Shane Jones the man for 2020, not this year

6 July 2017

I doubt Shane Jones will have any impact in this year’s Election, but 2020 could be a different story.

With Election campaigns being dominated by party leaders and Winston Peters always offering the media an exciting sound bite, he will undoubtedly dominate the New Zealand First media attention. The party would be silly to plan it any other way because many would argue that Peters is New Zealand First.

But what about the next Election?

If Peters doesn’t stand as a 75-year-old in 2020, many would predict the end of the party. But this is where Jones could come into his own and save NZ First.

Regular readers of this blog will know how highly I rate Jones when it comes to news media skills. I still think Labour missed a major opportunity before the last Election when they selected David Cunliffe over Jones as leader. That’s because Jones was the only one with the ability to foot it with John Key in both the likeability and intellectual stakes.

I’ve heard people say Jones is lazy and wouldn’t be a good leader. But politics isn’t all about being a good leader. It’s about getting people to vote for you (Look at Trump). And remember that 99 percent of voters only ever see politicians on television. So if people can’t warm to them through the television set, they won’t vote for them either.

The ability of Jones to combine his intelligence and wit on television could see him develop a good following in 2020.  This could come from existing Peters supporters and other disaffected voters. Those who would vote for Jones would probably be voting for the man rather than the policy, but I’m sure that’s currently the case with most NZ First supporters now.

That’s why the future of the party will be so dependent on the next leader rather than the policy. Shane Jones could be their only hope.


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Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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