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Jones to jump to NZ First?

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, October 19th, 2012 - 45 comments
Categories: david shearer, dpf, labour, nz first, Shane Jones - Tags:

I see David Farrar’s retailing the rumour that’s been doing the rounds in Wellington over the last week. I’ll forgive him for trying to pretend it’s some brilliant insight. We all need a bit of self-promotion from time to time.

Anyway, the rumour goes that Shane Jones is in talks with Winston to make the jump from Labour to become Deputy Leader of NZ First. This makes a lot of sense for Jones – he’s to the right of Labour (even to the right of the Shearer camp, I’m told), has a reputation for being a bit un-PC and has the gift of the gab that a leading NZ First politician needs.

As for the substance of the rumour I have no idea whether it’s true. Jones is known to be deeply unhappy with the leadership and the way he’s been treated, especially in light of the fact he voted for Shearer in last year’s leadership contest. There’s talk that his relationship with the Shearer camp has become toxic, particularly after Shearer referred him to the Auditor-General over the Bill Liu affair.

Of course I can’t wait to see the back of Jones. It’s not like he’s achieving much there at the moment anyway, other than needlessly offending Labour’s closest parliamentary ally and misusing his position as a Labour MP to do dodgy PR for the company he used to be chair of. But it’s all about the circumstances in which he goes.

It’s never a good look for the a party leader to have a former senior minister defect to a senior role in a rival political party, and it would raise uncomfortable questions about the political management that allowed it to get to that stage. Coming off the back of the GCSB tape fiasco, Labour can’t afford to have another high profile stuff up that could have easily been prevented.

We can only hope Shearer and his team are working to arrange a decent exit for Jones that allows him to leave on good terms, and that if he does jump it’s managed in a way that doesn’t irreparably sour relations between Labour and NZ First.

45 comments on “Jones to jump to NZ First?”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    Depends whether Winston First wants to offer asylum to a liability, really, eh.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      In terms of the broader political picture, for Labour and NZF, it would be a lose-lose. And it gives Natz much welcome political fodder. Shearer had better manage this well and should expect his enthusiastic fans such as Monsieur Matthew Hooton to praise with faint damns, if not damn with faint praise.

      The main question would be for Winston and it is whether Winston really wants a deputy like Shane and, potentially, to pass the legacy of his party to Shane’s hands. It would be a shame to see NZF serve as a graveyard for a failed politician from the Left, just as ACT has done so for failed politicians from the Right. The public, as they have done and will continue to do so, deal to that.

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      Another classic Tory diversion and you all fell for it. Will Toryblog reveal the source? Will Farrar put up or shut up? Will this make the MSM? Will Jones be tracked down by the chooks and asked to deny it? Will his denial be believed? Where there’s smoke there’s fire, right? And Jones and Peters are both Maori from the far North. So that proves it. Pathetic.

      • Jim Nald 1.2.1

        Tory or any diversion can be floated anytime, anyplace.
        The issue is what and where is timely, strategic thinking and communication from the leadership.

  2. higherstandard 2

    If he wants to stay in politics and is leaving labour, wouldn’t one of the Northern Maori party seats be more a better fit ?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Hone and MP have got them pretty much locked up. Shane standing in one of those seats would make him a one-seat wonder anyway, with no chance of getting further backing (whereas Hone has a chance thanks to fringe left supporters like Sue Bradford etc).

      Him joining NZFirst in a high position would be better for his medium and long-term future.

  3. bomber 3

    It’s an interesting idea and there is merit in it. The full array of allegations Jones is facing means there’s no way he could be allowed in Labour again, but he could live as a rogue in the gallery of circus freaks that is the NZ Party list.

    What does become interesting is what happens when Jones leaves and Carrol comes in changing the Shearer-Cunliffe vote tally within caucus. With the trigger threshold for a leadership challenge in caucus to be lowered at conference in November, the ramifications of a Jones waka jump could be far reaching.

    Maybe the question to ask is who Winston wants to do business with – Shearer or Cunliffe?

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      “full array of allegations Jones is facing”

      If it has not yet occurred to Shane that his political career will continue to be a lame and lamer duck, then one hopes that THAT little bit of insight will flash in any party leader’s head.

      It would have to be a pretty thick head of a purportedly experienced party leader to hang on to him or to take him on.

      I recall karol’s words a few days ago and I acknowledge that Shane is a very intelligent guy with great talent and potential. He would do well in his next career choice which will set out a fulfilling path for the future – however, that path is not as a Parliamentarian (any more).

    • Ad 3.2

      I hear Robertson and Ardern have already made one approach to the leader, and a few of the older heads who installed Shearer are ready to make another approach.

      I think a spill is close, in part for the reason you point out.

      But those same old guard will not allow a caucus + membership + affiliates (40 40 20) vote in February. It will be caucus only. No Primary.

      Robertson and Ardern, with Parker as Finance. By Christmas.

  4. Bunji 4

    Done right, this could provide Winston a successor, and cement the relationship between Labour & NZ First…

    Not that I’ve any idea whether this is something that Jones / Labour / NZ First wants, or it’s a right-wing muck-raking distraction, but fridays are great for unsubstantiated speculation…

    • IrishBill 4.1

      and cement the relationship between Labour & NZ First…

      I think it would do the opposite while Shearer is leader. Jones supported him and got shafted in return. Don’t think Shane won’t be looking for some utu.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        So Shane would do a deal with the devil he doesn’t know rather than the one he does?

      • King Kong 4.1.2

        Can you imagine how much Jones would lord it over his former colleagues when it came time to hand out the baubles during coalition negotiations.

        • gobsmacked

          If Jones (a list MP) jumped waka, then Winston’s old comments would be dragged up for fun.

          When NZ First split (1998-99) he was very unhappy about party-hopping. From his own party, of course.

          Seriously though, it won’t happen, but if it did, Labour should be demanding Jones’ resignation from Parliament.

          • Jim Nald

            My affection and reservation for Winston would quite likely follow the trend of a segment of the nation’s collective responses to him over the few decades.

            Even at the lowest ebb, most of Winston’s supporters and detractors would not, should not, wish Shane on Winston.

            This speculation would only be wished by iPredict which stands to make something out of it.

    • Georgecom 4.2

      If its about providing a successor to Winston, won’t it require a name change?

      The “Winston First” party will have to become the “Jones First” party.

  5. felix 5

    “gift of the gab” my arse. Waffling drunken fool.

  6. Te Reo Putake 6

    Andrew Williams is going to miffed if Jones does defect, because he’s currently the leader in waiting. He’s even styling his hair like Winston’s just to make his ambition crystal clear.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Labour/Shearer are being dragged slowly and painfully into doing what should have been done the day Shearer was elected, nearly a year ago. That’s not “20/20 hindsight”, it was obvious then, and some of us said so.

    New leader says: “Who do I want in my government from 2014 to 2017, 2020, 2023 …?”

    Answer: “I want the Greens. No Greens = no government. And they have talented people who outshine some of the do-nothings in my own caucus.”

    “I don’t want the old losers. So they can go. Some can be sacked on day one – like Shane Jones. Others can be useful for up to three years – like Phil Goff. They can depart with dignity at the next election.”

    “If people like Jones sulk and slink off, so much the better. Makes me look good on the left, and with the Greens, and with the media (“decisive leader”), and with the swing voters who don’t want recycled old farts.”

    (obviously none of this happened, because Shearer has the political smarts of a soggy cabbage, and the old guard care more about keeping their bums warm than winning the next election, so instead it’s going to happen in dribs and drabs, like the Bill Liu story, making Shearer look confused and weak and Labour look divided and uninspired and same old same old and the party slowly shrivels … )

    Could we have a leader please?

  8. Blue 8

    I don’t care if Jones goes to NZ First or Sealords, as long as someone takes him off Labour’s hands.

    I invite any bidders for Trevor to come on down.

  9. karol 9

    My advice to Labour leadership: let Jones quietly slip out of  the caucus at the next election, by Jones not standing for Labour.
    My advice to NZ First leadership: please could you take Tamihere instead, before any fool allows him back into Labour?

  10. LBC 10

    What a load of crap! Jones isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, he doesn’t have to.

  11. Dv 11

    Look over there.

    NO OVER there.

    I SAId look OVER THERE


  12. Rich 12

    has a reputation for being a bit un-PC

    Is that polite for: he’s a bigoted fascist scumbag who Labour would be well rid of?

    Anyway, being an NZF ‘MP’ isn’t really a political career. They just swap a salary for giving Winston their proxy. If Winston could appear multiple times on his own list, he would.

  13. ak 13

    Hooter’s not ramping it, so it could be a goer….but doubt Winnie’d touch him with a barge-pole, especially when he’s rising all on his own – a bit like Shane in that respect….some things are just too colourful to ever come back from – but then again if anyone could pull it off, he could I guess….(sorry)

  14. Anne 14

    Sounds to me like scuttlebutt – an attempt to derail the current peace within the Labour Party? Granted it’s a bit of an uneasy peace, but I imagine all attempts at diversion from the NAct govt’s current botch-ups are welcome.

  15. Jenny 15

    Shane Jones with a senior role in New Zealand First would almost certainly pull that party to the right. Almost guaranteeing an Nat NZF coalition.

  16. LBC 16

    Instead of staring like a frigging soft-handed lispy voiced penguin that David Farrah is, at Winnie and Jonesy having a beer at a pub, I rang the Minister of Porn and he took the time to put down his remote and laugh his head off — yup, no intention of jumping the waka, might jump the coffee table to the remote, but not the waka. Says he’s got a specia,l message for the synthetic dope smoking mob from the Greens — watch Q + A on Sunday.

    [lprent: see my note on http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19102012/comment-page-1/#comment-536816 ]

    • McFlock 16.1

      oh joy – not only is he not going to leave the tent, he’s going to take a royal dump inside it.

    • Anne 16.2

      Thought so… but what’s this special message for the synthetic dope smoking mob from the Greens caper? Did he really say that LBC? He may not agree with them, but he needs to be better informed.

      Has David Farrar jumped waka and joined the Green Party?

  17. captain hook 17

    why dont you write her a letter and YOU ask her instead of making crummy apsersions like a typical tory toady.

  18. BLiP 18


    Famous wakajumpers of the past . . . great company, Shane.

    Jim Anderton, 1989, from Labour to NewLabour
    Ross Meurant, 1994 – 1996 from National to Right of Centre
    Peter Dunne, 1994–1995, from Labour to Future New Zealand
    Graham Lee, 1995–1996, from National to Christian Democrat
    Trevor Rogers, 1995–1996, from National to Right of Centre
    Clive Matthewson, 1995–1996, from Labour to United New Zealand
    Margaret Austin, 1995–1996, from Labour to United New Zealand
    Bruce Cliffe, 1995–1996, from National to United New Zealand
    Pauline Gardner, 1995–1996, from National to United New Zealand
    Peter Hilt, 1995–1996, from National to United New Zealand
    John Robertson, 1995–1996, from National to United New Zealand
    Michael Laws, 1996, from National to New Zealand First
    Alamein Kopu, 1997–1998, from Alliance to Mana Wahine
    Frank Grover, 1998–1999, from Alliance to Christian Heritage Party of New Zealand
    Tau Henare, 1998, from New Zealand First to Mauri Pacific
    Jack Elder, 1998, from New Zealand First to Mauri Pacific
    Peter McCardle, 1998, from New Zealand First to Mauri Pacific
    Tuariki Delamere, 1998, from New Zealand First to Mauri Pacific
    Deborah Morris, 1998, from New Zealand First to Independent
    Rana Waitai, 1998, from New Zealand First to Independent
    Tuku Morgan, 1998, from New Zealand First to Independent
    Ann Batten, 1998, from New Zealand First to Independent
    Donna Awatere Huata, 2003–2004, from ACT New Zealand to Independent
    Gordon Copeland, 2007–2008, from United Future New Zealand to The Kiwi Party
    Taito Phillip Field, 2007–2008, from New Zealand Labour Party to New Zealand Pacific Party

    • Rogue Trooper 18.1


    • David H 18.2

      Alamein Kopu, 1997–1998, from Alliance to Mana Wahine Sold her vote, did nothing for 3 years

      Tuku Morgan, 1998, from New Zealand First to Independent Silk Boxers scandal

      Donna Awatere Huata, 2003–2004, from ACT New Zealand to Independent Stomach Staple

      Taito Phillip Field, 2007–2008, from New Zealand Labour Party to New Zealand Pacific Party Fake Visa’s and work permits

      Yes All fine upstanding citizens one and all.

  19. ak 19

    Except Jim never left Labour – other way around and we’ve all paid the price ever since.

  20. Stephen Doyle 20

    Just went over to Kiwiblog to see their discussion on Jones. I thought the Standardistas could be feral, but over there they are absolutely rabid. Seriously scary.

    • lprent 20.1

      We try to keep a lid on it here while not disrupting the arguments too much (and not taking too much moderator effort). I think that the difference shows because we cull out the rabid, the boring non-thinkers, and the silly narcissists annoyingly saying look at me. We leave in most people who have opinions and are willing to defend and argue them with more than saying “because I said so”.

      But in many ways I am grateful for the sewer just existing. They provide a place for the rejected from here to go to.

  21. LBC 21

    OIA of every member on Speaker’s tour has been forwarded as you speak, as has the OIA of all video tapes in Shane Jones’ Parliamentary cabinet.

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