National MP Shane Reti says the possibility of facing experienced former politician Shane Jones in a battle for Whangarei at this year’s election will be a challenge, but one he’s up for.
Mr Jones is widely tipped to stand in the electorate for New Zealand First, but both he and the party are remaining tight-lipped on his candidacy.
The former Labour MP from 2005 to 2014 is not expected to make any announcements until his three-year term as Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development comes to an end in May.
Mr Reti says he’ll let events unfold over time, but will continue to focus on the electorate seat he’s held since 2014.
“We’re convinced the people of Whangarei will extend the privilege to us that we had at the last election,” he said of his chance at retaining the seat.
“(Mr Jones) will have my respect and he will be a challenge, but we’re strong and we’re prepared and we are ready for that.” Read more »
Former Labour MP Shane Jones has again sparked talk of a return to politics, hosting a community meeting for NZ First leader Winston Peters.
Mr Jones, who was an immigration and building and construction minister under Labour’s Helen Clark, has been rumoured as a potential candidate for NZ First, and a possible successor to Mr Peters as leader.
The pair came together for a community discussion on pre and post Treaty of Waitangi relations at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Paihia on Friday night ahead of a busy weekend at Waitangi.
Mr Peters says it was in that capacity that Mr Jones hosted the event. Read more »
Former Labour Minister and current Special Ambassador to the Pacific for Economic Development, Shane Jones, is now believed to have agreed to stand for NZ First in Whangarei at this year’s election.
Close friends of Jones say he has made his mind up to re-enter politics.
He would have an uphill struggle winning the Whangarei seat held by Naitonal’s Shane Reti with a 13,169 vote majority, but Jones’ importance would be to give real political heft to New Zealand First.
57-year-old Jones was a Minister in the Clark Government, and after unsuccessfully contesting the Labour leadership in 2011 he left Parliament and was appointed by Foreign Minister, Murray McCully to his current role.
Jones was on the right of the Labour caucus and was closely associated with MPs like Stuart Nash and David Shearer. Read more »
Shane Reti isn’t quaking in his boots, or even his jandals over claims that NZ First will seriously contest Whangarei at the next election.
NZ First Leader and Northland MP Winston Peters is targeting Whangarei for his party next election, but incumbent Shane Reti isn’t too worried.
Speaking at the start of the party’s annual conference in Dunedin at the weekend Mr Peters said Whangarei was ripe for the taking because of National MP Dr Reti’s low profile.
“Shane can walk down the main street of Whangarei and eight out of 10 people don’t recognise him. Now that’s a fact,” Mr Peters said.
Mr Peters, who captured Northland from National in a by-election in 2015 and has since put more campaigning focus on the regions, also named Whanganui as a possible target. Read more »
Winston Peters has indicated for the first time that NZ First is targeting two blue seats in next year’s general election.
NZ First leader Winston Peters says his party is eyeing up Whangarei and Whanganui in next year’s election – and is aiming to have all candidates confirmed by year end.
Speaking at the start of the party’s annual conference in Dunedin, Peters told media Whangarei was ripe for the taking because of National MP Shane Reti’s low profile.
“Shane can walk down the main street of Whangarei and eight out of 10 people don’t recognise him. Now that’s a fact.” Read more »
Ron Mark doesn’t really have the right temperament to even pretend to be the heir apparent to Winston Peters.
If his reaction in the House yesterday (4:02 in the video above) is anything to go by how on earth is he going to react to the news that Jonesy is going to make a comeback?
NZ First’s Ron Mark has been involved in another debating chamber spat, this time getting away with it despite calling another member a “lying little s***”.
An unidentified MP on the government benches interjected while Mr Mark was speaking on Wednesday night. Read more »
Shane Jones enters the vexed Waitangi debate.
Former Labour MP Shane Jones has thrown his weight behind calls to shift Waitangi celebrations involving the Crown, away from Ti Tii Marae.
The national day and lead-up was marred by in-fighting among trustees of the lower marae. Drawn-out confusion over whether Prime Minister John Key was even invited, and a gagging order placed on him by some trustees led to his withdrawal from Waitangi celebrations at the weekend.
He promised to return next year, if his normal speaking rights were reinstated.
NZ First is claiming that there are no divisions in the party after Ron Mark tipped Tracey Martin out of the deputy role.
New NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark has denied there are divisions in the party.
Mark talked to TV3’s The Nation about the vote on Tuesday that saw him replace Tracey Martin as deputy leader, with a three-day wait before it was announced.
He denied there were any divisions within NZ First or that anyone had abstained from the vote.
“Nobody abstained, and the fact that that’s even a conversation is absolutely quite bizarre,” he said.
Mark said that Martin had done good work, but the vote was a “democratic decision”.
When asked about when the party might need to start thinking about life without Winston Peters, he said the NZ First leader was “yet to peak”.
“Mark my words, he hasn’t finished yet, and if anyone thinks that Winston Peters is finished, all I’d say is smell the coffee.”
Winston Peters has won the Northland by-election and effectively handed National’s dream team of John Key and Steven Joyce their first political defeat.
It was a resounding victory. The New Zealand First leader won more than 15,000 votes, leaving National candidate Mark Osborne 4000 votes behind.
The message from Labour to vote Mr Peters left Willow-Jean Prime with only 1300 votes.
Mr Peters has made political history again, saving one of his best tricks for last and winning Northland strikes on two levels.
The roaring success for Mr Peters is the humiliating blow to National.
With the win now under his belt, Mr Peters, who turns 70 in two weeks, has revealed he’s in for another round in 2017. Read more »
David Farrar has taken a break from blogging about arts, lifestyle and fitness to raise a very valid political point.
If Peters does win Northland, then that is a potential lifeline for NZ First post Peters. They can’t be guaranteed to make 5% with someone else leading them, but if they win and can hold Northland, then they would be able to continue post Peters.
Now neither Ron Mark nor Tracy Martin could I think hold Northland (if Peters wins it), but Shane Jones could. If Peters wins Northland, then Shane Jones could stand in the next election (or the one after) for NZ First, and he would be very likely to hold it.
Now think about what this means for the Greens and Labour? Can you imagine a Shane Jones led NZ First ever letting the Greens into Government? he hates them more than Winston.
Also can you imagine Shane Jones going into coalition with the party that he said no longer has room for people like him in it? I think it is unlikely.
So the irony of Little’s ploy is that it may give the left a tactical victory, but it may be a strategic blunder that pries NZ First away from the left and leaves Labour and the Greens marooned in near perpetual opposition.