Patrick Gower has annoyed some in Labour by dredging up
By Patrick Gower
Labour Party leader David Shearer has long-held beliefs that taniwha must be respected when it comes to Maori and their interests in water. His views can be traced back to his master’s thesis, and he stands by them today.
But it turns out Mr Shearer has a degree of expertise on the issue – a master’s thesis in fact. It was called Between Two Worlds, Maori Values and Environmental Decision-Making.
In his thesis he advocated that “the belief in taniwha or spiritual pollution…while they may appear irrational to many…cannot simply be dismissed as irrelevant”. It’s a belief he still holds today.
“I absolutely stick by that,” says the Labour Party leader. He says we should acknowledge taniwha. “We have been doing that for the last 20-something years when we have made decisions around water.”
But Mr Shearer isn’t so keen on all his ideas from 1986, such as making ‘Marae Forum’, a “compulsory requirement” that developers, councils and Government must attend.
“That was 25 years ago. Things have moved on a lot since then.”
I agree, a thesis 25 years ago has little relevance to what Shearer might think today. Nevertheless Labour leadership has responded:
Grant Robertson @grantrobertson1
@patrickgowernz Paddy, I have one of your exercise books from 1986. Hard to believe you were that gullible about Santa Claus. #revealatsix
Paddy will be devastated by that revelation.
Trying to take the wrapping off ancient media gifts runs the risk of Krampus his style.