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'The tears are falling' - Former Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons dies

Former Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons has died.

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Tributes flowed for the well liked MP who was ahead of her time in the fight for the environment. Source: 1 NEWS

The 75-year-old was co-leader of the party from 1995 to 2009, and an MP from 1996 to 2010.

Ms Fitzsimons' husband Harry Parke told RNZ it was "totally unexpected". 

"Yesterday morning she was fine out on the farm doing stuff, she had a bit of a fall and finally ended up in Thames Hospital and she had a massive stroke and died about quarter to 10 last night. 

"Very peacefully."

He said the previous day she was using a chainsaw. "That's the sort of person she is... I was totally in awe of her". 

She held the party's only electorate seat of Coromandel from 1992-2002, and led the party alongside Rod Donald, who died in 2005. 

The Dunedin Green Party tweeted: "Kua hinga he Kauri i te wao nui a Tane. A mighty Kauri tree has fallen in the forest of Tane. RIP Jeanette Fitzsimons.

"Our loving thoughts are with Harry and the whanau."

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The environmentalist and former politician has died. Source: Breakfast

"Very sad to hear of the passing of Jeanette Fitzsimons," said Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

"Over the 20 or so years I worked with and observed her everything she did was principled and value-based. My thoughts are with her a family and the wider NZ Greens whanau."

"My heart is breaking, and the tears are falling," said Mojo Mathers, a former Green MP

"Jeanette, thank you so much for everything you have done, for standing so staunch and strong for the planet. We will miss you so much."

"Rest well Jeanette Fitzsimons, humble, tirless and passionate advocate. RIP," said Peter Dunne, former United Future leader.