Bob Jones (businessman)

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Sir Bob Jones
Born (1939-11-24) 24 November 1939 (age 75)
New Zealand
Nationality New Zealand
Known for Property investor, author and former politician
Political party
New Zealand Party

Sir Robert Edward "Bob" Jones (born 24 November 1939)[1] is a property investor, author and former politician in New Zealand.


Jones was born in 1939; he is (by 15 years) the older brother of prizewinning author Lloyd Jones.[2] Growing up in the Lower Hutt suburb of Naenae, Jones attended Naenae College and then Victoria University of Wellington. While a student, he earned a "blue" in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university's newspaper Salient. He remained a fan of boxing and sometimes commented on TV on big matches.[3]

Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd, and was worth $550 million according to the 2013 NBR rich list, and $600 million a year later.[4]

He formed the short-lived libertarian New Zealand Party in 1983, just before Robert Muldoon's snap 1984 election. Jones explicitly stated his disgust that the supposedly pro-free-enterprise New Zealand National Party had implemented socialist policies like price and wage freezes, and a top tax rate of 66%. His party acted as a spoiler, helping to deliver the government to the New Zealand Labour Party. Then, surprisingly for an ostensibly socialist party, this implemented free market reforms under Finance Minister Roger Douglas (hence Rogernomics). When the election was over, Jones disbanded the party, seeing that Labour had implemented many of his policies. He and Muldoon had a legal feud, where Muldoon unsuccessfully sued Jones for defamation. But Jones had great respect for Muldoon in other areas, e.g. both despising political correctness. Jones even chaired the farewell dinner on the occasion of Muldoon's retirement from Parliament.[5]

In 1985, Jones was reached while out fishing in a remote valley in Taupo by reporters in a helicopter, which included TVNZ journalist Rod Vaughan. Upon realising the reporters spotted him, Jones infamously punched Vaughan in the nose, with the whole incident recorded on tape.[6][7][8][9] He attempted to remove the Fijian Embassy from one of his properties during the time of the 1987 Fijian Coup and succeeded two years later.[10] In 2015, he was removed from an Air New Zealand flight by security staff for failing to follow crew instructions.[11]

Jones is alleged to shun recent technology; he reportedly hand-writes all of his books by choice, and has been cited in The Sunday Star-Times as refusing to own a mobile phone. The Sunday Star-Times published a subsequent report on 22 October 2006, however, in which he denied elements of the previous week's report and said that he had no aversion to modern technology.

He was made a Knight Bachelor in the 1989 Queen's Birthday Honours, for services to business management and the community.[12]



  • The Permit (1984)
  • Full Circle (2000)
  • Ogg (2002)
  • True Facts (2003)
  • Degrees for Everyone (2004)

Essay collections[edit]

  • Wimp Walloping (1989)
  • Prancing Pavonine Charlatans (1990)
  • A Year of It (1991)
  • Punch Lines (1992)
  • Wowser Whacking (1993)

Non fiction[edit]

  • New Zealand's Boxing Yearbook (1972 and 1973)
  • Jones on Property (1977)
  • New Zealand the Way I Want It (1978)
  • Travelling (1980)
  • Letters (1982)
  • Prosperity Denied (1996)
  • Memories of Muldoon (1997)
  • My Property World (2005)
  • Jones on Management (2007)
  • Fighting Talk: Boxing and the Modern Lexicon (2013)


  1. ^ Lambert, Max (1991) [1908]. Who’s Who in New Zealand (12th ed.). Wellington: Reed. ISBN 0790001306. 
  2. ^ "Bob and Lloyd Jones". The Sunday Star-Times. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Kilgallon, Steve (18 August 2013). "Boxing clever with Bob Jones". The Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Jones Sir Robert". National Business Review. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Farewell dinner". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "LAW: Private rights, public screenings". The Sunday Star-Times. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Film Archive - 6:30 News, TVNZ, 9/7/1985
  8. ^ Film Archive - 6:30 News, TVNZ, 10/7/1985
  9. ^ NZ On Screen: Eyewitness News - Bob Jones punches reporter Rod Vaughan
  10. ^ "Fiji embassy surrenders to Sir Rob". National Library of New Zealand. 13 December 1989. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Marvelly witnesses Sir Bob Jones escorted off plane". The Daily Post. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51774. p. 31. 16 June 1989. Retrieved 12 January 2013.

External links[edit]