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Jones Says Farewell

Labour MP Shane Jones has said goodbye to Parliament with a speech reflecting his humour and politics.

Shane Jones said it was an emotional day as he had been doing interviews about his career after undergoing a media blackout since his decision to stand down.

He paid tribute to past Labour and Maori MPs describing Michael Cullen as the godfather of the Labour Party and noting Helen Clark and former party president Mike Williams had enticed him to come to the top marae in the country.

Jones said he had enjoyed nine years as an MP and believed he had remained true to himself throughout.

Mana Leader Hone Harawira sat alongside Jones and the outgoing Labour MP noted he had been the altar boy and Harawira had “nicked the cross”. They had both been activists, which was right of passage for all Maori politicians in the North.

He had many mentors, but said it was his time with the fisheries sector that made him a man who wanted to be on the side of industry.

Jones recalled him having to front the compulsory shower head policy, which he had never agreed with. As a junior minister he had defended it, but knew he was in trouble when only the Greens defended him noting they were his friends then.

He had been proud to serve and the speech represented the end of one chapter, but the beginning of another.

**
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