Shane Jones on Q+A on Ross Sea

October 23rd, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

appeared on Q+A at the weekend to defend the Government’s position on fishing in the , from the . This was notable for several reasons.

  • Jones is currently suspended as a spokesperson for , so shouldn’t be agreeing to go on TV shows unless he no longer regards himself as bound by caucus discipline
  • He was (again) attacking the Greens
  • He was implicitly defending the Government’s position

Shane said:

I actually think the Kiwis are in a fantastic position of leadership, etc. They used a science-based approach. The science around that particular fishery is considerable, not only based on published papers from our own scientific community, but acknowledged by the Aussies and a host of others. Now, if it comes to pass that we completely lock it up, etc, well, that will be a decision that’s made on the basis of values. The fishing industry are there at the moment. I don’t think that their impact is anywhere near as destructive as Gareth would have it. I mean, if you take that money out of the industry, and it’s vastly more than $20 million, I mean, what is the industry to do? It can retire back home and find fresh activities. They’re not going to find activities with Gareth’s approach where they’re banning aquaculture and they’re banning fish farming.

And on the Greens and Greenpeace:

Um, I think Gareth ended up doing the bidding of the green priests, otherwise known as Greenpeace. They are an international franchise organisation, and they raise a great deal of money from our country, and they should expect to be criticised, as we are. Did the workers deserve to be dissed by the Green Party? No, they didn’t. I mean, I think it’s hypocritical at one level. Russel, someone I considerably respect as their leader, is up in a manufacturing inquiry, and Gareth is out there acquiescing with the deprecation and humiliation of New Zealand workers. You can’t have it both ways.

So what does this mean. It certainly fist my theory of Shane being happier in NZ First. NZ First love the fishing industry (especially their cheques).

Claire Robinson noted on the panel:

Interestingly, you know, Shane Jones – that could have been a government representative sitting up there talking to you. He was so much along the lines of what the government might say.

Imagine what the rest of the Labour caucus feels, having a Labour MP on the coveted Q+A show defending the Government.

Scott Yorke blogs:

 Despite not being Labour’s spokesperson on conservation or fisheries (he’s not the party’s spokesperson on any issue, after being stood down pending the Auditor General’s investigation of the William Yan matter), Jones appeared to endorse the government’s approach to the marine reserve issue. He made no attempt to distance his own views from the official Labour position.

Labour hasn’t actually determined its position on the issue. So why did Jones appear at all? Did he get clearance from David Shearer before appearing?

Labour having no position at all, is confirmed in this story:

Labour says it has not taken a position on whether to back the United States proposal for a large reserve in the Antarctic’s Ross Sea or the Government’s proposal for a smaller reserve that are about to be debated in Hobart.

Conservation spokeswoman Ruth Dyson confirmed yesterday that the party had not taken a formal position, after colleague Shane Jones appeared on TVNZ’s Q&A supporting the Government’s reserve.

“Our consistent policy has been to make sure we always use the best science,” Ruth Dyson said, as it had done to support the net bans to protect Maui dolphins.

Saying our policy is to use the best science is a slogan not a policy. The question is quite simple – does Labour back the US proposal or the NZ proposal?

Scott continues:

Labour needs a leader who will bring wayward MPs into line, because the voting public will not enthuse over a party that does not have a clear and consistent message. If some MPs won’t accept that then they need to be encouraged to consider their futures.

Or maybe he already has. Either way, the ball is in Shearer’s court.

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9 Responses to “Shane Jones on Q+A on Ross Sea”

  1. Positan (390 comments) says:

    For my two cents, I’d have to say Shane Jones addressed the subject with the sort of basic common sense one would have hoped for from any MP. He didn’t politic – he just told it the way he saw it and reasoned it – and it was game, set and match to him over the largely idealistic, dogma-driven nonsense from Gareth Hughes.

    As a rule I don’t waste much time on the views of Labour followers – they’re usually uninformed and parroting the party line whatever the case – but Jones told it the way it was and I could only respect him for having done so.

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  2. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Well said Shane. Labour Stupid is Stupid as – if in doubt prevaricate.
    As for GreenPeace New Zealand Branch I once thought that they were many sensible policies, but now they see the power in a coalition government it has gone to their heads.
    They know it all.
    Heaven help Labour as they continue to fall apart.
    Robertson and Jacinta – keeps on coming.
    Yo Winston the Kingmaker.

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  3. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I think I could handle NZ First in a coalition with National, with Shane Jones as the leader and deputy PM.
    Actually I think I could handle a Labour government with Shane Jones as Prime Minister.

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  4. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    People, you are missing the point.
    Jones will need to continue with Labour as long as he can. He never stepped back from getting paid EVER.
    However, if he manages to avoid jail time over the citizenship for cash scandal he will be in NZ First as soon as Peters can get one of his minions to vacate a list spot.

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  5. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    I do not know enough about the substantive issue to judge, but it occurs to me that it is very easy to propose a giant reserve in someone else’s territory…

    Barnsley,
    The list system does not work that way. You cannot add someone to the list AFTER an election.

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  6. tvb (4,421 comments) says:

    Jones could be leader of NZF but could he be bothered. He lacks the charisma of Peters and the cunning so maybe not.

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  7. KH (695 comments) says:

    The bigger reserve the better – in my view.
    The fishing industry, trying hard to make themselves extinct, just don’t get it.
    But reserves make economic sense.

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  8. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    Gareth Morgan was the most informed person on Q&A, his recent trip down there gave him a first hand insight into the difficulties this fishery is experiencing, namely that non aligned nations pose a huge threat to the long term sustainability of fishing in the Ross Sea, and that regardless of regulation, pirate nations will fish the Ross Sea to extinction in a matter of ten years or less.

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  9. KH (695 comments) says:

    Exactly Kevin. (1.14) The Ross sea won’t look after itself. We have a navy, apparently to protect our interests. Or was that the bunch who had built all those new boats at vast expense, forgetting to have some that could handle the seas down there.

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