NZ First's Shane Jones has 'ability to be New Zealand's Donald Trump' - political commentator

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1 NEWS

Controversial former Labour MP Shane Jones is back on the campaign trail, and his reemergence has been heralded as providing New Zealand's version of Donald Trump.

The former Labour MP will stand for Winston Peters' party in the Whangarei electorate.
Source: 1 NEWS

The former ambassador to the Pacific will be standing in Whangarei under the leadership of Winston Peters for the New Zealand First Party.

And political commentators are predicting more of the drama which accompanied his past political career that ended five years ago.

"Shane Jones is quite a campaigner, he's bombastic, he's eccentric, he's got this ability I think to be New Zealand's Trump," political commentator Bryce Edwards said.

Yet, Jones himself believes his time out of politics has mellowed him.

"I was a hell of a lot more adventurous probably, and certainly and a lot sharper tongued but you'll find this time around I've mellowed a bit," Jones said.

In an interview with 1 NEWS Mr Jones said "no end of people in the north have asked me to come back into politics", saying the town "needs a voice like his".

Mr Jones is confident about winning the seat as well, saying he's "absolutely confident that the Whangarei people will embrace" him.

Whangarei has been a safe National seat in the past and it's currently held by Shane Reti whose majority in 2014 was more than 13,000.

There are questions about how long this move has been in the pipeline.

Mr Jones, a former high-profile Labour MP, left parliament in 2013 to become the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Pacific Economic Ambassador.

He was asked when he decided to run for New Zealand First and if its leader, Winston Peters, had spoken to him about it while he was acting as a diplomat.

Mr Jones said "for the three years that I was a diplomat, never once did Winston and I ever discuss about becoming a politician, hopefully becoming a minister and forming a government."

He says Peters, who holds Northland, has given him "a second chance lifeline in politics".

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