Labour MP Shane Jones has indicated he is weighing up his future in politics if he does not get strong endorsement from Maori voters in November’s general election.
Mr Jones said on Te Kaea on Maori Television he wanted to win the Tamaki Makaurau seat – currently held by Maori Party leader Pita Sharples – and if he did not he would “reconsider my options”.
Asked to clarify his comments by the Herald yesterday, he said winning the seat would give him a strong platform for “future developments” in his political career.
“If that doesn’t come to pass, a whole bunch of other factors have to be weighed up. If I don’t win the seat, then I’ll assess what happens – whether or not I stay on and look to play a more meaningful role in politics, or whatever.”
This is about what happened in the Te Tai Tokurau by-election. The main problem with Kelvin Davis’ campaign was that he was already in Parliament, so voters could cast their vote for Hone Harawira and they’d still have Davis, but if they voted for Davis they lost Harawira.
So Jones is sending a signal that even though he’s a list MP, if the voters of Tamaki Makaurau don’t support him as an electorate MP they won’t get the same ‘two for the price of one’ reward for voting strategically. Although . . . they probably will because the only reason you issue a threat this deliberately vague is so you can go back on it after the election.