No regrets about resignation - Jones

Shane Jones
Shane Jones
Labour MP Shane Jones says he does not regret his resignation ahead of his last day in Parliament today.

He blindsided Labour Party colleagues on April 22 by announcing he intended to quit politics just months out from the election, saying he did not believe he could give 100 per cent to his role.

Mr Jones today told TV3's Firstline he expected delivering his valedictory speech in Parliament later today would be an emotional experience.

‘‘I always tried to bring a lot of personality forward in my politics and I am the first to admit that it some of that colour and style got me into trouble occasionally.

‘‘I'm a reflection of a lot of New Zealanders. If you want a tepid politician, if you want politicians of the future which are akin to Stepford Wives, then you're going to have a pretty boring Parliament."

He denied being a ‘‘sellout" in leaving for a role offered by the National party.

Mr Jones was shoulder-tapped by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully earlier this year about taking a new role working on New Zealand's economic development aid programme across the Pacific and in other small developing countries.

‘‘I think people who know me well realise that I've got significant credentials of an economic nature," Mr Jones said on Firstline.

‘‘The Maoris have a saying; 'the kumara doesn't boast of its own sweetness' so I have got to be careful what I say, but I came from very senior position in the fishing industry before I came an MP and I've always felt that economic matters in Pacific - there's more that we can do as a country."

Mr Jones said his valedictory speech would not contain ‘‘anything hurtful or particularly explosive".

‘‘It will be colourful and reflect the journey that I took as a New Zealand lad from the Far North [that] washed up in Parliament."

‘‘I think although I've been a significant player in the Labour Party, there's a whole bunch of other people left behind, they're going to carry the fight forward.

‘‘I'm going to go on and do other things - hopping out of the Labour parliamentary waka today, and I wish all my colleagues Godspeed."

When he announced his resignation last month, Mr Jones said he had worked hard to expose Countdown's alleged mistreatment of New Zealand suppliers. His campaign forced a Commerce Commission investigation into the issue.


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