Jeanette steps down from Parliament

The headline kind of says everything, doesn’t it? It’s heartbreaking news to me, even if Jeanette has signalled since stepping down as co-leader that she would go before the next election.

This is the post where we can discuss what it all means.

Judging from past events, we will once again have to field all the speculation that this means the end of the Greens. Poppycock! As Mark Twain famously mused:

“The Rumors of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.”

Jeanette was the first Green MP to speak in Parliament. She will by no means be the last. To use Jeanette’s own words:

We’ve always been real. That said, I’m infinitely proud of what we’ve achieved as it’s been through a mix of integrity, influence and good ideas. In that respect the Green Party is in good shape and this great bunch of people will keep on promoting solutions.

It’s an exciting time of renewal for the Green Party, and Gareth Hughes, who will replace Jeanette, will bring some youth and vigour into the Green Party caucus.

If you want to leave a message or tribute for Jeanette, take a look at the next post. This post is for the debate about consequences and reactions.

What do you think it all means?

13 Comments Posted

  1. Anyone who can organise young Greens is a shoo-in for Parliament.
    Will Gareth adorn his parliamentary chair with an orangutan pelt (faux, naturally), a la Rod Donald. A quite-young Green, in Parliament. This is exciting. I hope he gives the old guard across the floor hell !

  2. BP,


    He always seemed to be pretty good at organizing the Young Greens, get on his bad side and you may have a whole lot of orangutans on your lawn.

  3. Can this Gareth bloke stick to a job?

    “Gareth used to be a boy racer, worked in a fish and chip store, a supermarket, he’s been a radio DJ, a telemarketer, a pamphlet deliverer, a hospital orderly, a barman, and a fundraiser. Since then, Gareth has been arrested dressed as Ronald McDonald, learnt to climb buildings and unfurled a protest banner in Tiananmen Square in Beijing”

    And did he finish his degree?

  4. I think it means that we are in full generational roll-over from Baby-boomer politics, to 21st century policies – Jeanette’s legacy is to give us context, in deep environmental and energy policy, for the difficult choices we must make in policy for the next generation.

    She has helped to shape the Parliamentary wing of the party for so long; many who have worked as staff in Bowen will have fond memories of hectic but very productive times, as well as her strong and calm leadership when there was tragedy.

    We still have Harry & Jeanette’s mentorship as green members, and I’m sure they’ll continue to be active in the Coromandel for some time yet! Yes, the Greens do it differently to the rest of the political strata – so to those whose primary political affiliation is somewhere else, watch and learn; there are other and better ways to accomplish change than the classic knife-in-the-back of FPP politics! 😉

  5. goodbye Ms Fitzsimmons, if you had been more willing to compromise on a few issues then you probably would have had a Cabinet position; its sad to think if you had stayed in the Alliance you could have had one, of course you would also probably never gotten a FPP seat due to a lack of need and most likely the greens would never have become the ‘political force’ they are now. It will be interesting to see how your party fares without you, without Ms Bradford and of course with the newcomer Mr Hughes. Another of the old guard of the first MMP election has gone.

  6. Jeanette and I different on some things but agreed on many.
    I have shared the platform with Jeanette on several occasions – either together or in series – and we have always been able to engage in civilised discourse.
    Her gentle demeanour, good humour, and intelligence will be missed in the House.

  7. It means our Parliament loses a giant, but change has to happen and the Greens manage it well. I’m sure Aotearoa will continue to benefit from Jeanette’s wisdom for a long time yet. And Green MPs will continue the great work that she started with Rod. It’s a sad day, but no reason to fear the future.

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