web analytics

In praise of David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 2:31 pm, August 15th, 2016 - 10 comments
Categories: australian politics, david shearer, International, labour - Tags: ,

Hell on Nauru

Yes you read this correctly.  One of the writers on The Standard, the blogsite erroneously reputed to be the cause of David Shearer’s demise as Labour Party leader, wishes to praise Shearer in the way he has talked about the Nauru asylum seeker detention crisis.

From Newshub:

Australia has almost lost its moral compass on asylum-seeker issues and New Zealand needs to step in, Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer believes.

Documents leaked by The Guardian last week detailing sexual abuse of children in the Nauru detention centre “shocked us all”, he told Q&A on Sunday.

But the conditions in Nauru are just one of the issues facing asylum seekers – the other is that they’re there for the foreseeable future, according to Mr Shearer.

“(The reports) highlighted the fact that this policy is unsustainable, I mean it’s almost like Australia has lost its moral compass in terms of where it’s going,” he said.

“I really do think New Zealand, however it can, should make the offer to say “look, what is it we can do to short-circuit this and bring these kids’ (detention) to an end”.”

The documents obtained by the Guardian are awful.  They present a chilling synopsis of the horror of life in a detention centre and what is happening.  How a nation state can treat human beings like this is beyond reason.  How Australia, a Commonwealth Nation with a supposed commitment to human rights, could have set up this particular regime is something that it should be ashamed of.  Well done David Shearer for saying this clearly and precisely.

It is regrettable that the media has recently given more attention to other matters.  They have been criticising Andrew Little for stating that a Labour MP should not attend a meeting that was potentially beneficial to a non Labour member in competition with a Labour candidate in an upcoming election.  Strange really.  The guest list was hardly Labour Friendly.  As well as former member and Wellington Mayoral candidate Nick Leggett there was also former MP and likely future New Zealand First MP and recipient of a plum Government appointment Shane Jones and also Phil Quin.  Quin has spent the past decade running down the Labour Party and he even expressed the view once that Helen Clark should have been deposed as Labour leader early on in her career.  I am not sure why he should qualify as a Labour insider.

The critics claim that Labour is obsessed with identity politics.  Funny really because I agree with Morgan Godfrey that pretty well all that Labour has been concentrating on lately is the housing crisis, free education, the future of work … these are hardly “identity” issues.

To be fair to Quin his comments about Australian Politics with regards to Nauru described the situation well.  He said that the issue had become “politically weaponsed” and described how public opinion was totally against doing anything humane.  Dominant public opinion is apparently to the right of Tony Abbott’s views …

The left should be taking a stand however.  Quin is right that the stance taken by Labor is morally abominable.

Any way well said David Shearer on Nauru.  The Australian Labor Party should be very ashamed …

10 comments on “In praise of David Shearer ”

  1. Shearer is underselling it.

    Australia has completely lost its moral compass on Nauru, pissing on democratic norms, and turning the country into a dictatorship just so it can run its illegal prison.

    And that’s not mentioning that the prison itself is corrupt, cooking the books to get more money out of the aussie taxpayer.

    The refugees should be rescued, the prisoners sent for trial or released, and the prison burned to the ground.

  2. shorts 2

    is he suggesting we take these people? I’m not against that I do worry about the precedent – as in got a people problem flick em to the kiwis….

    I do think NZ should be taking a very firm line with Australia informing them this isn’t acceptable behaviour and using whatever channels we have to make them accountable for their actions and the lives of those poor people… even if and it would cost us as we’d face economic and political backlash from our less likeable friends over there

    • Lloyd 2.1

      New Zealand should not take people that Australia has thrown into limbo and then chucked our way.
      New Zealand representatives need to be in those concentration camps as independent witnesses and the New Zealand government must inform the Australian public directly about their government’s loss of moral compass and what it says about Australians individually and as a nation.
      New Zealand should run its own selection program to pick refugees from the Australian camps. I would assume that any refugee in an Australian camp would jump at an offer of residence in New Zealand. I would also expect that anyone selected would become a big asset to New Zealand society, like the Tampa boys.

  3. McFlock 3

    Apparently we’ve already offered to take 150 of the 442 refugees (credit to the nats for that, at least), but the aussies turned us down. Seriously.

    Between Nauru and the treatment of Aboriginal detainees, Australia’s going to be hanging its head in shame in history books down the line. I hesitate to us the word “evil”, but the English language false short in describing such bureaucratic fucked-uppedness.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    I hope the country will remember this when Australia tries to drag us into a war because they are “fighting for freedom and democracy.”

    • Lloyd 4.1

      Should New Zealand examine whether we should as a country be actively involved in Australian regime change by overt or covert means?
      One area we could be start is by supporting independence fighters on Norfolk Island.
      Sending the SAS to rescue Kiwis on Christmas Island would also be a wake-up to the Aussies.
      Only problem with this sort of military style action is that they would inevitably turn into dreadful snafus.

  5. As well as reacting to terrible situations like that on Narau when it comes to our attention, will attention also be given to their causes and how these might be more effectively addressed?

    For a start, could an organization like the UN set up regional reception centers where refugees are properly treated and arrangements can be made for them to pass on to live in new permanent locations in a relatively orderly manner throughout the region?

    More basically yet, what can be done in the first place to help prevent people needing to flee from unsafe conditions? For instance, can useful studies be made and people trained in conflict resolution and development in the region to help end and prevent the poverty and the conflicts from which people will otherwise continue to want to flee?

    In this country, particularly including a place like our capital city, Wellington, could interested citizens, NGOs, MFAT and embassy officials and relevant academics be brought together for conversations about how they might work with the United Nations to better formulate understandings of refugee problems and ways in which they might be addressed?

    New Zealand’s United Nations delegation now has 6 more months to complete its stint on the Security Council.

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful legacy for it to leave if it were able to help draw together and support such a strategy, informed and supported by such conversations?

    Such activities could also provide an opportunity for someone like Helen Clark if she became the new secretary general to make an innovative and effective contribution.

    For more details on how our United Nations delegation could be helped by conversations and research in New Zealand, see my blog:
    “NZ as Security Council Honest Broker – With (Convivial) Diplomatic Village Support”
    at http://www.village-connections.com/?p=7042

    If such proposals were being floated seriously and a beginning made on implementing them, this could provide yet more strong reasons for Helen Clark to be supported to become the next United Nations secretary general.

  6. Anne 6

    The Australian public is closing their eyes, blocking their ears and have their heads firmly planted in the sand all at the same time. A very, very, very big shame on them for such willful behaviour. And yes… the Aussie Labor Party also deserves to be reviled and ridiculed for going along with it!

  7. Philj 7

    Great to see Shearer has made a definitive statement. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago