Rod Donald, 1957 – 2005

Kid with goatRod Donald was a Christchurch-based Green politician who promoted ways of acting and living in an alternative manner, with his involvement in pioneering organisations Ecology Action, Piko Wholefoods and Trade Aid.

Life in Christchurch

In 1972, as a fifteen year old, he started an Ecology Action group at his school in Christchurch, and used the swimming pool changing sheds to store huge piles of newspaper - enough to delay the start of the school swimming season for a week.

When he moved to live in Christchurch’s inner city Avon Loop area in the later 1970s he helped develop a loose community of households with a common vision of sustainable living. They would meet regularly for a “Community Crumble” – a weekly community event based around the sociable consumption of fruit crumbles. The ‘Avon Loop’ community of the 1970s brought together Rod Donald and Elsie Locke, to share their vision for sustainable living in the city.

Initiatives which grew from this community included a community newspaper – the Avon Loop Community News – and a small business – Piko Wholefoods. Rod was also involved with Trade Aid, the Tenants’ Protection Association and Values Party and Green Party political campaigns.

Time in parliament

From 1989 to 1993, Rod Donald was the National Spokesperson for the Electoral Reform Coalition, which successfully advocated for the MMP system for Parliamentary elections. He entered Parliament in 1996 and was co-leader of the Green Party until his untimely death in 2005.

Online resources

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