Rod Donald RIP

As you may have heard, Rod Donald died suddenly last night.

As Jeanette has said, this is an incalculable loss to the Green Party and to the country.

Arrangements are being made for his funeral and memorial service, I’ll let you know the details as soon as I’m aware.

Please consider this to be the condolence book for Rod.

348 Comments Posted

  1. Written by Celia Hope & read to the Hamilton celebration of Rod’s life

    Not just your average politician
    with high ideals that become eroded
    by the Power Fix
    Politics did not tar you
    with that brush of promises not to be kept.
    You did not need to tell lies
    to cover up actions that defied your cause.
    You did not need to cover up!
    You stuck to your principles, your beliefs,
    kept your integirty,
    Found ways to keep promises
    and not offend.
    You were the chamion for so many things.
    Since Iheard you speak with so much logic
    compassion, repect for others,
    more than ever
    I try to “Buy New Zeland Made:,
    or products of
    “Fair Trade”.
    For so many things you will be remembered,
    For me,
    when I check a package or a label,
    and more than ever
    I have a voice to speak
    and to be heard.

  2. I’m late to log on to this blog, but here are some of my memories.

    In the mid 90s when the Greens were still part of the Alliance and Timberlands were logging on the West Coast, I was a fledgeling journo at RNZ’s glamourous Greymouth outpost. One day Rod Donald strode into the newsroom and announced that he was the ‘buddy MP’ for the West Coast. You’d think given the views of most Coasters at the time that he’d find relatively few buddies. But he was so likeable, even our crusty station manager welcomed him with amusement. And he was a buddy to me, taking an avuncular interest in my welfare and dropping by for impromptu chats. My secret nickname for him was ‘Tigger’ – he was long, lopey, gingery, and of course, bouncy. He brought possum fur finger puppets after a visit to a South Westland factory (one for me, three for his daughters). He kept in touch occasionally when I moved to RNZ Wellington – even ringing on my last day to wish me well. Last year, (living in Christchurch by now), I was roped into a fund-raising trivia night for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) at a bizarre nautically-themed pub complete with crow’s nest and rigging. Rod was there, working the crowd. On spying me (and recognising me, to my amazement after all those years), he immediately asked to join our team (we came third). Prizes included boxes of “Peace Tea? adorned with slogans such as “Make Tea, not War? and “Arms are for Linking?. An unexpectedly hilarious and unforgettable evening.

    To me Rod was a true extrovert – charismatic in his idiosyncratic way, confident but not egotistical; gaining energy from his focus on others. His people skills were superb. Now he has gone I realise the comfort I drew from knowing Rod was ‘fighting the good fight’ – whether it was taking a sustainable message to conservative businesses, or his lone stand with the Tibetan flag – and that at all times he would be gracious, credible, and unflaggingly reasonable.

    Sincere condolences to Rod’s family for the loss of such a vibrant man, and to the Greens – kia kaha, may the way forward, onwards and upwards become clear. As Rod’s ongoing legacy I like many others will continue to consider the political impacts of my purchases, to carpool whenever I can, and to reduce energy use and waste at home and at work.

    Diana Leufkens
    Landcare Research

  3. I met Rod for the first time just weeks before he died, and still find it hard to believe that such a warm, intelligent, dedicated man is no longer with us. He has done so much for us all in his short lifetime, and I hope his death will serve to rally together the people who want to shape a positive and sustainable future for this country, its coming generations, and the wonderful world we live in. My hearfelt condolences go to his wonderful brave wife Nicola and their children.

  4. I remember Rod asking the Greens to wear our Green badges routinely, not just prior to an election. He wanted us to be available for conversation with members of the public. While the non-Green public is still interested in Rod, I want to find my badge and wear it in his honour.
    Can we produce a “Buy NZ Made” badge so that we can carry on his vision?
    I am still shocked by his passing.

  5. I would just like to say that Rod Donald’s loss is not just a loss to his family or to the Green Party – it is a loss to all New Zealand whether they are members of the Green Party or not. His work in Parliament has been untiring and it falls to the rest of the Party to continue with his work.

    My condolences to his family and also my thanks for lending New Zealand this wonderful person.

  6. My sympathy to Rod’s family and friends.

    Still hard to believe he has left us. He had so much more left to do and was one of the few that could be the superb politician and the decent human being in the one breath. He has done so much for his community and that will never be forgotten.

  7. I like many others considered Rod a true inspiration, someone who could take on the worst of them with complete integrity. I’m gonna miss the man who made me smile in a regular basis, a true warrior for human rights and sustaining the planet we live on.
    Bye Rod

  8. I feel a sense of loss with Rod’s passing that I find surprising, in the way that perhaps Rod has influenced me more than I realised. It seems to be the loss of a leader on issues for which I have a growing interest; and that, perhaps, at least in part because of Rod. He has been called a Kauri and rightly so, and he will always be a Kauri. For that, I hope his influence will endure.

  9. I will remeber Rod for his colourful humour, his quick and perceptive mind and his determination, against all opposition, to pursue his environmental and life enriching goals.

    His legacy will, I’m sure, live on through those with similar goals.

    Sincere condolences to all those close to him.

  10. I had the pleasure of meeting Rod when he was campaigning at Otago University where I’m studying Politics. Never have I met someone that so immediately inspired respect, admiration and liking. Out of the many political representatives that I met this year, Rod was the only one who truly took the time and interest to talk to me without his only agenda appearing to be securing my vote. His sudden death was an enormous shock, and a tragic loss for New Zealand and all those who believe passionately in ‘saving the world’. Condolences to his family, colleagues and friends. RIP Rod, you will be sadly missed.

  11. Rod was the type of politician we should cherish: committed, sincere, articulate, humorous, and visionary. His ability to come over as decent and principled while also remaining an ‘ordinary bloke’ meant that he could reach out to people who would otherwise dismiss the Greens.

    The news of Rod’s early death is all the more poignant in the UK given that the Green Party of England and Wales last year similarly lost its Principal Speaker, Mike Woodin, also at a tragically young age. The best tribute to him has been to endeavour to continue his campaigning work with the level of vigour that he frequently displayed, and I am sure Rod would have wished for a similar legacy.

    Matthew Ledbury
    Oxford Green Party, UK

  12. Rod! You did more than anyone to change NZ for the better, these past couple of decades. You were the driving force for MMP; and then you demonstrated how it should work. This may seem trivial, but I bitterly regret that you never had the chance to be a minister. You would have been a good one, for sure. And, though the pitfalls are many, probably a great one.

    You trod that fine line between boneheaded idealism and sell-out. It’s a high wire. So few succeed in that balancing act. You were the best.

    Your office asked me to help set up a meeting with French Greens; this would be four years ago, I think. I brought you home for a 24 hour rest in a busy international schedule. You bought organic icecream for my kids, and lovingly showed me photos of yours. My heart goes out to them today.

    Alistair Connor

  13. Yes Rod died too soon but he did more with his life than many who live much longer. I was particularly impressed by his stand on Zimbabwe and the cricket tour.The loss to the country is great, that to his family greater as more personal. May he rest in peace and may those who remain continue to work for the same ideals.

  14. i’ve used hammers made out of wood
    i have played games with pieces and rules
    i undeciphered tricks at the bar
    but now you’re gone, i haven’t figured out why
    i’ve come up with riddles and jokes about war
    i’ve figured out numbers and what they’re for
    i’ve understood feelings and i’ve understood words
    but how could you be taken away?
    and wherever you’ve gone
    and wherever we might go
    it don’t seem fair…today just disappeared
    your light’s reflected now, reflected from afar
    we were but stones, your light made us stars
    with heavy breath, awakened regrets
    back pages and days alone that could have been spent, together..
    but we were miles apart
    every inch between us becomes light years now
    no time to be void or save up on life
    you got to spend it all..
    and wherever you’ve gone
    and wherever we might go
    it don’t seem fair…you seemed to like it here
    your light’s reflected now, reflected from afar
    we were but stones, your light made us stars
    and wherever you’ve gone
    and wherever we might go
    it don’t seem fair…today just disappeared
    your light’s reflected now, reflected from afar
    we were but stones, your light made us stars

    Lets continue Rod’s work
    Thankyou from Aotearoa New Zealand

  15. Rod, I agreed with much of what you stood for, and when I disagreed it was over means, not ends. I’m shocked and saddened that you are no longer with us. May we all remember your way of being in the world and aspire to treat others as well as you did.

    My condolences for all those who were close to you, especially your family.

  16. Rod, you were a thoroughly decent man. I feel such sorrow for your sudden passing. My thoughts are with your family, friends and colleagues. There will be a huge gap in their lives which will likely never be completely filled.

    We, who remain behind, must continue your unselfish work and redouble our efforts to reclaim justice, peace, and sustainability for our world.

    Rest in peace, while we continue where you left off.

  17. Here’s a further tribute from another far North Greens member:

    “It was on Rod’s inspiration that I first joined the Green party, and like so many others I held him in high esteem for his values, commitment and wonderful personality. This loss to his friends and especially the Green party is inestimable. We can only carry on his good work, but without our strong and steadfast friend. Farewell Rod. “

  18. another that arrived via email…

    Rod Donald Reminds

    not ecological perfection
    but keeping square
    accounts with each other
    & Earth

    no mystical clichés
    of marvelous societies
    but rubbing along well enough

    anyone imagining
    a deserving more
    than us rest, keeping
    this to themselves

    & children knowing
    thriving waits …

    such simplicities
    yet so much urging
    needed to have
    them in minds

    Bernard Gadd

  19. Far North Greens started their own condolence book: Here are the tributes so far:

    After initial disbelief of the sad news, I felt angry about the injustice that out of all people it had to be Rod Donald.
    Throughout the recent election campaign he was the one person I really liked listening to. Even when he and the green Party was attacked he would always have the right answers.
    Unfortunately I ‘ve never had a chance to meet him personally, but I admired Rod Donald greatly.
    Monika Naera, Omapere, Hokianga

    Talk about leaving a hole! The loss that Rod’s death has brought to us all will be felt for a long time. We will remember him at every ripple of politics. What would Rod have said or done? So he has left us a legacy — to think that thought and to reflect on it and to act. The issues closest to his heart must remain those closest to ours. Rod’s family and friends, the Caucus, and all the workers who shared his dreams have my condolences. They also have my determination to ensure that we continue to work for a Green future.
    Judy Reinken

    I met Rod many times over the twenty-plus years of his and my involvement in the Values and Green parties. He always greeted me like a friend with warm hugs. Conversations were lively, amusing, serious and always thought-provoking. On at least two occasions we had long phone conversations about issues we were not in total agreement about – at least, we agreed on the substance but not the means to achieve it. He was co-leader, I was a foot-soldier, but he listened to what I had to say and acknowledged his shift in view as a result. That is real consultation!He came up to Hokianga to support me in my campaign two elections ago, stayed at our house and travelled about with me, taking me into radio stations and newspaper offices, charming them all and getting wonderful publicity for me and the Green Party. He was great company on the road and I learnt a lot as well as enjoying myself – this seems to be a classic Rod experience.Cellphones didn’t work in Hokianga then, so it was mightily frustrating for him to have to wait a day or more until we got far enough out for his phone to ring. He’d been out of range for less than 24 hours, but there were dozens of calls lined up.He was a great communicator in the best sense. I am utterly stricken that he is not with us any more.

    We all need to take a leaf from Rod’s book of strength, integrity and honesty and make this country of his a better place for everything and everyone, in his memory. If we can all achieve a portion of what he succeeded in, we’ll be going in the right direction.
    Hugely missed and left us far too soon just as folk were starting to understand where Green politicians were coming from., thanks to Rod.
    A hard act to follow, so let’s follow it.
    Love to you and your family,
    Kristen Khaine & Terry Higginson
    Kaitaia Greenies.
    “Wai Wurri Organics”

    Rod – I didn’t know you very well, but wish I’d known you better. How awesome this country would be if the Beehive was full of Rod Donalds.

    Arohanui, JK

  20. New Year about 10 years ago: trying to save whales at Farewell Spit, helping kids build driftwood fires on the beach on New Year’s Eve, melting marshmallows, watching the sun go down on another year. We were there, Rod and his family were there- lots of Kiwis on summer holiday. A true Kiwi who did heaps. Sympathy to his family and the Green Party.

  21. well you can’t get better tributes than above, Rod.
    I remember taking your cheque to join the Greens, straight after 1993 election,
    just as we in centre right were positioning ourselves, and I said to the others,
    “if I bank this man’s cheque, we can say goodbye to centre right within Green”
    and i did bank it, and it was goodbye to centre right,
    a few weeks later things were changing,
    sometimes now when I would pull Holly’s leg down at the shop,
    I am soon in the corner again, with her determination,
    and i think good grief there’s more of him,

  22. Also just want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the loss of another special being from our planet on 5/11/05. My dearest friend Keiren Shaw 33yrs, leaving Rumi 7 and Bella 5yrs, also died the morning that Rod died. For me a double loss and more grief. One of someone I knew and loved intimately- Keiren and cant help wish she had the extra 15yrs of living that Rod lived so fully. Rod you acted on all of the things both Keiren and I held dear to our hearts. Thanks again Rod.
    Both of you are my inspiration to contribute to a beautiful and peace filled world.
    Ana Navidad

  23. Dear family of Rod Donald, I want most of all to thank you deeply for supporting your husband /father in living his life true to his principles and beliefs and for lending him to Aotearoa so that he could lead us in honour and integrity forward as a people and as Greens.

    I thank you for my children and their children to come also, for your husband/father has made this world a better place to be, by his being and all he contributed. I am sad for the times you had to miss him, while he worked for our shared beautiful vision, one I hope the rest of us can continue to walk towards. He is an inspiration and I although I never had the honour to meet him in person, his mana has touched me from a distance. My love to you, and may you have time, space and support to go through your depths.

    To Jeanette and fellow MPs, I greive for your loss of a friend first and foremost. I wish you strength for juggling your grief amongst carrying on as our leaders. Kia Kaha. You are all as wonderful as each other and have trully been an incredible green team. I thank you deeply for what you all have done and continue to do for mother earth and all of us with the honour to live here. Thank you, thank you, thank you

    To friends and other colleagues of Rod, love to you all also through your sad loss, you are all lucky people it would seem to have had him in your lives. I have been greatful to an oppotunity to ‘get to know him’ in some ways by the sharings people have made here and in tributes. My thoughts are with you also.

    Rod, you will be remembered.
    May you Rest in Love, Peace, and all things wonderful.

    Rod, Have just re-read your yummy organic apple cake recipe and cried and cried and cried. Thank you, you special man, thank you for all your personal sacrifice, for all your dedication, for all your commitment, your wisdom, your vision and all the long hours, upon hours of neverending work you have done for me my family and all of us.

    We all share a vision and the vision is growing. We will get there. One mighty tree at a time.

    We will plant a mighty totara in your honour as well as 20 or more other native trees and grasses at 10.30am today (10/11/05) in Rotorua, and hope that like many other great forests, where you have fallen there will be a rise and growth of many other new trees in your place, to carry on with our shared work.

    Ka Kite Great Man, Father, Husband, friend, leader and inspiration to us all.

    Love and condolences to all of you who know and love him intimately.

    Ana Navidad, Kevin Hewer and Lorien, Noah and Reuben.

  24. Rod’s loss is a deep shock to us in our home. We send our heart-felt condolences to his family and the Green party.

    I think that his humility, integrity and drive and focus is an example for all of us Greens to follow. We may be down without Rod but we’re not out.

    Mark Harvey
    Greens member

  25. A man of vision and integrity and a politician who never lost touch with the grass roots of the Party and inspired with his commitment, enthusiasm and intelligence. Big shoes to fill indeed and a huge loss for the country.

    Phil Etheridge
    Greens member
    PN City Councillor

  26. Rod Donald was an inspiration to everyone who felt that the world did not need to be a mean and selfish place. He lived a life that put paid to the idea that you needed to step on people to achieve progressive change. He leaves a lasting legacy that is much more than MMP and a sustainable Greens presence in the NZ parliament.

    I had the personal privilege of briefly working with Rod as a Greens campaigner and activist in Sydney and as a candidate for the Australian senate in last year’s federal election. He left a lasting impression of integrity, humour, brilliance, drive and humanity.

    At a very busy time in the NZ electoral cycle he called me just before our federal election with his best wishes and his very accurate analysis of the preference flows in the senate race. No doubt the free giving of such concern and compassion is typical of Rod. For me and those in the campaign, it was a very moving reminder of the importance of generosity and warmth in politics.

    Our local group, the Waverley Greens, passed a condolence motion on Monday night, sending our love, wishes and tears to the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, to Rod’s friends and to his partner and daughters.

    John Kaye

  27. We remember Rod as a principled and energetic man.

    Our thoughts are with his family and close friends at this time. It is such a tragic loss to lose someone well before what you would normally expect.

    Rod Donald would have been happy with acknowledgement of his lifes work from the group that I represent in the form of the Humanist Society of New Zealand. Our humane and scientific outlook has many similarities with his own world view.

    We also remember Rod as a man who could reach accross to different people of differing beliefs. He was an excellent bridge builder and we will not see his like again.

    Kent Stevens
    Humanist Society of New Zealand

  28. Too sad to write before today.

    Your memory is a golden one – however serious the issues you dealt with, you were cheerful, however tragic the stories behind pollution or human suffering or logging old growth forests, you encouraged others to join the movement with a smile.

    Can’t imagine how the press gallery will manage to know “the real news” without you glued to your cellphone, Rod!

    Thanks for all the encouragement and friendship.

    Let’s honour your memory by sticking with the issues, not giving up.

    Arohanui to Nicola and your three daughters.
    Celia W-B

  29. My last meeting with Rod was when he was here in Sydney persuading ex-pats to enrol to vote. He did it with such good humour, charm and intelligence. It’s difficult to comprehend that so dynamic and likeable a man could suddenly be no more.

    The successes of the New Zealand Greens have always heartened us over here. Rod’s death is truly a loss for us all.

    Sylvia Hale, NSW Greens MP

  30. Rod Donald will be sorely missed by all those interested in electoral democracy and citizenship education. He epitomised the active citizenship that is vital to democracy. As well as being a role model he took a lively interest in encouraging active citizenship.

    Rod’s energetic and enthusiastic role as spokesperson in the campaign for MMP was important in the eventual success of that campaign. As an MP, particularly on the Justice and Electoral Committee he continued his interest in the details of elections and in encouraging young people’s interest and participation. He was deeply interested in and enthusiastic about the work and goals of the Electoral Commission. His abscence will be very noticeable.

    We send our condolonces to all those who face a huge gap in their lives now that he has gone.

    Helena Catt, Electoral Commission

  31. I didn’t know Rod. But from what I did know of him he seemed like the kind of person you would really want to know. I am very saddened by his death because he seemed to have so much to offer NZ and people like me who (too late) see him as a genuine diamond in amongst those rough and nasty politician-types. As far as I can see, he not only worked hard and cared but also had a damn good idea of what was right. My sincerest condolences to all at the Green party who knew him and to his family and friends. I doubt his boots will be easily filled, but I am sure his good influence has inspired many to follow in his footsteps.

  32. I can’t believe how blown away I am by Rod’s death. I s’pose someone so unique, charasmatic and welcoming has that effect on you. I will never forget Rod’s support of me as a ‘green’ Green Candidate in the 2005 election. We will all carry on with his ambitions and dreams for NZ. It’s such a shame that he won’t be here to see the effects of the waves he has created. I will make it my mission to get more ‘young’, business and ‘international’ people to join and vote for the Green Party. Kia Kaha, Natalie Cutler-Welsh (Projects Manager for EnergyMad -Ecobulbs)

  33. There are not enough people in the world like Rod – and now there is one less. He was our champion. I wish I had met him so I could tell him how much I appreciated his politics, his approach and all the hard work he did for our planet. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

  34. I never met Rod but wish I had. A man of inclusiveness, honesty and conviction who gave an example for us all to live by. In his memory, let’s try and make this world the way he would have liked it.

  35. I am deeply saddened by the loss of Rod. He was an inspiration and will be missed by many. A great loss to the Green Party and international politics also. My sympathy also to his family and friends.

  36. From the Progressive Party, Top of the South branch (Kaikoura) our condolences to the Green Party members and followers. The Nation has lost a strong protector of all that is precious to it’s people.
    Matthew Harvey Chair
    John Maurice Secretary/Candidate

  37. Only met Rod a few months back through Trade Aid and was very impressed with his manner and practical solutions offered towards helping out those less fortunate than ourselves through sustainable and ethical trade opportunities. He was very proud of his NZ made Swandri jacket, and Trade Aid no-sweat sneakers he was wearing – such a breath of fresh air from the usual politicians!

    We were saddened to hear the news but feel comforted that Rod will always be with us through the legacy he has left behind and the work he has contributed to.

    Kia kaha!

  38. At work there has been a stream of people coming to express to me, as a known Greenie, their grief at Rod’s death : a rose on my desk, a phone call, an expression of sadness and disbelief. Rod was a mate I met from time to time at cycle rallies, at meetings, at my house when he needed a bed for the night. It has been profoundly moving to have people’s tributes brought to me like that. I pass them on to his family, his colleagues at work, his friends. His death, like his life, has affected everyone.
    pam henson

  39. one that arrived via email on Monday…

    Very sad today with our loss of Rod. All sympathy to his family, relatives and friends. Rod was the first NZ Green MP to come across as having views that could bring into the party a wide range of people. Green is the only way to go that fits the science we know.

    Three years of retirement and time to think I’ m only just beginning to get a grip on politics. Green Party members know Rod wouldn’t want the Party to fold with his departure. All the best to them for their efforts to get more on board.

    Martin Toop

  40. To my dear friend and fellow activist: you left too soon Rod. We still need you desperately. I know you’re out there, still working away for the cause. So please keep in touch. I know you’ll find a way.

  41. My condolences to Rod’s family and to the Greens. I feel privileged to have met him before he passed.

    Patrick Crewdson
    Herald on Sunday

  42. my partner and I were deeply saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Rod. We have been loyal supporters of the Greens party since before we could vote and we enjoyed the warmth and humour that Rod brought to the campaign trail. We send our love and support to Rod’s family and friends and the other members of the Greens Party. We know you will continue to fight for the environment in Rod’s honour. Goddess Bless. Love Andrea and David.

  43. On behalf of Green Party Taiwan I express our deepest sorrow for the loss of such an inspirational Green leader. Our deepest condolences to Rod’s family and the Greens in New Zealand.

    best wishes to all

    Yenwen Peng

  44. Love, Respect and Peace to All,

    I watch from distant shore, read and weep a little, despite not having lived in Aotearoa for 7 years. I never met Rod, his family or colleagues but have always voted for the Green Party because of their unmatched ability to set sights on and take action to reach places that are the very best for the majority of people over the long term.

    Rod might not be here in the physical now but he is here and he hears, as we hear. What Rob has done is to inspire deeply, through manifesting in behaviour, in action, the love knowledge of the timeless, of the always.

    His passing can be considered loss but can also be considered an urging call to personal action in the here and now, for all who hear the chant and calling of timeless love.

    Rod had no fear and led through love. Let us who are capable of hearing the quiet, urging call of the always now take affirming action. We may be few among many but are many among ourselves! (Bridget Janse)

    RIP Rod – Men like you make it easy for men like me to be proud to be a man. Thank you SO MUCH for your awesome powerful inspiration.

    Love to all your loved ones. Wipe your gentle tears and enjoy the blessing to have known such love.

    Bryce New

  45. We cannot afford to lose people like Rod. My heart goes out to his family. He had such a huge contribution still to make but had already accomplished so much, in such a genuinely warm and human way. Here was one person who really did make a difference.
    Jane Hurley

  46. I hold Rod’s family, friends, fellow Green MPs, colleagues, and Green Party members in my prayers. Rod always reminded me of my Dad, so I particularly hold his daughters in my heart at this time.

    He has left us far too soon. It is clear that we will be much the poorer without his compassion, energy and optimism – and yet, even now, Rod is inspiring others to renew their commitment to making a better world. This “pragmatic idealist”, as Tom Scott has described him, embodied the best of New Zealand.

    Rest in peace, Rod.

  47. This is a very sad time for all of us who knew Rod. He was a champion for community-based Environment Centres and we will miss him very much.

  48. I was very privileged to have been a travelling companion of Rod Donald on his amazing life’s journey for a brief moment in April 2001. He stayed at my house overnight and then joined us the next day on the eight hour minibus trip from Melbourne to the first Global Greens Conference in Canberra. What an inspiring man! Since we parted company, I’ve caught glimpses of Rod through the window of the internet and have wished him safe travels. If we who only brushed shoulders with Rod fleetingly can be so moved, how heart-broken must be those who have shared lifelong journeys with him. Our thoughts are of him and our hearts are with you.

  49. ive had diferences with Rod over the last few years, mainly over the greens ‘deprioritisation’ of cannabis law reform policy, and Rod used to avoid me at public meetings ans such. however i noticed the ‘its easy being green’ sticker inside my van this morning, and recall how at the ‘one love’ concert at new brighton earlier this year, a smiling rod had peeled it off and passed it to me. sorry yore gone Rod, missing you already

  50. tena koutou te whanau o rod, nga kakariki,
    i feel incredibly sad and shocked. i have only heard this news yesterday so i don’t think it’s really true for me yet. wow, i believe we go when it is our time but sometimes it just feels like, how can it be the time for this person?
    my deepest mihi, wairua and aroha to rod’s whanau, that being his partner, children, relatives but also the wider whanau in aotearoa to whom rod was a leader, friend and inspiration. Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou…kia kaha.
    to rod- lie in peace and rest brother. you will be greatly missed and this is a huge loss for all your friends and whanau but also aotearoa and the world. know you have done wonderful things for this whenua o aotearoa and may it be the responsibility of all of us to continue in your steps towards a just, equal and peaceful life for all, where local communities thrive and smiles are was a pleasure to meet you this year, you have touched my soul and just thinking of your face and smile makes me smile through my tears. peace.
    arohanui nga kakariki-this will be a very hard time for you to continue on with parliamentary and daily life. the grieving time will linger. my thoughts and blessings are very much with all of you. arohanui, kia kaha.
    to all who have left beautifull messages here and are touched by this’s great to know you are out there and we can greive and celebrate his wonderful life, together as family.
    katrin…otepoti, te wai pounamu.

  51. May your spirit soar and your light continue to shine
    illuminating the way for those who cannot see
    a guiding light for those travelling your path.
    Inspire us to carry on your work and help fill the void left by your passing.
    Shine on Rod.
    Shine on New Zealand.

    Love and strength to your family.
    Sian Clement

  52. So sad and such a shame that a young fit man could go this way. Rod, I’ve thought of you and your family since I heard on Sunday.

    Although there are others to carry on your work, it won’t quite be the same.

    Kindest wishes to Rod’s family and of course to Jeanette, Sue and Sue, Keith and everyone else left behind.

    Steve McKinlay

  53. It is cruel that the Green Party has been robbed of such a valuable, and valued co-leader and Member. On election night, on TV3, I surprised people by stating that I would be saddened if the Greens did not make it back into Parliament because they are principled people. That you have to start the new Parliament in such a grieving manner is very hard and my thoughts are with you. I also feel so much for Rod’s family, and Rod himself, you will miss out on all those wonderful years after politics. Rod, unlike many MPs, was never a “career politician”. He was there to make changes, get things done, then get on with his life. You will miss him so much.

  54. Rod did so much for New Zealand, and he did, for the love of it.

    “Truth alone triumphs”, and “Love conquers all.”

    | Peace |

  55. Ok you win… I could not get his face and ideals out of my mind as I did the weekly shopping last night.. Buy NZ Made… will do Mate

  56. Always enthusiastic, energetic, commited (and always with a welcoming grin). My thoughts are with his family, and his Green family and friends at this sad time.

  57. I am devastated to hear about Rod’s passing, we are certainly going to miss this honourable man. I am grateful to be been able to witness his integrity and his optimism for our future. My thoughts are with his family, god bless you all.

  58. My name is John and I am Rod’s cousin.

    I’ve only slipped into the next room.
    I am I and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other,
    that we are still.

    Call me by my old familiar name,
    speak to me in the easy way,
    which you always use.
    Put no difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laugh,
    at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

    Play, smile, think of me.
    Let my name be ever the household word
    that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effort,
    without the ghost of a shadow on it.

    life means all it has ever meant.
    It is the same as it always was.
    There is absolutely unbroken continuity.

    Why should I be out of your mirror,
    because I am out of your sight?
    I am waiting for you,
    for an interval,
    Somewhere very near,
    just around the corner.

    All is well.

    By Scott Hollands
    Dean of St Pauls
    EnglandI have been amazed over the last couple of days reading the many tributes that people have made via the condolences book on the website. Rod captured the minds of so many people from all walks of life and political backgrounds. Whilst many did not agree with him on many issues there is an overwhelming respect for Rod as a person and in particular his integrity.

    Rod recently made comment as to his parents disappointment that he chose not to attend university. Many others also commented on his choice of clothing at different events.

    Perhaps Rods perception on life is that neither education nor the cut of his clothes maketh the man.

    To Nicola, Emma Holly, Zoe, David and Joyce. You have had the experience of knowing and loving a partner, father, son, soul mate, best friend, and a man of honour and integrity to all those that met him. Although saddened in your grief be warmed in your hearts that Rod will live within you forever and take with you his passion and drive to make this world a better place for all.

    I pass on our condolences from all your cousins from the North Island.

  59. Rod was always energetic, idealistic yet practical at the same time. He was a pleasure to work with and had a wicked sense of humour. Such a shock to hear the news.

    Steve, Anna, Reuben Collett
    London, UK

  60. So hard to get our heads around, a huge void will be left to fill, but I for one will be helping the Green Party as much as possible to carry on the good work that Rod did. Our prayers and thoughts to Rod’s family and leaders of the Green Party.

    Amber Tyrrell

  61. And no more shall we part
    All the hatchets have been buried now
    And all of birds will sing to your
    beautiful heart
    Upon the bough

    And no more shall we part
    Your chain of command has been silenced now
    And all of those birds would`ve sung to your beautiful heart

    Lord, stay by me
    Don`t go down

    Rod, you wielded your command with such a light and deft touch, huge jandals to fill.


  62. Rod’s death is a national tragedy. His leadership, wisdom and compassion have been stolen from a nation and we are all much poorer for this sad loss. Rob represented to me the possibilities and realities that acting with integrity, conviction and morality can allow. My sincere condolences to his family and to the Green Party. May his family and colleagues find strength in each other and in the knowledge that his legacy will be upheld in all parts of this nation. We continue to look to Rod’s ideals and the Greens Party as a way forward.

  63. so very very sad to hear the news. Rod’s family, as well as New Zealand, have lost an honorable, caring, uniquely individual man. We wish all those people closely related or involved with Rod strength to cope.

  64. These two comments have come via another route, but I thought it worthwhile to post them here:

    I was so distraught to hear that Rod passed away recently. It is devastating news and I am beside myself. Anyway, I am sure everyone in New Zealand is at a loss over this sad event so please pass my condolences to his family and all at the Green Party and all involved.

    Deepest sympathies.

    Henry Olonga

    The passing of Rod Donald is indeed sad. I was sitting in the Parliamentary chamber of the Victorian Parliament on Friday talking with the Former Deputy Premier of Tasmania about the legacy of David Lange. We also talked about the recent death of former National Cabinet Minister, John Falloon. On relfection, the conversation held even more meaning because here we have the passing of three great politicians from different parts of the political spectrum in the space of only a few months. Whether you agree or disagree with what each of them stood for, they each left (leave) a legacy much larger than the one they may have left had they not been members of parliament.

    We should be celebrating what Rod has done for us and what he has acheived. As an absentee New Zealander, I know that when I do return home to live in the next few years I will be returning to a much better country than the one I left.

    Rod Donald, David Lange and John Falloon can each be thanked, in their own way, for giving us a better country than the one we once knew.

    Ka Kite Rod…..

    Matthew Tukaki
    Managing Partner & Head of Government Policy
    Sanseman Government
    Chair of the Federal Chief Information Officers Council

  65. The Los Angeles Greens are saddened to hear of Rod’s loss. We were lucky to have Rod speak at our meeting in LA a few years ago.

    Everyone was thrilled to hear from a real Green elected to Parliment. You realize we Greens have a much harder time of it in the U.S. with our winner-take-all system.


  66. All my best wishes to Rod’s family and colleagues. I will miss the sight of a genuine kiwi guy on our political news articles. I cannot imagine how hard this is for those who had him in their lives.

  67. I really admired Rod’s conduct during the election campaign and afterwards … If only all politicians could communicate as well… I will miss his prescence in New Zealand politics.

  68. A great tragedy for the Greens, for Rod’s Family, and for the country. Rod’s ability and passion for bringing about progressive change will be hard to replace. Let us be inspired by what he acheived in his far too few years upon this Earth to do a little bit more ourselves to make the world a better place.

  69. I was shocked when I logged on from here and read the news.

    The words that came to mind as I saw the outpouring of grief and which expressed my feelings too, was `You don’t know what you’ve got until its gone’ (and the rest of that song is worth listening to again on this occasion). Rod Donald struck me as one of those gems of people who was both charismatic and self-effacing. I know that sounds an impossible combination but he managed it.

    I cannot imagine how painful this must be for his family. They have my heartfelt sympathies.

    Henry Barnard
    Kottayam, Kerala, India

  70. I would like to express my great sadness at hearing of Rod’s death. I had the privilege of spending time with him while we came up with ideas for the Greens website. He was fun to work with, and had some great ideas. He always had a smile on his face. His passing brings back many memories, and makes me realise how much I miss my green friends in New Zealand. Never thought I would never get the chance to talk with Rod again.

    Lots of love to everyone,

    Michael Joyce

  71. Rod, I will never forget your support and encouragement when I became a parliamentary candidate at 23 years of age.

    Somehow you convinced me that I could make a difference.

    You were my hero then, and you still are.

    Good bye Rod, and thank you.

  72. I have never associated with the far left, but I have recently gained a greater respect for the Green party.This is largely due to the personalities of Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimmons. I have become nauseated with the increasingly aggressive, muck-raking political environment. The Greens have been one of the few exceptions to the rule, and Donald deserves praise for staying out of the gutter. I am shocked and deeply saddened by his death, he is a big loss for both his party and for NZ. Despite all the so-called ‘wise’ economic rhetoric of the major parties, Donald was one of the few politicians that has proposed initiatives to revive our manufacturing industry. Let’s make his dream come true – Buy Kiwi made!!

  73. I’m terribly saddened by Rod’s death, for him at a life cut short, and for the loss to his family and friends – and to his country. Rod lived an inspired life, and served as an example anyone would be proud to be able to live up to.

    “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Although perhaps Rod, with his sense of humour, would have appreciated the following more:
    “If stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out of it?” – Will Rogers

    Rod’s death is keenly felt even on the other side of the world.

    James Shaw, London

  74. Clarkie the Sparkie got onto the council staff this morning and the flag has been flying at half mast on the Oamaru council building all day in honour of a great and beloved friend to Oamaru and North Otago. Everyone I know in our area has felt deeply saddened all day. I am astonished and pleased by the variety of people who have expressed their condolences to we local Greens. Rod was a regular and welcome visitor to our area and formed many friendships here. Today the regular midday coffee meeting of the hairy suit brigade at Steam café was an impromptu wake for our friend and ally. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nicola, Holly, Emma and Zoe.
    We remember all the visits we had from Rod, both on Green party business and to support our local events. Most notable was the great Battle of Oamaru a few years back when Rod, Nandor and Keith led a Green/Republican rabble to glorious defeat against Her Majesty’s loyal Alfs Imperial Army troops at Oamaru Harbour – perhaps the world’s first non-violent, organic battle.
    Rod also supported our other events such as the Organic Festival, Victorian Fete and Mask Festival and we loved his boisterous and jovial presence often with the company of his delightful family. We enjoyed many pints of Emersons ale (especially organic Pilsner and Oat Meal Stout) at the Criterion pub with Rod who was always generous in shouting us. He enjoyed many musical treats at the Penguin Club often dancing the night away – I treasure seeing him on the dance floor with his daughter.
    Especially important to the local community was the support he and Jeanette gave to the campaign to save the Waitaki River from Project Aqua.
    He was always supportive of local businesses and creative people and I enjoyed his interest and support (and advice, of course) in my own little traditional woodworking business.
    I feel honoured to have been at the conference in 1995 when we elected Rod as co-leader and have never ceased to be impressed by his energy and enthusiasm for promoting Green policies ever since. It is inexplicable that he has been taken from us so soon and I am aware that he was so good at his job that we took him for granted. Now that he has fallen it becomes obvious what a vacuum he leaves. I hope his and his family’s sacrifice will inspire more people to get active and help fulfill his green vision.

    Bill Blair, Oamaru.

  75. I too had the privledge of watching Rod being interviewed by Kim Hill both before and after the election and was imensely impressed by him. What I saw for myself was a man of vision, compassion, integrity, honesty, high principles and good humour. Surely this wasn’t the same man who had been portrayed in the print media as scary and flaky! What I saw couldn’t be further from that delusion. He was a man committed to making our country and the world a better place by seeking social justice for all and caring for our fragile environment.
    Rod thank you, you made a HUGE DIFFERENCE.
    You were a shining example for us to follow.
    My sincere love to your partner and family and also your extended Green family and Jeanette

  76. Very Very Sad .. big condolenses to his family and freinds… Such a vibrant smiley and honest person.. something seldom seen in Politics.
    RIP Rod
    Aly Cook

  77. I never met you or voted for you but I felt gutted when I heard the sad news.Thanks for all the good work you have done and RIP.
    T Gibbs

  78. Rod was the one MP who consistently participated at the conferences, meetings, protests, etc that I did. He was one of us more than me. It doesn’t seem real yet that he will never be there again. Condolences to the family.
    Dick Keller

  79. My heart goes out to family, friends and colleagues.

    I admired Rod as politician who showed – who acted with – repect for people and for democracy. And the world, and humanity, and justice…

    I still admire him.

    We are all poorer.

  80. Like so many other people, I liked and respected Rod immensely and I’m shocked by his sudden death. I remember Rod from my Trade Aid days as a guy who had a smile and an encouraging word for everyone, and I have always seen him as a principaled and effective politician. He helped to reshape our society after some very bad years (we’re not there yet, but we’re in a better place than we were) and he had a lot more to contribute.

    I’d also like to pass on my love to Bronwyn in the parliamentary office. I’m thinking of you, Bronwyn, and I know you must be hurting a lot. Kia kaha.

  81. Rod’s death is a very sad blow and my heart goes out to his family and to his wider Green whanau who I know are feeling his death acutely. I have always treasured the few months I spent in 2001 working for the Greens, and in particular with Rod, who was always, warm, welcoming, witty and inspirational. His loss is immeasurable. We’re worse off for his death, but we’re so much better off for the life that he lived.

    Dave Chowdhury

  82. I didn’t know Rod, but I am shocked by the loss of this decent man. He seemed to embody the best of New Zealand.

  83. After 160 years, New Zealand now has a Parliamentary system that represents the people. This will forever be your legacy Rod, and your place in the history of New Zealand. A life well and fully lived, we will miss you.

  84. Tribute to Rod Donald from Universal Income Trust

    Kia ora

    We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Rod Donald, whom our members had the honour of knowing personally. In addition to all the many other tributes, we would like to add our appreciation of his courageous contribution towards upholding economic rights as a vital aspect of any sustainable society and environment. In the early days of the existence of our organisation as an educational charitable trust, he made a bold speech to Parliament on the Social Security Amendment Bill No. 5, 1998, saying:

    “Where is the leadership from this Government at a time when we need vision; at a time of recession when there should be innovative solutions to share the existing wealth more equitably; at a time when proposals like unconditional universal income should be looked at?”

    Rod Donald was instrumental in promoting a Universal Income Proposal for the Green party’s economic policy. His progressive thinking, social conscience, inner wisdom, kind and compassionate heart, will be sorely missed in New Zealand politics and by all those who had the fortunate pleasure to have known him.

    All the members of the Universal Income Trust wish to send their love, respect, and deepest condolences to his family; considering the sorrow and loss we feel, it is almost impossible to imagine the sorrow they are going through.

    His spirit lives on

    Patrick Danahey
    Chairperson Universal lncome Trust

  85. For those coming to Christchurch for Rod’s funeral on Thursday, a condolences book is open at the office in Bedford Row.

  86. RIP Rod. We missed you in 1977 when you checked out as our flatmate, but not as much as we do now. A damn fine life, young man! Congratulations, and sorry it had to end so soon.

  87. Sleep softly Rod, the Earth is all the better for your footsteps, in so many ways. You have contributed beyond call and duty to the future of both individual and institute, but there is one lasting Christchurch legacy that few will know it owes its very existance to your indominatable spirit and care. The oldest house in Christchurch borough, Englefield Lodge at 230 Fitzgerald Avenue would have been hard-fill if some thirty years ago you not alerted my Mom to its town planed fate and thus saved it from relentless motorway arterial ‘development’. Your footprint is thus, by my reckoning, over 150 years old. I’m glad you were here.

    Aroha, my man, Aroha….
    /Blair Anderson.

  88. Ki a Nicola, Emma, Holly me Zoe,

    He mihi aroha ki te whanau pae mate i roto i to ratou mamae kia pangia ratou e te aroha o te tini me te mano e whakaaro ana ki a ratou me to ratou matua rangatira.

    He pounamu kua ngaro i te motu whanui.

    Haere, haere, haere atu ki te po.


  89. I am absolutely gutted. Though we are the same age, Rod did the things I dreamt of while I sat on my fat arse. Rod’s family and his friends can be immensely proud of him. His special gift seems to have been actually to turn principle into practice. Rod didn’t know me, but I loved it that he didn’t flinch one iota in the finance debates of the recent campaign. I resolve now to try harder. What kind of world is this where Bush and Blair and Howard have been re-elected and Rod Donald has been taken from us at this age?! Darkness is gathered in the north and Middle Earth now has every right to feel uneasy.

  90. Kindest thoughts and sympathy to Rod’s family.

    The Ship

    I am standing upon the seashore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the ocean.
    She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud
    just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
    Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”
    “Gone where?”
    Gone from my sight. That is all.
    Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
    And just at the moment when someone at my side says:
    “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming,
    and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”
    And that is dying.

    ~Henry Scott Holland

  91. I have no way of expressing the way I feel. Rod – thank you for your support with our clinic and ideals when we lived in Christchurch, and thanks for the chats and laughs when we met at school events at Cashmere High. Your beliefs encouraged me to be where I am now in my life, and my respect for you is enormous. You will be missed in ways you would never have foreseen. Thank you. NZ has just lost one of it’s greatest leaders and visionaries.

  92. I was blessed to meet Rod here in Vancouver, Canada where he came a couple of times to teach and inspire us about electoral reform and the lessons he’d learn as a Green Party MP in NZ. His vision, passion, tireless efforts and of course his success have been a source of inspiration and energy for our efforts and to me personally on the sometimes lonely path of being the only elected Green Party representative in Canada.

    His passing is not only a great loss to NZ but to all of us around the world working for a fairer, sustainable and more just world. My condolences especially to the Donald family and the New Zealand Greens for this tragic loss. Rod was far too young to pass away.

    Andrea Reimer
    Green Party of Vancouver

  93. My condolences to Rod’s family, to Jeanette, to those at the heart of the Greens who will miss him so much and to all New Zealanders who benefited every day from the work Rod did for us. Some of my friends have been brought to the Greens purely inspired by Rod’s obvious dedication, his integrity and his warmth – he was a model I never had a moment’s hesitation in pointing to. This is a very sad time and grave loss for our country. And it makes me proud to be part of the Green family.
    Kia kaha

  94. what a tragic loss
    First my deepest condolences to Rods family, friends and co workers.
    Rod was a man so full of life and love for our country he will always be an inspiration for me and i know many others as well.

    … how i wish you were here cos we are just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year..
    Pink floyd

  95. Thanks Rod, for always having a smile for me even when you were tired, for holding the taxi when I needed a lift, for helping to give my friends and me opportunities we probably wouldn’t have got from many other people, for making politics a lot more interesting and for lots of other reasons.

  96. To Nicola, Holly, Emma and Zoe, my thoughts to you with the loss of your partner and father.
    A true testament to his impact on New Zealand and the political scene is the number of phone calls and emails that have come in from non-Greens today offering thoughts, sympathies and accolades. Across the political spectrum Rod walked, while not always winning their vote, he won their respect. That is something missing from politics in many cases. He frustrated me, but he inspired me, his warm grin shone through in all situations. He stood up and said what he felt and practiced a philosophy that I share, it is easier to beg forgiveness than to seek permission. While some were frustrated by his charge ahead ways, without them the Greens would be in a very different place. Thank you Rod, for everything. I am still expecting that you will be at the next meeting or conference telling me to organise this or that or set that up or take that down. And because a legacy like yours will always be there, in some ways you will.
    I hope your new journey is as fulfilling as your last
    Richard Green

  97. Rod, you were so generous, so full of life and so motivating. You were the inspiration that Otago Campus Greens needed to get off the ground. Your passing seems so unjust. Ka kite Rod. You touched my soul.

  98. my deepest condolences to Rod’s fellow MP’s, friends and family. He was a truley admirable character, who’s determination, dedication and above all honesty will be greatly missed.

  99. 4 the park and playground
    @ the end of my street
    that was once just another road
    i & my boy – tho he is still 2 small 2 talk
    say thank u rod

  100. “If you dream alone, it’s just a dream. If you dream together, that’s reality”
    from The Lorax by Dr Seuss

    When Rod came and spoke at my school (a few years ago now), he said this was one of his favourite books.

  101. I can still scarcely believe it! I arrived back from the tangi of another friend who was greatly influential to get the devastating news about Rod. Up here in the North we’re still pondering how to share this grief and express our collective condolences and support for our other MPs and parliamentary staff. This is going to take some time to deal with on every level.

    First and foremost, Rod’s family will miss him the most. My heart goes out to them.

    We have to take up the challenge even more of strengthening all that Rod stood for and supported us all in trying to do.

    Kia kaha nga kakariki.

  102. Woe! A shock, and so very, very sad. But I am spurred on – it’s time for members like me to think very carefully about making a greater contribution to the party. A fine example Rod has set. It’s up to us to follow the dream. Thanks for the vision, Rod. Ever onward we go, together, wherever we are.

  103. My sympathy to Rod’s family and friends. It’s too deeply sad to lose a father so young.

    This is a huge loss for New Zealand and the Greens too, condolences and all my support to the MPs and hard working staff and volunteers who worked with Rod. I wish I’d met him: he always seemed such a down-to-earth and decent guy.

  104. Say not the struggle naught availeth,
    The labour and the wounds are vain,
    The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
    And as things have been they remain.

    If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
    It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
    Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
    And, but for you, possess the field.

    For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
    Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

    And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light;
    In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
    But westward, look, the land is bright!

    – Arthur Hugh Clough

    An inspiration to us all to do our bit for those who have not the power or the voice. Thank you and Godspeed.

  105. What a great leader. Thank you Rod – may angels smile upon you always.

    I am so sorry that I am not with many of you in the Parly office. Know that I am thinking of you all, along with Rod’s other family and friends.

    With love, Anna

  106. A magnificent man with passion and humanity. No matter how small and insignificant a problem was, Rod would treat it with the upmost importance. A truly lovely man who will be sorely missed by many.
    To Nicola, Holly, Emma and Zoe……….Thanks you so much for sharing your wonderful partner and father with us. God bless.
    Milton and Anna Osborne.

  107. Rod’s death still hasn’t really sunk in. I will miss his influence, courtesy, opinions, and honesty hugely. Condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and admirers.
    Greatly missed
    ‘You may say that I’m a dreamer/But I’m not the only one.’-Imagine

  108. Rod was a driving force for good. His tremendous energy and talents were focussed on leaving the world a better place than he found it. He was at the height of his powers and had so much more to do and to offer the world. He nurtured the Green Party as an organisation and so many of us individually with his encouragement and ideas and thoughts. We will continue his project, our project, but jesus it hurts to think he won’t be here anymore to be beside us, leading us, cajoling us, inspiring us. I long for one last bear hug. Thanks for everything. We will always remember. russel.

  109. I haven’t met any of the Green Party heirarhcy yet but have followed both Rod and Jeanette with great interest over the past 6 years. I was extremely impressed with the dignity and decorum both Rod and Jeanette demonstrated after being pushed to one side when Labour decided to secure the votes of NZ First and United Future. Rod showed true leadership and didn’t throw his toys out of the cot as others surely would have. His sudden death will leave a large void inside the parliamentary chambers and it has been wonderful to see other party leaders put their own agendas aside to acknowledge what a truly inspirational person Rod was. I am sure his spirit will live on

  110. I am stunned. I was at the meeting Rod organised in Christchurch for Henry Olonga in July to hear him speak about the trouble in Zimbabwe. I also saw him bike around many times to and from his office. I am not a Green member or supporter, but Rod Donald died far too early and one of the few Green ideas I support was his Buy NZ campaign.

    Thanks for the environmental work you did Rod. Very sorry to see you go.

    Naku na,


  111. Rod articulated his Green vision with an extraordinary sense of clarity and conviction. Even after the disappointmnent of Green’s exclusion from the new government , he remained irrevocably loyal to his core principles pledging his support for stable goverment and a just and fairer society.Rarely do we see leaders of such maturity and magnanimity who are prepared to insubordinate their personal egos for the bigger good and interest of the country. He will be missed widely.

  112. A man of courage, humanity, humour and good ideas. Most of all a good man who brought integrity to parliament and always stood by his principles. This is such a shock, I deeply feel for his family and all in the Green Party, most particularly his close colleagues. Rod you have left a huge hole in all our lives.

  113. A remarkable man of integrity passion, intelligence and wit.
    His passing touches those of us who never even knew him personally

  114. To Nicola, Holly, Emma and Zoe,
    The man in your life was a hero to my two boys who met him at a meeting in Kapiti to save Whareroa Farm from development. He told them he was working as hard as could to make sure their children had a great place to live. He wanted to know that when he was gone his descendants would be able to enjoy the unique lifestyle he knew as a child. (It felt abit like we were all his descendants). I had to explain that brilliance like Rod’s is unusual in a politician as is the fantastic outcome for that land which is now safe in public hands due to his quick response to the first leaders debate. Small mission complete.
    Aotearoa will mourn and miss him but our hearts reach out to your loss as we consider the huge hole left in your lives. Thank you for your roles in making him the incredible man he was. Arohanui.

  115. aw man. Being a first time voter this year I found Rod to be my favourite politician. He always put things so well and had such caring views. This is such a loss. Looking now into the detail of his life I see the extent of his goodness! Always fighting and caring for such wonderful causes, from such a young age. It’s incredible. What a champion he was. One of those special people that are all too rare.
    My thoughts are with Rods family and friends, who will miss Rob and feel his absence on a personal level. I’m so sorry for your loss. A remarkable man.

  116. Why do the good die young? Is it because they care so much?
    With what we see in politics it’s enough to drown us in our own cynicismm, but he stood out like a jewel, he possessed commonsense, warmth, and love for others.
    E tangi matou – ko te rangatira e Rod, haere ki te po, haere, haere haere …

  117. I was Shocked to hear, the very sad news of Rod parting, only a few days befoe the election Rob phoned nztalkzb on his way to Palmerston North

    my wish to Robs Family

  118. A man that will be sorely missed by a country that needed him. Rest in peace great man, your colleagues will do you proud i’m sure.

  119. May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    What a terrible shame, he will be missed greatly. Nz will not be the same without you Rod.

  120. I have cried for you Rod, you cared so much about the things that really matter.

    You did so much good and led such a worthy life, I promise to continue your battles to make the world a better place.

  121. I never met Rod but as a long time Greens member feel shocked and incredibly saddened by this news. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it and all my sympathy goes to all those who knew him and loved him. He’s left a big pair of shoes (with a small ecological footprint) for the Green Party to fill…

  122. So shocking to hear the sad news about Rod’s untimely death – he struck me as one of the “good guys”, and the good guys aren’t supposed to die so soon.

    My deep condolences to all his family and friends.

  123. I have today been instructed by the Chief Electoral Officer to assist with the preparations for the declaration of the election of the next list member of parliament for the Green Party. While your wish is our statutory duty, you do not get off that lightly – your presence at the Justice & Electoral Law Select Committe is still expected and I am sure your contribution will be acknowledged. A Beazer, Chief Electoral Office.

  124. I am in shock at the loss of a personal hero. I aspire to have strength like Rod to live up to and defend my beliefs, and to continue to have energy to seek and make change in the world. He understood that we should not only look after our environment, we should also look after each other.
    Manaaki Whenua, Manaaki Tangata, Haere whakamua
    Care for the land, Care for the people, Go forward.
    He leaves this challenge to all of us.
    Anna Santure, Dunedin

  125. On behalf of all of us at New Zealand Sikhs Society Wellington, we wish to express our profound sympathies over the untimely death of Rod Donald. We always saw him as kind and gentle and a person of principles. He will live forever in our hearts and minds.

    >>As a Decree of Almighty is issued, so is the Command obeyed. Those who are sent, come, O Nanak; when they are called back, they depart and go. ||1|| (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1239)

    Gurtej Singh
    on behalf of New Zealand Sikhs Society Wellington

  126. Every now and then Rod would say something I totally disagreed with and I’d fire off an email to him explaining why he was wrong. He always replied, explaining why he was right and I was wrong. If all our other MPs were as responsive to correspondence then our democracy would be so much better.

    Let us all remember Rod as a true champion of democracy.

  127. Thank you, Rod, in the name of our children.
    Condolences to all of us New Zealanders. Hope the Greens will remain on the course he helped to chart.

  128. andie and I feel really really upset . I heard on the radio that he thought of golden bay as his spiritual home and I instantly felt a conection
    I was born in london I grew up on a very violent council estate before moving to aotearoa in 74 aged 21 .
    I spent 5 yrs in the nelson region before moving back to auckland a couple of years ago due to health issues. I have missed that special land every waking and non waking moment. it is my Spiritual home too.
    Im going back to Nelson in january and over the hill to golden bay, forever
    because life is just to precious and to short. I will think of hiim while I am there, and be with people, like him that share a special connection to that land ,god bless

  129. Deepest condolences from the staff at EcoQuest.
    We’ve lost a great, wonderful man who could articulate so well the vision of the world we hope for, and work tirelessly to achieve it.
    We will miss him very much.

  130. Mahatma Gandhi said the greatest way to change the world, is to be the change you want to see in the world. Few people could claim to have lived by that ethos like Rod. Even in the face of staunch opposition in the House, Rod exuded an air that he wasn’t there to engage in their games, simply to advocate the many causes he so passionately believed in, whether they agreed with him or not.

    His legacy is a shining example, his infinite empathy and compassion heartwarming and his dedication to making the world better for the rest of us, immensely humbling.

    I will miss his goofy jokes, his ubiquitous smile and his warm and gentle presence. Much love to him on the next stage of his journey.

  131. Inner strength, it seemed, made him unique. The strength, despite his intelligence and largely-unheralded knowledge of Parliament and political processes, to publicly belittle himself if he felt the cause needed it. The strength to maintain that incredibly intense momentum despite political set-backs of the kinds that have derailed MPs from other parties. Most of all, the strength to project a bubbling positivity and – so rare at Parliament – a lovely child-like exuberance; and often in the face of insults which should have inspired anger.

    I now wonder how real that strength was and whether some of the stress and barbs sunk deep.

    At times we argued… inevitable when you work at Parliament. But with the Greens, it’s more as mates than employer/employee. My young daughter bought me, as a birthday present, a giant blow-up pink hammer to hit Rod with. I used it on him next day, telling him why. We laughed, and hugged. My daughter taught me something important then. So did Rod.

  132. Rod Donald RIP

    Although I never was fortunate enough to meet this man, he felt like someone I knew and cherished. His honesty, integrity, compassion and belief shone out of him like sunlight and we will miss him. His family must be bereft and my heart goes out to them. The Green Party and indeed the whole country has lost a great man – we were all richer for his prescence and are now poorer for his passing.
    Aroha tinonui Rod.

  133. What a noble way to live:
    To use your loving heart for all of us,
    ………………………..till it is all used up.

    What bigger sadness than to take an unused heart to the grave.

    May we not only miss you
    but bring to the fore the Rod in all of us.

    Endless thanks to the family for allowing Rod to pour out his Love and Caring,
    and to the Greens for giving him the platform, for all of us to see, that
    politics can have integrity and heart.

  134. A compassionate leader has fallen and we are left poorer for the loss, but richer for his memory. My condolences to his family, both personal and political.

    No one has to save the world, but if no one does…

  135. *Here I am writing about a man I never met or even seen in person, but his untimely death saddens me.

    A great loss to NZ politics, the environment and humanity…

    Now more than ever the greens need our support…lets not let all his hard work and vision for a better planet come undone!

  136. What overwhelmingly sad news – my heart goes out to Rod’s family and to all in the NZ Greens. This is such a huge loss – Rod was so energetic, fun-loving and inspirational. His death is an enormous loss to Greens and the progressive community worldwide – including here in Australia.

    I join with so many others when I say he will be sorely missed.

  137. Our condolences to Rod’s familly and close friends. His integrity symbolised the essential difference of his political stance. Let all Greens take strength from his life, and build on his vision of a better greener NZ

  138. My deepest sympathy to Rod’s family and Green workers/supporters. A sad day for the Greens, and for all of those who believe in a fair and just Aotearoa. Sarah Helm

  139. To his family my Jeanette and the Party my condolences and aroha will be a hard struggle to regroup after this but I know you will, and Rod will be counting on you to do it. What a shock, and I wish I had known him.

    Nga mihi aroha ki a koutou, ka whawhai tonu koutou mo te huarahi tika.

  140. I met Rod Donald only March this year. I could not believe it when he came all the way to our house in Hoon Hay, and spent a good two hours with me, despite the obviously hectic schedule of a politician, to offer me advice about my research (which of course was about sustainability). I think it is his very real and very genuine personal magnetism that makes him so loved by so many.

    He initiated my support towards the Green Party, although I am a foreign citizen with no voting rights.

    His voice spoke for current and future generations of all living beings. His death is a big loss to New Zealand.

  141. Hello from Southern California. I am a U.S. Green who knew Rod Donald well, and even had the priviledge of having him stay at my house during one of his trips to the U.S.

    I am posting a link to a video of a 12 minute TV appearance Rod did in Los Angeles, during his trip here in 2003. It has him explaining to an American audience, how MMP works, as well as him offering a Green perspective on U.S. foreign policy.

    The video shows Rod’s brilliance in a way I am sure we all will remember.

    I also am the web master for the international Green news web page and I will be posting links to many of the articles and press releases about Rod there.

  142. I have spent the past 24 hours since hearing about Rod’s death feeling somewhat out of sorts. I can’t quite believe that a man so full of life is no longer with us. I didn’t know him personally but had spoken to him on a couple of occasions.
    I found him an inspiring and humorous speaker, a man with dedication and integrity, who stuck to his principles and who was always polite and optimistic.
    I feel grateful that he has given NZ so much, though sad for his family who perhaps missed out on seeing him as much as they would have liked.
    What a tremendous loss for the Green Party and for NZ politics in general. What big (NZ made) shoes to fill for whoever takes on the co-leader role.
    My condolences to his family.

  143. Rod will be greatly missed. He was that rare paradox, an honest politician, and his absense from the political discourse and indeed from the world will be a huge loss to all of us. Our condolences.
    Lisa and Rob

  144. A sad day for all New Zealand. We have lost a great man and great politician. Literally the only one who seemed completely trustworthy.

    We are left in the hole his absence creates. Where to from here?


  145. Condolences to Rod’s family and colleagues.

    He was a man with humility, humour and the rarest of things: an easy-going sincerity. A mixture of talents and warmth that allowed him to accomplish all he did.

    Such sad news. A good man gone.

  146. A great loss to his family, to the Green party and to the country. It seems wrong to me that such a good and decent man should die so young. His legacy remains though in the work he has done throughout his life, which will continue to have a good and lasting effect long into the future. My thanks to him for all his efforts, and my sincere condolences to his family for their loss.

    The saddest thing is that his vision and leadership will be especially missed in the years to come.

    Tane Woodley

  147. Hi Rod, You were an inspiration to us all. You had great courage, and struggled so hard for social justice. You were such a admirable role model for us all. I am so sorry you have left us. Peter Kitchenman

  148. I am surprised at how saddened I have been over the loss of Rod given that I did not know him personally. I feel most for his family as they would have had such limited time with him over his terms in politics. I am also angry at Peter Dunne’s false statements of condolence.

    But most of all, I hope that the Green Party can move on to finish what he started

  149. Im utterly gutted. I had drafted an email giving Rod stick about using Green cliches in the media such as ‘cracking open feijoa wine’…and never sent it…but that was who he was, and he didn’t care what the mainstream media thought. I feel sick, especially after reading last week about how Rod said he was patient about waiting to get into Government, but not wanting to wait too long. Im also sick Labour couldnt sort their mess out with their true political allies, the maori party, and then join in coalition with the Greens.

    Rod, you will be sadly missed. What can be said, is that as more time passes, the more the Greens are being seen to be right (mostly, unfortunately, in a negative way- climate change, working conditions, species extinction etc). It is good to know that people such as Rod are prepared to stand up to all the closed minded “the world is flat” mainstreamers out there to make the world see sense. Ka kite ano.
    Jared (London).

  150. Honour and integrity are rare and valuable qualities – Rod was a man who possesed them and lived his life being guided by them. We can all learn something from his example. Thanks to his family for supporting him in a difficult and demanding proffession. My sincerest sympathy to them for their incredible loss (and ours).

  151. On behalf of all those who live at Daisy Meadow in the Ashburton foothills, we wish to extend our deepest heartfelt sympathy to Nicola, Rod’s daughters, all of Rod’s family and friends and fellow greenies.

    Thank you Rod for your leadership and your passion about all things green. You are truely inspirational to us all.

    Nick and Selina Hayes Baker, Karen, Fraser, Ajala, Maitreya and Sanjia Palmer Hesketh.

  152. You represented our dreams,
    that are not of utopia,
    but of fairness and true humanity.
    Sad day for all New Zealanders,
    Immeasurable loss to the world.
    You may be gone,
    but you will always inspire us,
    The dreams remain.

  153. A Salute to a person who made a mark in our lives, who provided us with an insight on how to be proud of being Real. A politician, who had a great insight for the future of our environment, industry and economy,

  154. …..And I was only just getting to know him!!!

    I was captivated by Rod’s genuine enthusiasm for all that is sustainable and good about New Zealand.
    Rod invited my to TVNZ for the finance debate and then to Wellington for the ‘business meets the greens’ talks……this could have been the best rappoachment of any country ever: where the means of production are moderated by common sense of a sustainablility dialogue.
    We owe it to Rod’s memory to ensure the Green vision continues to infiltrate the mainstream subconscious of all New Zealanders.

  155. The shock to hear the sad news last night has still not left me. Rod… you are a fine example of a man with great integrity, honesty and compasion… your commitment to the cause of bringing balance to the ways we operate in relationship to the environment and our future…. your gentle strength and non-assuming authourity…. you will be missed.
    I know that other members of the party and supporters will carry your inspiration onwards. Your loss touches us all, and calls us to stand in our own power, inspired by your example

  156. He will be missed-an honest man and a very compassionate one rare in a politician. Our deepest sympathy to his family.

  157. kia kaha and arohanui to Greens, and Rod’s family and friends. Please know that Rod made a difference, which is the highest praise for an activist – he was a man of principles and he stayed true to his kaupapa throughout. My thoughts are with his partner and children especially, but I know that he will leave a large hole in your party and will not be forgotten.

  158. Rod had such an obvious integrity, which gave me hope for the state of NZ potitics. It came through in every interview I’ve seen – in the time he would take before making his replies, in the respect with which he treated his fellow polticians and the media. Very sad news to hear of his death. Love to his partner and kids – and know he’ll always be remembered for his tireless work for our NZ. He’s done you proud.

  159. This nation needed him for so much longer. So sad we wont have the benefit of his enlightened humanity as we face an uncertain future. Deepest sympathy to his loved ones, New Zealand has lost a statesman and a beacon of hope. He would say of this that its up to us to continue walking his talk. He is gone but will never be forgotten. May his sentinel spirit continue to stalk our land.

  160. Rod’s energy has left a huge mark on the Greens. I hope the momentum can be kept up somehow, some way… He’d drive me bonkers sometimes, the way he’d try to get his ideas through by announcing them as the party’s ideas and letting the media’s coverage of his comment lull all us members into accepting what he said as the party’s truth, and he didn’t like me calling him on this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a strong wish to work with him rather than as some sort of check against this part of him, but now I feel that the differences were much more surface than real, and that his passion left the rest of us for dead. I can feel him right now reading this pun and bursting out laughing. I’m sure his guiding light will be around us for a long time to come.

  161. I cannot believe it. I have been thinking of joining the Green Party, and will now, to help continue the wonderful work that Rod has done. We will all miss you.


  162. Rod has been an inspiration to me, and to all New Zealanders. He truly showed an unyielding commitment to his ideals; someone who was courageous enough to follow what he believed in and to be proud of those beliefs. Rod’s wisdom and his actions inspired and encouraged my own turn to ‘conscious living’. I have a vivid image of him in my mind: standing on the front steps of parliament holding the Tibetan flag above his head; strong, brave, unyielding, defiant, compassionate, kind, ethical.

    He is a truly great loss to humankind. May we all carry on his fight and continue to let his light illuminate our lives. What a great loss.

    The Donald family and the Green Party are in my thoughts and prayers.


  163. Love to all Rod’s whanau. This is a great loss for NZ – what an amazing guy – saw him on Talkback with Kim Hill and he thoroughly impressed me. I am grateful for all the work he did.

    Cheers Rod,


  164. My love and condolences to Rod’s family and friends. He was such an inspiring person, whose absence will leave a huge void in New Zealand politics. I am grateful for everything that he has contributed to this country, he was a legend.

    Aroha nui,

  165. Rod was a man of strong principles, who also knew how to forge good compromises. That’s an astonishingly rare combination, and something our country will greatly miss.

  166. We regularly bash pur politicians, but they are generally a hard working lot who sincerely have the nations interests at heart. Sometimes it takes the death of someone to reveal the inherent goodness of many of our politicians. Rob Donald was man committed to a fundamentally good view of our nation and our future.

    My sincerest condolences first and foremost to his family and to his friends and colleagues at their great loss.

  167. To Rod’s family; thank you for loaning us this incredible man, he has meant so much to so many people.

    I loved the “Not made in China” badge and how he was so hands-on with everything. An absolute inspiration and his torch of integrity shown brightly in Parliament.

    Let’s keep Rod’s Green Dream alive…


  168. My sincere condolences to Rod Donald’s family and colleagues at this sad time. We are poorer for the loss of such an advocate for humanity and the environment who gave unselfishly of himself and left you feeling that you should be, could be doing more, so I am grateful to Rod’s family, because such unselfishness comes at a cost. I had the opportunity before the election, when Rod was handing out leaflets at Wellington Railway Station, to say what a tremendous contribution The Greens make as our political, environmental conscience and I didn’t, so I will say it here. It is Rod Donald’s legacy to New Zealand that we all contribute in our own way to make a difference. Kia kaha, arohanui to Rod’s immediate and extended family and friends.

  169. I just wanted to say how shocked I was at the news and how sad I am for Rod’s family, friends and colleagues. The Greens and New Zealand will not be the same without him.


  170. I am an absolutely stunned Kiwi sitting in an internet cafe in London. What a massive loss to NZ politics. Rod, you were an inspiration. I have the greatest respect for you and your passion for our country and our world. Thank you for your commitment. My sincere condolences to your family and your friends.

    Kia kaha

  171. Stunned and saddened are we. To lose one so young and dynamic. Rod, who gave his all to lead the way.

    Our sincere and gentle thoughts to his loved ones.

    So much has been written here, of truth, respect and love. We agree.

    Kia kaha. Joy & Paul. Taranaki.

  172. I am shocked to hear the news. Was speaking to Rod only a few weeks ago. He was such a vital and caring perosn who will be sadly missed.

    Once again our thoughts go out to his family and his political family.

  173. I am totally, totally stunned by Rod’s untimely death.

    A rousing Hear, hear! to Clairenz’s comment above that “New Zealanders the world over continue Rod’s work with the simple idea that we CAN make the world a better place.”

    My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and fellow travellers.

  174. I went to a workshop on Electoral Reform that Rod gave at the Global Greens meeting in Canberra and was inspired. He will be sorely missed. Commiserations to all who knew and depended on him.

  175. A man who lives by his principles with such integrity is a rare thing, we must not let his work be in vain.
    Let New Zealanders the world over continue Rod’s work with the simple idea that we CAN make the world a better place.
    Arohanui to Rod’s family, friends and party from Syracuse, New York

  176. Rod was the one who told me small was beautiful in New Zealand too. My condolences to Rod’s family, friends and the Green Party. Putuj spokojno, dragi prijatelju.


  177. To Rod’s family:
    my deepest sympathy and condolences. I wish these two words could somehow say more; to somehow lessen your pain by showing that it’s shared by so many. For Rod’s gift of himself to public life did touch many – friend and foe alike. If you could accept hugs from a stranger, I offer them. Thankyou for sharing this man with us – we will remember him with pride.

    To the Green Party:

    As a recent prodigal returnee, I voted for the first time in New Zealand this last election [the first time EVER actually…]. The Greens turned up in Opawa with the Peak Oil video and Rod spoke. At 39, I finally began to sit up and take notice. In giving myself a crash course in social, political and environmental history I discovered that I actually wanted to make a difference – and Rod [as my local candidate] was there as an [almost daunting] example of how one person can stand up in this country, and with the courage of their convictions REALLY make a difference. Take heart from the knowledge that because of people like Rod and yourselves, other New Zealanders are waking up to this too.

    Every day, you draw a thin green line in the sand, and ask us not to cross it. Every day, it seems, the line gets drawn deeper into the heart of New Zealand. But people are beginning to prick up their ears. Every election, regardless of the vote tally, more people HEAR what you have to say. Keep saying it with the clarity, integrity, and tenacity that Rod brought to our parliment; keep it rational; keep it clean – and more will come to understand what this line that you would hold really stands for.

    Respect to you all. Shock and grief will give way to courage and resolve.

    We should honour our fallen by LIVING.

    To all of New Zealand:

    Though many may not realise it, or prefer only to see the bicycle-wielding caricature, Rod Donald has actually left New Zealand a legacy of positive belief, thought and deeds that will last for generations. Imagine if each of us could have the same said about them.

    Rod GAVE a shit, New Zealand – so should we. With him gone there’s a helluva lot of slack to be picked up.

    Cheers Rod. Have one for us from time to time – ’cause we’ll certainly be having one for you.

    Jamie Fergus : – ) >

  178. Our heartfelt sympathy to Nicola, Emma, Holly & Zoe.
    A devastating day for Rod’s family and for NZ.

    We have lost one of the few politicians ever, with integrity and vision, who was motivated by economic and ecological wisdom and not by power and self interest. He was a peace-loving dynamo who gave everything to his ideals. His struggle is now over and we have to proceed without him.
    This world has a chance of being a better place because leaders like Rod Donald have influenced enough people to start making changes for the better.

    Like a lot of Kiwis I personally feel the loss of nature’s politician. He was an intelligent statesman with drive and a sense of equity and humour. He did not hold expedient principles. He was a highly principled person with a demanding agenda. He shouldered a big workload. He appeared to have good relationships with most other MP’s plus the Media.

    Thanks Rod for your dedication to the green movement and the people of NZ, and thanks for your leadership which has seen the gradual improvement of NZ’s environmental outlook.

    John Brooks

  179. My sincerest condolences to Rod Donald’s family, friends and colleagues.

    When I read the news this morning I was deeply shocked. Rod’s death is a loss to New Zealanders and New Zealand.

    I did not agree with Rod’s politics, but shared many of his underlying ambitions for New Zealanders and people generally. Hopefully we can use his inspiration to improve the living standards for people across New Zealand and across the globe.

    May Rod rest in peace. May his energy and spirit live on.

    Lukas Schroeter


  180. Thanks Rod.
    This is a huge loss…
    I hope his focus on fair trade, human rights and Buy NZ will gain further support in his passing.

    Peter Russell

  181. Nicola, and Emma, Holly, Zoe,
    I am so sorry.

    We will miss you sorely.
    The essence of your inspiration, vision and “style” will live on.
    In the Aoraki Greens we must see that it does.

    Kathleen Guy

  182. thank you for being such a beautiful human being. the few times i chatted to you on the street or at a protest i was so impressed by your approachable manner, your genuine concern and your encouragement. thank you for keeping it real Rod.

  183. I’m utterly devastated by Rod’s death. Rod was a true New Zealand hero. He was a man who demonstrated that tenacity, honesty, and cogent arguments can win the day. His persistence and rational discourse were the major reasons why New Zealand now enjoys a more representative Parliament through a fairer electoral system. His refusal to indulge in the more unseemly aspects of new Zealand politics made him a rarity, a dignified politician. He served his country with conviction, sincerity and, above all, tremendous integrity. I’m shocked by how much his death has upset me. I’m sure it’s partly because as a Kiwi now living in Texas, I’m all too aware of what disregard for our planet can do. I can only close by sending Aroha to Rod’s family, to the remaining Green MPs for whom I have enormous respect, and for all New Zealanders, spread throughout the globe, who grieve for the loss of one of our best.

  184. Hard to believe it’s true.

    Rod, by all appearances, appeared to be a great man of strong conviction who stood as an example to all of what a true leader of this country should be. He remained a man of conscience in a world that is continually striving toward greater heights in the me-me culture or turning to more cynical or apathetic perspectives.

    Thank you Rod for your services to our country, and well done for remaining true to your character and living your life to help others live theirs better.

    You will be missed.

    Dorking Road Flat

  185. i met rod for the first time on thursday. i just find it so hard to believe he’s gone. coming so closely after the death of david wakim last month, it is yet another sad blow for new zealand. my overwhelming feeling, as with david, is that i want to ask God to give him back. we still need him.

    condolences to the family, and to all green party members. our thoughts are with you.

  186. Hit like a blow to the chest to hear this. Truly sad. I will remember him for both what he has done but more so for what he could have done had his life not been cut so short. RIP!

  187. I have known Rod since 1999 when I began working for the party as its administrator. I shared the small house in Thorndon where Rod and Jeanette slept when in Wellington, as my work space as we entered the 1999 election.
    Rod impressed me with his incredible drive, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to his principles and to the party, yet he always combined this with an unfailing humour and friendliness which made him so approachable and warm. To have lost him so young and in the prime of his career, is an incomprehensible tragedy.

    I shall miss his lovable grin, the warmth of his greetings and hugs, the interest he took in all the details of the party and its work, and of course the extraordinary contribution he made to the work of the Green Party.
    I wished many times that he would slow down and take a break, but that was not Rod’s style – he loved the cut and thrust of politics and the excitement that each new day brought. Rod loved life, and loved people, and loved the environment, and he was – and always will be – greatly loved by so many.

    This is a terrible and cruel blow to his family, to the party, to his many friends, and to the country. Thank you Rod for your friendship and for your tireless commitment to the cause of promoting peace, justice, and humanity.
    Rest in peace mate, I will miss you terribly.

    Michael Pringle

  188. So sorry. A disaster for the country to lose a man who has maintained his honesty and commitment to his wise vision of the future throughout a parliamentary career. This honesty and commitment is why we vote for the Greens. Our sympathy goes not only to Rod’s family, but also to his parliamentary family. Jeanette will need the support of all to overcome this awful loss.

  189. It feels that we have lost a true champion of our best interests; a man of integrity, passion, warmth and good humour. The cold shock of loss chills all the more bitterly that Rod was so young and still had so much to contribute to our country.

    As an impassioned believer in the sanctity of our planet and the value of ourselves, I am sad to lose one who so clearly and effectively espoused many of my beliefs. Deepest sympathies to Rod’s family and friends. Rest well Rod.

    – Cam

  190. Rod, your sudden departure has stunned and saddened Aotearoa, and our voices unite in praising your life, in appreciation for your integrity, humour and committed work for a Greener world. Rod, you have been a bright green flame that some mysterious gust has suddenly blown out, we mourn, and we celebrate what a pounamu you have been. We will never forget your good life and all you have done for our nation.
    My deepest sympathy to Rod’s family who can be so proud of him.
    Now let the tears flow…let the songs be sung.

  191. It very sad to hear that Rod no longer with us,
    It was to soon and so mean to see young people to die so young.
    He has made a inpact in the contury in the past and what he has planned for the future will not sit there and be wasted I am sure they will happen,
    Thank-you Rod for what you have done for NZ.
    My condolences to family and friends and colleagues my thoughts are with you all
    God Bless they family and friends and colleagues RIP Rod

    McPherson Family

  192. I think we all want to make a difference in the world before we die, and Rod Donald certainly did that. Well done Rod, and sympathy to Rod’s family

  193. Rest in peace Rod, Thank you for all you have done for the Green dream.. I will miss your friendship and I hold you in the highest regard.. I will miss your support and your wisdom …My deepest sympathy to Rods family and to all in the Green team… I’ll tell the angels to get your crown…
    Karen Summerhays

  194. I am an American and have had the good fortune of watching your political system at work. My Partner and I were on a flight to Christchurch friday morning and had the honor of sitting across the isle next to Rod Donald. We spoke about American/Kiwi Politics, laughed about my perception of Kiwi politics.

    I had watched him prior and through out the elections and what stood out most was Rod Donald’s integrity. He was a person who appeared to walk his talk and talk his walk, then meeting and speaking to this great man….and as I told him, BRAVO! He smiled and blushed alittle and said brightly, thank you.

    New Zealand aND the world is a better place because of Rod Donald being born. The universe was smiling when he came through.

    My Condolences to his family, his party and all the New Zealanders he served.

    BRAVO! Rod BRAVO! A life well spent.

  195. I first met Rod just a few days ago and I am shocked and deeply saddened that I will never meet him again.
    We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for what he has offered our beautiful country, and will each have to work twice as hard toward the future he envisaged.

  196. Deeply sad; the best tribute of all will be if we take up the causes with as much hope, humour, intelligence, and above all, integrity, as Rod tackled them. Such a combination of strengths is rare not only in politics, but the world at large.
    All my thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.

  197. What terrible news. Thank you Rod for everything you did, I am so grateful that we had someone of your calibre in parliament to set an example of what it is to live with integrity, sincerity. To be accountable, to believe. For honouring our environment, protecting our food, for making people aware of the situation in Zimbabwe, and so much more. My prayers go out to your family, colleagues and friends. New Zealand has lost a true inspiration.

  198. There is an old saying that goes something like this…”politicians are like bananas, they start off straight and green but end up bent and yellow.” After ten or more years in politics, Rod Donald was an exception to this rule. He was straight and there was no question to his colour. While Rod Donald’s sudden departure from the New Zealand political landscape seems a complete and utter waste and is a terrible loss to his family, to the Green Party and to the causes he supported – MADENZ for one, will not slacken in its vigour to support Rods dream in regard to a Buy New Zealand Made campaign.

    Kia kaha Rod. We will keep up the good fight.

  199. Your inspiration, courage and energy will be missed Rod. May your family find comfort in the knowledge of the difference you have made in this world and may your spirit rest in peace.

    From the Wellington Trade Aid Trust

  200. A truly very sad day. A great man who will be very much missed by ALL who were fortunate enough to be touched by this true gent. He had an honour and honesty about him that made him so approachable and friendly. I loved the courage of his conviction, and for me this was just one of his many strong points, and may we all learn from him.

    Kia Kaha to his family in ChCh and the Greens everywhere.


  201. Having met Rod only a couple of weeks ago I was absolutely shocked to hear of Rod’s death. My personal regrets and condolensences will be echoed I’m sure by others in the union movement. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they struggle through this time.

  202. I am deeply shocked by this news. My deepest personal condolensces to his family and friends. A life half lived is a life not lived at all,and it would seem in his half life he has lived the life of many others combined. When the grief fades those he leaves behind have every reason to be proud of this man’s contribution to New Zealand.

  203. Lost expectations…lost potential. A rare politician with honesty and integrity.
    To lose such talent makes us all poorer.
    I suppose we must be thankful that Rod gave us so much and was so inspiring but it is so cruel that he was taken so early. Oh if only….

  204. I’m deeply saddened. This is a terrible loss for the Greens and New Zealand. The one time we met, he impressed me with his committment to his values and his common sense approach to getting there.

    My condolences to his family, and to the Green Party for losing a great leader.


  205. I am beyond words, Rod was a great inspiration to so many, a kind, intelligent man who is gone too soon, I hope his vision for the world is realised. Sincere sympathies to his family and friends.

  206. Rod had real integrity and was constant in his support for justice and
    sustainability. He probably gave far too much of himself at a cost to his
    family and in the end to his own self. I well remember the warm way
    he welcomed me to the Greens when I moved over from New Labour.
    We will all miss him very much. I extend my condolences to his family.

  207. A true gent. I liked and admired Rod very much. I will miss him.

    My condolences to all those mourning. Do not be too sad, but celebrate his life, as he celebrated life.

  208. Rod characterised that most rare of phenomena, a truly respectable politician.
    The times that I met him I was only ever given respect from him even though he was an important and extrordinarily busy man he always patiently and enthusiastically gave me his attention and a thoughtful response.

    This is a huge loss to the Green movement and party.
    I will genuinely miss him deeply.

    And to his family:
    Rod was a truly wonderful man who will be missed by thousands of people. You have every reason to be immensely proud of what he has done and how has done it.
    My deepest deepest sympathies.

    Zane Gilmore.

  209. What a huge loss. Rod was a politician of real intelligence and commitment – and he was getting better all the time. Since this last election, in particular, he stood out for his dignity and judgement. A good man who lived a good life. My heart goes out to his family.

  210. This is really bad news. A good man who had integrity, principles and empathy for others. Rod Donald, you will be sorely missed. I wish we had more people like you in this world, and in government.

    Very sad.

  211. This ACT member and candidate at the last election can only endorse what everyone else has already said. I hope he looks down on us from wherever he is and helps us steer this country in the right direction. RIP Rod, you deserve to after working so hard for others. Stay strong Greens and look after his family.

  212. Too young. Too young. His positive energy, passion and vision for a better NZ has been inspiring, and like a good wine, he was aging so well that we all believed his best was still to come. His legacy is hope for the future, dosed with commonsense, respect for everyone and a sense of humor. That’s a legacy every Kiwi can relate to, can embrace and can carry forward in his memory. A good bloke. Made in NZ. God Bless.

  213. Rod was my favourite Green, he had a charm about him. He was one of the top MPs that I have seen in action.

    He will be missed sorely.

    Kia kaha to his whanau.

    Rest in Peace Rod

  214. deeply shocked by the news. his passion and activism for the things he believed in can be admired by us all. new zealand has lost a truly magical person, his legacy will live on for many years to come.

  215. What a huge sad loss to New Zealand. A man who stood up for what he believed in and who always appeared to act with dignity, kindness and humour.
    An inspiration to us all.
    Condolances to his family, friends and the Green Party.

  216. i’m not a greens supporter but this is very sudden and is a dark day for nz politics all over the spectrum.
    when i read the news on the internet i had to do a double take thinking there must have been an error.

    my ciondolences for some reason go out to jeanette, the green party, the labour party, his family and friends.

  217. As a new arrival in New Zealand, I can’t vote just yet, so I watched the recent elections from the sidelines. Halfway through the campaign I started paying attention to the Greens. There was one man who commanded my attention almost immediately, and I was drawn to how calm, collected, rational, principled and gentle he was, even as politicians all around him were trying to salvage their careers through mudslinging, personal attacks and sideshows. In Rod I saw some rare, rare qualities: he was a truly substantive leader, an ethical politican, and an able spokesperson for the Greens, a party whose principles he shaped. His personal conduct during the campaign caused me to join the party just after the election, and even though I never knew him, I wanted to write something in this column because I think my story is probably typical of the many, many lives he touched without knowing it. Without knowing him, I miss him, and I can’t begin to fathom the grief of the people who worked with him. My heart goes out to all of them.

  218. In this short period of time which has seen too much sad news for my own circle, it is with sadness that another good man that I almost seem to know is cut down. Words are so inadequate at times like this. Condolences to Rod’s family. I’m with Plum (above) on this one, Rod was what me take the Greens seriously, you will be missed.

  219. Dear Rod,

    You were an inspiration to us all. Life and New Zealand will never be the same without you. You are and always will be an induring reminder of what it means to give a damn about something.

    We will miss you


  220. A gaping hole has been left in the heart of a great many New Zealanders Rod you will be greatly missed. Your legacy will live on and the seeds you planted will grow into a forest. Words cannot sum up this great loss. My heart goes out to his family and friends may they have the strength to continue without him.

  221. It is a great loss indeed, for his family and for all of us. As an non-New Zealander living here and having an interest in politics, I was quickly struck by his abilities. Just one of the things he worked on – trying to bring Parliament within the scope of the OIA – revealed him to be head and shoulders above most of his peers in Parliament, by demonstrating an understanding of how we can secure integrity and transparency amongst those who would govern us. The Greens will be hard-pressed to find someone else of his abilities; not just on policy, but also with the presentational abilities and personal integrity that the public want so much from politicians but encounter so rarely.

  222. Bugger, bugger, bugger. I was planting my broccoli when I heard and the memories just came flooding back – doing up Bedford Row offices, fair trade coffee campaigns, bike rallies, campaign meetings, scrutineering, fundraising, party conferences and so much more. Yet through it all your shining optimism made life lighter, your determination inspired us all. To Nicola and kids, BP electorate, everyone in the party, the nation and all the just causes – we have lost an irresistible force, an irrepressible soul, and a friend. A time for refelection and then appropriate action for us all to continue the work. You’ll be sorely missed Rod. God bless.

  223. My deepest condolences to Rod’s partner and their three girls, to the Green Party and their followers, and to New Zealand in general.

    Rod was a man of principle, integrity and vision, and had the ability to communicate all three with tremendous enthusiasm. While not all his policies were to my taste, I always admired his strength of character and his refusal to cater to political expediency.

    We truly are the poorer for his absence, but can console ourselves that we have been enriched by the time we shared.

  224. I heard this news just as we arrived at a peak oil meeting I had helped organise in Kapiti. Stunned and horrified, I had to use considerable energy gathering myself in the knowledge that Rod the ever present unquenchable spirit was lying dead at that moment. It was true. Then I thought Rod would have wanted us to go ahead with this meeting just as before. So we did it for you Rod! Those at the meeting expressed similar shock.

    But what a darned shame. I didn’t always agree with Rod on everything, sometimes he annoyed me heaps, but I have known him since 1975 in Values Party days. I quoted him several times in my book Healthy Money Healthy Planet and I guess he never lived to read it ( – or the writings of a lot of other people who quote him either.)

    I once organised a meeting with him on community banking in Wellington and it attracted a huge audience. He was so good to work with.

    Then I think Rod lived every day with so much enthusiasm. He achieved so much in his 48 years there is nothing to regret! His daughters have every reason to be very, very proud of a life of dedication to justice and a better world for all children to inherit.

    A big hug to you Rod for being such a good man and a good leader who did what he could do. And Nicola I will be there on Friday in Wellington. Kia kaha you wonderful woman for supporting him in his chosen political career.

    Deirdre Kent

  225. Thank you Rod for everything you’ve done for NZ. You were inspirational and an example to all. You have made a huge difference, you are greatly respected, and you have changed the way many people think and live.

    My thoughts and prayers go to his family, colleagues and friends.

  226. Rod I believe was a man of principle and integrity. He always had my respect for standing up for his convictions, regardless if I concurred or not. A tireless worker who will be greatly missed locally here in ChCh and nationally. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.
    Boot & family

  227. All the air miles
    All the Free Trade/Tibet smiles
    All the Hope, the Integrity, the Strength,
    All the dodgy pa systems on all the campuses
    All the banners, the marches, the supporters
    All the love
    All the negotiations
    All the friendship

    All leads to this moment
    All of us must pass through

    Arohanui Rod, haere ki te po.

    Much love to Nicola and your daughters, Rod was one of nature’s true gentlemen, you have been blessed by his love, please accept our love and blessings as you travel this last hard journey with him.

    Kerry Tankard
    and my children, Louisa, Stephen and Georgina, tha banner bratz of the anti-war marches

  228. On behalf of all of the staff at Newstalk ZB in Christchurch, we pass on our deepest condolences to Rod’s partner and children. This is a very sad day for New Zealand and a dreadful loss felt by us all. Out of all of the politicians I have had the pleasure or displeasure of dealing with, Rod was always the most sincere, warm and disarming. I will miss him greatly and salute his tireless efforts for principled politics and his unrelenting passion to the maker the planet a kinder, gentler and more peaceful place. Regardless of one’s political opinions, it was impossible not to like Rod.
    My thoughts and prayers are with Rod’s family, his many friends and the Green Party.

  229. Funeral Blues

    W. H. Auden


    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West.
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    Although I knew him little…..what I did know of him means that more than anything his impact on the world will be a huge loss…We once shared a goal and although a small goal with limited contact to achieve it his passion, direct nature and his energy was inspiring. His courage and determination of his views are things I aspire to and hope that in some way I will use his sudden and tragic death to kick me in the bum to move on with some of my own goals……. Goodbye. Will miss your smile in the local supermarket…… wishes and extreme sorrow and condolances to his partner and children. A tragic waste……. Sally

  230. When I argued to fervent critics of the Greens that our Parliament was better for having Green membership, notwithstanding their loopy logic, I had in mind the seriousness, consistency, courtesy, and respect for principle that Rod Donald exemplified. Earned respect buried my early perception of ‘braces snapping glibness’.

    He is a loss to Parliament, and not just the Greens.

  231. It is indeed a dark day for your loved ones, those of us who cherish the environment, and all of New Zealand. Your exuberance and courage will be missed. Your contribution to all things green and good will will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues.

    Kennedy Family
    North Shore

  232. Sad beyond sad. My heart goes out to Nicola, Emma, Holly and Zoe. He was away from home so much for the good of us all.

    I worked with Rod closely on the National Executive of the ERC from 1988-91. Rod was one of those people I looked to as a role model and would often fiund myself asking “What would Rod do?”.

    A treasure. A giant. A great person. A seeker of justice, protector of the environment and champion of democracy.

    A huge hole left. A big job still to do for the rest of us. But so much already done.

    Thank you.

  233. As a 17 year old been bombarded with different ways to live life, no one set a better example than you Rod. My life would not be the same today if it hadn’t been for your magnificent influence.

    My condolences go out Rod’s family and the party. You will be missed by all of New Zealand.

    We will never forget a man as great as you.

  234. To the memory of a man whose integrity, principles & humanity were never in doubt. Rod will be long remembered.

    My heart & prayers go out to his wife & young daughters, & they should know they are in the thoughts of many NZers tonight.

  235. I can’t believe this. My condolences to Rod’s family and to the Party. New Zealand lost one of its most principled parliamentarian’s today. We will be forever changed as a result.

  236. While I did not know Rod, I have mountains of respect for his belief in New Zealand and humanity. He leaves a huge gap and his presence and contributions to this country will not be forgotten. All my thoughts are with you, your family and your friends, Rod.

  237. Why was someone with so much infectious enthusiasm and committment taken at such a young age? You may have acheived a lifetime of work by the age of 48 but that was no reason to depart the company of your family and your political friends so early in your life.

  238. Rod will be sorely missed by all of us thanks for everything you got NZ, Rod and god obviously thought it was your time.

  239. Rod, you were the embodiment of the saying ‘One Life. Live it.’ I cannot believe this has happened. Will miss not being able to share an organic beer or two at Pakawau this summer.

  240. Rod Donald’s death has come as a huge shock. While I have never met him I admired the his commitment to making New Zealand a better place.

    Condolences to his family.

    He will be missed.

  241. I am devestated by Rod’s sudden death. He was an inspiring, intelligent and committed politician who still had so much to give to this country. My heartfelt sympathy to those close to him, his friends and family who will miss his energy and humour in their lives. Kia kaha.

  242. gordonfindlay:


    Rod demonstrated, by his life and work, that it is possible to deliberately step aside from the selfishness and self-centeredness that defines our current version of “civilisation?. He demonstrated that an honest man can, by example, show us a better way to live, to care for the environment, and to look after each other. He showed us that here is a better way to live.

    I draw strength from his example. I am inspired by his life and works. I am reduced to tears by his passing.



  243. New Zealand cannot afford to lose such a great politician. Condolences to his family, his party and his country.


  244. I just found out reading this blog, and I have read all these messages in a mix of shock and tears. So many fine tributes, so much heartfelt loss, so much grief for those both close to him, and those who have come to know him in public life.

    This man has left his mark, he has left this country a better place for his being here. I for one am going to go away and have a long hard think about the extraordinary example he has left us.

  245. I never met Rod, but I have admired him for many years. I am devastated, as I am sure we all are, by the news.

    I support Greem policies generally, and I don’t agree with all of the politics that he espoused, but:

    I admired his commitment.
    I admired his honesty.
    I admired his enthusiasm
    I admired his determination.
    I admired his strength.
    I admired his ability.

    Rod demonstrated, by his life and work, that it is possible to deliberately step aside from the selfishness and self-centeredness that defines our current version of “civilisation”. He demonstrated that an honest man can, by example, show us a better way to live, to care for the environment, and to look after each other. He showed us that here is a better way to live.

    I draw strength from his example. I am inspired by his life and works. I am reduced to tears by his passing.

  246. Rod, you have been a friend to – and a torchbearer for – us all. Your passing is indeed a deep and tragic loss, which will be felt by those Green and non-Green alike.

    Your memory, work, and thirst for life and justice will continue to guide and inspire us in more ways than we can imagine.

    We will endeavour to honour your legacy by continuing this fight and carrying this torch, with the Green flame burning bright.

    On behalf of the Campus Greens at Auckland Uni, I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for all you’ve done, for the countless individuals you’ve touched and inspired, and for showing us that humanity can have a heart, soul, and face.

    RIP, Rod.

    Our thoughts and condolences too go out to Rod’s partner Nicola and his three daughters.

    – Shawn Tan

  247. This is a tragedy for Rod’s family as well as the Aotearoa whanau. He will be so badly missed. Kia kaha to Rod’s whanau.

  248. I was tremendously saddened to hear the news this morning. I first met Rod during the 1992 MMP referendum campaign and later worked with him when I was Chief Executive of the NZ Electoral Commission and he was elected to Parliament, mainly through select committees but we also travelled to Indonesia together in 1998 for IFES. He was committed, enthusiastic, and energetic with unfailing good humour. He will be sadly missed in NZ politics. My deepest sympathy to his family.

    Paul Harris
    IFES Yemen

  249. My deepest sympathy to Rod’s wife and his family. I was very sad to learn of his death – he was an inspiration, and a good honest man.

    Much too young, with so much more to give us!

  250. Your work is done now. Thank you so much..You did more than your share. Now it is time for us to do our own part. Nicholas J (Atlanta)

  251. What an incredibly tragic turn of events. New Zealand has so much to thank Rod Donald for, there are certainly not enough humans around on this earth like him. I only hope that his death inspires people to look beyond themselves and give to our country and planet, as Rod did. I for one will draw new inspiration and strength from his example.

    Kia Kaha Rod,
    Thank you for everything, Mother Nature would be proud.


  252. Rod, today Aotearoa is celebrating your life. We will always remember you and your wonderful life. The Greens movement may ne one man down, be we are one lifetime stronger. Kia kaha to your family and loved ones.

    Much love and respect,
    Julia Espinoza

  253. Rod was a good man, and an honest politician. Any words I can think of seem inadequate, to the loss his family and friends must be feeling.

    In Rod’s memory, I will do what I can.

    Catherine May

  254. Rod Donald’s death is a great loss to New Zealand politics. My deepest sympathy to his colleages and family.

  255. Rod Donald had changed our political landscape. He introduced concensus government.
    His drive, intelect and rational thinking will be missed. I wish his family and his co-workers well.
    You will need to keep the green movement alive not to make his loss in vein.

  256. I’m so sorry to hear this. He has always impressed me as being a man of integrity with sound beliefs and ideas. RIP Rod 🙁 🙁 And I am sorry for the Green Party with their loss

  257. I never met him, but I can recognise a great loss to the country when I see it. He achieved more than most of us ever will – his work on MMP alone was worth a medal. I’ll be glad to see Nandor back in Parliament, but what a hell of a way to get back there.

  258. I’m rocked by Rod’s death. A kauri has fallen, and the whole forest has changed. They say the good die young, but this is just too, too sad.

    Dave West

  259. It seems to be be true that the good die young. May your loss be a catalyst for good and may your life inspire others. The good you have done goes on and multiplies. Your passion for the betterment of society is becoming a reality. Those who remain won’t let you down.

    My sincerest condolences to your wife and children. I’d sure their sorrow is beyond description.

  260. Shocking indeed, for one so young and so full of energy. I’m pleased for myself at least that the last thing I said about Rod Donald was to praise him, but this is tragic for his family, and for those close to him.

    Hhe was both intelligent and principled, neither of which quality figures in abundance in Helengrad’s corridors of political power. A sad day indeed.

  261. I know how close one gets to your colleagues working in an environment such as Parliament, and how gut wrenching this must be. Words are never adequate to convey sympathy, but that is all we have.

    Rod will be missed, and his memory will not be forgotten.

  262. A sad day for New Zealand politics and New Zealand as a whole. Of all the people, of all the times – this is a sad sad time. Go well Rod.

  263. Rod is a huge loss for the Green Party, for Parliament, for Aotearoa New Zealand… and most of all for his family.

    In my experience, Rod was unfailingly good humoured, energetic and generous. He was a kind friend to me and my daughter whenever we met.

    I might not have agreed with all of Rod’s politics, nor his tactics, but I had a huge amount of respect for him as a leader. The brilliance of the Green’s co-leadership set-up meant that his strengths and weakenesses complimented Jeanettes. His drive, charisma and intelligence will be a hard act to follow.

  264. I was absolutely gutted to hear this news. Rod has been such a vital part of the Green party over the past 10 years. He was a very effective MP working for the betterment of our planet and people. It was a real privilege to know him and get to work with him during 2004 and my aroha extends to his partner and children. haere, e te rangatira, haere. Moe mai ra.

  265. Oh Rod! I cannot believe it. There was so much more for us all to do together. I loved you for your honesty, for your straight answers, your commitment, your humour, and for never using “politician-speak”. What a terrible loss to us all. My thoughts are with your family and friends at this sad, sad time.

  266. Such a sad day for us all. Ron stood for everything good in humanity. We must continue to support the values he stood for.

    We will feel his loss and can only hope to continue his work.

    His mana is strong, long live his spirit, we will miss him.

    This is a sad day for our country, we can only hope it is recognised as such.

    Good on you Ron. For giving so much and for being an inherently good person.

  267. Rod, you have been an amazing part of New Zealand, the reason I probably got interested in politics in the first place. Your honesty is an inspiration to aspiring politicians, hopefully they will remember you and follow your lead. You will remain an inspiration.

    My condolences to his family

  268. Have watched your work with interest for some time.
    You were greatly respected by many and you made a difference.
    Its sad for you to have been cut down in your prime.
    A great loss to one and all.
    Sincere condolences to family and friends.
    Rest in Peace Rod.

  269. I can’t believe it, he had so much still to offer.

    It’s hard to find a politician with such an unblemished political career.

  270. Such values to admire and strive for.
    Unfortunately it is only since his death that I have learned how extraordinary he really was and what a difference he made in the communities he served.

    A sad loss to New Zealand- if only there were more in parliament with his passion and integrity.

    Best wishes to the Greens and his family.

  271. Incredibly shocked and so very very sad. I have followed his political passage through the years and respected him greatly. What a terrible shock. I am going to miss him so much. My condolences to his partner and children – this is a devastating and terrible terrible loss for New Zealand.

    Rod, thank you for never putting a tie on and being true to what you believe, I will never ever forget you.

  272. The hole will be huge. So much you have done, but so much more you would have loved to do.
    Thank you!
    ” “I’m ready,” he said at last. And Jonathan Livinston Seagull rose with the two starbright gulls to disappear into a perfect dark sky.” Richard Bach.
    Be at peace and God bless.

  273. Mar a bha
    Mar a tha
    Mar a bhitheas
    Gu brath
    Ri tragadh
    ‘S ri lionadh.

    They shall be remembered for ever,
    They shall be alive for ever,
    They shall be speaking for ever,
    The people shall hear them for ever.

    You inspired me, Rod, and you made me laugh. Thank you.

  274. It seems that all of the poll surges that the Greens are getting are occuring at the time it matters least: soon after an election.

    On a parliamentary note, what’s going to happen leadership wise? Jeanette as sole leader and Sue Bradford as deputy? Sue Bradford as co-leader? No replacement?

    And Jeannete being 60 means she may want to retire some time in the not-too-distant future. Make note.

  275. A champion for our local community and just a good man all around. We’ll miss you Rod, you were a great guy and your integrity and passion were an inspiration. Our thoughts and love go to your family in this time of deepest grief, aroha nui, kia kaha, kia kaha.

  276. Dear Fellow Greens,

    Oh no, Rod!

    We send our love to all of you who loved him.

    David and Dianne Gatward
    East Coast Bays

  277. Oddly enough, I found myself thinking of that wonderful Shaker hymn ‘Simple Gifts’ –

    “‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free,
    ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
    And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
    ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

    When true simplicity is gain’d,
    To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
    To turn, turn will be our delight
    ‘Till by turning, turning we come round right.”

    Perhaps Rod did die too young, but I’d hope he never felt far from the “valley of love and delight” of a life properly lived with honour and grace according to the light of principle. God know there are too many of us who will live an age without being able to say the same.

  278. He was my favourite Greenie, never failed a good comeback on the things that would stump most politicians, or get out of them a second-rate around-the-bush double-spoken response.

    A talented guy but fate has it’s way. He’ll be very well missed.

  279. I can think of little to say that hasn’t been said already. A man who made his mark and to whom we owe such a lot.

  280. I remember the office Christmas Party where there was some kerfulle over not being able to get an organic ham. Fitzsimons especially was worried, even though its feed was certifably GE free.

    Rod, I remember, wasn’t too fussed. The party was mainly for the benefit of the press gallery, and as he’d ensured there was plenty of Founders organic beer on offer, he knew there wouldn’t be any complaints.

    Cheers Rod. I admire your passion, but moreso your principled pragmatism.

    You will be missed.

    Matt Nippert

  281. My condolences to Rod’s family.
    Rod has done a lot in his life in such a sort time.
    God be with Rod and his family.

  282. such an unexpected and awful thing – i send my sincerest condolances to his family. rod was really the only politician that i both liked and respected. i really don’t believe that he can be replaced but i’m sure that he has been a role model to other budding politicians, as he has been a role-model as a human being to me.

  283. It was mainly because of Rod that I voted Greens for the first time this year. I respected and admired his decency and integrity in an environment where it seemed so much in decline.

    My condolences to Rod’s family. He will be missed.

  284. My deepest sympathy to Rod’s partner and daughters, and all his friends -NZ Politics needs Rod Donald’s to keep ‘them honest’ and to remind us to care for out beautiful slice of paradise.

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you see that money cannot be eaten.

    Cree Prophecy

  285. This is a great loss. Rod was one of the few honest politicians, and a good man (I knew him from his time in Trade Aid). Condolences to his family, and to the Greens.

  286. Rod was an inspiration to many of us who had the good fortune to work alongside him. I will remember the early morning jogs, the late night discussions, the weekend calls, the irrepressible positivity he embraced. My heart goes out to his family. His bright green light will be missed.

  287. It was peaceful. My partner and I are very sad at this news. Rod’s gift to New Zealand is admirable, thank you Rod. The nation and the world will miss you dearly. You went with honour and your family has all our wishes.

  288. The most important thing that can be said of any human is that they advanced and improved the conditions and quality of life for humanity. Rod did that. He earned the right to be remembered… and missed.


  289. vale rod…….you brought us mmp…and always fought for the ‘good guys’..

    your work was invaluable……and i don’t know them..but my thoughts are trying to be with your family..and the sorrow and loss they will be feeling..especially your children…

    their loss is also our loss….the green party and new zealand….you are a man who left your mark….

    i hope you rest in peace…

    phillip ure

  290. My condolences. Any differences in politics are only skin deep. An unexpected and twisted way of getting Nandor back…

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