Labour MP Shane Jones has
signed off from Parliament this afternoon.
"It's an emotional day," he told a mostly full House and a
packed public gallery at his valedictory speech.
"I have lived, breathed, I have had every bit of my being
putting myself either willingly or unwillingly in the front
of our people."
Mr Jones covered everything in his valedictory speech from
his battles with the Green Party to his dealings with Bill
Liu and his use of taxpayer money to watch porn in a hotel.
Referring to the porn scandal, he gave advice to his
replacement Kelvin Davis: "Know this from me, cash is king,
He added: "It didn't cover me with a great deal of glory. But
know this, I never ever ran [from media].
"Whenever I was in the gun, I fronted up."
Mr Jones had earlier promised to depart with a few "barbs".
He described broadcaster Willie Jackson as the "Maori
equivalent of Pam Corkery"and former colleague John Tamihere
as "Labour's number one exile".
The MP also washed his hands of Labour's hugely controversial
policy to regulate showerheads and water pressure.
"I never agreed with Helen ... I knew I was in a dire
situation when the only person who came to my rescue was
[former Green co-leader] Jeanette Fitzsimmons.
"In those days, the Greens were my fans."
He spoke of his upbringing in Awanui, the son of father who
had been one of 17 children and had a great respect for the
Maori language and the Anglican Church.
After his return from Harvard University and work with
fisheries company Sealords, he was inspired him to become "a
pro-industry man"in Parliament.
"I would be a politician who exhausted every part of his
being to generate wealth, to generate jobs ..."
He joked that the presence of former Act MPs Roger Douglas
and Richard Prebble in the public gallery possibly reflected
his right-leaning politics.
Mr Jones thanked former Prime Minister Helen Clark for
enticing him into Parliament.
But he questioned her insistence that he increase his
door-knocking activities early in his career.
"I have had nine years and I like it no more today. I was a
He concluded: "To those who have shown me love, to those who
feel I may have dashed their aspirations by not being quite
the person that you want me to be ... you've honoured me by
turning up today.
"This is me, I'm out."
The speech was followed by a waiata in the public gallery.
Mr Jones is leaving Parliament to become a Pacific Economic
Ambassador, a new role created by Foreign Affairs Minister
- by Isaac Davison of
the NZ Herald