I remember a history teacher at school explaining the change by historians from thinking about history as a collection of stories about famous and important people, to a process of tracking what is recording and analyzing to all people rather than just the kings and popes.
That change of thinking kind of reflects how I feel about the Green Party too. We are not just the story of Jeanette Fitzsimons. Jeanette is an inspirational and immensely successful party co-leader (and she probably would have been a great pope). But whoever we choose as her replacement is not such a big deal. If we make the worst choice possible the Green Party will still be bigger than that. We are a movement of thousands of people not just two co-leaders.
Outsiders said a few years ago that Rod Donald was irreplacable, and he was. But the party kept going strong without him. Likewise Jeanette will be irreplaceable and, like Rod, she will be lionised by outside commentators, once she steps down, as pragmatic and reasonable compared to her successor. But studiers of the party would do better looking at all the campaigning activity and active members and supporters in suburbs and towns around the country, than at the one woman who replaces Jeanette in a few months time.