UN role speaks volumes for Shearer’s merit

EDITORIAL

As Bill English seemed to move inexorably towards becoming New Zealand’s next Prime Minister and all eyes turn to the Vector Arena tonight, it was a shock departure from the Labour Party that captured the attention as the week drew to an end.

Former party leader David Shearer is about to leave Parliament to take on the highly demanding role of heading the United Nations peacekeeping operations role in South Sudan.

Shearer could be counted as being among the best possible prime ministers New Zealand never had.

He left his previous role with the United Nations, which saw him selected as New Zealander of the year in 1992, to take over the Mt Albert seat from Helen Clark and two years later was made party leader.

Shearer faced two big handicaps — the popularity of Prime Minister John Key and the poor polling of the party. Although he is a highly intelligent and principled man he did not come across well on television which is now a must for an aspiring leader.

Shearer was toppled by David Cunliffe who did even worse, leading Labour to a calamity in 2014. Cunliffe has also announced the end of his political career.

That the UN is prepared to offer such an important and challenging role speaks volumes for Shearer’s reputation. New Zealanders of all political stripes will wish him well.

One unfortunate side issue is that the country faces another by-election, bringing the total spent so far this term to $3m after earlier contests in Northland and Mt Roskill. Each by-election costs about $1m which Radio NZ says is enough to pay the wages of 63 graduate nurses or 54 graduate police officers.

Tonight, however, politics will take a back seat as Joseph Parker fights Andy Ruiz for the WBO world heavyweight title.

Gisborne stood still on July 26, 1928 as people crowded around radios when our own Tom Heeney fought the great Gene Tunney for the heavyweight title, losing after a brave display. Along with the rest of New Zealand we will be wishing Parker better luck tonight.

As Bill English seemed to move inexorably towards becoming New Zealand’s next Prime Minister and all eyes turn to the Vector Arena tonight, it was a shock departure from the Labour Party that captured the attention as the week drew to an end.

Former party leader David Shearer is about to leave Parliament to take on the highly demanding role of heading the United Nations peacekeeping operations role in South Sudan.

Shearer could be counted as being among the best possible prime ministers New Zealand never had.

He left his previous role with the United Nations, which saw him selected as New Zealander of the year in 1992, to take over the Mt Albert seat from Helen Clark and two years later was made party leader.

Shearer faced two big handicaps — the popularity of Prime Minister John Key and the poor polling of the party. Although he is a highly intelligent and principled man he did not come across well on television which is now a must for an aspiring leader.

Shearer was toppled by David Cunliffe who did even worse, leading Labour to a calamity in 2014. Cunliffe has also announced the end of his political career.

That the UN is prepared to offer such an important and challenging role speaks volumes for Shearer’s reputation. New Zealanders of all political stripes will wish him well.

One unfortunate side issue is that the country faces another by-election, bringing the total spent so far this term to $3m after earlier contests in Northland and Mt Roskill. Each by-election costs about $1m which Radio NZ says is enough to pay the wages of 63 graduate nurses or 54 graduate police officers.

Tonight, however, politics will take a back seat as Joseph Parker fights Andy Ruiz for the WBO world heavyweight title.

Gisborne stood still on July 26, 1928 as people crowded around radios when our own Tom Heeney fought the great Gene Tunney for the heavyweight title, losing after a brave display. Along with the rest of New Zealand we will be wishing Parker better luck tonight.

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coriander - 2 years ago
How shallow can you get? Why assume that because someone is good in one field he is therefore going to be good in another, this is particularly specious in the field of politics.

Shearer was hopeless as a politician, it's great that he is going back to doing something he is good at. He is far more likely to make a contribution to the good of humanity in the UN than in Mt Albert.

And so a brutal and senseless staged fight is more important. Blood sports. How shallow can you get?

Peter Jones - 2 years ago
Shearer's UN role shows why Labour can't get any traction. The party is full of UN sympathisers. Stooges for the New World Order. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I see he's getting recycled. LOL. As for the climate change debate. When is this paper going to accept that the UN based climate chaos agenda is the cause of the world's temperature anomalies? Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are the climate change fairies. Geo engineering is real and it's happening here in NZ on a daily basis.

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