Marae Investigates Shane Jones – another handout Hone?

Yesterday Shane Jones was interviewed on Marae Investigates. The interview was in Maori, translated subtitles used here in English.

He ws first asked about rising like Lazarus back to Labour’s front bench – “is this your last leg? In your political career if you mess up again will you be looking for a new job?”

I am very pleased I am vindicated of any wrongdoing, I wish to let everyone know I will no longer be relitigating any of those problems

That’s referring to the Bill Liu inquiry in particular, and is not how many commentators saw it. He was cleared of breaking to law but criticised by the report for ways he dealt with giving Liu citizenship. And he will have to keep facing others relitigating those deficiencies.

…but you are right, I have been given a lifeline within the ranks of my friends, and my Party.

Jones has probably his finally chance to live up to high expectations of him in politics, so far he has disappointingly underperformed and made embarrassing mistakes.

“So you are looking forward now?”

Yes I am, but in politics you can’t only afford to look forward, you have to look all around you, because we won’t just be given a mandate to govern our country, we have to work hard with our friends.

“If you don’t look behind you you could be backstabbed, right?”

Well, from me to you, in politics that will mostly come from your friends.

“Willie Jackson says Labour Maori MPs are useless and lazy. What’s your response to him?” (Jones himself has been criticised for being lazy and sloppy).

Well, Willie is one confused individual, when my leader Shearer announced an investigation into the Bill Liu immigration saga Willie absolutely got stuck in, he rubbished me and trashed me.

Jones has already relitigated the saga.

I was really angry and upset at that time with him and to this point he still hasn’t apologised to me even though I was cleared of those accusations, but we all know he’s boastful and can yap.

Again claiming he was cleared, but this was  only of the more serious charges – “unlawful behaviour”. The post interview discussion (with Willie Jackson) mentions “process issues” that weren’t a good look for Jones. Jackson also laughs at the idea of apologising, saying Jones should be thanking him – and he says Jones should never mentiion Bill Liu again.

But he’s right if his intention is to awaken us so that we don’t become complacent and take it for granted that the Maori vote will just return to us.

“You can kind of understand what he was saying becasue Rino and Nanaia haven’t been seen recently, and we have seen less of Parekura, so are you the saviour of the Labour Party’s Maori caucus? Can you inspire them back to former strength”?

There’s another person in scriptures, and his name isn’t Lazarus, if you think my skills are that good.

An odd lack of leadership ambition.

But let me say this, the seats that Rino and Nanaia hold are well looked after by them, and they do not take that support for granted, and they are working hard to not let those seats go to someone else.

The skills for each politician aren’t the same as each other. One skill I have is being able to hold my own with mainstream media attacking.

A strange skill to be promoting.

But in regards Willie’s comments about Parekura, let (him) explain his future. He’s a chief who has worked very hard for a long time for everyone. So let’s leave him be.

Is Jones suggesting Horomia has earned a right to be left to laze in peace? That’s probably not what he meant, but some could see it that way.

“You have returned to the front bench now, so what are the big issues for you and Labour?”

Health is a big issue that we will tackle and we will support Annette King absolutely because as we have seen on this programme this morning, the devastating effects of a genetic disorder on one family and one brave woman.

We will never stop supporting health workers from the sector who help families like the one we saw this morning.

It’s not about re-jigging budgets, it’s about real people who need real support.

That doesn’t say much about what they will do.

Now one of the big issues for Northland and the East Coast is about preserving out environment – planting more Totara and Kauri on our lands.

It may not be for everyone but I’m saddened at the unemployment rates in our rural communities. We need projects like that, that support our people in the regions.

Without a doubt if we were to be the Government we would be working and talking to communities about projects like that.

That won’t provide productive employment. Planting more Totara and Kauri would presumably need to be funded – by whom?

“Can you take the Tamaki Mataurau electorate off Pita Sharples?”

Pita is like the pope, he wants to keep the seat until he passes away. His time has come and gone. I don’t want to talk him up despite his useless position on MTS and the new spectrums.

I will challenge him about this in parliament, but the sun has certainly set for him in politics.

Maori Television Services and the radio spectrums are more Government handout type issues.

“What about the Maori Party? Will they suffer the same fate as the Moa and the Huia as a result of this leadership saga?

In politics if you are fundamentally split it won’t be long to go before it’s all over.

There’s a certain irony considering Labour’s own leadership saga and apparent factional splits.

If they don’t put Te Ururoa in as leader then Hone Harawira will fill the gap as leader for that part of Maori society.

Into their second term in coalition with National the  Maori Party would appear to serve a different constituency to Mana, which is much further to the left.

But if they do put him is as leader I think the party will survive.

“While you’re talking about Te Ururoa he’s 57 now, it appears the Maori Party isn’t connected with young people and voters, is that an area they can improve in?”

They are not the only ones faced with that problem, we are as well in Labour, it’s a difficult and hard job to chse the youth vote.

Jones is 53. Parekura Horomia is 63. Nanaia Mahuta is 43. Rino Tirikatene is about 40.

Beyond that the Maori Party still has plenty of spirit apparently with our youth but the major issue is they are fighting amongst themselves. That’s why I say the sun is setting.

Jones will have to do a lot to prevent the sun setting on his political career. Rated as a big political prospect he has not yet lived up to expectations, and has been embarrassed by poor process (on Bill Liu) and poor behaviour (porn movies on taxpayers expense).

And talking of taxpayers expense, that is all Jones talked about trying to do, Health, Maori television, pots of gold at the end of the radio spectrum, native tree planting programmes – all costs, nothing productive or self-supporting.

I’ve heard Jones referred to as a more right leaning Labour MP, but there was no sign of that in the interview. He sounded like a Maori socialist, another handout Hone.

Jones has been given a political lifeline by David Shearer, and is now in a prominent position on Labour’s front bench that looks decidely weak.

If he can’t show leadership and shine now his sun will have never have risen to great heights, so won’t have far to go to set.

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