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Shearer Says

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, December 7th, 2012 - 40 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags:

Lending a hand in Hobsonville

I’ve just visited the area in Hobsonville that was torn apart by yesterday’s tornado.

I was joined by West Auckland MPs Phil Twyford, David Cunliffe and Phil Goff.

We were shocked by the amount of damage that has been done. It was much worse than we had anticipated. There is still debris scattered over properties, trees have been ripped from their roots, roofs ripped off and windows smashed.

Some residents are now being given the very difficult news that their homes are beyond repair.

It is devastating for the residents but there’s a great Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude and they’re determined to get stuck in, to clean up and get their lives back on track.

I also saw first-hand the fantastic job the emergency services are doing helping residents pick up the pieces. Urban Search and Rescue, the Police, Civil Defence and the Defence Force are all working well together to provide a co-ordinated relief effort.

Red Cross and social agencies are pitching in too and welfare centres are finding people alternative accommodation.

Our thoughts today though are with the family and friends of Tom Stowers, Keith Langford and Brendon Johnson who lost their lives at a construction site when the tornado struck yesterday.

We extend our sincere condolences to all those who knew them.

Our hearts also go out to those who are recovering from their injuries in hospital. We wish them a speedy recovery.

Our Auckland MPs are committed to supporting the community in any way we can. Please get in touch with us if there’s anything we can do.

David Shearer
Labour Leader


40 comments on “Shearer Says”

  1. Rhinoviper 1

    I suppose that there are a few roofs that will have to be replaced and they’ll need painting.

  2. fender/same sentiment less eloquent Viper 2

    Hope you let David Cunliffe out of the car boot long enough so he could participate.

  3. Cotton Mouth Viper 3

    Shearer coat tailing on a tragedy, by cutting and pasting news coverage, to try and seem relevant. Classy.

    • Rhinoviper 3.1

      “Ambulance chasing” they call it with seedy lawyers. Here, it’s “hearse-chasing.” Really classy… but then hearses move more slowly than ambulances and the narcoleptic Labour caucus can keep up with them more easily – and I guess the bodies at Pike River are a bit too old now anyway.

    • Viper Anne 3.2

      That’s bollocks CMV.

      David Shearer’s electorate, Mt. Albert is on the border with West Auckland. Waterview, which is part of West Auckland, is in his electorate. He’s not coat tailing. He’s doing exactly what we expect from him – checking out the damage and reporting to members and supporters. I’m a strong Cunliffe supporter, but knocking Shearer for doing his job is not a clever thing to do.

  4. Rhinoviper 4

    OK, I actually read this shit… Cthulhu only knows why, since it is utterly irrelevant and Captain Mumblefuck certainly is of no importance, but this?

    Some residents are now being given the very difficult news that their homes are beyond repair.

    It is devastating for the residents but there’s a great Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude and they’re determined to get stuck in, to clean up and get their lives back on track.

    Christ. Hannah Arendt wrote of the banality of evil, but here we see the evil of banality. A simple chatbot could have written this. Let’s take some cliched phrases and words. “Kiwi”, “can-do”, “get stuck in”… and of course, let’s never forget number eight wire … oh hang on, you did? What went wrong?!

    Very difficult

    It’s a fucking catastrophe, you useless arsewipe, not a blocked drain!

    can do attitude

    Oh how very, very reassuring. Translation: “You’re on your own. Thank you for providing a backdrop for my photo opportunity. I have no ideas, just like in Fuzzy-Wuzzy Land. Have a mango skin and good luck!”

    Please get in touch with us if there’s anything we can do.

    We have voicemail. You may get an automated message saying that your call matters to us.

    • weka 4.1

      What should he have said? Be precise.

      • Rhinoviper 4.1.1

        He should have described what he actually did that was actually useful and suggested what people could do that would actually help, not a vague “let us know”. Note that he failed to say that he’d actually done anything. Sanctimonious handwringing, shallow “condolences” and cliches are not useful.

        This is a man who trades on his experience in war and disaster zones and how marvellously he is able to cope and to come to peoples’ aid. This should be the moment when he shines, shows what he’s made of… and yet here, now, all he has to say is… bullshit.

      • Rhinoviper 4.1.2

        The pointy-haired boss is the supposed expert on situations like this. I don’t know what to do in a disaster, but I’m not asking for votes and I have my own job to do. Shearer claims that he is a leader and one experienced in situations like this and therefore he is the one obliged to be “precise”.

      • Jenny 4.1.3

        How about this:

        I intend to call an all party inquiry with the Green Party into whether this disaster is likely to be repeated and what steps we can take to protect New Zealanders from any future extreme weather events like this. We will invite the leading experts on climate and weather and disaster relief to give testimony. We will try and determine if this event is related climate change and whether and the likely chance of recurrence.

        In addressing the immediate current disaster, the Labour Party will be lobbying the government to supply all the help needed to help people rebuild their communities, informed by the latest scientific advice on necessary structural and building standards necessary to endure such types of events without loss of life.

        To the families of those who have died I give my deepest condolences and apologise for any lack of action that we as government ministers could have taken to address such extreme weather events.

    • lurgee 4.2

      ‘Catastrophe’ is a bit strong, unless you are someone closely connected to one of the dead men, or one of the injured people. Stop letting your viseral urge to assail Shearer lead you into hyperbole. Otherwise, you’ll be the one guilty of a form of ambulance chasing – trying to extort political capital from this event.

    • bad12 4.3


  5. Rhinoviper 5

    Oh, and this, the headline:

    Lending a hand in Hobsonville

    Just what did you do to “lend a hand”, exactly?

    (A) Sweet fuck all.

    (B) Nothing.

    (C) Nada.

    (D) Zilch.

    (E) Hey, using a disaster as a personal photo opportunity is really helpful!

    (F) All of the above.

    If you wonder why the UN is so useless, just look at David Shearer and you’ll have your answer.

  6. jaymam 6

    Somebody, maybe a politician, should ask the authorities why residents were refused access to their houses for so long, while it was raining on their houses that didn’t have a roof.
    If it was my house I would use force to get to my house to safeguard my belongings. The tornado was over. Petty officals do NOT have the qualifications to decde on what’s dangerous and what isn’t.

    • jaymam 6.1


      A former Christchurch couple whose home was destroyed when a tornado ripped through West Auckland are frustrated they have been unable to retrieve their belongings.

      The contents of their home were also largely ruined, but the couple had been unable to get anything out, Berry said.

      Police and Civil Defence had blocked off the streets and were not letting anyone in.

      “Last night they told us that we could probably come at about midday and get our stuff out. We hired a truck and were all ready when they said it has been closed indefinitely because it’s a safety hazard,” Berry said.

      • Tim 6.1.1

        Agreed. This is the same sort of crap we saw at Pike River and elsewhere (ChCh Earthquake for example, many road accidents, etc.).
        …..don’t attempt to assist – you might hurt yourself attitude – leave it to the experts.
        …..the risk society, you’re getting in the way!
        The problem with this attitude is that quite a few Joe and Jane Citizens took it upon themselves to assist before “authorities” arrived, and did so quite effectively, AND if they choose to put themselves on the line to assist, they shouldn’t be hampered by stupid people whose only qualifications often is that they have a uniform on.
        Whatever happened to commonsense!

    • fender/same sentiment less eloquent Viper 6.2

      The answer will of course be “it’s a safety issue”.

      This police state crap goes too far, I’d be guarding my own house thanks, don’t want a cop taking some of my sunglasses like the one in Chch did.

  7. I don’t like Shearer, at all, but you guys are being way too hard on him. It’s good to let the public know labour is helping. You all sound like the quacks at Fox News complaining about people politizing murders with gun control discussion.

    • the pigman 7.1

      “You all sound like the quacks at Fox News complaining about people politizing murders with gun control discussion.”

      I like that analogy. I’m not sure from reading the e-mail exactly what Labour is doing to help, but its safe to say that merely the appearance of local MPs provides some degree of reassurance to residents (i.e., that their concerns will be heard).

      Personally I welcomed the information/was likewise pleasantly surprised that Cunliffe was allowed to appear on the bill to support his local constituents.

      But don’t let that destroy a perfectly good opportunity to whinge and swear a lot about the Labour party.

      • rosy 7.1.1

        (i.e., that their concerns will be heard)

        I think this sums up, unintentionally, the jarring of probable requirements of the affected residents with the tone of Labour’s role as outlined in the newsletter…. i.e.

        there’s a great Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude and they’re determined to get stuck in, to clean up and get their lives back on track

        This is not really the right time to head up the response with you can do it yourself when chances are people might just be trying to find a place where they can pitch their tents, and Shearer’s writers come in with what official agencies are doing and then a vague ‘call us’ statement. It’s all a bit one-step removed from the need.

        How about a ‘we’re your neighbours and we’ll be there, on the ground and ready to go’ statement? A bit like the student army in Christchurch, for example.

    • fender/same sentiment less eloquent Viper 7.2

      “I don’t like Shearer, at all,….”

      That is one of the meanest comments I’ve seen on here. Most say he’s a nice guy but just too inexperienced to deal with the hospital pass he was delivered in being made leader.

      I think you are being too hard on him. He’s a good man but just not ready to lead Labour yet.

      Tell yourself off.

      • bad12 7.2.1

        Your comment is reasonable, up to the point of the just passed Labour AGM where it seems more than a little obvious that with the media’s help,(particularly that dickhead on TV3), Cunliffe was set up,

        Demoting Cunliffe a week later shows us, (a), that Shearer was part of the media manipulated ‘get Cunliffe’ campaign, or (b), Shearer showed a totally cynical personal bent of politics in leaping in after the fact to demote Cunliffe,

        Either way, Shearer is being held responsible for the actions emanating from the Labour conference, and it is my view, being a non-Labour member that if Shearer had of wanted to show any true leadership qualities at the time He sure as hell pissed that chance down the bog,

        Shearers punishing of Cunliffe for what was obviously a bullshit media beat-up on a leadership challenge at the conference in what could be seen as a spiteful repudiation of changes to Labour’s constitution by Shearer and parts of the Labour Caucus would have been better handled in terms of ‘showing’ leadership by Shearer openly calling for a contest of that leadership by the whole party in February,

        Attempting to shore up His leadership in the manner that He and elements of His Caucus did just showed Shearer up as a back-stabbing A/hole…

      • Thane Pullan 7.2.2

        It is very unfortunate that people have a problem with honesty.

    • QoTViper 7.3

      It’s good to let the public know labour is helping.

      You are more than welcome to find a single sentence in that drivel which explains how Labour is “helping”.

      Because what it boils down to is:

      “I visited … I saw … I was shocked … these other agencies are helping … so are these other agencies … then we left because I needed to go potty.”

      • Neoleftie maybe CV maybe not 7.3.1

        Drive by presidential style look at me looking at an event, sure the man has compassion in bags it proven by his backstory but this was solely a media event.
        It’s politics, everything is motivated to generate a image and capture votes.

    • Yes but the point is that he’s not helping, he’s just grandstanding.

  8. Tiresias 8

    Old news, platitudes and condescension.

    No-one can stop a tornado. No-one is responsible for it – (unless “we all are” a’la global warming claptrap.) A politician’s pontificating about what he saw and what he thinks about it are worth not a jot more than anyone else’s who wasn’t there and suffered nothing from it.

    Shearer, leave the news to the media, condolence to the priests, the provision of hot tea, bandages and pats on the head to the folk who were there on the ground hours before you were.

    You chose politics, so do a politician’s work. Was what could have been done at the time and in the aftermath, done and if so done well or done badly, and were there things that should have been done not done or have done better, or were the agencies whose job it is to do it hamstrung by lack of equipment, training and funds because the Government isn’t providing it and the right organisation to support it. Did we see in Hobsonville the chaos, confusion and unnecessary deaths we saw at Pike River and in Christchurch after the earthquake with shambolic management and the consequences of inadequate training and preparation? Is the Government going to help pick up the pieces and help people get their lives together again or are we going to see the same ‘light-handed’, small Government ‘let the market decide’ approach that killed the Pike River miners and which we’re seeing in Christchurch? Are the folk hit by this thing going to have to battle indifferent, nit-picking, prevaricating Insurance Companies on their own and wait months for the local council to work out where its going to find the cash to pork-barrel the contracts for repairing roads and storm-water drains?

    If you want to help don’t give them meaningless crap about “Kiwi attitude”. Hold the Government’s feet to the fire for anything that could have been done but wasn’t or won’t be because of Government cuts, mismanagement and/or ideology. Use the privileged platform Parliament gives you to name and shame insurance companies who refuse to pay out on Acts of God excluded in the small print. Make sure local councillors are not going to take the opportunity to further agendas and/or further their own ends. Don’t regard a ‘can do’ attitude is the norm to be expected and thus load a further burden on those having a hard time facing what’s before them.

    And for Christ’s sake, Shearer, jabbering on about detirmination to get stuck in as you did makes it a damn sight harder for anyone to admit they’re a bit short of the “Kiwi can do” attitiude and are having problems and need help. If you really care you don’t sit back and wait for them to come to you. That’s like waiting for an alcoholic to admit he has a problem. Get out there and dig to find out what their problems are.

    That’s what a politician should do. That’s all a politician can do. And I’m sorry to see you ain’t doing it.

  9. lurgee 9

    Christ, you have to feel sorry for David Shearer. If he didn’t visist the site he’s be attacked for ignoring the misery of the blue collar workers who are Labour’s core vote and called an out-of-touch neo-con elitist.

    Note that none of those so quick to attack Shearer are accusing Cunliffe ambulance chasing.

    • QoT 9.1

      Bullshit. David Shearer could’ve had a single paragraph saying “We went to see the destruction caused by the tornado. Civil Defence et al are doing a great job and our West Auckland MPs will be there to give their constituents whatever support they need. Our condolences go to the families.”

      Then he could’ve talked actual policy or something.

      Instead, a really shitty situation for some West Auckland families got used as an opportunity for David Shearer to prove how down-to-earth-Kiwi he is.

      • Neoleftie viper 9.1.1

        Perhaps he should tour chch again and champion the homeless, the toilet less….for pete sake how about just say something anything that we the people can believe in.

  10. xtasy 10

    YAWN – Shearer speaks again?!

    I know I upset a fair few people the other night, and I admit I took it too far with criticism and attacking some commenters.

    But this “Shearer Says” speak is troubling me.

    So all this nice talk means what? Are there ‘brigades” of “Young Labour” in red t-shirts out and about, repairing roofs, digging up blocked drains, re-connecting the power supplies, giving first aid to the injured or what? Did I miss something there? Was it on the news by the way? Well, we know the “news” love Key, so they showed him, but nothing or little of Shearer and his MPs.

    So where does Cunliffe come into this?

    Was he given “permission” to appear, maybe just to keep the New Lynn electorate motivated? Or was he shown around in a tight jacket, mulled and just shown as “still being alive” by Shearer and ABC clique?

    This is all too bloody bizarre to me. I read by the way the report in Auckland’s Central Leader local paper last week, where Shearer, Goff and others presented their great housing plan. But I went through it with a fine comb. I saw NO proof of them having the land available to build on (in affordable ways). Instead they mentioned Len Brown was approached to “find” suitable land for the project.

    Talk about a bunch of tossers and amateurs, here we have them.

    Thank you David S. – get back to playing guitar and perhaps make that your career. I am not convinced. Sorry, a disillusioned former Labour voter.

  11. xtasy 11

    The other day I walked up the street, a neighbour came and approached me, he said, hey David, I saw there was a tornado down the road the other day, and guess what, I saw that sickness beneficiary living near us up on his roof, repairing his roof-tiles afterwards.

    Now, come on, David, is this fair? I cannot believe it, surely you must have a view on this.

    Shearer spoke, yes, as far as I heard what my neighbour told me, I have to give him the credit and ask that every NZer should pull her and his weight, before claiming a benefit from us hard working tax payers.

    It is not fair, so I just want to make sure that we are right behind the “right” thinking neighbours of mine, to move NZ ahead in all “fairness”.

    Warm (piss) regards


  12. bad12 12

    Dear Dave,

    Things are a bit tight again this week, any chance of you sweeping an extra mango skin off of the table my way,

    Thanks much, a Sickness-bene….

  13. Craig Glen viper 13

    I have thought about this many times how Politicians show up at the scene of a disaster but actually do very little. I have asked my self what would I do if I was a Polly and what would I expect from the polly if I was a victim?

    From the victim point of view I guess just seeing the polly has taken the time out of their day to be there is a good thing, a bit of a chat about the situation and reassurance that the Government agencies are going to be activated and given the resources to do the practical job is really about it.

    What should the Polly do? Well as alluded to show up, meet the people make sure the agencies are doing/ meeting peoples needs, talk to agency people check if they need anything to meet the victims needs.

    The fact that Shearer went there is not the issue that is expected, it was the cookie cut press release that was very cliche and therefore looks very opportunistic that was his problem.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Don’t need a politician showing up to look over shoulders and pat people on the back. Need them in the office organising the needed resources and as we have (or should have, Rena proved that we don’t) government departments to do that then the politician probably shouldn’t be doing that either.

      People know what needs to be done and are quite capable of doing it without having a politician along to hold their hand.

      • Craig Glen viper 13.1.1

        Dont totally agree DTB if a Polly shows up every three years knocking at your door I think its only reasonable that in times of disaster or misfortune that they make an effort to at least console and make sure peoples needs are meet by the Government agencies. Not showing up didnt do to well for a MR Bush.

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