Shane Jones

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For the American author, see Shane Jones (author). For the Canadian actor, see Shane Warren Jones.
The Honourable
Shane Jones
Shane Jones.jpg
Shane Jones in 2011
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party list
Minister for Building and Construction
In office
31 October 2007 – 19 November 2008
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Preceded by Clayton Cosgrove
Succeeded by Maurice Williamson
Personal details
Born (1959-09-03) 3 September 1959 (age 54)
Awanui, Tai Tokerau, New Zealand
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Dorothy Pumipi
Residence Kerikeri[1]
Alma mater Auckland University

Shane Geoffrey Jones (born 3 September 1959) is a former New Zealand politician for the Labour party and Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development. Jones was a cabinet minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand. He contested the leadership of the Labour Party in a 2013 leadership election but lost to rival David Cunliffe.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Jones is Māori, of Te Aupōuri and Ngāi Takoto descent, as well as having English, Welsh and Croatian ancestry.[4][5] He has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Master Public Administration (MPA), and was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to study at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[citation needed]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2005–2008 48th List 27 Labour
2008–2011 49th List 16 Labour
2011 –2014 50th List 16 Labour


He stood in the 2005 elections for the Labour Party, being ranked twenty-seventh on its party list. This is the highest position given by Labour to someone who was not already a member of Parliament. He took his seat in the new parliament after the Labour Party won 50 seats in New Zealand's 120 seat parliament. Jones held a number of senior roles in the public sector, being best known for his work as chairman of the Waitangi Fisheries Commission. He worked for the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. After his entry into the parliament, after 2005 Election, Jones became Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He has often been speculated by the media and among his colleagues as the future leader of the Labour Party.[5]

In the Cabinet re-shuffle on 31 October 2007, Jones was made a Cabinet Minister with the portfolios of Building and Construction, and was made an Associate Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Immigration and Trade. He scrapped a government proposal requiring new buildings to have low flow showers heads, prior to the 2008 general election.[6] Labour was defeated at the election and Jones contested the Northland electorate unsuccessfully, but was returned to parliament due to his high list placing of 16.[clarification needed]

Jones has announced he will leave Parliament at the end of May 2014.[7]

Expense controversy[edit]

On 10 June 2010 after the release of ministerial credit card records, Jones admitted to having used a Crown credit card for personal expenditure, but assured the public that he had reimbursed the Crown in full for the expenditure. Later that day Jones admitted that he had used the card to hire pornographic films at hotels while on ministerial business.[8] The credit card record showed that he chartered an executive jet for $1200, which he claimed was due to bad weather which forced a change in his schedule.[9]

On 14 June 2010, Opposition Leader Phil Goff demoted Jones along with two other Labour MPs for misuse of ministerial credit cards. Jones was removed from the parliamentary front bench and stripped of the shadow portfolios of Environment and Economic Development.[10]

Yan controversy[edit]

In 2008, when Jones was Minister of Immigration, he approved the citizenship application of Chinese businessman William Yan. Yan was charged with making false declarations on immigration documents. On 23 May 2012, Jones stood down from the front bench and his shadow portfolios while an investigation took place. Labour Party leader David Shearer asked the Auditor-General to investigate Jones' handling of the citizenship application. Jones had acted against officials' advice that he should decline the application because of questions about Yan's multiple identities and a warrant for his arrest in China. Jones defended his decision, saying it was based on humanitarian grounds because a high-level Government official had told him that Yan faced execution if he returned to China. Shearer said Jones supported the decision to refer the matter to the Auditor-General because that was the only way to clear his name.[citation needed]

Shearer said he still believed Jones had followed proper processes, but the differing statements made inside and outside of court, and the questions raised publicly had prompted him to refer it to an independent agency. Shearer said: "New Zealanders must be able to have confidence in the processes of government and that is why Labour believes it is important for the Auditor-General to provide reassurance that the appropriate action was taken in this case."[11]

On 24 May 2012, Yan was found not guilty on all the immigration charges.[12] On 30 May, it was announced that the Auditor General would conduct a formal investigation into the matter.[13]

Political Resignation[edit]

On 22 April 2014, Jones announced his intention to step down as a Labour Party MP, leaving at the end of May. TV3 reported he would be taking on the newly created role of Pacific Economic Ambassador.[7] His valedictory speech to the New Zealand Parliament is available at this link

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Graaf, Peter de (26 June 2013). "Shane Jones returns to his roots". The New Zealand Herald (APN News & Media). Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Trevett, Claire (22 August 2013). "Jones' hat in ring to lead Labour". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cunliffe wins Labour leadership". Stuff.co.nz. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hon Shane Jones". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Ralston, Bill (16 June 2007). "The Man from Mangonui". New Zealand Listener 208 (3501). 
  6. ^ Gibson, Eloise (15 October 2008). "Low flow shower plan down the gurgler". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Trevett, Claire (22 April 2014). "Labour MP Shane Jones to step down". The New Zealand Herald. 
  8. ^ 3 News (10 June 2010). "Shane Jones talks about porn scandal". 3news.co.nz. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Staff Reporters (10 June 2010). "Shane Jones, Minister of Pornography". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Rising stars to replace shamed trio". The New Zealand Herald. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Shearer stands Shane Jones down", The New Zealand Herald; retrieved 23 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Not guilty decision in Yong Ming Yan Case", The Dominion Post, 24 May 2012; retrieved 25 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Auditor General to investigate Jones" by Claire Trevett, The New Zealand Herald, 30 May 2012; retrieved 31 May 2012.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Clayton Cosgrove
Minister for Building and Construction
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Maurice Williamson