Cause of Rod’s death

Rod was killed by Viral Myocarditis.

NZPA reports:

Mr Donald’s partner, Nicola Shirlaw, released the finding by Christchurch pathologist Martin Sage today.

“He said in his opinion the cause of death was viral myocarditis,” Ms Shirlaw said in a statement.

“Viral myocarditis is an uncommon but well-recognised cause of sudden death,” he said.

21 Comments Posted

  1. Craig,
    looks like you & I agree completely that the responsibility for the coverage lies with the media involved, who of course are making business decisions to sell papers, etc.

    How that connects to any “basic axiom of Green thought” is news to me – I don’t know Greens have any control over the Fairfax editorial process, or indeed any other media MNC, so I don’t know where you’re coming from there. I’m pretty sure that David Kirk, ex-All Black turned CEO in charge of NZ fairfax operations, would be a right-thinking National voter.

  2. Katie:

    I’m not criticising Nicola for having to deal with a less than ideal situation and don’t see how anyone could have reasonably come to that conclusion.
    (And I’m certainly not suggesting that the coronor behaved inappropriately in any way, shape or form.)

    She should never have been put in it in the first place – and that was the responsibility of the media. Nicola doesn’t edit a newspaper, produce TV or radio bulletins, or draw up talkback host’s talking points. That’s an editorial decision, and they’re all about *choices*.

    I thought making conscious choices that placed human integrity over business interests – like goosing the ratings with ill-informed and distressing speculation – was a basic axiom of Green thought?

  3. Craig, you’re way out of line here. Everyone I knew, after the initial reaction of shock and sadness, was naturally curious, in a general medical knowledge way, about why a healthy and relatively young man would die of what was reported as a heart attack, with no prior synptoms. This is what I understood by the “speculation” Nicola referred to. The news about viral myocarditis satisfies this curiosity, and enlightens us all.

    Your comments aren’t helpful at all. Whether you intended to or not, you’re fuelling the “speculation” as you imagined/described it.

  4. On the subject of consiracy, let me say “just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean everyone isn’t out to get you”.

  5. Craig,
    I think you’re overstating the case; the coronor’s ruling took a little longer than a simple heart attack diagnosis would warrant.
    The family are the ones to whom the coronor’s report is delivered.
    The media have been speculating (as journo’s do when they have no facts to report)
    Therefore, Nicola made the commonsense decision to release the gist of the report to the media, and the story is over.

    This has been a private tradgedy played out in public, can’t you let the family have some peace to grieve without criticising someone?

    That it has taken a tragic event to get people galvanised is a bit sad in itself; if the support had been more evident before the election outcome was finalised, perhaps events would have been different, both for Rod’s health and for that of the numbers in Parliament.

    We can’t change the past, we can only act now, for the future. If more of us act to promote Green ideals as a result of this sadness, then we’ve created something good out of it all.

  6. I could not agree more with DR.
    I believe Rod’s Buy Kiwi Made campaign had the potential for global repercussions.
    However, Rod’s death has had the opposite effect than what may have been expected (or intended?).
    It has galvanised people into supporting Green ideals and made us more determined than ever to continue Rod’s work to show he did not die in vain.

  7. Joel:

    You’re quite right. In future, I will self-censor more carefully in case someone else leaps on a parenthetical comment in an utterly unexpected manner. I will stop complimenting the overwhelming majority in this country who displayed grace, dignity and not a hint of paranoid psychosis following Rod’s death.

    Not to wander back to the point, I’m not inclined to be quite so generous to the media. I just found it a shame that Nicola Shirlaw felt it was necessary to issue this statement to end “speculation”. Perhaps it just made a hellish week that much worse for Rod’s family and closest friends than it really needed to be? And I know it’s not a fashionable thing to say in our scopophiliac culture, but was there really a legitimate public interest at stake?

  8. Yeah…I’ve heard everything from ‘the Chinese poisoned him for the Tibetan flag thing’ to ‘Nandor killed him to get back in’. That latter comment was made by, surprise surprise, a right-winger. And in real bad taste.

    The depths some would stoop to eh. *sighs deeply*

  9. Craig – The question isn’t whether you are paranoid, the question is whether you are paranoid enough 😉

    Did Rod have anything to do with anyone connected with Zimbabwe in the week before he took ill? Statistically I suspect this is about the same as being hit by a bolt of lightning. It doesn’t happen…. and there are people out in the wide world who DO hold grudges. I recall something about Bulgarians and some rather subtle poisons but without specifics… paid assassination? I don’t know, I just don’t like the odds against this happening.

    As for Wellstone, I have no particular reason to believe that an assassination was organized. Small planes crash a LOT more often than people come down with viral myocarditis in NZ.

    It WAS a damned convenient thing for the Republicans… not as convenient as forgetting to put working voting machines in the democratic precincts of Ohio but not bad.


  10. America’s an extremely messed up place because of the corporate rule and essentially one party system, which is unsustainable and against the laws of nature, and has lead to their environment being destroyed, the population sick and drugged up on pharmaceutical rubbish, the whole 9/11 lie, rigged elections, the war on terror, their military industrial complex which is working on weaponising space, breaking the middle class, poverty, inequality etc etc
    What’s hard to believe about them taking out a senator if he was an obstacle? the dems have won the last two elections and are minorities in both houses!! If you see the evil of what they have done in Iraq with white phosporus, you will know that nothing is beyond them. This sort of stuff has all happened before, it’s should be called facism, when the results are the same and it is mimiking what happened in the thirties.
    But i don’t beleive in labelling it a jewish thing at all, sure their might be jews involved and Israel might be a factor but these are just people wanting to secure their position at the top and if u start generalising a population by what it’s leaders and ruling elites do, then you have assimilated a brain dead mentality.
    People only have to look at the results of free market(or lawlessness) and deregulated(unregulated greed) economies around the world to see the huge poverty and environmental destruction it causes.

  11. Oh, for fuck’s sake, look what you’ve started, Craig. “I’m glad no-one’s mentioned X, I hate it when they talk about X.”

    Mischief maker.

  12. I note Rod believed himself he had food poisoning.
    It’s perhaps convenient that the cause is reported as a viral infection with a multitude of possibilities as to which specific virus may be the one?
    I sense a parallel with the death of Norman Kirk, not just because both Norman and Rod came from Christchurch, but because both men were at a pivotal point in their political lives where fundamental change to the nature of things in NZ was poised to occur.
    Both were a threat to the established order.
    Both died suddenly and at relatively young ages.
    Both left a legacy of unfinished business.
    I may have strayed into moonbat territory, but intuition is intuition.

  13. Craig,

    The point is that the passing of Rod Donald has been shown to have been a straightforward and deeply unlucky tragedy; no inconsistent details, no mixed media stories that change, no unanswered questions, no sane grounds for speculation.

    By contrast the death of Paul Wellstone has many unanswered questions, and many details that provoke speculation. Similarly the official 911 story is transparently a fairy tale, with an absolute litany of questionable aspects which to this day exercises the curiousity of huge numbers of people. In the absence of an acceptable narrative that makes sense, people speculate. Some of that speculation is sober and reasoned, some is moonbat territory, and some is deliberate misinformation. Sorting the resulting mess out is not easy, making it almost impossible for any ordinary person to claim they know truth of these matters. I certainly do not make any such claim.

    But at the same time this in no way invalidates the the plain fact that the official stories of Wellstone’s death and 911, are not true either.

  14. Huskynut:

    Well, unless I see some compelling evidence to the contrary (and am still waiting) I don’t believe that the assassination of Paul Wellstone by the vast right-wing blood for oil, election-stealing corporate whore, Jew/KKKristian Neo-Con cabal was covered up by it’s deep cover field agents who subverted every local, state and federal inquiry into the accident…

    I’m very glad not to live in the same world as the wingnuts who infect American body politic like public lice. Call me old school, but I still think paranoia is a mental illness. And, to get back to the point, one that Rod’s family shouldn’t have to endure.

  15. Craig – it must be wonderful to live in a personal world of such absolute certainty that you can pronounce authoritively on aviation accidents at remote airfields on the other side of the world..!
    There were many reasonable questions about the official Wellstone story – quit being so disrespectful towards anyone with the courage to ask them.

  16. I was betting on appendicitis, which can be subtle in a similar way.

    “We’re born, we live a little while and then we die” – Charlotte (Charlottes Web).

    Despite the best efforts of wise men with powerful medicines and potent incantations, the death rate remains 100%.

    Which is probably a good thing… Imagine having to explain the mess we’ve made of the world to our Great Great Great Grandchildren 🙂

    “But Gramps… you mean that they didn’t throw you in jail for unnecessary burning of petroleum back then? Wow!”


  17. i had a ‘moonbat’ experience..a person who shall remain nameless sidled up to me and told me (in all seriousness) his conspiracy theory….too laughable to repeat..

    i laughed and said..”mate..if we’d won i might listen to you for a nano-second..but hey..we lost..dosen’t that sort of blow your theory out of the water…”

    his muttered moonbat response was..”they think ahead ..these people..”

    whereupon he stumbled off..a confused individual grasping for answers..?


  18. Well, it’s good to know, as far as it can be known, but it’s a real shame that the family had to go through the level of speculation she alluded to. I’m very glad we didn’t end up in moonbat territory (like the conspiracy theories that surrounded the death of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002), but still…

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