Shane vs Shane and the case of false respect

National MP Shane Reti says the possibility of facing experienced former politician Shane Jones in a battle for Whangarei at this year’s election will be a challenge, but one he’s up for.

Mr Jones is widely tipped to stand in the electorate for New Zealand First, but both he and the party are remaining tight-lipped on his candidacy.

The former Labour MP from 2005 to 2014 is not expected to make any announcements until his three-year term as Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development comes to an end in May.

Mr Reti says he’ll let events unfold over time, but will continue to focus on the electorate seat he’s held since 2014.

“We’re convinced the people of Whangarei will extend the privilege to us that we had at the last election,” he said of his chance at retaining the seat.

“(Mr Jones) will have my respect and he will be a challenge, but we’re strong and we’re prepared and we are ready for that.”

NZ First leader Winston Peters attended a pre-Waitangi Day public meeting in Paihia last week, hosted by Mr Jones.

Apart from voters getting the Shanes confused, the likelihood of Jones taking Whangarei off Reti is pretty slim.

Whangarei’s support for Shane Reti exceeds the party vote, which is, in itself three times larger than the support for NZ First.

Although Jones will get NZ First an extra few thousand party votes, there is no danger of him taking Whangarei from Reti.


– NZN via Yahoo! News