Former NZ First MP Shane Jones contemplates life after politics in the Duke Marlborough.
It was a bleary-eyed NZ First candidate Shane Jones who greeted reporters the morning after the election, admitting he had drunk a gallon of red wine during a “harrowing night” for his party.
The former government minister spoke to media briefly on Sunday, after eating breakfast at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, in Russell, where NZ First’s election night events were headquartered.
Dressed in a plain, grey shirt, baseball cap and shorts, Jones said he had spoken to party leader Winston Peters, but wouldn’t be drawn on what the former deputy prime minister had said.
David White stuff.co.nz
A slightly under the weather Shane Jones faces the media in Russell the morning after the election.
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“It was a harrowing night,” Jones said, coughing.
“Given that I consumed about a gallon of red wine last night … I haven’t spoken to anyone.”
But Jones, who was pictured energetically dancing the night away, had his theories about why his party had only hit 2.7 per cent of the vote (before special votes were counted).
It will not be returning parliament, with questions now lingering about the future of its MPs.
“Let’s face it, there was a red tsunami and the public obviously were tuned in to the whole Covid kōrero, and the forces that are right-ist, and I am of a right-ist beat as a politician, it was not a night for us,” Jones said.
He wouldn’t be drawn on the future, saying it was up to Peters to chart a way forward.
Jones also finished a distant third in the contest for the electorate of Northland, picking up just 4543 votes. National’s Matt King received 15,332, and Labour’s Willow-Jean Prime was second on 14,590.
“In terms of the north, I was astounded at the closeness of the result between Labour and National,” Jones said.
“And all of the people who have been bitching and moaning about me and complaining to me about the effects of the Government’s policies, I will now say to them, trot off to [Northland MP] Matt King.”
Jones first entered Parliament in 2005 under the Labour Party banner and stepped down in 2014. He made a return in 2017 with NZ First. He has widely been considered the natural successor to Peters as NZ First leader.
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