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Jones takes the Northland to “Big Smoke” radio

Jones takes the Northland to “Big Smoke” radio

Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones says he was delighted to be able to take a taste of the Northland to the “Big Smoke” in Auckland when he filled in as talkback host on a high-rating nationwide NewstalkZB programme last Friday.

“It is not everyday that you are invited to stand-in for such a high-rating, respected morning radio host like Leighton Smith, so it seemed daunting just thinking about it,” Mr Jones said.

“But I’m not one to step away from a challenge and I was also curious and enthralled about the experience of handling a show of such magnitude.

“It was a fascinating experience and I was the last of four politicians – Tau Henare (National), Rodney Hide, Winston Peters and… I suppose they left the best for last!.”

Mr Jones said he was grateful for the assistance from radio luminaries such Bill Francis the long time network manager, producing legend Greg Billings and the acclaimed radio host Tim Dower.

“They made it easy for me and I felt comfortable in the role knowing they are such professionals in what they do in the media,” he said.

“We had callers from all over the country, including Dunedin, on the show and it ranged from topics like the dog attacks, speeding trucks, Northland infrastructure, Government policies, Building and Housing issues and boot camp et cetra.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the show and having a constant board full of calls kept me busy right throughout.

“I was also privileged to interview rugby legend Eric Rush and my highly-talented rugby league cousin Stacey Jones on the show. All in all it was a lot of fun, but you have to admire talkback hosts for the stamina and patience they have in handling their shows.”

Mr Jones said there was one clear message and lesson he learnt on the show.

“This country is about the people, and the one thing I was told was that we as a Government must engage with the people at ground level and listen to what their concerns are.

“There is nothing more important than the people and as they say in Maori, e tangata, e tangata, e tangata.”


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