Will Shane Jones stand for NZ First in Whangarei?

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, September 5th, 2016 - 53 comments
Categories: greens, labour, national, nz first, Politics, Shane Jones, winston peters - Tags:

Shane Jones Labour

Rumours suggesting that former Labour MP Shane Jones will stand for New Zealand First in Whangarei in the next election received another airing over the weekend.

From the Herald:

Shane Jones created a lot of buzz at the New Zealand First conference over the weekend, despite not being in attendance.

The former Labour MP is heavily tipped to leave the diplomatic corps and stand for NZ First against a National MP in Whangarei.

His name was put to Winston Peters’ media stand-ups.

Peters didn’t seem annoyed. In fact, he named Whangarei as a seat they would likely target next year.

Peters attempted to resile from what may have been a blunder with a typically belligerent display on Morning Report this morning and refused to confirm that Jones was being considered. Specifically he said:

We have to find, two things, the team locally to do the job, and the standout candidate to pull it off.

Well you know the diplomatic core is independent, Shane Jones is a diplomat, representing our country very well in a critical job in the Pacific.”

When Jones was a member of the Labour Party he had a somewhat contradictory position, claiming that Labour needed to be a broader church but then stating that if Labour formed a coalition with the Greens he would walk away from the party.  It appeared that for Jones a broad church did not include people concerned about the environment.

His means of exiting the party would attract attention in some jurisdictions.  A Government creating a well paid job involving the continuous touring of the Pacific and a Diplomatic Passport and offering the job to an opposition MP and causing them to resign would cause official investigations in other countries.  Who wouldn’t accept such a job opportunity?  But should public money be used for this purpose?

Clearly Jones would be more comfortable in New Zealand First because of his environmental views.  And he could cause problems for National in Whangarei although at the last election National’s Shane Reti won the seat with a 13,169 majority and New Zealand First polled third in the party vote.  Interestingly the result was not too different to the result in Northland although Reti’s majority was greater than Mike Sabin’s.

New Zealand First will be running a provincial focused campaign and attempting to dig into a deep vein of resentment that is building.  If Jones runs he could benefit from this.  But the history of New Zealand First does not instill confidence.  The last two times it was in government it propped up last term governments.  And I can’t see how a Labour-Green-New Zealand First government would work.

Interesting times …

53 comments on “Will Shane Jones stand for NZ First in Whangarei?”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    This is why we cannot rely on NZ First to remove this government. Even if Jones did support a Green government, he isn’t someone we want inside the cabinet room. It would defeat the purpose of winning.

    Nothing short of a Labour Green government will be sufficient.

    • James 1.1

      “Nothing short of a Labour Green government will be sufficient” – and thats not looking promising is it.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Given all the plum roles Jones seems to be getting from the National Govt, his joining NZF could provide Winston with an excellent intermediary for talks with the National Party.

  3. Scott 3

    Here is a prediction…

    I don’t think he’ll stand for NZ First in Whangarei. I doubt he’d stand much of a chance if he did. The National candidate has a huge majority there (some 13,000 votes). If he does stand it will be more for the publicity than with any real intent.

    Instead Jones will be a list candidate for NZ First in 2017, named deputy leader of the party after the election (if he gets in), will take over the leadership and stand in Northland to replace Winston when Winston retires in early 2019.

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      He can do both you know.

      He will be the Whanagrei candidate and very high on the list.

      He will lose Whangarei and then take over Northland when winnie calls it a day

      • Scott 3.1.1

        Yep, but as it said, if he does stand it will be more for the publicity than with any real intent. The reason I doubt he will though is that it may not be a good look for a would be leader to get a spanking in an electorate seat. I agree on the likely end game re Northland.

        • Tarquin

          I really don’t know about this one. I live in the Whangarei electorate, NZF have always been popular up here, Winston’s family are all over the place, Peter Donelly was very popular – rightly so. Shane Reti is incredibly well qualified and on paper is a great guy. As a politician he isn’t so great, more the invisible man. Jones would walk all over him personality wise, but Whangarei is not Northland. Whangarei is a more compact and much wealthier electorate with an older and far more conservative population base, and this is not a bi-election where an unpopular M.P has resigned. Jones would be risking his credibility by standing here, and I think Winston might have his hands full trying to hang on to Northland, he hasn’t been particularly prominent of late considering all the noise he made during his campaign to get the seat. I think National will fight like tigers up here in the election for two reasons, they believe (rightly or wrongly) that this is their area, and they can afford to run an expensive campaign as they are very well backed in these parts. They just have to find a candidate with a personality this time round. Have they learned their lesson?

        • Bob

          “The reason I doubt he will though is that it may not be a good look for a would be leader to get a spanking in an electorate seat”
          Tell that to Andrew Little:

  4. mosa 4

    I dont think he is that good and i cant see what all the fuss is about.
    He belongs in the National party , he is as arrogant as the government he represents.
    Ron Mark would make a better leader than Shane Jones.

  5. Keith 5

    Jones sell out was as embarrassing to him as it was wrong for National to spend up large using tax payer money to pull off an anti Labour stunt. The fact Winston is stating Jones is doing great work for the government in the Pacific speaks volumes of the contradictory stances NZ First takes on many issues. It’s an outrage and a waste of money that someone could be bought off so cheaply for political purposes.

    NZ First ought to be very careful entertaining this National government, the most dishonest party to haunt parliament to date. The parasite that it is will eat it’s tiny host and spit it out just to control another 3 years. Having said that NZ First doesn’t have much of a future post Winston anyway.

  6. Grantoc 6

    Its clear that Ron Mark is not a happy chappie when faced with the prospect of Jones turning up in NZ First as a prospective leader in waiting.

    He made some pretty aggressive anti Jones noises at their conference. He believes he is the leader in waiting (god forbid).

    So it presents a fascinating scenario if Jones does jump into the NZ First ring. At the very least it creates a highly unstable situation, which may just cause NZ First to implode.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Ron Mark is the presumptive leader of NZF post 2020.

      • Scott 6.1.1

        At the moment that seems to be the case, but his assent to the leadership will be followed by political oblivion for NZ First.

        They are really going to struggle post Winston. Jones might offer a bit more of a like for like replacement, but Ron Mark lacks charisma and that is why the oldies vote for Winston.

        • Colonial Viper

          Your comments make no sense. Are the right wing that afraid of Mark that you have to make stuff up?

          Winston and Ron Mark haven’t been competing for the same vote, they’ve successfully been building the same vote.

          Of course Winston is going to be a tough act to follow, but you could squeeze all of Shane Jones inside just one of Winston’s loafers and it would still have room to spare.

          • Scott

            Yep, Jones is, at best, Winston lite. There (hopefully) is only one Winston. But Mark is just a stain in Winston’s undies.

            I don’t think either the left or the right are afraid of a NZ First led by Ron Mark. I think they’d both welcome it and be rid of the distraction. I’m not sure how either would feel about a Jones led NZ First, but I’m sure it would not be as easily written off.

            What does Mark poll on the preferred PM stakes? What did Jones poll before he left politics to go fishing?

          • RedLogix

            I’ve encountered Ron Mark on several occasions and come away underwhelmed each time.

            I too struggle to see an effective NZ1 post Winston. The fate if all modern political parties in the wake of the charismatic has been dire, and NZ1 will be no different. National will struggle post Key, as will UF and the MP. Labour have yet to recover from Helen, and even the Greens have never quite found someone to replace Rod.

            Given this personality driven Presidential style of politics is now the norm, the future really belongs to the first party to promote an entirely new face to step into the vacuum Key will eventually leave behind.

            Who that person might be, and what they will represent is the interesting question.

            • Bob

              Yip, once Key finally goes, I wouldn’t be surprised if we turned into Australia 2.0 with a new PM every couple of years, that’s based on the MP’s I see in parliament right now.
              National – No-one else vaguely inspiring/charismatic (in fact mostly off-putting)
              Labour – Little will likely get rolled if he gets in (a certain Wellington Central MP will no doubt see it as his big chance), and that’s a big IF, he has been terrible at campaigning in previous elections
              Greens – Will likely be big winners out of the situation, but I can’t see them getting enough of the vote to be the majority coalition party in the short – medium term
              And no-one else will get close to these three in terms of numbers to form a government.

              Can anyone point to a single vaguely inspiring MP in parliament at present? Someone that feels like they could sell their vision to voters?

  7. The Chairman 7

    What about the suggestion Chester Borrows may jump ship?

    National MP Chester Borrows holds the Whanganui seat, but Peters says he’s “fallen foul” of the party.

    “Chester is a very good MP but he’s fallen foul of his party because common sense people with a bit of experience and an academic background and practical approach to life are not popular in the new age neo-liberal National party.”

    Peters wouldn’t be drawn on who might stand in Whanganui.



  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Btw you’d have to be a moron to leave a secure senior position in the diplomatic corp to become a gawdawful MP again with no security of income ripe for being backstabbed at any time.

    • Ad 8.1

      At +$250k where he is, Jones would need to be parachuted straight into a Ministerial position to make it financially viable for him. I don’t yet sense Jones is in play.

      • TC 8.1.1

        Jones doesnt need the money as he is still in many troughs just not publicly using his elite iwi connections in fisheries etc.

        Shane is all about shane and I’d wager winnie knows what he’s doing in targetting a seat held by the arrogant shane reti if thats where he ends up. Winnie will look to do major damage in a nat held seat so take your pick as theres plenty he could ruin for mp’s with slim majorities.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.2

        Agreed. Plus all the public scrutiny, journalists, and actual workload you have to deal with as a Minister.

        The diplomatic corps is a sinecure. No short term $$$ from a short term Cabinet Ministers job comes close.

  9. Ad 9

    A Labour-Green coalition with NZFirst on Confidence and Supply is the best you could hope for in 2017. I would vote to support that happening.

    Labour would need to be in the low thirties and National in the high thirties for Winston to reverse his stated and very rational position of supporting the party who gets the most votes.

    If Winston went into coalition with National, he will go again for Minister Foreign Affairs and then manoeuvre Jones to be Head of Foreign Affairs or close – now that would be a powerful and interesting combination!

    Labour needs to attract a lot more votes if it is to persuade NZFirst to form an alternative government.

    • Enough is Enough 9.1

      I tend to agree with you.

      Shane’s relationship with Labour is not the best. His relationship with the Greens is non-existent.

      And he owes national a few favours after the sweet gig he currently has.

      Labour therefore needs to get their support up about 10% if people like Jones are ever going to be interested.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      ” Labour would need to be in the low thirties and National in the high thirties for Winston to reverse his stated and very rational position of supporting the party who gets the most votes.”

      That has been my view as well. Winston will have no interest in supporting an unstable LAB/GR 1st term government that only has a 1, 2 or 3 seat majority with his help.

      LAB/GR need to get to 43%, 44%, 45% by themselves before NZF will commit to pitching in their 10% or so.

      • mosa 9.2.1

        MOA aside as i keep saying Labour need to get into the more secure 40+ party vote to look like a more viable option and that will only happen when they collapse the government vote and up untill now the National party is still polling strongly this far into its third term…a concern for those who want a change next year.
        Labour needs a solid endorsement of their policy platform to be in the position of not having to go to Winston in the first place that means a large party vote and the confidence and authority that comes with that.

      • swordfish 9.2.2

        A few months back, Rob Salmond suggested Winnie would only consider it if the aggregate Lab+Green vote, at a bare minimum, rivalled National’s. Which in practice would probably mean something like 41/41 or 42/42.

        Suspect it came straight from the horse’s (Winnie’s) mouth.

        • Colonial Viper

          ok that sounds about right to me. Labour need to get 30% plus, which is north of where I see their likely numbers.

    • save nz 9.3

      +1 Ad. I would also support a Labour-Green coalition with NZFirst on Confidence and Supply. Winny will probably not formally partner with either National or Labour-Green in my view as he wants to keep his own identity.

      So Labour need to pick up a lot of votes as well as the Greens. In short Labour needs to pick up the missing million.

      A vote for NZ First is still a lot better than a vote for National so I’m still thinking Labour and NZ First have everything to gain by collaborating just to get the Natz votes down. And the area NZ First should target is the farmers, Colin Craig supporters, the rural folk and those who have been ripped off by Nationals reforms but still can’t ideologically vote for Labour.

      Labour need to get back women and families, middle NZ, ditch the neoliberalism and free trade is best globalism mantra, not be so ashamed and judgemental of Pakeha voters, but still be sensitive to Maori, and go back to social justice for all.

      Trade and population increase might be good for some but as we can see by Auckland and now Tauranga, this property boom weirdly seems to be more about displacing poorer people into homelessness than housing them! Trickle up is busted!! And with wages stagnant and working conditions worsening, people are seeing red. Yes homeowners are ok because their house is worth more, but many still don’t like it. Of course they don’t want something so radical they lose their house and job, so that is where the conservative economic approach with Fairness to all needs to surface.

      Labour needs to campaign on a fair go for all.

      Under National it is who you know, what you pay them and chaos of poor decision making that gets nothing done. Natz are a clusterfuck. Labour just needs to look cohesive, credible, in touch and have fairness and common sense as their cornerstone.

      Last election they got it wrong with targeting the middle NZ for radical tax reform while ignoring globalism, immigration, privatisation, dirty politics and then fighting off Mana and their own leader. Nothing for anyone in that mix.

      • Graeme 9.3.1

        There’s a couple of paragraphs in the RNZ item Ad linked to above that would pretty much preclude NZF doing anything with National, and maybe Labour,

        ” He said he would not be entering pre-election negotiations with National and Labour because there needed to be a change in economic policy.

        He said there was no use in pursuing the major parties’ neo-liberal economic policies, which he described as being like “Pepsi and Coca-Cola”.”

        That should be music to the ears of a lot of commenters here, and a challenge to other left leaning parties.

    • Lanthanide 9.4

      “Labour would need to be in the low thirties and National in the high thirties for Winston to reverse his stated and very rational position of supporting the party who gets the most votes.”

      He’s never made that statement, to my knowledge.

      What he has said, is he would talk to the party with the most votes first.

      That’s not the same as “supporting” them. That means talking to them first.

      • Scott 9.4.1

        Indeed. The simple fact is that if you vote for Winston you don’t know what you’re going to get. It could be a vote for Little as PM, it could be a vote for Key as PM. Probably the only thing you can rely on is that it is not a vote for Winston as PM.

        That’s the way it is because Winston wants it to be that way (presumably so he can play both sides of the fence). I just don’t understand why people vote for him.

    • Bearded Git 9.5

      Winston says he will TALK first to the party that has most votes. But he HATES Key. Look at the body language; look at what he says in parliament; he hasn’t forgotten Key trying to destroy him and NZF in 2008.

      29+13+10=52%=more time for golf in Hawaii

      The days of the Nats polling near 50% have gone

  10. Takere 10

    Move on. Nothing to see here …. whether he does or not should not become a distraction. I reckon he won’t. He’s earning more than an MP does. He’s his own boss, he can do pretty much what he wants. Where as the alternative is, less pay, rules, obligation(s) and been told what to do? Why would you trade what you have for less. A Lab/Green & NZFirst victory at the polls is still only theoretical. The Nat’s are spinning this one up!

  11. Andre 11

    What are Jones’ chances of continuing his cushy ride in his current rort if we elect a Labour-led government next year?

    • Takere 11.1

      That my friend we will not know until it happens? Or not? But. Think about this? If he was to stand for NZFirst and win the seat and then Lab/Greens + NZFirst form a Government and one of the conditions is that Jones has a Finance portfolio …. what would/could you do about that situation? – Oh and that Picture …its says, “Hi! I’m Back!” Haha!

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    Winston’s clever strategy based on today’s news:

    Re-stating the obvious: Prospering people vote for incumbents. Struggling people vote to change the government.

    Today’s news: Auckland has a boom economy while the rest of NZ is in bad shape. (citation below)

    Targeting the regions is an excellent strategy for NZ First. National is vulnerable. Labour and Greens are predominantly urban parties and can’t benefit much from rural disenchantment with National.

    National’s strategy will be to gain ground against Labour in Auckland. Winston could do National some real damage in the regions. He won’t waste resources on Auckland.


    • save nz 12.1

      Yep it’t good that Labour will be getting Matt McCarten to open office in Auckland. Labour have pretty much zero presence here as far as I can see. Greens also. If Labour and Greens got out and about in the community and did something rather than expecting to be elected, it would help.

      Labour need to really target the urban areas and start straight away not be absent for most of the term and then turn up 6 months before the election and pretend to care.

      The good thing is National also absent apart from if you pay them for a lunch or what have you. So with a bit of effort, Labour and Greens could surge ahead.

  13. Aaron 13

    So here we all are talking about New Zealand First. Perhaps that’s all Winston was looking for.

  14. Alex 14

    Calling Jones anti-environment because he doesn’t want to work with the Greens is rubbish. For most people, including Jones I suspect, it’s not the Green Party’s environmental policies that are unpalatable, it’s the other hard left socialist policies that come with it.

    • mauī 14.1

      Yeah weird that managing a healthy environment, giving support to vulnerable people in society and creating a more equal economy is viewed as unpalatable by some.

    • Leftie 14.2

      Shane Jones, who was a useless mp, is a nat, and cannot be trusted. Everyone in the house knows what he is. Winston Peters is no fool.
      Was it mere coincidence that the leaks from the Labour party virtually stopped after Shane Jones left?
      Whatever so called “support” the msm are touting Shane Jones may have, I wonder if it’s coming from a group or groups outside of a political party, rather than in it? And am more inclined to agree with Takere that “the Nat’s are spinning this one up!”

    • Scott 14.3

      Yep, I’ve never quite understood their strategy – why do they need social policies at all?

      If they had just stuck to their environmental knitting they would have been a part of Government in nearly every term under MMP. On most occasions even when not necessarily needed for a majority. How much might they have achieved?

      They seem to have been hijacked by the far left of politics, and in that regard only squabble for elbow room with Labour. It is a wasted opportunity.

      • AmaKiwi 14.3.1

        @ Scott

        You raise an interesting point as in the past conservative politicians were often the leading environmentalists. I guess the conservative conservationists were hijacked by the neo-liberal belief in “profits at any price.”

        I would like to know why NZ First has such a distaste for the Greens. I can concoct my own explanations but I would prefer to hear it from people who know.

  15. Ian 15

    Could one of you wise gentlepeople please define neo liberal for me. Is it like being a paedophile ?

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Sort of. Raping and pillagaing the innocent in exchange for the promise of lollies.

    • AmaKiwi 15.2

      @ Ian

      For an explanation / definition of neo-liberalism I recommend this article from the Guardian.

      I hope you find it useful.


      • The lost sheep 15.2.1

        Here’s the crux.
        So much more difficult than just attacking what you don’t like eh?

        “But when neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was … nothing. This is why the zombie walks. The left and centre have produced no new general framework of economic thought for 80 years……
        …..it’s not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. For Labour, the Democrats and the wider left, the central task should be to develop an economic Apollo programme, a conscious attempt to design a new system, tailored to the demands of the 21st century.”

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