Send a tribute to Jeanette

I never thought I’d be writing this post. Nevertheless, as I write, Jeanette is in Wellington announcing that she is stepping down as an MP.

This post is a place for frogblog readers to send a personal message to Jeanette or recall a favourite memory. If you would like to debate the consequences or your reaction, do so here.

What I’d really like to do is take a moment and celebrate an awesome political career. In Jeanette’s words from Green at Heart:

“Sometimes you wonder, when the world is moving toward an
acknowledgement of all the issues we have highlighted, why do people still feel compelled to say ‘Mind you I’m not a Greenie’?” she questions.

“Perhaps it’s because we’ve never acceded to populism and green-wash. 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 to get us all out of this mess.”

All I want to say is that we are infinitely proud of you Jeanette, and that we will miss your leadership and your example. It’s you who have kept it real!

As I said earlier, this post is a place for frogblog readers to send a personal message to Jeanette or recall a favourite memory.

51 Comments Posted

  1. You took on many many campaigns of course, but at a local level, down here in the South, we appreciated your backing in helping to stop Project Aqua on the beautiful braided Waitaki River. I will always be grateful for that. Best wishes for your retirement.

  2. Jeanette, I was inspired by your example to join the Green Party in the ’90s and motivated into active participation by your GE campaign. Working with you has been a great privilege and great fun as well. Thanks for so many opportunities. Though I know this won’t end, we’ll miss you terribly not being at the centre of our work. Much love to you and Harry.

  3. Jeanette you and Rod Donald were the Parliamentary wing of a brave new Party and before more of us were elected you broke the ground. For very many reasons I will miss you in our Caucus and I would love to steal some of your calm and serene genes as well as your huge knowledge of Parliament and green issues. Enjoy your freedom!

  4. and then I thought
    Betchya there’s more than a few Pollies of all Denomination who admire Jeanette just quietly.
    and then I thought
    Could she be NZ’s most underrated Politician? (Norm Kirk and Marilyn Waring come to mind. (But then, anyone who can sing Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” qualifies).
    And then I thought; for the Pay for Hours worked
    Well it’s a journey of selfless Public giving that too few aspire to…..

    Wish you weren’t going Jeanette – arohanui.

  5. Thanks for all your efforts and everything you have done for the country Jeanette. You will be sorely missed. Enjoy your retirement.


  6. I don’t recgonise too many MP’s (too long away).
    But there’s no mistaking Grace, Balance, Intelligence, Integrity, Dignity or a few dozen other superlatives.
    A reminder that true wealth has nothing to do with money.

    As Joni Michell sang;
    “Don’t it always seem to go
    Thatchya dunno what you
    Got, til it’s gone?”

    e tika raa hoki (thank you) Jeanette !

  7. Kia ora Jeanette
    You have inspired me to support the Green Party with your voice of reason. I will never forget how proud I felt of you when you and your colleagues stepped out with your banner in support of the foreshore and seabed march – Honour the Treaty. Why do so many still only see red and blue when Green is the only living choice for our planet?
    Bright blessings for your future, may our paths cross.

  8. Although I have personally only met you a few times Jeanette, your humble dignity and low key approach was always enhanced by the strength of your convictions and the honesty in your approach. There are few politicians who can match your entegrity and you will be sorely missed. I hope you enjoy your well earned retirement.

  9. Dignity
    Willing to listen
    Always offering solutions, not just identifying problems.
    Engaged brain before mouth
    Green, not red
    Trusted… a politician, who’d ‘ve thunk!
    Thank you

  10. Jeanette,
    Thank you for your immense contribution to the Greens and the green movement, here and internationally. It’s been your manner of doing politics which first made me join the Green Party and has always inspired me – absolutely clear communication, shining intelligence and unfailing civility in the heat of political life. How can one give adequate recognition to that? If there’s a Mount Rushmore panel of all-time environmental champions in the sky somewhere, you’re there!
    All the very best for the coming years,
    Robyn Bracey

  11. Congratulations Jeanette on your Green party activities. As a long time friend of Rod since his time at St Andrews I have watched your association ever since the end of the Values Party. The Green party may have difficulty replacing you, but please don’t leave them completely without advice. My regards.

  12. Jeanette I think that you have shown the next generation of politicians the skills of concensus politics of playing the ball and not the player.

    I never in my life thought that I would agree with anything PM John Key would say but the above statement I do 100%

    I wish you all the best and hope you will a happy mentor to a party that has a very worthwhile task ahead of it.

    Best Wishes


  13. Thank you Jeanette, for all you have given, and given, and given, and will no doubt continue to give, to individuals like me, who have learned from you and whose values and views you represent so brilliantly; to those whose lives are influenced by your words and actions, whether or not they even know you, let alone like or support you; to New Zealand; and to the planet. You have achieved more than you can know. Your contribution has been spectacular.

    Wishing you well

  14. Dear Jeanette,
    Thank you so much for all you have done: the sacrifices you’ve made, all the immense hard work, the wisdom, the vision, the persistance, the style and the love you have given the Green Party and the planet!!!
    Very best wishes for the next part in your journey.
    Tess James

  15. Farewell Jeanette, I know you must move on, but you have remaained true to your principles in a way that many politicians have not. Hold your head high, even if you have not accomplished much, you have been a beacon for many good causes and many of us will miss you. It’s not that often these days that we come across someone who genuinely cares for society and not self aggrandisement. Enjoy your much deserved leisure.

  16. Jeanette.

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication to NZ and to making a better world for us all to live in. I really admire your ability to keep positive in the face of so many challenges. You will be missed.

    Best wishes for your future.

  17. Jeanette thanks so much for all your hardwork and dedication to the Green cause. You are an ongoing inspiration for so many. As a young green I have really appreciated all your generosity and warmth – hosting us on your farm each year for the YG annual camp and coming along to campus events with great enthusiasm.

    I have a wonderful memory of you arriving late to a Young Greens conference as your plane was delayed. We’d finished our panel discussion for the day and migrated back to a typical (some what run-down) student flat. You arrived, picked up a beer, sat down on the floor and got engaged straight into conversation. It was an amazing evening for us all to be able to talk so openly and freely, and in a student flat, with you!

    Lastly, a big thanks for sharing all your reflections with me at Copenhagen. It was wonderful to hear your wisdom and perspective in the middle of the mayhem and madness.

    Thanks so much for being a great mentor and leader.

    All the very best for the next exciting (and hopefully more relaxing) stage!

    Nina Hall
    (Young Greens, Auckland)

  18. An outstanding politician and woman – Parliament will be poorer for you leaving. A lot of ‘mainstream’ people voted Green purely because of your balanced outlook and approach.

  19. Ms. Fitzsimon’s has lived a privileged life and will continue to enjoy this in her retirement. The main planks that have supported such relatively exclusive outcomes for her, a fair few obtained by public life, have never really been in the forefront in what was faced up to and promoted directly for the common mass.

  20. Dear Jeanette,

    We have seen each other in Copenhagen last December during the big Saturday climate manifestation. What I remember was your happiness when we both together encountered the New Zealand youth..

    You are one of those persons with whom we feel directly that greens all over the world share the same values, share the same political goals and follow similar political strategies.

    You have motivated and empowered thousands of people in New Zealand, but also thousands of miles further away in other continents.

    Please keep doing that. I move later this year from Belgium to Canada, and would hope you can take the time to come up north and motivate the hundred of green candidates that will run in the next federal election there.

    Enjoy the last 2 weeks in the House and keep going!

    Johan Hamels
    former treasurer European Green Party
    former member of the Global Greens Coordination

  21. Dear Jeanette

    It has been a real pleasure working with you over the past seven years. I have admired your calm and thoughtful approach to politics and the inspirational leadership you have given us.

    My greatest regret about your political career is that you were the best Minister of Energy we never had.

    All the best for the future.


  22. Thank you Jeanette for your integrity and intelligence, and for showing us all that there is more to politics than petty politicking. You will be missed.

  23. Jeanette, I respect and admire you greatly. I am a Coromandel resident and having you as our Electorate MP was the one of greatest things that ever happened around here. Sadly, as a 18 year old currently, I never had the chance to vote for you, and now never will. But for all your hard work on behalf of us, I thank you very, very much.
    I wish you all the very best in the future.
    You will be missed.

  24. Dear Jeanette

    I greatly enjoyed working with you during my time at the PCE. It was wonderful to have someone in Parliament that understood the science of energy and transport and their implications for sustainability.

    Also, as convenor, I would also on behalf of the Sustainable Energy Forum pass on our best wishes for your past work and wish you the best in your well deserved retirement.

    You will be greatly missed.

    kind regards

    Doug Clover

  25. Jeanette; I had a wonderful 45 minutes with you, flying back from Wellington late one night. It was a most engaging incite-full conversation. I remember a half eaten bread roll in your brief case. You will have time to finish it now! Bon Voyage.

  26. just, more than anything you mean the green party in new zealand. bugger I will miss your presence . wishing you the best dreams and best living on the planet xxx bon

  27. Thanks for giving us your excellent public life which is probably the same as your private life, as you live the Green life. You have been a wonderful role model for all to emulate. Enjoy your retirement, dear woman.

    Sincerely Dianne

  28. Jeanette you and your knowledge will be missed by many. A lady who walked the walk and gave so much to the environmental cause, you now deserve to enjoy that environment and to take a more relaxed pace to life.

    Best Regards


  29. Hmm, the biggest decision is knowing when to leave. Well done.

    I will remember your standard response whilst being interviewed. The measured pause, the quiet smile and the unending patience in answering factually the most banal and absurd of questions.

  30. Farewell from Parliament Jeanette. I hope you have a lovely peaceful time on your farm knowing the enormous and wonderful contribution you have made to the world.

  31. Hello Jeanette,

    I am very sad your time is to be over in Parliment. You have championed the most important issues that face us with such dignity and quiet strenght. You have been a unique inspiration that has given me and many others hope that there are genuine people working for our good in Parliment, one woman who actually walks her talk.

    Best regards and wishes for your new life,

    Cath Dearsley

  32. Jeanette – may your days with your family be as rewarding as you want them to be. I can not see anyone in the political world, in any party, match your knowledge, wit, and persistence with issues. NZ will not be the same, but you deserve your time out of the fray. Karen Perri

  33. Kia ora Jeanette, one of my main reasons for joining the Greens a year ago, when I was 15, was because of you. You are an inspiration for all those who are Green at heart. It was great to meet you recently.

    Nga mihi nui ki a koe, me piki koe ki te maunga teitei ano e kui. Ma te hururhuru ka rere te manu.

  34. Jeanette
    It’s been an amazing and inspirational trip. I’ll try not to mourn as I know that you’ll be around to mentor us all for some time yet. Enjoy the peace and quiet, the farm and your family. Thanks for all that you’ve done for the movement.

  35. Jeanette,
    you have inspired the past decade or so of my life; you continue to give me a mentor in politics, and have shown me a pathway to aging gracefully and strongly.
    Arohanui to you and Harry, you have both worked hard so enjoy the fruits of your labour together.

    And I’ll second Dylan
    – welcome aboard, Gareth!!! 😀

  36. New Zealand will miss your strong advocacy for the environment, and for the rights of future generations, in a parliament where most MPs think three years ahead at most. Thank you for all you have done to make the Green Party what it is today, and best wishes for your new life!

  37. Thank you, Jeanette – you’ve given more than your fair share over the years, and we’re very, very grateful. Here’s to a happy retirement – you deserve it!

    And congrats to Gareth Hughes, who will be an exciting new MP!

  38. What else can you say? You were great. And your shoes are yet to be filled if ever.
    All the bluster and boiler plate optimistic rhetoric aside, parliament and the green party is much the worse for your leaving.

  39. With so many battle-hardened, highly experienced ex-Green Party MPs now out in the wide world (Jeanette, Nandor, Sue, Mike etc.) the forces that opposed you in Parliament should feel very afraid of a ripple-that-becomes-a-wave from the grass-roots. Your angelic look will serve you well Jeanette, should you decide to make more ripples. Thanks for everything you have done for our environment.


  40. Thank you Jeanette. I have always looked up to you as a role model MP. You fight the good fight with intelligence, integrity and humility. You have let the facts speak for themselves without letting the issues become personalised. You will continue to be my role model.
    I wish you all the best on the farm. You will always be in our Green Hearts.

  41. You will be missed by more than will admit it! You have been an honest voice amongst much spin & political nonsense over the years & one can only hope your party remains true to its underlying beliefs and continues in such a way.

  42. A great woman. It will be sometime yet before the new generation are big enough to fill her shoes, not because they are lacking, but because Jeanette was so monumentally iconic and effective.

Comments are closed.