Shane Jones

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Shane Jones

Shane Jones 2018 5.jpg
Jones in April 2018
3rd Minister for Infrastructure
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded bySteven Joyce
Minister of Forestry
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byOffice created
Minister for Regional Economic Development
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byOffice created
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for New Zealand First list
Assumed office
23 September 2017
LeaderWinston Peters
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party list
In office
Succeeded byKelvin Davis
Minister for Building and Construction
In office
31 October 2007 – 19 November 2008
Prime MinisterHelen Clark
Preceded byClayton Cosgrove
Succeeded byMaurice Williamson
Personal details
Born (1959-09-03) 3 September 1959 (age 59)
Awanui, New Zealand
Political partyNZ First (2017–present) Labour (2005–2017)
  • Ngareta Jones[1]
  • Dorothy Pumipi[2]
Alma mater

Shane Geoffrey Jones (born 3 September 1959) is a New Zealand politician for the New Zealand First party. He has served as a list MP since 23 September 2017.

Jones was a cabinet minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand. He contested the leadership of the Labour Party in a 2013 leadership election but lost to rival David Cunliffe.[4][5] He left parliament at the end of May 2014.[6]

Jones was the New Zealand First candidate for Whangarei in the 2017 general election; he was ranked eighth on the New Zealand First party list and returned to parliament following the general election in September. In October 2017, Jones was appointed as a minister in the New Zealand First–Labour coalition government, holding the portfolios of Infrastructure, Forestry and Regional Economic Development.

Early life[edit]

Jones is Māori, of Te Aupōuri and Ngāi Takoto descent, as well as having English, Welsh and Croatian ancestry.[7][8] He has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA), and was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to study at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[9]

Political career[edit]

Labour Party[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th List 27 Labour
2008–2011 49th List 16 Labour
2011–2014 50th List 16 Labour
2017–present 52nd List 8 NZ First

He stood in the 2005 election for the Labour Party, being ranked twenty-seventh on its party list. This is the highest position given by Labour to someone who was not already a member of parliament. He took his seat in the new parliament after the Labour Party won 50 seats in New Zealand's 120 seat parliament. Jones held a number of senior roles in the public sector, being best known for his work as chairman of the Waitangi Fisheries Commission. He worked for the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. After his entry into parliament, after 2005 election, Jones became chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He has often been speculated by the media and among his colleagues as the future leader of the Labour Party.[8]

In the cabinet re-shuffle on 31 October 2007, Jones was made a cabinet minister with the portfolios of Building and Construction, and was made an associate minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Immigration and Trade. He scrapped a government proposal requiring new buildings to have low flow showers heads, prior to the 2008 general election.[10] Labour was defeated at the election and Jones contested the Northland electorate unsuccessfully, but was returned to parliament as a list member due to his high list placing of 16.[citation needed]

Expense controversy[edit]

On 10 June 2010 after the release of ministerial credit card records, Jones admitted to having used a Crown credit card for personal expenditure, but assured the public that he had reimbursed the Crown in full for the expenditure. Later that day Jones admitted that he had used the card to hire pornographic films at hotels while on ministerial business.[11] The credit card record showed that he chartered an executive jet for $1200, which he claimed was due to bad weather which forced a change in his schedule.[12]

On 14 June 2010, opposition leader Phil Goff demoted Jones along with two other Labour MPs for misuse of ministerial credit cards. Jones was removed from the parliamentary front bench and stripped of the shadow portfolios of Environment and Economic Development.[13]

Yan controversy[edit]

In 2008, when Jones was Minister of Immigration, he approved the citizenship application of Chinese businessman William Yan. Yan was charged with making false declarations on immigration documents. On 23 May 2012, Jones stood down from the front bench and his shadow portfolios while an investigation took place. Labour Party leader David Shearer asked the Auditor-General to investigate Jones' handling of the citizenship application. Jones had acted against officials' advice that he should decline the application because of questions about Yan's multiple identities and a warrant for his arrest in China. Jones defended his decision, saying it was based on humanitarian grounds because a high-level Government official had told him that Yan faced execution if he returned to China. Shearer said Jones supported the decision to refer the matter to the Auditor-General because that was the only way to clear his name.[citation needed]

Shearer said he still believed Jones had followed proper processes, but the differing statements made inside and outside of court, and the questions raised publicly had prompted him to refer it to an independent agency. Shearer said: "New Zealanders must be able to have confidence in the processes of government and that is why Labour believes it is important for the Auditor-General to provide reassurance that the appropriate action was taken in this case."[14]

On 24 May 2012, Yan was found not guilty on all the immigration charges.[15] On 30 May, it was announced that the Auditor General would conduct a formal investigation into the matter.[16]

Retirement from parliament[edit]

On 22 April 2014, Jones announced his intention to step down as a Labour Party MP, leaving at the end of May. TV3 reported he would be taking on the newly created role of Pacific Economic Ambassador.[6]

Re-entering politics[edit]

Shane Jones (Economic Development Minister) at an event at Victoria University of Wellington in 2018

On 30 June 2017, after months of speculation, Jones was confirmed as the New Zealand First candidate for Whangarei for the 2017 general election.[17] Jones is also placed eighth on the party list for New Zealand First, above some of the members of the New Zealand First caucus of the Parliament at the time, increasing his chances of re-entering Parliament.[18] New Zealand online magazine, The Spinoff hosted a live debate on Facebook, among seven of the 2017 election’s candidates that the magazine found "most exciting", including Jones, representing New Zealand First.[19]

Coalition government[edit]

Following the 2017 election, Jones was appointed Minister for Infrastructure, Minister of Forestry and Minister for Regional Economic Development following the formation of a coalition government consisting of the Labour Party, New Zealand First, and the Green Party.[20]

Provincial Growth Fund[edit]

As Minister for Regional Economic Development Jones is responsible for the $3 billion provincial Growth Fund and has announced a number of grants for the development of various regions, eg for Southland, the West Coast and the Wairarapa.[21][22][23] The first grants in February 2018 included $6 million for the Whanganui rail line, $5 million for the Napier-Wairoa rail line and $2.3 million for the Gisborne port.[24]


  1. ^ "Jones: 'The right man in the wrong party'". Herald ib Sunday. 27 April 2014.
  2. ^ Tracy Watkins, Andrea Vance (1 September 2013). "Labour of love for the partners". Stuff.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Graaf, Peter de (26 June 2013). "Shane Jones returns to his roots". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. ^ Trevett, Claire (22 August 2013). "Jones' hat in ring to lead Labour". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Cunliffe wins Labour leadership". 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b Trevett, Claire (22 April 2014). "Labour MP Shane Jones to step down". The New Zealand Herald.
  7. ^ "Hon Shane Jones". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b Ralston, Bill (16 June 2007). "The Man from Mangonui". New Zealand Listener. 208 (3501).
  9. ^ "Jones nets Cabinet post". Stuff. 31 January 2009.
  10. ^ Gibson, Eloise (15 October 2008). "Low flow shower plan down the gurgler". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  11. ^ 3 News (10 June 2010). "Shane Jones talks about porn scandal". 3 News. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Shane Jones, Minister of Pornography". 10 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Rising stars to replace shamed trio". The New Zealand Herald. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Shearer stands Shane Jones down", The New Zealand Herald; retrieved 23 May 2012.
  15. ^ "Not guilty decision in Yong Ming Yan Case", The Dominion Post, 24 May 2012; retrieved 25 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Auditor General to investigate Jones" by Claire Trevett, The New Zealand Herald, 30 May 2012; retrieved 31 May 2012.
  17. ^ "Shane Jones confirmed as NZ First candidate for Whangarei". Stuff. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Shane Jones in eighth place as NZ First reveals its list". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  19. ^ "The Spinoff Great Debate - 7pm Tonight on Facebook Live". The Spinoff. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Labour-led government 2017-2020 regional economic development". The Beehive. November 2018.
  22. ^ "Shane Jones reveals the panel who will help steer the $3b Provincial Growth Fund". Stuff (Fairfax). 13 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Southlanders in running for slice of $3-billion Provincial Growth Fund". Stuff (Fairfax). 1 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Shane Jones doles out millions to Northland, Hawkes Bay and (to) rail regeneration". Stuff (Fairfax). 23 February 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Clayton Cosgrove
Minister for Building and Construction
Succeeded by
Maurice Williamson
Preceded by
Steven Joyce
Minister for Infrastructure
New ministerial post Minister of Forestry
Minister for Regional Economic Development