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How long have they been sitting on that?

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 pm, September 10th, 2012 - 75 comments
Categories: david shearer, education - Tags:

Shearer gets some traction with a policy that neatly targets parents’ concerns about education, hits a link in the poverty cycle, and is third way enough that National can’t really object. And what happens? National runs a little beat up on how Shearer’s masters thesis says you can’t ignore Maori beliefs in taniwha as signifiers of ownership when allocating water rights. Wonder how long they were sitting on that.

75 comments on “How long have they been sitting on that? ”

  1. Kotahi Tāne Huna 1

    Pretty clear that this is what they intend to fight the 2014 election on. Iwi/Kiwi.


  2. blue leopard 2

    Probably google-searched it the night before

  3. God help us.  Shearer as a young idealist puts forward the idea that Iwi should have a greater say.  It is not quite the same as his current position.  Therefore it is apparently wrong.

    Of course Key had no such idealistic ideas.  He did not even know where he stood on the springbok tour.

    As if.

    I would prefer to have a leader someone who had youthful ideals compared to someone who apparently did not even know what was happening when they were at their physical peak. 

    • gobsmacked 3.1

      MickySavage, they didn’t trot it out simply to recall the past, they did it in order to get a response from Shearer today. They got one. Again … it’s Politics 101 (see Ali G in Da House – and the “horse incident”). Provoke, and score.

      Shearer is an innocent thrown to the wolves. It’s painful to watch. The Labour caucus should hang their heads in shame.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        I know GS but if everyone who as a youth expresses a controversial idea gets hammered on it 25 years later then we are fecked.  Key’s “I cannot what I thought about the springbok tour” will become the norm.  Shearer possibly did not remember his position on water.  I can understand this.  I have trouble with what happened last week …

        • gobsmacked

          Of course he shouldn’t get hammered for it. It’s irrelevant. So, he should just have basic political nous …

          Options include … 1) laugh 2) refer to Key and 1981 3) death stare 4) “I’m glad you asked me about education , our policy is ….” etc

          Many options possible EXCEPT taking the questions as “good faith”. It’s not reasonable people acting reasonably. It’s bloody politics. If Shearer can’t understand this, he’s lost.

          • Macro


            • Craig Glen Eden

              Exactly, Exactly. The Labour caucus stuck this novice in charge and ignored its membership because they all new best. Well now its becoming clear for all to see Shearer is a total novice.
              Shearer was stupid to think he was ready to be Labours leader but the caucus who voted for Shearer are the ones I blame.
              What they have done is not only damaging for this guys political future they were all prepared to damage the party because they are jealous of Cunliffe and the responsibility/portfolios he held under Clark.

              David Shearer simply is not ready for the job of leader thats not his fault, its the fault of the people who put him their and they should be bloody ashamed. They wont be though, as long as they have their jobs we will continue to see Shearer the lamb to the slaughter being slowly slaughtered.

          • Polish Pride

            Well no not necessarily. If framed in the right way it could be a winner. The public are sick and tired of ‘politics’ they want honesty from their politicians. Seems Shearer is one of the few able to give that. This simple fact needs to be highlighted so that Jo public see and understand it. Then they can look beyond the political attacks and media smears

            • Craig Glen Eden

              Politics does not work like that or John Key would never have been elected over Phil Goff.

        • burt

          The fact you have trouble with what happened last week explains a lot about your unconditional support for Labour mickysavage. Socialism fails micky, it takes longer than a week so no wonder you blindly support it year in year out ignoring the inevitable bust that happens from the artificial boom it’s policy settings create. Look at the cycle micky, Labour boom then bust followed by National dishing out the medicine to rectify Labour policy impacts on productivity, growth and individual responsibility. Then we do it all again….

          • blue leopard

            oh dear me, burt, they only tell you that type of thing at election-time to get a job…its not actually true!!

          • mike e

            facts burt seem to elude you the housing bubble and farm price bubble started in 1976 borrowing private borrowing has been on an exponential trail since then!
            the same rate of increase no different under labour or national!
            The only difference is that bill english is doing all the borrowing now!
            Now we have a another housing bubble.
            Labours policy is only slightly different .
            National has many socialist policies as well so you are back handing them as well!
            ie broadband subsidies carbon subsidies finance subsidies high price Consultants many former National troughers
            Go back to your Yurt burt and get some facts and stop the fairy stories.
            Whats the medicine swapping reasonable waged govt employees for overpriced Consultants ACC Consultancies have gone up by ten times the savings of the cost of sacking govt employees.$20 million in savings verses the $200 million increase in con sultants !

      • rosy 3.1.2

        I thought Shearer handled it quite nicely (tv3 news). If it was a set up it didn’t work.

    • Huginn 3.2

      Hmmmm ……. Don Brash’s masters thesis (1961) argued that foreign investment damaged a country’s economic development.
      So it’s a bit of a two way street 😉

      • fatty 3.2.1

        …if only Brash still had an academic advisor to keep him logical

      • lprent 3.2.2

        I don’t rate Brashes abilities to judge anything very highly.

        He lost national an electorate twice (and to social credit), a National election in 2005, and plummeted ACT’s vote. His tenure at the reserve bank was marked by a rigid orthodoxy in pursuit of inflation and wasn’t even that successful in that. His response to the Asian crisis in 1997 successfully managed to increase the contraction in the economy while producing no improvement in his targets – which is a perverse achievement that I am sure is still being examined as a case study today.

        Basically he is usually wrong.

        I find that foreign investment is worth the cost when they bring something to the table other than just money. Skills, capital scale, expertise in target markets, etc. If they are simply investors then they aren’t of any utility except to the person selling, and usually just drain profits

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Probably google-searched it the night before.

    Unlikely. Slater/Farrar/Nat Research aren’t the Mallard Mastodons. They play the game like Karl Rove and the US Republicans, whereas Labour play it like Dad’s Army.

    They were sitting on it until they needed it. That they didn’t bother using it for nine months tells you how much they rate their opponent.

    • blue leopard 4.1

      Those who have respect for others’ beliefs or hold a belief in Taniwhas will be more admiring of Mr Shearer for it. Thanks National 😉
      (Nats were too profane to work that one out)

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Didn’t they release it a couple of months ago? Or was that another one of Shearers papers?

  6. Blue 6

    Guess it’s lucky for National that John Key did a BCom in accounting and doesn’t have a master’s degree.

  7. Fisiani 7

    Shearer believes in Taniwhas. Wow. The gift that keeps on giving.

    [no, he doesn’t. He wrote “the belief in taniwha or spiritual pollution…while they may appear irrational to many…cannot simply be dismissed as irrelevant”. Debate the facts or go back to Kiwiblog. Zet]

    • Tracey 7.1

      don’t fill Fisiani’s head with facts, he’s not used to it, his head might explode… and then he’ll need welfare

    • TightyRighty 7.2

      weasel words zet. fisi is debating the facts. Shearer believes in monsters in streams and his educations policy is at odds with everything else labour have said about education. Keep denying it though. Suits us.

      • framu 7.2.1

        weasel words – or the actual quote from the actual piece.

        you can paraphrase it all you want till it means whatever you choose – the fact is the article quotes shearer saying something different to fisi’s statement – ergo fisi isnt debating facts

        • TightyRighty

          If they aren’t dismissed as irrelevant, then the belief has relevance in david shearers opinion. Ergo he has some belief in taniwha’s as a relevant entity.

          so because david shearer did not expressly say “i believe in taniwha’s” his comments do not support the view that taniwha’s exist and fisi isn’t debating the facts? even though if you look at what he said, it’s blatantly obvious what he meant. Stick your head in the sand some more framu. Build a little tunnel through to mickeysavage and cv while you are at it. you can converse some more about how the msm is all to blame for not portraying labour’s message in a favorable light

          spinning like a top as labour does on these issues, just shows how useless they are at politics. Most commented thread today? this one. Hi-fucking-larious.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Read what he said.

            He said the belief in taniwha is relevant.

            The only thing he is saying exists, is a belief in taniwha. The relevant noun is ‘belief in taniwha’.

            If I say that ‘belief in the Hindu gods is relevant to the tax status of some organisations’, I am not saying I believe the Hindu gods exist.

          • framu

            “so because david shearer did not expressly say “i believe in taniwha’s” his comments do not support the view that taniwha’s exist and fisi isn’t debating the facts”


            or to put it another way – im an atheist, but if we were talking about rebuilding Chch cathedral and i stated that the church’s views on spirituality were relevant does that mean i believe in god? Of course not!

          • tracey

            And what “facts” do you know about the belief in or use of “Taniwha”??

      • Tim 7.2.2

        I think your undies might be causing the shrill ideologically driven outburst “tighty-whitey-Righty”.

        • Tim

          oh btw, that comment is not based on emprical evidence, just ‘faith’ and my ideological prejudice….. so shoot me – Having said that though – what a gorgeous specimen you are! (NOT).
          God you’re gorgeous!

    • SHG 7.3

      Shearer believes in Taniwhas. Wow. The gift that keeps on giving.

      Shearer has said neither that he believes in taniwhas, nor has he suggested that anyone should. He has simply observed that, being New Zealand, we have to acknowledge that some people believe in taniwhas.

      When talking about issues of applied ethics in a Western society we cannot ignore the fact that some people believe in an invisible superhero who lives in the sky. I think they’re fucking retarded. But given the nature of our society we have to acknowledge that those people DO believe that.

      For me to claim that we have to acknowledge the fact that some people believe in an invisible superhero who lives in the sky is neither me asserting that such an invisible superhero exists, nor is it me asserting that you should believe in it yourself.

      This seems like a massive beat-up.

  8. blue leopard 8

    …and actually all this shows, yet again, is that all National have to offer is something akin to a magic conjurer’s children’s party trick pulling rabbits out of hats

    Whilst they spend time finding low grade political games, blaming GFC and ChCh earthquake on every ill that NZers are experiencing they omit to address anything.

    Dear Nact,

    Show us the jobs
    Show us the lessening disparity in income
    Show us the protections preventing the damages caused by speculation
    Show us improved stats
    Show us you are not simply a bunch of clowns

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      My recommendation is to send the same letter to Labour.

      • blue leopard 8.1.1

        When Labour were in power they progressed 4 out of the 5 issues I mentioned
        disparity in income
        improved stats

        by doing so they showed they were not a bunch of clowns

        All Nact does is spout hot air and sneer.
        Its about time NZers saw through their party tricks and stopped voting for the rope that is hanging us all.

        Speculation issues are becoming a whole lot more mainstream and we have a far better chance of such being addressed with a left wing government because people don’t really like pushing through policies that their friends will drop them for… 🙂

        • Colonial Viper


          Yes they progressed them…in a way which took National about 2 years to undo.

          • blue leopard

            Which illustrates rather nicely an area in which National are efficient

            • Colonial Viper

              And they are. However I actually meant that Labour 5 implemented changes which were highly superficial and reversable in nature.

              • blue leopard

                …well you could interpret it that way…
                …or you could consider:

                How the government we have had for the last four years, having shown that they are so blatantly trigger happy with rushing through the reversing of laws at a moments notice, applying dodgy retrospective style legislation and doing things like firing large groups of experts to get their way, then I consider the changes implemented by Labour were probably pretty robust to last for 2 years under such a reckless government whose only claim to efficiency would be in the area of destructiveness.

  9. georgecom 9

    I guess the battle lines are starting to be drawn.

    A government berefit of ideas. One who has exhausted whatever ideas it might have had, who now has to bring out old discourses regardings Taniwhas to try and shift attention away from opposition policies or retread ongoing small focus sideline issues like drug testing beneficiaries in the wake of mounting bad news in the political economy.

    The other opposition parties bringing out some commonsensical policies which, admittedly don’t address nearly the full range of problems besetting the country, but which are heading the the correct direction.

  10. Tracey 10

    Perhaps some need to understand part of the purpose of Taniwha before they get all uppity about Shearer.

    My understanding is that Taniwha “presence” act as pointers/reminders/warnings about certain waters.

    For example, don’t settle here because it floods in a big rain and so on. Remember Maori did not write things down, so they could not write a book about dangerous waters etc to hand down, they did it by stories, starring Taniwha.

    Perhaps it is time that Shearer hit back with a sharp “at least I recall what I thought about the 1981 springbok tour”.

    • Bored 10.1

      Thanks Tracy: my best mans wifes aunty, a venerable old Tainui lady was fond of using the expression “there is a taniwha” as a caution, and to say there might be a problem. Makes perfect sense to me as you say from somebody with an oral tradition.

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        My understanding is that the “Taniwha” have proven remarkably accurate indicators regarding water idiosyncrasies when western interest has investigated or evolved…

        • Sunny

          Yep, ‘taniwha’ as shorthand for “look out when around this body of water”. Eminently sensible. Derision of such a concept, eminently predictable.

          • Grumpy

            …..and it’s the ticket to free shares in an SOE

            • Pascal's bookie

              Since when is compensation for appropriated property ‘free’?

              • Foreign Waka

                and since when is water anyone’s property? Power stations where build with taxpayer money’s – so they belong to all. Hence the protest against the sale.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Arse about tit there.

                  The crown needs to show where and how it took ownership, otherwise iwi and hapu ownership remains. the fact that the crown is negotiating is kind of a clue as to how strong they think their case is.

    • Tiger Mountain 10.2

      Yes, even All Black rugby player Stu Wilson said* of the ’81 tour on RNZ this week that there were “only two sides-for or against” and that it “split families”. And he knew that personally as it turned out. Wilson’s wife was a front row protestor and their relationship did not survive the tour fallout.
      *on “Witness” a regular BBC featurette on famous events viewed through an individual’s perspective.

      Key’s memory ‘fade’ remains unacceptable in a Prime Minister, he is clearly lying as anyone that was there at the time would realise. Shearer does need to serve it back more forcefully though.

      • Tracey 10.2.1

        Or he really can’t recall because he was so disinterested in the major political event of his lifetime… despite his claim he “always dreamed of being Prime Minister”

    • chris73 10.3

      Helen Clark tried that already (remember the debates?) didn’t work then, won’t work now. It will reinforce the notion that Labour are old and out of touch with the majority of NZ though.

      • felix 10.3.1

        I think you’ll find that the vast majority of NZers don’t believe Key for a moment when he says he wasn’t interested in the springbok tour (or can’t remember, or wasn’t really aware of it, depending which day you ask him). Half of the country didn’t vote for him, after all, and half of his own supporters know he’s full of shit but they approve (like you).

        People are losing their jobs and having their hours cut all over the country, chris, and the millionaire PM from Parnell calls it “cost adjustment”.

        That’s out of touch.

        • chris73

          And how many voted for Labour and the Greens? Even less so unless you want to change democracy (and being a lefty you probably do) you’re just going to have to suck it up and take it (and enjoy it) until the next election

          • Colonial Viper

            Just remember that very few NZers voted for Key, chris73.

          • felix

            Jeez chris, I know you have trouble with some pretty simple concepts, but basic maths? Fuck, I thought even you would be able to follow that.

  11. chris73 11

    I dunno, ask T. Mallard about the “facts” he states in the house.

  12. Carol 12

    This looks to me to be a bit of a fizzer from the (desperate-sounding) Nat spin machine and their TV3 sycophants. I have yet to see any reference to it on Stuff, or the NZ Herald sites. A search on google news indicates the story has gone beyond TV3.

    To me the damning thing in the TV3 story, is that it says Shearer agrees with key about things like negotiating with Iwi and Hapu one at a time.


    For the record, Mr Shearer’s position on water is now the same as Prime Minister John Key’s.

    “Nobody owns water. It’s everybody’s resource.”

    And like Mr Key, he says rights can be negotiated iwi by iwi, hapu by hapu, river by river.

    “It doesn’t work,” says Mr Shearer. “It doesn’t work if you rush it and what John Key’s going to do is rush this through.”

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Shearer-departs-from-water-rights-thesis/tabid/1607/articleID/268780/Default.aspx#ixzz266GSA7mV

  13. captain hook 13

    that is the nats style.
    they cant actually do anything except poormouth everyone else.
    who votes for people like that?

  14. Foreign Waka 14

    All the discussions are only semantics, the damage is done. The foreign investment gets pulled as for any manufacturing, mining etc you need – water. It is naive to believe that the left or the right or anyone in the middle will make it happen. The uncertainty about any future development from an economic point of view has been eroded by the simple fact that claims for air (!), water and god knows what has entered the fray. This is also not within the framework of the law but who gives a toss. With all that is happening, it does not really matter as many or most productive individuals and even firms will leave in the next 2 years. PS China is making a takeover bid for F&P – well, again – if that succeeds, 2 years from now all jobs will be gone.

  15. Whilst not disagreeing with his views, David has demonstrated that he has muddled the concepts of mana and taniwha. Mana is not pride, or egotism, but the opposite – the conquest of these. If the taniwha represented some worthy entity, why – in Maori mythology – would chiefs gain mana by SLAYING taniwha? i.e., killing the ego.
    The word taniwha derives from the Paki ‘tanha’, indicating that Hawaikii was Sri Lanka and the Mauryan Empire. As Horatio Robley pointed out a century ago, the Hei Tiki is a debased image of green jade depictions of Buddha. In legend, Ao-kehu is swallowed by a taniwha, but cuts himself free – killing it – using a maripi or shark-tooth knife. Paralleling the myth of Jonah in the Bible.
    Tanha means the root of evil, as longing for experience, that binds man to life. In Buddhism, it is annihilated by the T(r)ipitaka, or three baskets of the Buddhist canon. In Maoridom, this translates to the taniwha-slayer Te Pitaka, heroically killing the taniwha named Hotu-puku, which means ‘craving experience’. Water, in the Bible and all legends, represents mind, the dwelling-place of taniwha.But many taniwha were said to be cave or land dwellers.
    When the taniwha is finally caught, after killing many ‘people’, it is cut open and reveals all the warriors etc inside; i.e. all the personalities that the reincarnating ego has adopted. A notion quaintly related in Christianity as “the resurrection of the dead”. At which point the individual is entitled to recover memory of his past lives.
    In short, everyone has his taniwha, and the whole purpose of life is to conquer it:
    “Ka mate te taniwha ra!”. Vote for the TEA Party – Taniwha Eradication Association!

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