By Te Karere


A great leader has fallen. Ex-Deputy Prime Minister of the Labour Party Jim Anderton passed away yesterday at the age of 79 after a long illness.


He successfully campaigned for Kiwibank, held an array of portfolios and became Deputy PM to Helen Clark in 1999.


Former politician Tuariki Delamere remembers Anderton by saying, "One thing I’d like to say about Jim is you'd never meet a more honest, more genuine and ethical member of parliament."


James Patrick Anderton was born in Auckland. Where he trained as a teacher but not long before he hit the political arena as a city councillor in the mid-sixties.


Andertons Alliance with Labour saw him become an MP in 1984, but after falling out with leadership over economic policy in 1989 he established the new Labour Party and two new political parties, Alliance and Progressive followed, keeping his seat safe.


Delamere adds, "He had standards and whether you agreed with him, a lot of policies I didn't agree with Jim at all, but as I said, the man was a mighty good person."


He's the longest-serving MP as he served 27 years in parliament, but what is his legacy?


Delamere answers with, "Jim’s greatest legacy is Kiwibank. Did he do anything specific for Māori? No, I don't think Jim did anything specifically for any group other than that if you were a group that needed help, he was there."


He retired from politics in 2011.


A requiem mass will be held for Anderton at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Thursday at 2 pm in Christchurch.