|1st Male co-leader of the Green Party|
1995 – 6 November 2005
Co-leading with Jeanette Fitzsimons
|Succeeded by||Dr Russel Norman|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Green party list
1999 – 6 November 2005
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Alliance party list
1996 – 1999
|Born||10 October 1957|
|Died||6 November 2005(aged 48)|
|Political party||Values (1974–1979)
|Domestic partner||Nicola Shirlaw|
|Residence||Christchurch, New Zealand|
Early political career
Donald held Values Party membership from 1974 to 1979 and then Labour Party membership from 1982 to 1988. On becoming national spokesperson of the impartial Electoral Reform Coalition from 1989 to 1993 he had to resign his party membership. After the success of the MMP referendum at the 1993 election he joined the Green Party in February 1994. After he became co-leader of the Greens in 1995, voters first elected him to Parliament in the 1996 election as an Alliance list MP.
The Green Party left the Alliance to stand alone in the 1999 election. He entered the 1999 parliament as number two on the Greens' party list. He retained his list seat in the 2002 and 2005 elections.
Member of Parliament
|Parliament of New Zealand|
For many years Donald had a special interest in electoral reform in New Zealand. From 1989 to 1993 he served as spokesperson for the Electoral Reform Coalition during the campaign that led to the introduction of MMP. Subsequently he played a major part in getting legislation passed to allow STV voting in local body elections in New Zealand. Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons described MMP as Donald's greatest legacy.
He also served as the Green Party spokesperson on Buy Kiwi Made, commerce, electoral reform, finance and revenue, land information, regional development and small business, superannuation, sustainable economics, state services, statistics, tourism, trade, and waste.
Shortly after midnight on 6 November 2005, the day before his scheduled swearing-in for his fourth term in Parliament, he died suddenly at his Christchurch home after suffering for a few days from Campylobacter jejuni food poisoning from an unknown source. An autopsy initially ruled out a heart attack, but subsequent test-results determined that death resulted from an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), which is a very rare consequence of C. jejuni infection. He was 48 years old. His funeral, which took place at the Cathedral of ChristChurch, was attended by over 1,000 people. His casket arrived on board an electric bus and his wake took place at the adjacent Warner's Hotel. The Parliament showed its respect for Donald by suspending a day of business, and a minute of silence was observed in the House of Representatives.
- "Hundreds farewell Rod Donald". Television New Zealand. 10 November 2005. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- Taylor, Kevin (7 November 2005). "MMP Donald's greatest legacy, says Fitzsimons". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Greens still missing Rod Donald "a lot" one year after his death". The New Zealand Herald. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Rod Donald died after rare food bug". The New Zealand Herald. 12 February 2007.
- "Rod Donald cause of death released". Radio New Zealand. Television New Zealand. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- Smith, Cullen (10 November 2005). "Christchurch at standstill for Donald funeral". NZ Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- VIDEO of Rod Donald speaking on 'Fairness In Trade'
- VIDEO of Rod Donald speaking (humorously) at the Winter 2000 GPANZ conference in Turangi on 3 June 2000 
- Rod Donald biography (Green Party website)
|Party political offices|
|New political party||Male co-leader of the Green Party
Served alongside: Jeanette Fitzsimons
Dr Russel Norman