Green MP announces February resignation
Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons will leave parliament next month, bringing a 13-year Parliamentary career to a close.
“It’s a good time for a change of pace,” said Ms Fitzsimons. “The caucus is in good shape. We have a good second generation of MPs joining our ranks and our co-leaders are doing good work.
“It means I can look forward to more time on the farm and with my grandchildren.”
Ms Fitzsimons, who will be replaced by Gisborne-born Gareth Hughes, stepped down as the Greens' co-leader last year and signalled then that she would not stand in the 2011 election.
“The way we’ve managed the transition gives time on the job for both Metiria as a new co-leader and Gareth as a new MP,” she noted.
Ms Fitzsimons, who celebrated her 65th birthday earlier this month, was the first Green MP to speak in Parliament following the 1996 election and is believed to be the first Green candidate in the world to win an electorate in a first-past-the-post contest, winning Coromandel in 1999.
The 28-year-old Gareth Hughes will be the youngest MP in the House. Originally from Gisborne, Mr Hughes currently works in Auckland but plans to move to Wellington. The father of one is an environmental advocate and campaigner and holds a degree in Religious Studies, Politics and History from Victoria University.
He comes to Parliament from a job with Greenpeace where, most recently, he coordinated the Sign On campaign gathering the support of more than 200,000 Kiwis for bolder government action on climate change.