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A Tribute to Rod Donald

A Tribute to Rod Donald

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Wednesday 09 November 2005

Can I begin my tribute to Rod Donald by passing on the condolences of the New Zealand First caucus to Rod’s family and the Green party. Whatever our political differences, it is a cruel blow when a member of this House is struck down in such untimely circumstances, and democracy in New Zealand will be worse for his parting.

It would be disingenuous of me to pretend that Rod Donald and New Zealand First were close – we were not, but the interesting thing about politics is that even our political opponents can engender respect.

Rod Donald was certainly a man to be respected.

He was a fine parliamentarian, who understood both the customs and practices of this House and more importantly – how to use them to his party’s advantage.

For some of us who have been around some time, we weren’t sure how to handle the Green MPs when they arrived in Parliament as part of the Alliance in 1996.

We have never experienced MPsout of that mould before.

And Rod Donald quickly set about making his mark on this house, right from the beginning.

Rod Donald campaigned for MMP and New Zealand First, like the Greens, have certainly enjoyed the benefits of this more representative style of politics.

There are some who believe that politics is the art form of what is possible. This is a mantra Rod Donald clearly believed, and for that alone he deserves to be remembered well.


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