The Dom Post reports that Dail Jones is set to return to the House for a third time, once Brian Donnelly resigns to become High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.
I have to say that I think it goes against the spirit of MMP to go into the election with a party list, on which people vote, and then after the election to “fix” things so people lower down the list leapfrog their way into Parliament. The Greens are planning to do that with Russel Norman and now NZ First with Dail Jones.
Jones is on the record as having said:
‘Custard is more dangerous than second-hand smoke. …[and] milk …is worse than second-hand smoke.’
So obviously a high flyer who will become Health Minister the next time Winston hands out baubles.
The appointment of Brian Donnelly as High Commissioner gives me mixed feelings. On a personal level I am delighted for Brian and he will do a fine job I am sure – better than most MPs given diplomatic posts. But it is the reality that there is no way at all he would have got the job unless Winston was Foreign Affairs Minister – and for a party which actively campaigned against the baubles of office – it is a major and hypocritical bauble Winston has dished out.
My spies in the Cook Islands tell me Donnelly’s impending appointment was the front page story of Cook Islands News yesterday. The word “bauble” is used in that article also!
The same issue also reports that as Donnelly goes from politics to diplomacy, Todd McClay may be doing the reverse.
Todd is the Cook Islands Ambassador to the European Union, and is reported as considering standing for the NZ Parliament this year. His father, Roger McClay, was MP for Taupo for many years. Roger also worked for Winston in more recent times as an advisor, so it is a very small world. The Cook Islands story says:
Todd McClay , the Cook Islands ambassador to the European Union, based in Brussels, is contemplating his future with the embassy and whether to contest the New Zealand general elections.
Speaking to Cook Islands News from New Zealand, McClay said that he has been asked to consider standing for parliament in New Zealand and has received nothing but support and encouragement both in New Zealand and the Cook Islands to do so.
McClay, whose father was a former NZ minister of Pacific island affairs and children’s commissioner, Roger McClay, has New Zealand, Irish and Cook Islands heritage.
He holds a politics degree and is completing a masters in international public law. McClay speaks French with a practical understanding of the Spanish and Italian languages.
I know who I would want in Parliament given a choice between Todd McClay and Dail Jones!