Shane Jones is going nowhere.

To me, Shane Jones is an enormous waste of potential. Smart man, Harvard educated, of Maori descent and from the Far North, he really could be a champion of the regions, particularly in his own patch north of Auckland. But Jones lets himself down all the time. He is a maverick, and he is proud of it. He rides roughshod over the prime minister and anyone else who tries to get in his way. What he fails to see is that, even if he is not forced to resign (and he should be, over the latest debacle with the NZTA), he has no authority and no mana. He is being taken less and less seriously by those that matter.

Someone who came back into politics with the future of NZ First firmly in his grasp is now on borrowed time. Those who make the rules can only flout them for so long. Something eventually will unseat him, and he will have to go. We all know it. The media knows it. Most of parliament knows it, and of course, the voters know it too. The only person who does not seem to know it is Jones himself, who carries on playing the fool as if he will be able to go on forever. He won’t. quote.

When the news broke that Shane Jones had publicly commented on a regulatory case being taken by the NZ Transport Agency, there was speculation the Regional Economic Development Minister may be forced to resign.

The talk intensified as word spread in legal circles that Jones was related to the man whose company is subject to the safety action.

When Jones confirmed in Parliament the same day that he had personally discussed the case with the acting chief executive of NZTA, one leading commentator assumed it was a lay down mis?re.

Jones appears to be upset that the NZTA case may be using the words of Filipino-born truck drivers. Jones said the drivers had been encouraged to “spy on New Zealand-owned businesses”.
On Thursday he went so far as to suggest, in Parliament, that the drivers were being turned into “pimps”.

But through all of this, Jones will likely sail above it.
Not because he is not acting inappropriately, but because Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appears powerless to do anything about him.

Although we have never seen anything written down about it, this can only be because of concerns that if she was ever forced to sack Jones, it would run the risk of exploding the coalition.

Stuff. end quote.

Of course, it would, and everyone knows it. Jacinda cannot afford to cross the power behind the throne. Jones will continue to do exactly what he likes, but something will trip him up eventually.

Jones does not seem to understand, or care, that his interference in a case before the courts is generally seen as corruption. In a country which prides itself on very low levels of corruption, he is already pushing out the barriers. So long as he is getting away with it, he will keep pushing.

The media already treat him as a laughing stock, and the voters are turning away from NZ First in droves. Yes, much of that is due to Winston’s broken electoral promises, but Jones is doing his bit for the demise of his party as well.

Jones could have been the next leader and the future of NZ First. He still thinks he can be. Mavericks rarely last long in parliament though, and now that the media see him as a bit of a joke, he has become a joke. Like I said, Jones is a waste of potential. It is hard, though, to take the maverick out of the man. Jones has had his time.