Shane Jones comes out firing over water, fake meat and the media

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 Feb 2020, 8:14PM
Shane Jones had plenty to say about James Cameron and local councils. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Shane Jones comes out firing over water, fake meat and the media

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 Feb 2020, 8:14PM

Water storage may have its critics, but Shane Jones is not one of them - he reserves his criticism for local councils.

"They need a rocket in the nono," the Regional Economic Development Minister told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

"Unless we invest and continue to invest largely in water storage ... I see a very grim future for our cockies and our rural towns."

Trying to achieve anything with a general election looming was also proving a challenge, Jones said.

"There's only about three months left that enable us to get work done because you have to be very, very restrained from late June to the date of the election. Then you have to be restrained going towards doing the Budget.

"I'm going to be putting a very stern verbal missile where the sun doesn't shine with a lot of these councils because they're holding us up. We've gone and got the money."

"I think quite frankly that the way in which local government delivers water services itself is due for remedial attention and reform, but I guess we're going to have to actually campaign at that level mate."

Jones also thinks that the threat of plant-based foods to New Zealand's meat and dairy industry was something that should not be tolerated.

"This notion of veganism and almond powder or something akin to that is going to replace genuine red meat, genuine dairy milk, it needs to be stopped in its tracks."

"We should not tolerate, we should not acquiesce for one inch of the political journey with these people who are continuing to stigmatise and demonise our legacy industries and I don't care if I sound politically backward saying that.

"I'm an accurate reflection of people who have had a gutsful of our legacy industries being talked down."

One person in Jones' sights was "Hollywood chap", film director James Cameron.

"This chap who flies all over the world generating negative carbon emissions. He's got no mandate to speak to New Zealanders in the vein that he does and he should focus his attention on trying to fix up America. I don't like it."

Jones also weighed in on the ongoing scandal around the Serious Fraud Office investigation into New Zealand First, and claims that Winston Peters had journalists investigating the scandal photographed.

"We just have to put up with these squalls from time to time, and my leader has been quite balanced in terms of dealing with the media.

"They need to be conscious that when they do their investigative work, they have to follow the rules of reasonableness and fairness.  And if they don't, expect return fire."