Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones

Shane Jones April 2014THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him.

By far the easiest type to recruit is the first. Think of the Cambridge spies who, outraged by the British establishment’s unwillingness (or incapacity) to resist the evils of fascism, were quick to turn traitor when approached by Soviet agents during the 1930s.

The second type, being entirely mercenary, are easily bought. The trick, of course, is to make sure they stay bought. A man who will betray his own country for money is just as likely to betray yours – if the price is right.

The third type of traitor is as likely to approach you as you are to approach him. They burn, these turncoats, with a scalding awareness of their own humiliation and hurt. Their over-riding purpose (to the point of mania and obsession) is to repay those by whom they believe themselves to have been wronged. John Le Carre´’s wonderful character, Magnus Pym, “the perfect spy”, flawlessly embodies this latter, most dangerous, type of traitor.

* * * * *

IN CONTEMPLATING the “turning” of Labour’s Shane Jones, National’s Murray McCully, must have been constantly assessing – and re-assessing – the character of the man he was hoping would help him deliver a crushing political blow to the Labour Opposition.

Jones was clearly not the sort of person to be driven by the dictates of ideological conviction. Exactly what the Northland politician’s personal ideology amounted to, if anything at all, has never been very clear.

Raised in a rock-solid Labour family, he would have absorbed most of the Labour catechism by osmosis. Only later would he have become aware of his intended role as a future leader of his Ngapuhi people. Those inherited Labour principles would need to have been extremely strongly rooted to withstand the head-turning effects of learning you are the chosen one. As his education proceeded (all the way to Harvard) and every door he approached seemed to magically open, Jones was always more at risk of becoming a narcissist than a socialist.

What about money? Could Jones’s head be turned by the promise of a mighty salary?

Money is, of course, a major consideration in the lives of all influential men and women. Power does not come cheap. McCully would have observed the break-up of Jones’ marriage and mentally calculated the financial obligations that were likely to follow. These could have been substantial. But, surely, with a ministerial salary in the offing just six months down the track, Jones would be keeping his chin up?

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Ah, but that was the rub – was it not? How certain could Jones be that a ministerial salary would be waiting for him in the event of a Labour victory? As he assessed his quarry’s likely future in the event of a centre-left victory, McCully would have undertaken exactly the same political calculations as Jones.

First and foremost stands the inescapable reality of coalition. Whether Labour allies itself with the Greens, a resurgent NZ First, or both, matters less than the fact that at least four or five of the 20 Cabinet seats will be reserved for MPs belonging to Labour’s coalition partner/s.

Now factor in the rule requiring the composition of (the now truncated) Cabinet to be determined (with the exception of the leader and deputy-leader) by a ballot of the whole Labour caucus. What are Jones’s chances of making it into the Executive?

McCully’s and Jones’s answers would have been identical: “Not good.”

All right, then, let’s look at the chances of Jones becoming either the leader or deputy-leader of the Labour Party.

Forget about becoming deputy. It’s an elected position and so raises exactly the same obstacles as those preventing Jones from being elected to Cabinet. The numbers just aren’t there.

What about leader then? Nope. He’d been there, done that, and received less than 20 percent of the vote. Under the old rules maybe – just maybe – he could have swung it. But winning in Labour’s new Electoral College? Not a chance.

It would likely have been at this point that a wolfish grin spread across McCully’s smug features. If he had found these political calculations frustrating, just imagine how devastating the exercise must have been for the man himself.

Jones has never needed any outside assistance when it comes to assessing his own worth. He’d observed the way that ordinary working-class Kiwi jokers – both Maori and Pakeha – had responded to his rhetoric during the 2013 leadership contest. He knows he has what it takes to bring the lost tribes of Labour back into the polling-booths – and so do his journalist mates Paddy Gower, Guyon Espiner, Duncan Garner and Matthew Hooton.

Bloody Hell! Everybody knows. But will the feminists, the gays and the trade unionists allow that fact to make the slightest difference? No, they won’t. In the deeply factionalised Labour caucus – and the wider Labour Party – Shane Jones is just too misogynistic, too homophobic and too neoliberal to be allowed within a bull’s roar of Cabinet – let alone the Leader’s Office.

And speaking of the Leader: what earthly use is David Cunliffe in a situation like this? Under the old rules, a majority of the Labour caucus was required to elect the party leader. What that meant in terms of constructing a Cabinet was that at least as far as the two front benches were concerned, what the boss wanted the boss got. Now, as Cunliffe has proved, it is possible to become the party’s leader without securing the backing of a majority of one’s own parliamentary colleagues. Exactly how one secures a Cabinet one can work under such circumstances is anybody’s guess!

McCully now knew exactly how he would proceed. Jones wouldn’t be “turned” by ideology, or even by money. He would be turned by an overwhelming sense of having been wronged by the party whose responsibility it was to recognise his true worth. By the members who should have thrown open every door that was closed to him. And, by the colleagues whose duty it was to ensure that Shane Jones assumed the leadership role that has always been his destiny.

With the problem of how to turn Jones solved, all McCully had to do was order MFAT to scrape together an ambassadorial salary and prepare the necessary Cabinet papers.

The timing was easy. What better time than Easter to crucify the Labour Party?


  1. It’s a great story – I’m sure that like Brzezinski, McCully will add it to his CV.

    But Jones’s skills were a poor fit with Labour, making it uncomfortable for him and them. I’m not sure traitor is quite the word either, unless he were retailing internal correspondence or the like.

    If he can deliver developmentist aid effectively across the Pacific he might do more good than was ever likely in parliament. The enthusiastic support of rightwing pundits and trolls tends to suggest that his contribution to Labour was more suited to their needs than to Labours.

    • You know, I really, really hope you are right about that, as how cynical would it be to use their plight as a means of politcal manipulation. Trouble is, I just wouldn’t put it past the Nats to do just that

    • I would rather that Jones (and any other bugger for that matter) failed to deliver “developmentist aid” to the Pacific. Basically what this means to me is making the economies of the Pacific like ours, with the same dependencies on the exploitative global wealth pump system. More appropriate are sustainable local systems and I would suggest that pre-colonial Pacific cultures have more to tell us about that than vice versa.

      • Yes, I suspect Jones’ philosophy for helping Pacific nations to maximise their income from their fisheries will basically involve exploiting a diminishing resource much like this government.

      • I take your point – but the NZ fishing industry is a poor example, wretchedly underdeveloped, overcommercialised and completely detached from its community. A model of bad colonial exploitation.

        Small cooperative aquaculture enterprises, and sustainable enterprises like live shellfish export can, if properly managed, support and develop communities.

        Not that Jones is a poster boy for such things – he did not build Sealord, nor did it prosper under his stewardship. He did not undertake such projects either – but if he cares a bit more about pacific peoples perhaps he can learn to do it for them.

    • It is without doubt a bad time to jump ship,when only months from the election road,especially for a position created by their opposition.However,he has one month left in his present role, you would think, out of care and solidarity for his party and political comrades,that he would be building them up as the best party to rule our country.But no,he has been swinging the taiaha, bad mouthing his collegues and left direction of “his party”.

  2. “What better time than Easter to crucify the Labour Party?”

    The analogy is interesting, especially given what happened to Christ three days after the crucifixion.

    “Χριστός ἀνέστη!” Christ is risen! There is yet hope for Labour.

    I’ve observed the political circus throughout my life; I’ve seen people like Jones come and go. With very few exceptions, the more they are lauded and promoted by their backers, the more undistinguished their performance in Parliament.

    Unfortunately, this seems to happen pretty often with Maori, mostly with the men. It suggests that either they come to Parliament already afflicted with the politicians’ disease – believing their own publicity – or they don’t have the strength of character required to withstand all that attention and praise. Or the ability to accept criticism and learn from it without being too deeply wounded by it: a thick hide, in other words. This may well result from being singled out early in life as “born to lead”.

    Jones may be a good orator, but that is very far from being either a necessary or sufficient condition for competence as a politician. From what I’ve observed, he’s accomplished remarkably little of moment during his time in Parliament.

    In my view, his misogyny was his most unlovely characteristic; that, almost by itself, rendered him unsuitable as leadership material. In the modern world, we simply can’t have that sort of attitude in a leader; a fortiori, not in a leader of a party which purports to be “left-wing”. He is no loss to Labour.

    That McCully would dream up a Machiavellian scheme of this sort suggests that National is jumpy about the prospects of being re-elected.

  3. I’m not sure how to take what Chris Trotter writes and especially after watching him with that ex-national candidate failure Paul Henry, Chris seemed far too busy appearing intelligent over the final [at long last ] twisting and turning of a political worm as it crawls away from a healthy apple and seeks reward in a rotten apple, the worm is Jones, and the rotten apple is the national party. But Chris painted a picture of Jones as some sort of hero for the labour party…other than his advertising adult movies…I can’t think of anything that Jones has done that’s worthy of note. Did he win a seat? No, did he introduce some thing of note? No, I think the quicker we simply forget that he even existed the better we shall all be…no doubt Key will buy him a Christmas present…Jones that is, not Trotter while Chris may sound National at heart I don’t think the Nats really need him all that much. He and Paul Henry make a good pair.

    • The way Chris Trotter, and those of the right wing are talking it up, you would think that labour existed only on the word of Shane Jones alone and yet, wasn’t it these very people who used to criticize him (Jones). The stench of hypocrisy is sickening. And it takes two to play that game, McCully didn’t do it alone, he had alot of support from a most compliant Shane Jones, who is after all, more of a right winger and always has been. So, no back slapping praises required there.

  4. He knows he has what it takes to bring the lost tribes of Labour back into the polling-booths – and so do his journalist mates Paddy Gower, Guyon Espiner, Duncan Garner and Matthew Hooton.

    Bloody Hell! Everybody knows.

    Oh really? What?
    Borrowing 2 BILLION a month instead of a measly 1 BILLION?
    Jacking up benefit rates even more than Key has done?
    Buying back the SOEs?
    Jacking up the minimum wage?
    Declaring “open season” on rich pricks, distributing AK47s in South Auckland, the Hutt Valley, Aranui, etc and encouraging bludgers riot around the test of the city and machine-gun anyone who pays nett taxes?

    So, just what can labour do to get people back into the polling booths?

    • Provide a meaningful alternative.

      Your choice of examples suggests that you are over-excited.

      None of these are necessary- but restoring taxes to 2005 levels will generate surpluses sufficient to pay down the debt incurred by English’s gross incompetence in about three or four terms.

      A great deal of the neo-liberal fantasy is dependent on immigration – it is a major driver of housing costs, it drives down wages, and enables governments to -temporarily- avoid the consequences of failing their people. Operating immigration policy in a steadier way – prefixing entry levels some years ahead for example – could restore a bit of sense to the chaos created by unregulated market mechanisms.

      The SOEs are of course stolen property. You do not buy stolen property back, you repossess it.

      Declining democratic participation is a problem for all democracies, as Putnam notes. But America’s has declined the most. Accordingly we should avoid the US style policies – based on a premise of Dahlian polyarchy – that are responsible for the decline. There are many examples, but the anti-democratic gerrymander that disenfranchises prisoners is particularly egregious. Restoring the vote to NZ’s ‘wild geese’ would pay too, as would the Aussie trick of making voting compulsory.

      The AK-47s are a bit much – but the Arab Spring has shown that IEDs are a cost-effective way of dealing with corrupt authoritarian governments. There are lots of skilled and educated people being viciously hounded by the bitch Paula Bennett at present, it would not surprise me at all if she and her publicly funded BMW were transported to a higher plane on a dust charge or ANFO device by someone who responds to unearned punishment by breaking bad.

        • Good one, Gosman!

          Let’s be equal with Oz on this; their GST is what? 10%?

          Haven’t heard a single party saying they would take the level back to the early days of this awful tax – neither left (Tax and Spend) or right (Tax Them Not Us).

          The day I hear those Lovely People in ACT saying they would require the lowering of GST – so that tax payers have more money and more choice, etc – I’ll be watching golden pigs flying across the face of the sun, I’m sure.

          Thanks for that useful dash of reality. Worth thinking about.
          (No. I’m NOT being sarcastic.)

      • What would you do with the money that the State received as a result of passing out these ‘stolen’ property?

        I’m trying to get my head around your logic here. The state owns an asset and has a legal right to sell it and does so to someone who buys the asset in good faith. The person hands over cash which the state can use to fund other activities. The the state comes along later and claims that it shouldn’t have sold the assets in the first place as they were ‘stolen’ (whatever that term means in this context). It therefore takes the assets back from you and doesn’t compensate you for the money you gave the state. Do you honestly think this is fair?

        • Gosman says:
          April 24, 2014 at 9:33 am

          […] Do you honestly think this is fair?

          Some points…

          1. Since when did “fairness” ever concern you? Up till now, you’ve shown no evidence of concern regarding fairness to anyone else.

          Now you’re concerned about “fairness” when it comes to the sale of SOEs?


          2. Parliament is sovereign. It can do what it likes – a fact not lost on the current government.

          3. If fairness bothers you that much, I suggest that you might might be concerned about the Nats ignoring the recent referendum about the asset sales.

          Do you think that was fair?

          Or does fairness work only one way in your crazy neo-liberal world-view?

          • Democracy is not about fairness and neither is governing. I have no problem with the concept that there is unfairness in life. However when it comes to matters of justice I do have an interest in ensuring outcomes are deemed fair. As we were discussing someones view that selling state assets were theft and therefore they can be renationalised without compensation it is entirely appropriate to discuss fairness in this context. Do you think it is fair?

          • I’m curious though about your reasoning there.

            From what I gather you are stating you don’t mind the government doing something that might be unfair so long as it suits your political viewpoint. Is that an accurate assessment?

            • Actually “you don’t mind the government doing something that might be unfair so long as it suits your political viewpoint” is just our unfair democratic system.
              NO democracy represents the views of all the people.
              I am surprised that you don’t understand this.

        • It is an established principle of law and good government that criminals must not profit from wrongdoing.

          The asset sales are in defiance of the public good, and are undertaken by a corrupt minority for personal advantage.

          Moreover they are supposed to be an ‘investment’. You should not invest in risky criminal enterprises.

          The government could make a token repayment – ten cents in the dollar perhaps – but doing more would weaken the signal to the market that stealing public property is not an enterprise that honest people should entertain.

        • I’m not sure on this one.

          For me, the state is a different entity entirely from a business.

          Works created by the state from the collected wealth and labour of the nation’s people (and willing lenders from elsewhere) belong to the people…

          Short term politicians (any at all) are seriously unqualified to sell anything because their reasoning is coloured by other considerations.

          If there are white elephants to be traded or disposed of, then pass the task to people far better qualified to get a fair return on them – whether operating or for scrap. People who will have no direct gain from the transactions. No insider trading or favoured few.

          But not on infrastructure that is still functioning. Not on something that can cause prices to be put beyond the least able to pay for groundless price hikes and silly ‘market says – ’cause we’re worth it’ pranks.

          And that needs to be spelled out in the law of the land. No government can put services that were paid for by the people up for sale. It is not the business of law makers and mediators to do so.

          In the words of far too many interfering ministers: “it’s an operational matter. We can’t comment/act/ instruct.”

          So far, in the incredibly slow transition of parliament from the FPP rules to MMP, this clear statement has not been made and those who can afford to gleefully take up shares, or white elephants for milking, go about their affairs openly and within the rules as they are.

          It would indeed be unfair to repossess. You are right.

          Yet the grievance remains. Parliament has taken upon itself a role it has no right to have, in the view of many of the people of this country.

          And it needs to be addressed, explored, and made clear for present and future generations. ‘Next sitting day.’

          • The debate would be valuable.

            Considering the results of the asset theft referendum, no-one seems to have explored the public objections in depth and detail.

            65 -90% of New Zealanders firmly oppose asset sales. There are a number of pragmatic reasons, but high on the list is probably a sense of wrongness, which has not be corrected by any exemplary behaviour on the part of the newly privatised entities: many have failed,and those that haven’t have neither improved services or reduced costs.

            Here in Korea the government is very much in charge – a newly privatised SOE that did not perform might be immediatly renationalised or alternatively, the CEO and senior staff might go to prison while the prosecution service go through their books with a fine-tooth comb.

        • “someone who buys the asset in good faith.”

          There is your flaw: the state has stewardship of an asset on behalf of the public. These folk are not acting in good faith, they are conspiring to divert the assets to their own advantage.

          Honest men do not do such things.

          Good governments build for the future – corrupt and benighted scoundrels like Key and his accomplices are only there for what they can grab.

        • The number of worthy causes available for this money is practically infinite, we might consider:

          * funding an armed insurgency into Epsom
          * restoring the education payroll system to a competent
          * adding it to the long-neglected superannuation fund
          * feeding 280 000 impoverished children

          Had not that spendthrift fool Bill English pissed it all away like the ketone-laden residue of an after-match function.

      • “The SOEs are of course stolen property.”
        Stolen by whom? The people who paid for them from a willing seller?

        “You do not buy stolen property back, you repossess it.”
        You mean you steal it.

        “There are lots of skilled and educated people being viciously hounded by the bitch Paula Bennett at present, ”
        You mean people who should be out looking for work?

        “but restoring taxes to 2005 levels will generate surpluses sufficient to pay down the debt incurred by English’s gross incompetence in about three or four terms. ”
        You may have missed the fact that National inherited a huge deficit for 2009, and a decade of deficits thereafter. You may also have missed the fact that the internal accounts will be back in surplus in 2014, without hiking taxes.
        As to ‘gross incompetence’, that title belongs to Michael Cullen, whose tax and spend economics sent the economy tanking in 2006, sent interest rates and inflation sky high, and bequethed a decade of deficits.

        • “You mean people who should be out looking for work?”

          You know perfectly well there’s not enough work out there for the number of people on the dole. I hereby bang you over the head with a metaphorical bombyknocker to help you remember. Bang.

          Hope that helps

        • You may also have missed the fact that the internal accounts will be back in surplus in 2014, without hiking taxes.

          What are you smoking? The blind belief in dogma from the right (and some of the left) never ceases to amaze me.

        • Intrinsicvalue says:
          April 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm


          “There are lots of skilled and educated people being viciously hounded by the bitch Paula Bennett at present, ”
          You mean people who should be out looking for work?

          Oh, cease your repetitive, philistine prejudice, IV. Even Bennet had to admit, on 29 April 2012, on TVNZ’s Q+Q;

          “There’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do.”


          Even your political masters admit the bleedin’ obvious, you foolish little troll… *rolls eyes*

        • Intrinsicvalue says:
          April 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm


          You may have missed the fact that National inherited a huge deficit for 2009, and a decade of deficits thereafter. You may also have missed the fact that the internal accounts will be back in surplus in 2014, without hiking taxes.

          Rubbish, you simpering, sycophantic, lying tory troll.

          You know as well as I do that National inherited surpluses, and sovereign debt that had been paid down, and frittered them away in two, unsustainable tax cuts that they had to borrow heavily for.

          Govt borrowing $380m a week
          4:28 PM Tuesday May 10, 2011

          The reason for their self-created “decade of deficits” was their own economic mis-management, not just the global financial crisis. Who in their right mind gives away money when you’re facing a drop in (tax) revenue?!

          Even your Dear Leader had to admit,on 9 Dec 2013;

          “If you go back to 2005, when the previous government were in office, they had a number, you know, a little bit less than ours, but not a lot less, there was a 180,000 children in poverty, I think this shows 240,000 on that measure.

          Back then, New Zealand recorded the biggest surplus in New Zealand’s history...”

          @ 2.45



          “The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008.

          It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion.

          Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.””


          The more times you repeat your lies, Anonymous ACT supporter, the more times we take the opportunity to show you for the dishonest, misleading, obssessed rightwing troll that you are.

          Of course you resort to lying.

          Truth is not on your side.

          • This was all predicted in the 2008 Prefu Frank (Figure 2.13). You have been advised of this numerous times.

        • Intrinsicvalue says:
          April 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm


          “There are lots of skilled and educated people being viciously hounded by the bitch Paula Bennett at present, ”
          You mean people who should be out looking for work?

          Hmmm, you posted that at 12.12pm. During work hours. On a work day.

          Shouldn’t you have been at work?!

  5. Why make it so damned complicated, Chris Trotter?

    It was quite obvious for some time, that Jones was not a happy man. He is not that “great” Maori leader and “popular” politician, as some like to see him. He is ultimately a self serving opportunist and pragmatist at the same time. He wanted to become leader, that was the only motivation he had left late last year. So he gave that a chance, and it did not go well. Since then he displayed a rather lazy, indifferent mannerism, only shooting a few insults or wannabe smart alec comments around. There were a few jibes at the Greens, and there was the Countdown rant in Parliament. Neither gave him any credit in my eyes.

    Yes, the fact that Jones even talked with the likes of MCCully, about possible “posts” or jobs, that shows that Jones is not a man of loyalty or principle. He realised that he would never be Labour leader, and thus never have a chance to become Prime Minister. He was too lazy to bother starting afresh in another party. So he chose the next best potential opportunity, a secure, well paid new job that gives him good pay, perks and more.

    What has Jones ever delivered and contributed in all these years he was in Parliament? I cannot think of that much. He got involved in some questionable immigration matter, and he used his credit card too liberally, for “adult entertainment” and more.

    He is known to be a bit lazy, and apart from some smart mouthing with his peculiar choice of words, few will in a few years remember much of the man.

    McCully had an easy job with Jones, I am sure, that did not require much smart operation, as Jones was ready for the picking. He never struck me as a true working man’s hero or representative.

    There were rumours about stuff that could still get him into trouble, and recent revelations about some “donors” to help him in the leadership contest, that may only have been the tip of the iceberg.

    Shane Jones is all about Shane Jones, and little else!

    Good riddance, I say, good riddance.

  6. “Jones has never needed any outside assistance when it comes to assessing his own worth. He’d observed the way that ordinary working-class Kiwi jokers – both Maori and Pakeha – had responded to his rhetoric during the 2013 leadership contest. He knows he has what it takes to bring the lost tribes of Labour back into the polling-booths – and so do his journalist mates Paddy Gower, Guyon Espiner, Duncan Garner and Matthew Hooton.”

    Yeah, that says just about all, does it not, his “journalist mates”, all of those right leaning hacks, mostly spending their times on running down Cunliffe and Labour, and the Greens also!

    I am astonished that they ever let Jones get a top job in Labour. I am astonished he was ever considered a “Labour” man.

    With such friends, who needs enemies?

  7. Jones is a natural right winger if you stop and think about it. What is the point of him staying with Labour

  8. McCully to Jones in a dark backstreet bar where they are downing an ale or 3.
    Shane, our uh,mmm sources tell us you’re really pissed about loosing the leadership race and those bloody Greens.
    Jones: you can say that again Murray.
    McCully: Shane…
    Jones: No Murray, it’s a turn of phrase, an idiom, a metophori…. Oh never mind.
    McCully: We, JK our great leader, has suggested I develop an ambassador role for you in the Pacific (where you can’t do too much harm, they probably don’t know what you’re talking about anyhow -thought only). Yip ok you’re not Pacific, you know nothing about the Pacific, but Raros nice and it doesn’t matter, you’re Maori, that’s close enough. And we know you love fishing. You’ve done that before aye Jonesy. (Slap on the back just as Jones is downing his 5th one)
    Jones: Gess Murr. Be careful. Splutter. Mmmm sounds good. How much?
    McCully: $500,000 plus bonuses if you visit the islands at least 6 times a year, car, driver and unlimited air travel. Sounds good?
    Jones: (splutter without the beer) wow! It certainly does. And in return?
    McCully: well Jonesy, you know how we’re running this campaign to denig..to rubbish the Greens so people will think they’re looney, the devil incarn..the devil, and how they’ll wreck our super star economy, so there’ll be no jobs for anyone. Weelll…. All we need you to do is
    1. Well You don’t even have to tell anyone, let us, you know, spread the whispers in the air. Paddy Gower we know where he is every minute of the day, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, well time it right and speared the whisper and he’ll have a ‘scoop’. Blast Cunliffe out of the water. Haha. Lol. You go back to Waipu and don’t even think about your colleagues, the party, your followers, they’ll get over it. Some of the homo haters, women haters, and Green haters might even come over to us. (Rubs his hands expectantly).
    2.the only other thing you need to do is when you leave, blast those Greens out of the water. Basically put it out there that you think the Labour Greens relationship is you know, toxic. That will just give us another, you know, leg over, I mean leg up, in our campaign against the Greens and therefore Labour.
    3. By the way JK says when he’s ready to leave he’ll let you know so you can become leader of the National Party. He’ll make sure you get it. He likes Maioris, and he wants you to be the first Maiori PM! Couldn’t get any better could it Jonesy!
    Jones: (Jones looking bemused) yeah how could he…
    McCulky: Never you worry your head about that Jonesy. JK has his ways and means. Not part of that 5 eyes thingy for nothing.
    Jones: right you’ve got a deal. Well teach those barstards they can’t fool with Jonesy.

  9. We haven’t heard the last of Shane Jones. The next time we will see Jonesy will be on TV addressing the conference of the SIDS (Small Island Drowning States) in Apia in September, telling them of the importance of ecosphere destruction to the economy.

    Where else were National gonna get a Right Wing Polynesian politician allied with the fishing companies intent on raping the pacific, and the fossil fuel companies intent on drowning the coral atoll nations? Not within their own overwhelmingly pallid ranks, that’s for sure.


    “Samoa is honoured to host in September 2014 the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States. As a United Nations conference the 193 UN member countries as well as observer organisations are anticipated to attend.

    As part of preparations for the conference a high level delegation from the United Nations arrived in Samoa in April this year for discussions on logistical arrangements for the conference.

    “Samoa has selected as the overarching theme of the conference the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States Through Genuine and Durable Partnerships.

    The Theme highlights the high regard Samoa has for the critical role, the contribution and strength of its partnerships with other governments, institutions and major groups in progressing its sustainable economic development agenda.

    The success of these partnerships are demonstrated with Samoa’s graduation from the list of LDCs, as well as support for efforts in areas such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy, resilience to natural disasters, disaster risk reduction, sustainable management of our oceans and forests and many others.”

    Meanwhile back in New Zealand in the National government cabinet.

    Holy crap! What are we gonna do?

    We don’t want to get slagged off like we were at Majuro last year.

    We don’t want any more talk of this sustainability BS. We have a hard enough time of countering it here, we don’t want it spreading through the Pacific.

    Right, who is the best man we can get up there?

    Someone who hates the whole idea of sustainability with a passion.
    Someone who can identify with the locals and could even pass as one of them.
    Someone who is a skilled orator, and fluent in at least one of the main Pacific Languages.
    Someone who hates any talk of climate change, and is a big supporter of mine it, drill it, frack it, burn it.

    How about Hekia Parata?

    No, we need someone more aggressive, more macho, someone who can cut it, someone quick with a quip, and the smart come back.

    OK, but there is this close friend of her husband’s.

    Spit it out man, who?

    Well how about Shane Jones?

    But he works for the other team.

    I know, but if we create a special role just for him and offer him a truck load of money we might have a deal.

    Ok then, but I want it done by the end of the week.

    OK boss.

      • Except Gosman you only need to goggle ‘climate change impact on small Pacific islands’ and those articles that appear first are the ones that support the generally accepted view that the islands are being impacted negatively by climate change including extremes of weather. And from reputable sources.

      • Gosman I think you need to keep your story straight.

        Climate change is not happening.

        Cimate change is happening but it is not caused by humanity burning fossil fuels.

        Climate change is happening and it is caused by humanity, but it is not so bad and the world (and pacific Islands) will cope.

        Pick one.

        Will it be a different one next week?

        All these different incarnations of climate change have one thing in common.

        Can you tell us what it is Gosman?

  10. Well said Chris.

    McCully might also be saving his own bacon here, by poaching Shane Jones from Labour, in what he considers a smart move. With Colin Craig almost being promised a seat, possibly in McCully’s own electorate of East Coast Bays, perhaps the foreign affairs minister moved to protect his own situation, more than anything else.

    For his defection to the other side, along with the expected lucrative salary and perks which will go with the newly and specially ‘created’ foreign affairs position, I wouldn’t be surprised if a knighthood might also be forthcoming for Shane Jones in the near future! Queen’s Birthday or next New Year honours perhaps? That’s if National is still government after September!

    He doesn’t realize it yet, but John Key has done Labour a huge favour removing Jones from the party. The guy tarnished his image some time ago, with his taxpayer funded jollies, watching porn movies in a hotel, causing offence to Kiwi women in general, proving he is a sexist pig amongst other things. If Key & Co want someone of this calibre to represent them in an ambassadorial role, then they are proving they are as sullied as Jones is! In fact National is more than welcome to him! He fits in well. All rotten to the core, ready and willing to betray their country, their party, their people etc, to line their own grubby pockets!

  11. I think we need to forget about Shane Jones now. really. The whole thing is taking up far too much time and attention. Its a distraction, and plays right into the hands of the nats. because while folk froth and vent about Jones and McCully and whatever, far more important stuff like this


    needs attention. And action.

  12. What interests me the most is Jones relationship with Winston, and what this means for the Green Government aspirations. Winston now holds all the cards every single one. I just love the Greens discussing their political aspirations ,and I’m sure Winston has a smirk on his face a mile wide when they talk about being deputy Prime ministers. Winston can and will scuttle that in seconds. He is wise enough to know that the average New Zealander wants nothing to do with the Greens in Government. Most people distrust the Greens and see them as Anti everything. Their economic credibility is zero! Who on this site honestly believes Winston would every agree to supporting a Government with Russell Norman a confirmed Marxist as Deputy P.M. I don’t believe Labour will get across the line as I believe what Shearer, Oconnor, and others are saying. It has moved to far away from it core voters. To appease academic’s, Gays, Feminists views. It isn’t a broad church anymore the smaller factions have taken control spew out their ideology which has been accepted by the Party. All the time Labour wonders why they cant get people to go out and vote for them. They don’t have a party that they identify with. The Left in New Zealand will never be big enough to govern you need the centre vote. At the moment you don’t have it ,and you don’t seem to be capable of presenting policies that appeal to them. As the left have control of the party

    • ROB –

      “Winston can and will scuttle that in seconds. He is wise enough to know that the average New Zealander wants nothing to do with the Greens in Government. Most people distrust the Greens and see them as Anti everything. Their economic credibility is zero!”

      I see that you are one of the too many out there, who regularly get their braincells “massaged” by commercially dominated media, running endless adverts, being slaves to ratings, employing wannabe “journalists” who know nothing much about real journalism, and follow their mercenary editors to report only biased nonsense that they are told to publish.

      You obviously have not read the Green’s policies on economics and the likes, perhaps try this:



      And listening to Russel Norman on RNZ he does not fit the description you give:


      Being comfortably numb in a brainwashed society does not mean you are right, even if you feel you are.

      • Marc thank you for your reply. I guess what I am saying is perception is everything. Greens dont and never have given the feeling that they are interested in Business at all unless its growing the public service. Can you name anyone in the Greens at the moment who has grown a private sector business to any size. I read the greens theories on business its all been done by academics who don’t have any practical knowledge. Can you honestly tell me that Winston will vote for a Green as a deputy prime minister. Of course he wont. He knows where the public feeling is on this. Even Labour has pulled away from the Greens as it knows that many of their blue collar support base cant stand them. However the public on the whole aren’t stupid and realise David will go running to Russell if he has to. Do you realise they are now pulling out wind farms in European countries as they are uneconomical to run. The Greens were told this up front by the private sector but no one listened. I shuddered when on Q&A Meritia said she would be quite happy if peoples house values dropped. She hadn’t even thought through the economic implications of that. How most peoples savings are in their houses and the implications that flow through from that. The interviewer couldn’t believe she said it ,and had to ask the question again. Greens and growing an economy in reality don’t go together only in theory. Before you can distribute wealth the country has to earn that wealth, and that is the problem the left struggle with. What happens when they run out of others peoples money to spend? Where to from there?

        • Well, as I have heard the Greens candidate list for the coming election has a lot of new talent on there, and some have certainly got business experience.

          I am waiting for that to be made public, after it has been finalised.

          Apart from that they are definitely opening up for business membership and ideas, and the following link gives some information on this:


    • Rob says:
      April 24, 2014 at 9:50 am


      He is wise enough to know that the average New Zealander wants nothing to do with the Greens in Government.

      Funny thing…

      Tories deride the Greens every way they can. That includes Key.

      And yet, there was Dear Leader Key, on Campbell Live, at a market place, buying organic food and orange juice…

      Oh, the irony…

  13. Ironically Labour probably have National to thank. If Jones was so pissed off with Labour why join National?

    This guy was the aspirant leader of Labour, the opposition and wannabe PM and yet when the price was right off he went with Team National.

    He still strikes me as a politician who couldn’t be arsed with the full time rigours of the job, an invisible transport spokesman when there was a lot of material to work with and will probably only be remembered as the guy who booked up porn to the taxpayer and the person who finally outed supermarket rorts. But even then he couldn’t be bothered sticking it out to the end.

    That National actively have a sub level organisation searching out those who can be paid off really worries me. Who else has been given that special government roll, or been looked upon favourably by Nationals multi millionaires for their collective gain but to the countries loss. It’s very sleazy and making Jones some “roving ambassador” as payola for taking a giant shit on Labour is galling and an outrageous misuse of power.

    Its been said many times but National will DO anything to cling to power and that “anything” should concern us all.

    So Jones wasn’t worth the effort for Labour it now transpires and one wonders what kind of PM he would have made been so cheaply paid off but one things certain he’s no loss.

  14. Shane Jones must have been one of the more frequent “guests” and entertainers at so many corporate and other business boardroom smorgasbords, and still he got away with that media cultivated “workingman’s person” image. Yes, I cannot believe it, but too many in the public fall for well rehearsed appearances and deception.

    Shane Jones was heavily involved with Sealord’s, one of, if not New Zealand’s largest fishing company, and he was one open to arranging “deals” with various large organisations and businesses. He started with rather humble beginnings as a child of dairy farmers, got help to study overseas, and managed to got secure jobs in the public service, later managing his way up to be appointed by Minister Parekura Horomia to the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. Jones stitched up deals with Sealord and thus became well connected to and involved with the commercial fishing sector, after having already worked in the fisheries sector in the 1990s (at the Ministry of the Environment). He later was hand-picked and promoted by Mike Williams (former Labour Party president) to become a Labour MP in 2005.

    His Countdown rant in Parliament was more show than anything else, and while he ran down that “Australian” owned chain, he praised Pak’n Save, who not long ago showed that they do themselves not care so much about their staff, cutting back hours, increasing job performance expectations, reducing entitlements, and considering new, lower youth rates. But they are “Kiwi owned”, so that makes the difference for Jones, it seems.

    Jones is very much a person who fitted into Labour under the almost “neo liberal” economic approach the party had adopted itself, with some “moderating” changes over the years, last under Helen Clark as PM. After the recent changes in leadership, in attempts for Labour to find a new direction, it became clear, that for the likes of Shane Jones the party was no longer a comfortable and convenient vehicle to advance his career, and to operate comfortably between business and political interests.

    All this screaming of despair, of doomsday talk about Labour having now lost it, this does not say much of the IQ and mental awareness of so many that called into talk-back radio, and that have been tweeting around, about their “grief” or “dismay” about Jones throwing it in. The man never was a true workingman’s advocate. He was cosier with the bosses, top executives in private business and government enterprises.

    I never heard him say anything in sympathy or support for ordinary beneficiaries, trying to deal with the consequences of the most draconian welfare reforms that this country has seen. I never heard Jones share much thought about poverty in other places in the world.

    He is a bit of a showman, a talker, a boaster, a comedian, but ultimately a pragmatic opportunist, yes one who got some following, but the ones who would vote for him, most of them would also vote for John Key, I am afraid. I hope we will never hear and see of the man again, in politics at least!

    Here is some information about who Shane Jones is, and what he stood and stands for:

    The best take I have read so for on Shane Jones’ departure:
    “Gordon Campbell on the Shane Jones departure”, 23 April 2014

    Shane Jones on LinkedIn:

    Shane Jones in the media (past and not quite so past):

    “Waitangi chairman seeks pakeha business model” Sharewatch, 01.09.2000:

    “Major Benefits From Sealord Deal”, Tuesday, 5 December 2000:

    “Sanford looking at merger option with Sealord”, 10 March 2004:

    A good summary of Shane Jones’ background and business and other interests:
    “Keeping up with The Jones”, Written By: Jenny Baker, April 2008

    “In 1988 he set up the Maori Policy Unit at the new Ministry for the Environment. He worked on the original RMA core group and later in the Prime Minister’s Department under Geoffrey Palmer.
    In 1992, after an 18-month study sabbatical, he resumed work at the Ministry for the Environment, where he was the key advisor for the Maori Fisheries settlement or Sealord Deal.
    In 1993 he was appointed to the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, Te Ohu Kaimoana, and in 1997 chair of the Maori business development organisation Poutama Trust. He also served on the Boards of Salmon Smith Biolab and the Airways Corporation.
    In 2000 he took over from Sir Tipene O’Regan as chair of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission and Sealord Products. His task was to get 70 iwi to agree on how to divide up the fisheries assets, valued at $1 billion. This was completed in 2004 when the distribution legislation was passed.
    Elected to Parliament in 2005, he chaired the Finance and Expenditure Committee and the Labour Maori Caucus, and served as Secretary of the Labour Backbench Committee and member of the Commerce Select Committee.
    In November 2007 he was sworn in as Minister of Building and Construction, Associate Minister of Immigration, Associate Minister of Trade and Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.”

    Here is where Jones started really losing the plot:
    ‘Greenpeace’, “Shane Jones misses the point and sets video to go viral”, 03 Oct. 2012

    Shane Jones on Wikipedia:

    • People seem not to have factored In Shane’s place on the list. If Mana does well, where does that leave Shane?
      Dependent on the list committee who consist of?……?

  15. The National Party bribes a Labour MP who just happens to have been the main public force behind an enquiry into corrupt and shady practices by the supermarkets, Progressive in particular. By shutting Jones up, what did National want to hide? I suppose we will never know now.

  16. Chris, I think you presented a fair assessment of Jones’ motivation for accepting McCully’s offer.

    Jones was in a situation faced by human beings the world over; being passed over for promotion by a competitor. They exact “revenge” by walking away and taking up another job offer; setting up a competing business/political party (eg; Peters, Anderton, Dunne, et al); or some other measure where they can give the “two fingered salute” to those who spurned their “obvious” talents.

    It’s the oldest story in the book on Human affairs; the best revenge is success. By taking up McCully’s offer, Jones showed those who spurned him that he had “better fish to fry” (*ouch*) elsewhere and the rest of us could go get f – – – – d.

    Luckily for us, he did it now, and not one or two months out from Election Day.

    Like the leader of the Right of Centre Party, from 1996, he will be forgotten in time. (Note the number of folk who google “Right of Centre Party”.)

  17. ” He knows he has what it takes to bring the lost tribes of Labour back into the polling-booths ” – load of bullsh-t Chris !
    He might have sounded good to you – a bloke – at the bloke’s level, but he didn’t do much work previously to bring those lost tribes back to Labour, and it is background WORK that will get Labour elected as a coalition government not the nice sounding easy rhetoric that spills out of traitorous mouths at inopportune times.

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