Shane Jones is writing a book musing about how New Zealand should be run in one of the strongest signs yet his political comeback is on.
Sources have told Newshub that Jones has been mulling over the book's contents and wants to use it as a "political reset button".
The incarnation of 'Jonesey the author' comes amid growing speculation he will stand for New Zealand First at the next election.
The sources say that Jones has begun "doing the early mahi (work)" on the book's outline while recovering from dengue fever contracted in Papua New Guinea during his role as the Government's Pacific Ambassador.
Newshub's "sources in the North" say Jones is aiming for it to be a "think-piece" along the lines of books written by former Labour leader Mike Moore that laid out his centrist political views.
The book by Jones would allow him to set out his differences with the Labour Party and align himself with Winston Peters. Crucially, it would provide him with a publicity sugar-hit.
Jones is clearly lining up the Whangarei seat that New Zealand First leader Winston Peters wants to take off National's Shane Reti. He lives in nearby Kerikeri, but has strong links to Whangarei where Peters already has a strong presence.
Jones has long-held political beliefs about the Government's role in a mixed economy, a big vocabulary and is reasonably witty so even a "quick-hit" book would have potential.
However, Jones is also renowned for talking a big game but having an inconsistent work ethic so whether the book gets out of his brain and onto paper, let alone published, is another question altogether.
Either way, Jones even thinking about a book and letting "sources in the North" spread it around is a sure sign the comeback is moving along.