Michael Jones MP?

March 13th, 2010 at 9:11 am by David Farrar

The Herald does a lengthy profile of :

Jones’ work has admirers at the highest level. Listening to him speak at last week were Prime Minister John Key, ministers Paula Bennett, Tariana Turia and Georgina Te Heu Heu and ’s sole Pasifika MP, Sam Lotu-Iiga. Key spoke later, in a similar inspirational vein. But it was Jones who spoke from the heart.

Key’s high-powered retinue made it clear he was redoubling the effort he made before the last election to get Jones to stand for Parliament on the National ticket.

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey, who has watched Jones for 20 years, says he “could go very far” in politics if he chooses to.

He compares the great flanker to former Prime Minister Norman Kirk. “I have always felt their voice is similar, their phraseology, their quiet and forceful delivery,” he says.

“I think he’s an extraordinary New Zealander. I think he’s got another life. I think that life is saving New Zealand and I would just love to see him run.”

Jones is taking Key’s overtures seriously and is consciously stepping up to leadership.

Jones would be a massive addition to National’s ranks, if he chose to stand. Not because he is a former All Black (some say our greatest), but because he is has always been such an inspirational personality.  His record of community service is second to none.

Jones’ Christian moral values have always placed him on the right politically. He opposed Labour’s civil unions law and Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking law, and fronted advertisements for Christian Heritage in 2002.

But he also grew up with Maori families in , learnt te reo Maori at university and spoke out against former National leader Don Brash’s attack on “race-based funding” in 2004. He warmed to National when Key took over and asked him to stand in 2008.

“I got to know John Key in that period and I liked what I saw, not only in terms of his leadership style. “I really sensed that his aspiration was to bring all New Zealanders forward, including Pacific people,” he says.

What would be interesting, is not just if Jones stands, but will he contest a seat? The two logical seats he might contest is Te Atatu or .

New Lynn had National just 0.1% behind Labour on the party vote, but a larger 12% gap on the electorate vote. However I think it is fair to say Tim Groser was running a party vote campaign, not trying to win the seat personally.

In terms of ethnic profile, New Lynn is 58% European, 23% Asian, Pacific 12% and Maori 9%.

Te Atatu saw National marginally ahead in the party vote, but Chris Carter win the electorate vote by 17%.

However Te Atatu is even more ethnically diverse with 18% Pacific, 16% Maori and 17% Asian.

I think there is a very reasonable chance that Michael Jones could win either seat. Carter’s reputation has been damaged by the focus on his overseas travel, and he may of course retire. Cunliffe will not be retiring, but he has a smaller majority to defend.

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44 Responses to “Michael Jones MP?”

  1. Michaels (1,317 comments) says:

    I’d like to see him rub the smirk off Cunliffe’s face and let big Tau one more shot at Carter.

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  2. bulbul (18 comments) says:

    I am assuming Cactus Kate will be repeating her warnings again soon.

    “Anyone visiting Samoa and inquiring to locals about these two will soon be referred to by locals to various incidents at the Coconuts resort where one of these men is alleged to be less than the perfect moral man that he preaches and has made a career out of promoting. In fact these allegations make him far more loved in South Auckland than in Samoa. “Morality” is a very dangerous virtue to claim as your own as the standard is impossible.”

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  3. BlairM (2,265 comments) says:

    Politics has a habit of wrecking good reputations. I’d hate to see Jones in Parliament as I want to keep liking him.

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  4. Neil (525 comments) says:

    Jones has a great image in the European community. Just what it is like in the Island community would be interesting to know. Is he regarded as a bit of an “Uncle Tom” by certain sections of that community?
    For myself I would welcomes Jones to National providing he did some of the hard work before seeking the nomination- like collecting subs,door knocking and working in community social organizations.
    I just don’t like “celebrities” getting quick entry to parliamenmt. Look at Peter Garrett,Midnight Oil soloist(I think) who was pushed into Labour Australian politics in the environment area and has proved a disaster.
    Let Jones fight his way in. Politics is something the person must want to do. It is no place for the half hearted !

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  5. m@tt (535 comments) says:

    So asides from being a former All Black and having an ‘inspirational personality’, would he bring any practical skills to government?
    If not then really he’d just be prostituting his status as a sports icon.

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  6. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    Better we could try and have jones stand in Mt Roskill and make Labour suffer the humiliation of their own leader defeated in his electorate.

    I think standing him in New Lynn might be a bad idea as if he takes the seat of David Cunliffe Cunliffes leadership ambitions will be over, making Shane Jones the 2014 leader. Te Atatu could be a better choice for this reason, especially as it will take out one of labours better MPs. Plus given the extra diversity could help party vote wise the best.

    Also, Micheal Jones could one day be a great PM.

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  7. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    The ODT this week reported that boths Lab and Nat were courting Anton Oliver. Now there is this news.

    A statement perhaps on how shallow and personality based our politics have become.

    Parties chase celebrities in the hope the thick prols will vote for them based on who has the best stable of names rather than policies. How sad.

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  8. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    m@tt, I believe he’s a qualified engineer so he is practical one assumes.

    I’d also like to see David Kirk go into politics. That would be interesting.

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  9. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    I’m not sure about MJ being a MP. I think he would be great BUT .. BUT .. I can see a great bloke having his mana (hate using that term) attacked by the low life’s in Labour. They are people attackers. Look what they have tried to (and still trying) do to Key, English, Tolley, Smith, Finlayson (why would THEY of all people taunt a MP for being gay for gods sake), Wilkinson, Bennett, Brownlee (if they attack a person because of their weight, maybe they should check out their own MP’s) etc.
    What I am saying is that they attack the individual and not their port-folios.
    I don’t know if MJ could handle a fwit like Daffy slagging him off during Q time for instance .. parliament has become a vile place during the Clark years (Muldoon had his moments of course but the place cleaned up a bit after he “left”).

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  10. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    Liarbore can’t attack him while he is held in high public regard and with affection and there’s no sign of him losing that.

    Even Mallard’s not that dumb but Goff probably is and it would be great fun to watch. Like a slo-mo train wreck but much more entertaining.

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  11. Viking2 (10,694 comments) says:

    But he also grew up with Maori families in Te Atatu, learnt te reo Maori at university and spoke out against former National leader Don Brash’s attack on “race-based funding” in 2004. He warmed to National when Key took over and asked him to stand in 2008.

    So he is being pushed into place so that Key can continue to have sufficient support for his continuing handouts to the race based parties and their sycophants.

    The Nats. just never learn do they? The rest of us Kiwi’s actually don’t want race based policy. Off to Aussie we will go AGAIN.

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  12. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “spoke out against former National leader Don Brash’s attack on “race-based funding” in 2004.”

    That’s it then. He’s a racist commie. No business being in National.

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  13. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    And National has no business being in “race-based funding” in 2010.

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  14. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    Hmmmmm … so Bulbul repeats an allegation of Cautus Kates which was so general as to be laughable. So what next?
    The Labour Party dispatches Andrew Little on a repeat of Mike Williams dirt fishing expedition and on return he announces to a breathless Caucus that the allegations are not proven but there is of course no smoke without fire. Will they ever learn?

    Funny though, my links are with Sinalei just 400 meters up the beach from Coconuts Beach Resort that was. Never heard those stories but did here some about a certain Labour Cabinet Minister now serving time.

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  15. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    National does not need to scrape the barrel like labour to secure Votes… So don’t need the likes of Jones.
    plus.. He’s a racist commie. (Redbaiter)

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  16. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    “The rest of us Kiwi’s actually don’t want race based policy”

    I’m afraid we can’t avoid it Viking2. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have had to but in an ideal world no one is ever done an injustice. Rectification for those that were done here a hundred plus years ago is a fact of life for us. It’s not an option to walk away from it, no matter what your argument is, about whether rectification is just or not. That’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is the fact that if we don’t deal with it, we get conflict. Fact. Some say that the anger that drives the conflict isn’t justified because now is not then and opportunity begins only when you look seriously at your own self and why do they keep themselves down when they don’t have to. And I agree with both those points. But that to me is not the end of the argument.

    See if I were in their position and we were all speaking and reading Chinese and we were 10% of the NZ population, I don’t really know how I’d feel but I suspect I’d be a bit pissed as well. And that sentiment widely exists, there is no doubt.

    Maori are fine if and when they are consulted and when given the opportunity to have real input. To do that however they need voices in various national and local centres of power and they will never get them if they don’t have dedicated seats. I don’t see that as a high price to pay because we’re still the majority in every single place and it would take away a hell of a lot of the anger they hold.

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  17. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Jones better than McCaw, nope, do not think so.
    A bloke who was so community minded he refused to take part in a function where a Muslim would be ?
    Maybe Jones does not know but a lot of the problems of the Island community is caused by religion and grasping churches who demand cash from poorly paid Islanders.

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  18. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Black South Africans are fine if and when they are consulted and when given the opportunity to have real input. To do that however they need voices in various national and local centres of power and they will never get them if they don’t have dedicated seats. I don’t see that as a high price to pay because they’re still the majority in every single place and it would take away a hell of a lot of the anger they hold.

    YEAH RIGHT!

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  19. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    Who’s talking about them, RK?

    Maori aren’t them. Black South Africans are seriously uneducated and most of them are thick. That doesn’t apply here – different gene pool.

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  20. tvb (3,937 comments) says:

    If Jones practices the art of aspirational politics rather than the negativity of class envy and hate then he should fit in with National quite well.

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  21. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” What’s relevant is the fact that if we don’t deal with it, we get conflict.”

    Chamberlain reincarnate.

    “Maori are fine if and when they are consulted and when given the opportunity to have real input.”

    If I was ever a Maori, patronizing insulting shit like that would only piss me off.

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  22. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    Why? It’s neither patronising nor insulting. It’s simply a fact of life as you’d know if you’d ever dealt with any of the iwi groups.

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  23. Viking2 (10,694 comments) says:

    Talked to a longtime local polly I know a year or two back before the last elections. We were talking possible candidates and I suggested someones name. Someone who would IMHO have done a fine job. The pollies reply was simple and to the point. I’ve been there and done that. Usually it results in the person being a failure at the role.
    Interesting, but really it makes the point.
    Like all work and jobs and careers. The best at it are people with passion for what they do.
    Jones fails to display a deep seated passion (as do a lot of of others such as Bridges), so without a passion to drive the man he is simply a seat filler. He may well have passion in other area’s and that’s where he should be. But passion for politics no.
    Therefore fail.
    As a follow up to the passion thing one could rarely accuse many Labour people of lack of passion, even if misguided, same applies to the Greens but the Nats. no not a lot of passion about.

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  24. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” It’s neither patronising nor insulting.”

    You just cannot see past the end of you nose sometimes can you Reid? Whatever comes to me, be it consultation or anything, I do not want it coming because I am of some particular race. And not either by way of a pat on the head for being a good dog. You racists are splitting this country like never before.

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  25. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Patronising Maori want hide your true colours (reid).. with that big foot in your mouth.. (Mossad) will easly spot you.

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  26. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Good try DPF but Jones willnever beat Cunliffe or Carter. These seats are Labour strongholds and even in a bad year they remained red, albeit in Te Atatu’s case with a loss of the party vote. In New Lynn Cunliffe ran primarily a party vote campaign and his reduced majority should be seen in this context. It was one of only 6 Auckland seats where there was a Labour majority.

    I suspect that Inga will stand for New Lynn and Jones for Te Atatu.

    I believe also that Jones would hate being in Parliament and would soon wish he had not done it.

    He should be thinking instead about an appointment such as NZ Representative in Samoa.

    [DPF: The party vote majority was only 60 votes. People used to say Waitakere and Akl Central would never go National. Take into account a 22% gap in the polls, and a candidate like Jones, and I'd not be quite as confident as you are. ]

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  27. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @reid: If you want to be logical, most if not all Maoris, regardless of what they identify as, aren’t just Maori though, are they? Who we have today are just as much descendants of the colonists as the Maori settlers. It doesn’t matter which aspect of their heritage they choose to identify with. These are not displaced settlers with communities segregated and marginalised away from the mass that we’re talking about. Race, as we think of it, is a cheap way of attempting to separate people out from one another. It evolves over time, and to implement race based policy disregards that and asserts that concepts of race be held in stasis. I think that’s part of the problem. People get so caught up in concepts of race, they forget to address the actual issues. If there is race-based discrimination, it is because there is an assertion in society that race distinguishes you somehow from another human being in who you are and what you can do. We would be better off if we got rid of concepts such as race.

    @Redbaiter: What National may say they stand for or historically have stood for is irrelevant unless it represents what they actually stand for at present. Whanau ora, etc. Jones would fit right in.

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  28. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter: What National may say they stand for or historically have stood for is irrelevant unless it represents what they actually stand for at present. Whanau ora, etc. Jones would fit right in.”

    National will not change from what it is unless people are vocal in complaining about that. John Key just drifts upon the tranquil waters of public opinion when he should be articulating a course of action based on political principle and persuading others to follow him. The trouble is, he doesn’t have any real political principles, and he probably couldn’t articulate them if he did. Hence the entire National Party is badly suffering from the lack of a real mission. Key has to go.

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  29. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Not sure what policies they would be able to promote as Key has done bugger all for West Auckland, despite being a local member. Super City changes, GST rises and more subdivisions of the ranges are not going to help either.

    Would be good if they get a good list position though as we need more PI’s and westies in parliament.

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  30. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter: I understand that if you don’t like what they’re doing you need to be vocal about it. Just saying that at present he would have business being in National because of what National policies or policies they support are.

    Re: John Key, I think he and National are taking an extremely cautious approach this time around. I won’t judge him as you have perhaps until after I’ve seen what he does with his likely second term. At the end of the day he has to deal with political reality, and if he did everything that needed to be done with rapidity, his and National’s position in power would likely become untenable in the longer run, and that would mean they probably get less done, which can be more easily reversed than if they take a more gradual approach. I think he’s aiming for at least three terms. He’s likely to get the second, but the third is often a lot harder. I admit that my analysis could be completely off the mark and John Key could be yet another political whore who has made his millions so now wants the thrill of power so he can get his jollies. I doubt this extreme would be entirely true, but I certainly accept there certainly could be some truth to it.

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  31. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter: “John Key just drifts upon the tranquil waters of public opinion when he should be articulating a course of action based on political principle and persuading others to follow him”.
    Hell he’l be in a lot longer than I though.. I was thinking two terms.. now with no true political principle’s.. he might be in for three to four terms., by keeping things calm and taking the politics out of politics.

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  32. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Thought.. Dam it… Mike Jones Mike Jones.. is to nice for politics.

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  33. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    I think that the opportunity for Michael Jones to stand as a National candidate is one certainly worth exploring. It just goes to show that the Pacific vote can no longer be taken for granted by any political party.

    The Pacific people are slowly learning to understand the concepts of left, right and centre so hopefully this will provide for an interesting take on NZ Politics.

    How will the tide turn? Will Michael Jones make any difference to the way Pacific families vote? Will he even be successful in securing himself a safe seat?

    I look forward to the answers.

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  34. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    New Lynn and Te Atatu, diverse communities currently represented by a couple of white bread troughing Labour Diva’s. In Carters case, unrepresented for most of the time while he is swanning around the world on the tax payers chit.

    Jones and Inga would romp home with huge majorities and would most likely do a great job with the right staff supporting them.

    I mean who would you vote for, Jones or Carter, Inga or Cunliffe?

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  35. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Viking2 says:

    The best at it are people with passion for what they do.
    Jones fails to display a deep seated passion (as do a lot of of others such as Bridges), so without a passion to drive the man he is simply a seat filler. He may well have passion in other area’s and that’s where he should be. But passion for politics no.
    Therefore fail.

    Can’t help but agree, Viking2. All this grovelling by Key and his entourage simply demeans National. If Jones wants a go, he should have lined up for selection alongside all the people who do so every three years, most of whom do have a passion for contributing to this country through politics.

    Instead he gives every impression of doing the dance of the seven veils, deftly encouraging his desperate suitor to increase the political dowry. It strongly suggests someone who’ll jump in only when the price is right. So no thanks… let’s see some people come through the ranks who’re there to make a sacrifice, not demand one.

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  36. big bruv (12,320 comments) says:

    Michael Jones is without doubt the greatest rugby player this nation has ever produced, however, his political leanings are centre left at best, the fact that Neville Key and the rest of the National socialists want him is further evidence that Neville has taken the Nat’s to the left of the political spectrum.

    It amazes me that so many National party cheer leaders refuse to see what is happening to their party, they are no better than the Labour scum who will do, say or put up with anything just as long as they are in power.

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  37. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    I agree with jivekitty (3:06) about JKs aims goals and time lines .. it really is a case of don’t scare the horses at least until the time is right .. NZ can NOT afford to have these commie Labour Party back in anytime soon.

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  38. deadrightkev (175 comments) says:

    Sorry Michael, I dont see you coming close to addding value to the NZ parliament. You were a great rugby player and I admire your cultural humility but if you are what we need to get NZ out of the shit Australia here I come.

    Your election would be like the Greens promoting Lucy Lawless, you were good once, but as for substance, sorry Mike.

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  39. Viking2 (10,694 comments) says:

    Your election would be like the Greens promoting Lucy Lawless, you were good once, but as for substance, sorry Mike.

    How apt.

    Of course this is American style political selection. Judd started this sort of rubbish and put the pretty boys/girls into nice safe seats. No earning your place with work. Still that’s the socialist way isn’t it?

    Changing subject a little I see that the TVNZ boys have been given their buckup your idea’s orders. Sir John has been asked to sort out the TV1=2 and make a profit and pass the public broadcaster stuff to 6 or 7. Watch the rats leave now.

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  40. Viking2 (10,694 comments) says:

    BB; does that mean Jones will go down in history with the Hobbs.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10631647

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  41. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    From what I know of Jones (as a friend of my wife’s family) he is not just a good rugby player but a solid leader in all respects. While I agree it is silly to promote sports stars as politicians, in his case he may actually have what it takes, certainly couldn’t do any worse than some of our current crop.

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  42. Viking2 (10,694 comments) says:

    Sorry, but he doesn’t display any raw passion for politics in the big house. Politics should be a contest of ideas, not a guarantee of a nice living with a fat salary. Too many of them there now.

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  43. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    ***See if I were in their position and we were all speaking and reading Chinese and we were 10% of the NZ population, I don’t really know how I’d feel but I suspect I’d be a bit pissed as well. And that sentiment widely exists, there is no doubt.***

    Which is why I don’t understand the immigration policies of those in the US, or parts of Europe. Don’t they realise that going from being a majority to a minority group generally leads to resentment?

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  44. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    ***spoke out against former National leader Don Brash’s attack on “race-based funding” in 2004. ***

    Shouldn’t he be more interested in joining an ethnic activist party then?

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