A Look Back: Remembering Dale Shearer

The Civilian takes a look at the life and times of Dale Shearer. (Photo / Salient Magazine)

The Civilian takes a look at the life and times of Dale Shearer. (Photo / Salient Magazine)

July 28th, 1957: Dale James Shearer is born in a remote village in Northern Afghanistan.

March, 1971: Shearer becomes Head Boy of Papatoetoe High School; faces recurring speculation about his leadership.

August: Resigns as Head Boy, expressing that he no longer felt he had the confidence of his peers and teachers.

1976: Shearer graduates from the University of Auckland with a Teaching Diploma. After being awarded it, he appears surprised and says “Gee, thanks.”

1983: Becomes a teacher at Massey High School; issues countless warnings to students but never follows through on threats.

1987: Shearer marries Anuschka Meyer, who he met after she discovered him talking to himself about beetroot.

1993: Shearer and Meyer are jointly awarded the New Zealand Herald’s 1992 ‘New Zealander of the Year’ by mistake.

1994: Save the Children awards its international Award for Gallantry to Shearer for being the only person to properly participate in their ‘dollar a day’ donation scheme.

2000: Becomes adviser to then-Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff; suggests nothing but “straighten pants” and “buy more pencils.”

2007: Dale Shearer invades Iraq.

May, 2009: Shearer jumps at the chance to replace former Prime Minister Helen Clark in the electorate of Mount Albert. After winning the electorate, is disappointed to learn that this does not make him Prime Minister.

November 26th, 2011: Intended to vote in the general election, but promised elderly neighbour he’d help her tidy her garden.

Shearer says he "deeply regrets" the time he tried to kill Chris Hipkins on breakfast television.

Shearer says he “deeply regrets” the time he tried to kill Chris Hipkins on breakfast television.

November 29th: Shearer puts his name forward for Leader of the Labour Party after a friend tells him “it would be funny.”

December 1st: Leadership contender David Parker calls Shearer to offer his endorsement in the race. Reluctant but not wanting to be rude, Shearer accepts the offer.

December 13th: Shearer wins the leadership race and becomes Leader of the Labour Party; spends the next several weeks telling colleagues he “didn’t mean for this.”

March, 2012: Shearer has trouble adjusting to his new job, and Labour MP David Cunliffe makes clear to some colleagues that he eventually intends to challenge for the leadership. Upon hearing about this, Shearer buys Cunliffe chocolates and writes him a note asking him to “please not do that.”

November 18th: Cunliffe refuses to say whether he’ll support Shearer at a formal leadership vote in March. Shearer becomes so angry that he says a swear.

November 19th: Cunliffe recants on previous day’s statements. Shearer apologises for his swear.

November 20th: Deputy Leader Grant Robertson demotes Cunliffe from the front bench after Shearer refuses to do so.

March 19th, 2013: Shearer faces questions over a New York bank account he failed to disclose on his Parliamentary register. He claims that he had simply forgotten the money, and thought he had spent it on puzzles.

Colleagues say Shearer never threw out the dead fish, as he felt they were his two best friends.

Colleagues say Shearer never threw out the dead fish, as he felt they were his two best friends.

April 13th: Requested tea with “sugar, no milk.” Received “milk, no sugar.” Drank in polite silent conformance despite crippling dairy allergy.

April 18th: Says “This is the big kahuna,” obscuring all major policy announcements made on this day.

June 13th: Is accused of hypocrisy for watching rugby in a SkyCity corporate box after criticizing the National Government’s cosy relationship with the casino giant. Shearer claims he thought it was “a different SkyCity.”

June 26th: Makes lamingtons for caucus in last-ditch attempt to be liked.

July 9th: Shearer angers the vast majority of Labour MPs by rejecting a proposed ban on Shadow Leader of the House Trevor Mallard.

July 10th: Stages a coup against himself in attempt to end leadership speculation.

July 28th: Feeling that nothing else is working, tries for racist vote.

August 20th: Presents two snapper in Parliament.

August 21st: Full of guilt that he didn’t bring enough snapper for everyone, plans resignation.

August 22nd, 2013: Dale Shearer abruptly dies. Colleagues vow that, while he is gone, his name and accomplishments will never be forgotten.