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24 Jan 2018 6:50
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  •   Home > News > Politics

    Mourners remember 'remarkable' Anderton

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton has been remembered as a loving family man and a well-respected politician during his Christchurch funeral.

    Passionate games of cricket, singing along to Simon and Garfunkel and fishing were just a few of Jim Anderton's favourite past times his son told mourners at the former Deputy Prime Minister's funeral.

    Chris Anderton described his father as someone with a "reinforced sense of family" and had a "moral compass that was strong and true".

    His son said while being the child of a public figure could be heavy at times, he wouldn't have picked anyone else to be his dad.

    Mr Anderton died in Christchurch's Cashmere View Hospital on Saturday, aged 79.

    Hundreds of family members, friends, colleagues and public admirers filled Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Christchurch on Thursday to pay respects to the former politician.

    Mr Anderton made a strong impression on New Zealand's political scene when he first entered parliament as the Labour MP for the Christchurch electorate of Sydenham in 1984.

    He later formed the New Labour party and then led the Alliance. He served as deputy prime minister under Helen Clark between 1999 and 2002 and was the member for Wigram from 1996 until his retirement in 2011.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the funeral and described Mr Anderton as a "towering figure".

    Also in attendance were Auckland Mayor Phill Goff, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, former Prime Minister Jim Bolger and Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration and current Wigram MP Megan Woods.

    Mr Anderton's friend of nearly 30 years, former deputy leader of the Progressive Party Matt Robson, shared stories of their days in the political field.

    Mr Robson described him as a well-respected political leader and a friend.

    "(Jim) was a true humanitarian with high political aims, and he would do his utmost to achieve what needed to be done and would keep his promise no matter the obstacles," Mr Robson said.

    Mr Anderton's casket was brought into the church to the song 'Chariots of Fire' which Mr Robson joked was Mr Anderton's anthem and was played thousands of times over the years in their meetings.

    Mr Robson said Mr Anderton always "focused on what needed to be done and did it".

    "He never asked more of us than he would give himself.

    "To this day he is praised by people not only in Christchurch. He cared for everybody who walked through his door... he would often say lay your footpath where the people walk," Mr Robson said.

    "Today, we say goodbye to a remarkable New Zealand figure."

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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