It is with the heaviest heart that we mourn the passing of the first female Co-leader of the Green Party, Jeanette Fitzsimons.
Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said:
“I would like to first and foremost pass on my deepest condolences to Harry, Jeanette’s children and their grandchildren.
“We have a deep amount of love for her and her family. People across the country and the world will be feeling the loss as we all are.
“I was privileged to know Jeanette once I became an MP and then co-leader. I leaned on her mana as a rangatira of the Green Party, she helped guide my thoughts and affirm what my role is as Co-leader.
“I’m feeling deeply grateful that I got to sit down with her in February on her farm and spend a good amount of time catching up on the politics of the world. That felt special then, but really special now.
“She is what I’ve called a taonga of the green movement, to me she feels like a bastion of what we believe in, and a signpost for what we want for this world.
“Jeanette leaves behind a remarkable legacy. She brought the climate change conversation into Parliament, and had transformative ideas around greening our electricity sector.
“She was the leading voice for a new compassionate, ecologically sustainable economics that has influenced the Government’s new wellbeing approach.
“She fought for what she believed in right until the end, refusing to retire, she once said ‘retirement is not really a concept I can imagine’
“I will miss her dearly”.
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said:
“I extend my deepest condolences to Harry, Jeanette’s children and their grandchildren. We all share their grief.
“I first met Jeanette during the 1990 General Election before the Green Party even had leaders.
“Jeanette was to me the person who embodied the different style of politics that the Greens have always stood for.
“She was never about personality politics, she was driven by what was the right thing to do.
“She was always someone who understood that you have to work most closely with those you disagree with in order to forge a consensus.
“She treated everyone with respect no matter their politics, and she treated everybody with dignity.
“Those are qualities that I have sought to follow.
“Jeanette had immense generosity and humility. If you couldn’t find her at a Green Party conference she’d be out the back with her sleeves rolled up washing the dishes.
“I’ll miss her.”