3 News has reported that Shane Jones will leave Parliament as early as next month. He has accepted an appointment by National to be the Pacific Economic Ambassador.
This is a huge blow to Labour. Jones had a rare ability to connect with working class New Zealanders, and his decision to abandon Labour before the election can only be taken as a vote of no confidence in Labour.
It will be fascinating to learn of how the job offer and acceptance came about. For my 2c, its good to see Jones take up a role where he can do some good for New Zealand and the Pacific.
But Labour will be reeling from losing not just their 5th highest ranked MP, but someone who less than a year ago wanted to lead the Labour Party – and is now bailing out on it.