Loose cannon Shane Jones fires more shots, Ardern missing in action

I’m not sure if Shane Jones is deliberately trying to make things difficult for Jacinda Ardern, or is trying to establish himself as New Zealand’s version of Donald Trump (an arsehole popular enough to get elected), or is just getting out of control.

On Tuesday Jones made threats against a journalist who had criticised his conflict of interest as minister in charge of the Provincial Growth Fund – Hamish Rutherford “Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones delights in announcing funding cash from the Provincial Growth Fund, but when he or his office face questions about the probity or merits of the fund, the response has bordered on hostile.” Shane Jones makes ‘chilling’ threats against journalist.

Yesterday in General Debate in Parliament he fired another shot at the journalist, threatened that the Government would ensure the SFO investigation of the National party over a donation was thorough, and also blasted the Spark CEO who made a disclosure as required by NZX rules.

This is a message to corporate New Zealand: do not arrogantly take upon yourselves the ability to influence foreign policy and make these unwise statements as Mr Simon Moutter did to the sharemarket, thus providing an opportunity for anxiety and stress for all of our exporters. Show judiciousness; do not go beyond your corporate writ. Wanderlust, you may be.

Jones has attacked CEOs and companies in the past, notably Air New Zealand.

How the bar has been set for the provincial champion to declare a conflict of interest. Has the Leader of the Opposition yet been interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office? Was the Leader of the Opposition interviewed by the police; more to the point, will he declare to the New Zealand public that he has been; and if that is the case, will he stand down? No. Where is this self-styled crusader of civic responsibility from Fairfax pummelling and pounding the other side of the House? Conspicuous silence from the media.

Another swipe at Rutherford. The media has not been silent on the announcement that the Police handed over the donation case to the Serious Fraud Office – but the SFO has not even said they will investigate yet, so obviously they won’t have interviewed Simon Bridges.

This is a very dangerous development in the integrity of our electoral system.

Ministers attacking journalists doing their job is not new, but Jones is threatening the integrity of the media, which is an essential component of our electoral system.

But, if he could actually do what he next threatens, that would be a particularly dangerous development on the integrity of both our democratic system and our judicial system.

Now, we’ve watched a pattern of this. We’ve watched a proud police officer be lampooned and suffer scurrilous allegations; he had done nothing wrong, yet he was pilloried, tainted, and stigmatised.

That’s talking about Wally Haumaha, who has been linked with NZ First. The State Services Commission found that Justice and Corrections had failed two complainants, and “A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has found two instances where the high-ranking cop aggressively asserted authority and belittled staff from Ministry of Justice and Corrections…The report said Haumaha’s behaviour met the common understanding of bullying…The IPCA received a third complaint in August, and found Haumaha pressured officers to provide information that would help him defend allegations after taking advice from lawyers.” – High-ranking cop Wally Haumaha belittled and humiliated staff, police watchdog says

May all of that wrongdoing rest upon the head of the Leader of the Opposition, because he says he’s the Leader of the National Party but it’s just not his responsibility in terms of what the Serious Fraud Office is looking at.

I make a prediction: the Serious Fraud Office, once unwisely sicked by that side of the House on to our Leader, knows we will study every single step that they take, to ensure—to ensure, because it’s the National Party—it’s not whitewashed. We will ensure that happens, this incredibly serious and people may very well go to jail, because they won’t have offended the Cabinet Manual; they will have broken the law.

Paul Goldsmith (National) followed Jones in the General Debate:

Well, here I am, coming after Shane Jones, and I’m not quite sure what he actually said, but he seemed to say that they will ensure—presumably, “they” being the Government of the day—that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) does a thorough job on our leader. That would be an extraordinary statement to make. Is he now saying that he is going to guide the SFO, which is an independent statutory body on the police doing their work? He’s going to stand and guide the SFO as they do their work? What an extraordinary thing for a Cabinet Minister to say. I can’t believe he said they will ensure that the SFO does it well.

Newshub: Shane Jones makes outrageous claims about National Party donations probe in Parliament

New Zealand First Minister Shane Jones has outrageously weighed in on the investigation into National Party donations.

The extraordinary scenes in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon added to a string of New Zealand First ministerial mishaps in recent times.

Jones’ incredible comment about the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into the Simon Bridges-led party was made under parliamentary privilege and therefore protected from threats of prosecution.

But the SFO is protected by a fundamental of New Zealand’s democracy known as ‘constabulary independence’, meaning politicians can’t get involved in how it chooses to uphold the law – it’s sacred.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already mildly rebuked Jones after his attack on Rutherford. Will she do anything about this latest outburst from Jones? Probably not much – she seems largely impotent when it comes to NZ First loose cannon MPs bringing the Government into disrepute.

Jones seems to be able to get away with whatever he likes, and he seems to be getting out of control – but Winston Peters is also not doing anything about Jones, publicly at least at by the way Jones continues to spray dirty bullets around it appears that Peters approves of this.

And Ron Mark is also joining the attacks, so it appears that it may be a deliberate NZ First strategy to improve their flagging support.

They may manage to get another percent or two, but at risk of dragging Labour down, especially if Ardern continues to appear to have no control over them.

Ardern has successfully become a champion of progressive celebrity style politics, but if she can’t manage the tough stuff and show some leadership over her much smaller coalition partner party she may find some of her support is not sustainable.

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28 Comments

  1. Gerrit

     /  14th March 2019

    Ardern wont do anything, she is totally controlled by NZ First and impotent to act.

    With Jones now brazen in his belligerence, expect more of the same.

    NZ First needs an electorate seat gifted to them from Labour to stay in parliament so I dont see how Jones strategy, to continually undermine Ardern’s leadership with outright aggression, is going to help them.

    Unless the undermining is to force Ardern from the leadership and put Peters there.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  14th March 2019

      Well, it that’s the plan they wouldn’t have a shit show. No matter how much Winston might be leading Labour around by the nose Labour would never entertain giving Peters the PMship. The Jacinda phemonenon is the only thing Labour’s really got going for them. With the high level of personal she’s got from Labour stalwarts, mums n girlies, & Maori, for her flowery sweet & folksy new-mum-next-door style she’s completely secure.

      My guess is the Provincial Champagnion is just posturing to keep his profile high, postion himself as Winnie’s heir, & is happily misusing Parliamentary privilege, the same way Winnie’s always done, to that end. Winnie seems so unconcerned maybe he’s already decided to leave at the end of this term, & has already negotiated his knighthood & a plumb diplomatic post.

      Once Winston steps down I think NZF might still manage to stumble on targetting rednecks, whingers & amnesiacs for a while but having served Winnie’s purposes he probably won’t give a fig about his former party.

      I find Jonesy entertaining, but I’d never vote for him. Too egotistical & too easily bought to be trusted imo. Even more so than his boss. I think he’s always overestimated his talents.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  14th March 2019

        * personal support

        Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  14th March 2019

        Agree. The musings and implication are interesting. I think you are right, Peters is on the way out and has lost control over his cohorts. Jones and now Marks are running amuck because they can. Nether Ardern or Peters will rein them in.

        With obliteration in the polls likely next election, it is no wonder the NZ First MP’s are carving a niche to try and retain their snouts in the trough.

        They need to usurp Peters and get the party back above 5%. But the strategy Jones is employing is fatally flawed. Not many will buy into his bullying.

        Reply
      • duperez

         /  14th March 2019

        Posturing to keep profile high is an age old part of the game. The style of the posturing might be different but the intent is the same. Finding the right vehicle is an essential element of the art. Somehow, twerking in a nation-wide TV dance thing suits some less than others.

        Reply
  2. Ron Mark seems to be shaping up as a Jones-lite.

    Ron Mark is already in trouble, receiving a Prime Ministerial telling off after Newshub revealed video of him appearing to drum up New Zealand First votes at a veterans event he attended as Minister.

    “I have shared with him my view that when speaking in a Ministerial capacity, references of a party political nature should be left at the door,” Jacinda Ardern said.

    It’s the Parliamentary equivalent of being sent to the head teacher’s office.

    “I told her I will be a bit tighter in future,” Mark confirmed.

    Sounds like he was severely reprimanded, not.

    Ron Mark appeared to use a late-night debate to issue a threat to spill dirt on National MP Mark Mitchell.

    “There goes Mr Mitchell over there, yabbering away… Bring it on, Mr Mitchell, I’ve a lot of information for you to share with the country,” he said.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/03/shane-jones-makes-outrageous-claims-about-national-party-donations-in-parliament.html

    Reply
  3. David

     /  14th March 2019

    Ardern has her hands full with her own ministers flailing around getting nothing done but she has the baby so perhaps we should continue to cut her slack, expecting her to do both jobs I think is a bit unfair on her.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  14th March 2019

      Why ? Men are expected to do both.

      If she can’t do both jobs after all her big talk, she’s being unfair to us, her employers, and should resign.

      Reply
  4. Gerrit

     /  14th March 2019

    With Marks joining the fray, one has to wonder what control, if any, Peters still has on NZ First. Or is he still the mastermind, instigating his ministers to undermine Ardern?

    My pick is Peters is in a power struggle for the leadership within NZ First. Either that or he is a cunning old bugger that is letting Jones run amuck to make Jones impossible to be elected as NZ First leader over Peters.

    Games being played here and a casualty will be Ardern.

    Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  14th March 2019

    much ado about …nothing.

    The last administration plumbed new depths in dirty political machinations.

    A dedicated black ops team,two doors down from the P.M.Utilised Whale Oil,Police influence,partisan journalists to smear opposition M.P’s and promote their agenda of making the rich,richer.

    Corporates are used to Govt jumping when they say jump….when they meet resistance,they don’t like it.

    No more donations because we…’like’ you!

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  14th March 2019

      Blazing whataboutism squirrels time…again.

      No thoughts on the current topic?

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  14th March 2019

      C’mon, Blazer do you really think you will ever make such comments which don’t attract a reply which includes ‘whataboutism’? Have you at any time seen even an attempt to front up about Jason Ede?

      Do you really think that all the serious talk, the searching analysis, the fierce will to abide by high principles from the comfortable chairs could be disrupted or diverted by the mere fact that some of the team did a huge crap in the middle of the carpet in the room?

      Try to focus on the task at hand, ignore the aroma, the fug and the vista and appreciate that for some it’s a triumphant pot of gold, while for the blind, stupid and corrupt it doesn’t exist, it never happened. 🙃

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  14th March 2019

        yes …’Labour did it…too’ never mentioned between 2008-2017.

        Irony is something the right don’t understand.

        Reply
  6. Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  14th March 2019

    keep serving it up to these over paid ‘Captains of Industry’…Shane.

    Reply
  8. PartisanZ

     /  14th March 2019

    Captains of Industry … or Robber Barons … should, of course, be beyond criticism … in the natural way of the world …

    They are, after all, in the Darwinian paradigm, the “fittest” and therefore superior to all but a few other Robber Barons …

    Robber Baroney being the highest pinnacle of human attainment.

    Reply
    • David

       /  14th March 2019

      So he deserves a serve from a lawmaker for complying with the law.

      Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  14th March 2019

    Does Shane seem bovvered?

    Shane doesn’t seem bovvered. 😐

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  14th March 2019

      Goldsmith’s a plonker. Couple of golden opportunities to exploit there with Shaneo’s answers but he just plodded on unintelligently with his short script and sat down. 🙄

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  14th March 2019

        Righto. Last chance for someone to uptick me before I do.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th March 2019

        The clip cut off before that Korean babe Melissa Lee had a chance to talk. No uptick.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  14th March 2019

          Pathetic. 11 is easy enuf to find.
          https://vimeo.com/nzparliament/videos

          Lazy blighter. No wonder you’ve got no friends. >:D

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  14th March 2019

            No friends? What gave you that idea?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  14th March 2019

              I don’t think you can afford any.

            • Corky

               /  14th March 2019

              Most unkind. I doubt your friend profile would be anything to write home about..a few pooks maybe?

            • Gezza

               /  15th March 2019

              Yes but I’m a happy hermit, so I only need to have acquaintances & just people to sell me things I need, or give my car a WOF etc, so apart from you, I don’t need any other friends.

              But ok, if you’re going to come over all sensitive like this – how many friends can you afford & how much do they charge?

  1. Loose cannon Shane Jones fires more shots, Ardern missing in action — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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