Rod Donald RIP


The sudden death of Greens co leader Rod Donald has left his political colleagues in a state of shock.

The 48-year-old entered Parliament in 1996 having successfully fought to have the voting system changed to MMP.

Mr Donald joined the Values Party - the forerunner of today's Green Party - in 1973 and just one year later, at the age of eighteen, he cycled from Christchurch to Nelson to become the campaign manager for the local Values Party candidate.

He once described his journey to the Beehive as a 'solid apprenticeship'.

During that time, he was a key worker for Trade Aid, campaigning for fairer trade links between developing nations and the west. From 1986 to 1990 he worked for Volunteer Service Abroad as public affairs manager and, prior to his election to Parliament in 1996, returned to Trade Aid for six years where he was the New Zealand manager for Trade Aid Importers.

During that time, between 1989 and 1993, he was also the National Spokesperson for the Electoral Reform Coalition, working to persuade the country to switch to the MMP voting system.

He joined the Greens early in 1994, and in June 1995 was encouraged to stand for the position of Co-leader. He was placed at number 10 on the Alliance list and was elected to Parliament with Jeanette Fitzsimons in the 1996 election.