Wintson Peters expected to announce Shane Jones as Whangarei's NZ First candidate today

Winston Peters is expected to announce that Shane Jones is standing for NZ First in Whangarei this afternoon.

Mr Jones quit Labour before the 2014 election and has since been the government's economic ambassador in the Pacific. Source: 1 NEWS

The announcement has been widely expected, and NZ First has just confirmed that Mr Peters will name the party's Whangarei candidate at 1pm in the city.

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

His term in that position ended in May and since then he has been seen with Mr Peters on several occasions.

There are rumours the former Labour MP is planning to jump ship - to join with New Zealand First. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Peters believes his party can take the Whangarei seat from National in the same way he won the Northland by-election.

Whangarei has been a safe National seat in the past.

It's currently held by Shane Reti whose majority in 2014 was more than 13,000.

Former Labour MP Shane Jones.
Former Labour MP Shane Jones. Source: 1 NEWS