James Patrick Anderton 1938 - 2018
JIM ANDERTON has died, peacefully, at the Cashmere View Hospital in Christchurch, aged 79.
It was Jim's fate to be both the Labour Left's greatest strength - and its greatest weakness.
For all his faults, however, the parties he led in the Alliance, most especially the NewLabour Party which he founded in 1989, carved out a position on the left of New Zealand politics which made it impossible for the Labour Party to drift any further to the right.
The Labour-Alliance Coalition Government 1999-2002, in which he served as Deputy Prime Minister, ushered in a period of important reforms - not least the establishment of his pride and joy, Kiwibank.
More than any other single political leader, he restored the electorate's belief that progressive, centre-left policies were, once again, achievable in New Zealand.
For that feat, alone, he deserves to - and will - be remembered as a political leader of rare ability and significant achievement.
Rest in peace, Jim.
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