In public, Shane Jones plays the role of a populist, repeatedly railing against the use of migrant labour.Conferred by Immigration New Zealand, accredited employer statuswould have streamlined the process of hiring migrants for Stan Semenoff Logging, a large Northland log truck company, such as bypassing the need to check if Kiwi workers are available when hiring.
But it has emerged that in 2018, Jones privately lobbied a Cabinet colleague on behalf of an associate who was seeking accredited employer status from Immigration New Zealand.
The high profile NZ First MP appears to have done so after he had been briefed that the company, owned by former Whangārei Mayor Stan Semenoff, faced investigation by the safety regulator which could see it ordered off the road. Jones has also become involved in that case, raising accusations of interfering with a government prosecution.
So Shane was not content with trying to interfere in the court action involving Semenoff, but he was also lobbying colleagues to allow them to import employees from overseas, even if locals were available.
Is anyone surprised?
Lees-Galloway checked with Immigration New Zealand and was told the application had been turned down four days before Jones met him.
“This decision was an operational one …[which] is not subject to Ministerial Discretion or other override.”
Just as well.