Shane Jones okay with Māori seats, despite NZ First policy

  • 02/07/2017

Former Labour Minister Shane Jones is defying his new party's position on some Māori issues.

Shane Jones will stand for New Zealand First in Whangarei at the upcoming election. The party, led by Winston Peters, strongly opposes race-based policies.

But Mr Jones told Three's The Hui he's in favour of Māori Television and race-based scholarships, and isn't fussed by Māori wards or Māori seats.

"I'm one of the pioneers of Māori language renaissance, so of course I support Māori TV," he said.

"I'm not particularly fussed by Māori wards."

Mr Jones also said he once won a Māori/Polynesian scholarship.

Mr Jones also took aim at iwi, saying they need to take a greater role in providing for Māori children. He told The Hui the money from treaty settlements could be better invested.

"I'm yet to be convinced as to why iwi are not subsidising the costs of every single Māori kid to go to kohanga reo, every single Māori kid to be in preschool. That's a better actual investment than a whole lot of these high-falutin' things that they're doing."

However, he added that some Māori need to do more to help themselves.

"IF they are deserving of my support, they'll get my support, but know this from me: every individual in whanau, do what our parents do - get up off your arses and look after yourselves."

Mr Jones will contest the Whangarei seat, which National's Shane Reti won by almost 13,000 votes in 2014.