The New Zealand First list MP Shane Jones is to stand for the seat of Northland at the election.
Photo: Pool / Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images
The seat is currently held by National’s Matt King, who beat Winston Peters by just under 1400 votes at the last election.
Jones, who is the Regional Economic Development Minister, said he looks forward to telling his story of continued government investment in rail, roads, water storage, tourism, health and digital connectivity, after what he says were nine years of neglect by the last National government.
“I will deliver an exciting policy vision for Northland – my home, with passion,” Jones said in a statement.
In a campaign video launching his candidacy Jones said he had “always been a bit of a challenging personality”.
“I wouldn’t say provocative, but I’ve never suffered any doubts about sharing an opinion or bringing an issue to light and debate.
“We should never fail to recognise our trade and our foreign exchange earnings in many respects are related to communities and businesses in the regions and without asking for anyone’s permission I decided that they needed a champion.”
Jones said he wanted people to regard himself and his party as aiming to develop the next generation in tandem with their families and communities.
He said he would do anything he could to prepare rangatahi for the economy.
“So anything that I can do to find money to help, train, encourage and enable them to make better lifestyle decisions, I’m going to do it any time of the day.”
Jones said he knew that when he made provocative comments it could sound arrogant but he did it to unveil issues.