Sharples legacy

July 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Vernon Small at Stuff reports:

For many Pakeha the first memory of him may be as the leader of the young kapa haka group he had trained for the ceremony at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

But political commentator Rawiri Taonui, indigenous studies adjunct professor at Auckland University of Technology, sets his contribution in a context going back to the 1970s.

“He’s one of a declining number of Maori leaders who is a full embodiment of the Maori renaissance going back to the 1970s and 1980s, helping establish the first kohanga reo, the first kura kaupapa at Hoani Waititi, getting urban marae up and running and contributing to the development of Maori tertiary education and the renaissance of kapa haka.”

He said Dr Sharples was at the cutting edge of the debate on the foreshore and seabed and of the development of an independent Maori voice in Parliament and of local body Maori representation.

“It has been a huge and significant contribution.”

Sharples has made an fine contribution to New Zealand.

Rival Labour list MP Shane Jones, who is lining up to take Dr Sharples’ Tamaki Makaurau seat, also gave credit to Dr Sharples’ cultural achievement, but he was less flattering about his political legacy.

“He’s not been a strong or decisive figure in his parliamentary leadership. He was always a figure of the cultural renaissance and that’s incredibly important; no-one can take that away from him. But in terms of a parliamentary scrapper or a beacon for a brighter set of policies through Parliament, Dr Sharples has probably been one of the weakest Maori ministers that we’ve had, certainly in my lifetime.”

Dr Taonui could not disagree more.

“History will look back at as one of the finest Maori politicians of this generation.”

He had tried to address every issue including criminal justice and the health system. “I think actually he has been one of the best [Maori affairs ministers] and probably the best in the last four years.”

I’d put him somewhere in-between. Turia was and is the sharper political operator, but Sharples was excellent at developing positive relationships 0 and relationships are what politics thrives on.

His other big achievement was helping win in Parliament mainstream acceptance of kaupapa Maori “in a more relaxed and open atmosphere than at any time in our history”.

Not for him “white motherf……” outbursts and the occasional angry rhetoric of Mana leader Hone Harawira.

Sharples has always been warmly regarded by most New Zealanders.

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19 Responses to “Sharples legacy”

  1. Redbaiter (10,398 comments) says:

    Sharples, as leader of a race based party, bought holus bolus into the racist paradigm that is splitting this country. That means he has never been a good politician and his legacy is a country far more divided on race lines than it was when he entered politics.

    Race based political parties are a curse on any democracy.

    Vote 1LAW4ALL

    http://1law4all.co.nz/

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  2. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    Sharples legacy,and all the rest of them?

    Division.

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  3. s.russell (1,649 comments) says:

    It is sadly symptomatic of the nastiness within Labour that Shane Jones treats this as an occasion for malicious comment. Sharples has done far more for Maori in politics than Jones, and more than Jones is ever likely to do. And that is quite aside from the damage Jones has done with his inappropriate behaviour on more than one occasion.

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  4. Manolo (14,166 comments) says:

    Other than excelling at troughing and showing an extreme keenness to enjoy the trappings of power, I believe Sharples contribution to NZ is insignificant.

    The “eternal” Pita, the racist politician, will be quickly forgotten.

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  5. alex (304 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter – Is that a real political party or a cunning piece of satire? I honestly can’t tell.

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  6. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Sharples has made an fine contribution to New Zealand.

    I agree. I have a lot of respect for the man.

    His party will be much poorer without him.

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  7. greenjacket (486 comments) says:

    Shane Jones criticises Sharples for his lack of any concrete achievements in politics.
    Says a politician whose sole contribution to New Zealand politics has been his solitary hotel escapades which he charged to the taxpayer.

    Shane Jones is another example of how nasty, embittered and unconstructive Labour have become.

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  8. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Sharples seemed like a gentleman and a (rare) positive, civilised voice for Maori interests.

    White taxpayers are never going to stop resenting the billions being given to Iwi elites who supposedly “deserve” it, as long as Maoridom allows stirrers of racial hatred like the Harawiras or shameless parasites like Tuku Morgan to speak for them.

    Hopefully we will see more Pita Sharpleses, and fewer aggrieved haters who think the world owes them.

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  9. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    I agree with s.russell and greenjacket, very ironic for one of the most overrated and underachieving MPs to criticise Sharples for being a weak minister.

    Jones is a political ponce – about the only one who praises his own performance is himself. How much has he scrapped for anything, for Maori or for anyone?

    In stark contrast Sharples is a good guy and I think has been a very good MP. And he has had the gumption to relinquish his position for the good of his party – Jones (and a few other Labour MPs) could do well to at least follow that example. But they are probably too selfish for that.

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  10. Steve Wrathall (287 comments) says:

    So this racial Danegelder is “warmly regarded”? Don’t know why.
    “Why are we fighting whakapapa against whakapapa? There’s so much enemy that is not brown.” -Sharples
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/2975445/Minister-flies-gang-bosses-to-secret-meeting

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  11. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Sharpies is a lovely guy, far too nice to be a politician.

    He was also quite naive, propping up National is an example.

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  12. OneTrack (3,348 comments) says:

    “He was also quite naive, propping up National is an example.”

    Yeah maori get far more when they support Labour. Oh, wait..

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  13. Manolo (14,166 comments) says:

    There is no such thing as a Sharples legacy. None whatsoever. It’s just another Maori myth.

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  14. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    Spot on Manolo.

    The idea that Sharples has left a positive legacy is laughable, My abiding memory of the man is of him sitting in a TV studio at the time of the Kahui murders and spouting the usual crap about doing something about the on going genocide that is Maori and infant deaths. As to be expected he (and Maoridom as a whole) have done nothing.

    Why is it that so many of us allow blatant lies to be told about a retiring Maori MP when the same bullshit would not be tolerated about a non Maori MP?

    No better example of this is the utter crap said about the late Parakura Horomia. Horomia was a lazy fool who sat in the house for year upon year and achieved nothing yet for some reason most felt compelled to tell utter lies about his value to the house and “his people”. Both Sharples and Horomia were failures.

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  15. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    OT, is not a matter of who gets what. Maori don’t support National. Going against his own people was plain dumb.

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  16. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    There is a difference between con men and beggars.
    Yep con men get priased for releiving people of their money in a nice way. Beggars who solicit donations freely given are scumm. Well according to some in Auckland.
    See the next post. Begging for essentials.
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/07/begging_for_the_essentials.html

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  17. Dave Mann (1,240 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if some equally useless racist bastard politician were to be praised for ‘all that he has achieved for pakeha’ over the years??? hahahahaha… what a fuckwit. And, DPF, what a sycophant YOU are turning out to be, with comments like Sharples has made an fine contribution to New Zealand. You should really take a good hard look at the apartheid state that NZ is becoming.

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  18. Graeme2 (103 comments) says:

    I agree entirely with Red. Vote 1law4all

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  19. simonway (387 comments) says:

    I’d put him somewhere in-between.

    Somewhere in between worst and best?

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