and racism, but I may have dismissed others too easily.

          Eugenie Sage has a sound track record with “Forest and Bird”, and Julie-Ann Genter’s impressive academic and work record is among the best in Parliament. I voted Green for years, and intended joining the party had Genter got the co-leadership. Jeanette Fitzsimons was also a massively wholesome woman, and so are these two – and we need more such persons in Parliament.

          The Green Party was never ever envisaged as the vehicle for opportunistic ladder-climbers which it now seems to be, and whether it is capable of re-aligning itself in a socially responsible grown-up way, I just don’t know. Nat women are just as bad, but if they scorn us for our age or our colour, at least they have the good sense to hide it.

          Jeanette Fitzsimon’s untimely death is so very sad, she really was a voice crying in the current environmental wilderness. She is now part of the history song of New Zealand.

          I like to think that if there is a hereafter, then great Helen Kelly is standing there saying to Jeanette, “Welcome, sister.”

  2. (Ah, bugger. Don’t you hate that? When a past little spilsie of the vino haunts your track pad? )
    It was said by somone that ‘death is the briefest state’ and I for one intend to put that belief to the test. I’m buggered if I want to hang around.
    Jeanette Fitzsimons was a great. She was indeed a beautiful soul.
    As was Rod Donald too. Died of a stroke as a result of a bacterial infection. I mean, what the fuck?
    The current iteration likes Green. The colour of money.
    The Green Party could easily be the strongest political party in AO/NZ and yet ?
    This ‘The Greens’ purged the party of a woman who could have engaged the masses and they ignore our at-risk primary industry which has been lured into terrible environmental problems at the behest of the greed of foreign Banksters.
    Sorry for the loss of your friend @ KL.

  3. Vale Jeanette.
    Your deeds will live on with the younger generation.
    A great tribute to your intellect and humanity

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