Remembering Rod: Seven years on

Today’s the seven-year anniversary of the death of our beloved first male co-leader, Rod Donald.

For those who didn’t know him, Rod was passionate about fair elections and worked long hours to secure electoral reform here in New Zealand in the early 1990s. Our current voting system – MMP – has been described by former Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons as Rod’s greatest legacy.

On this, the eve of the US presidential elections, what better way to honour Rod’s memory than with this historic footage of Rod appearing on US television wearing his trademark suspenders and expounding the merits of a fairer, more representative electoral system for America. Rod’s smart, witty, and passionate…and we miss him deeply.

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3 Comments Posted

  1. Brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. I did know Rod and loved and respected him greatly – we do miss him.

  2. 7 years! That’s sobering.
    Long ago Rod visited us at Riverton to announce the funding for Environment Centres that the Greens had won from the Government and spoke to the gathered crowd about his early days at Piko and his involvement with Fair Trade. Our Environment Centre is thriving all these years later (15?) and my daughter (named ‘Hollie :-)recently ‘turned’ her highschool into a Fair Trade school and has almost completed the conversion of the town as a whole, into a Fair Trade town. Rod talked me/pressured me into diving into politics and I’m now a councillor on the Southland Regional council (Environment Southland). He also hosted me in his and Jeanette’s cottage in Wellington and showed me around the House and introduced me to politicians of many stripes. Rod was an enabler and he certainly nudged me out of my comfort zone, something I’m very grateful to him for.

  3. I never knew Rod, but my Mother did, through Trade Aid. She mentioned, that on an election night while she was at a Trade Aid conference in Christchurch, Rod was one of the few who came and joined her, watching the election results. This was before the Green party, when he was one of the champions of Fair Trade.

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