Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:
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.
This is not particularly subtle code for allow him to become Leader. Jones does not want to hang around, if he is not Leader or at least in a top role. If he wins his seat, he will be in a stronger position to become Leader.
I do believe he has shown interest in the deputy leadership before the election. That would make him the front-runner to then become Leader after the election, unless Goff wins the election.
It is also understood that at a caucus meeting a fortnight ago MPs Mr Jones and Lianne Dalziel criticised Mr Goff’s handling of the SIS issue.
The entire caucus should have criticised Goff over that. It was a self-inflicted own goal.
Speculation is also building that other contenders, including David Cunliffe and David Parker, are building support teams to be ready to replace Mr Goff after the election.
One source said Lianne Dalziel, Charles Chauvel and Moana Mackey were linked to Camp Cunliffe.
Camp Cunliffe has a nice ring to it!
There seem to be three contenders – Cunliffe, Parker and Jones. Cunliffe is the only one with an electorate seat, which is an asset.