New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has today announced he’ll be running as the party's candidate in the Northland electorate in the 2020 election.
MP Mr Jones said it was a privilege to be selected as the party’s candidate and pledged “a bold and job-rich campaign reaching out to all Northlanders”.
Others competing for the seat include ACT candidate Mark Cameron and New Conservative’s Melanie Taylor. More candidates in the electorate are expected to be announced.
“We look forward to telling our story of continued Government investment into rail, water storage, roads, digital connectivity, tourism and health after nine years of neglect by the last National Government,” Mr Jones said.
In a campaign video released today, Mr Jones said he had always been a “bit of a challenging personality”.
“I’ve never suffered any doubts about sharing an opinion or bringing an issue to light or debate.”
He said he entered politics after participating in various demonstrations, including at Bastion Point and protests against the Springbok tour.
“It morphed into working with the Māori chiefs and leaders of that time through the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.”
He said he wanted to focus on getting rangatahi Māori ready themselves for the economy.
He told TVNZ 1’s Breakfast on Thursday he said NZ First won't “tolerate being absorbed” by Labour ahead of election.
"You're going to see us well and truly distinguish ourselves in 12 weeks, which is when voting starts."
Mr Jones said the party isn't locking itself in to sticking with Labour but instead is willing to work with other parties if necessary to return to Parliament.
The Northland seat is currently held by National’s Matt King, beating NZ First leader Winston Peters by 1389 votes in the 2017 election.
Mr Peters said Mr Jones "has my full endorsement" as Northland's NZ First candidate.