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Shane Jones still backs David Cunliffe

Labour MP and former leadership candidate Shane Jones is standing behind David Cunliffe despite a horror week for the Labour leader.

Mr Jones, Labour’s spokesman for regional development and Māori Affairs, says Mr Cunliffe has “fronted up” over his use of a secret trust to solicit donations for his leadership campaign and the party stands “united” behind him.

“David took a difficult and honest decision and fronted up to the media that there was a collision between what the interpretations were in respect to meeting our party obligation and Sir Maartin Wevers, who runs the registry for Parliament,” Mr Jones told NBR.

“At the end of the day, Dave handled it - in difficult circumstances - to the satisfaction of our caucus, which flushed out whatever ambiguities that were there ... that’s all we could ask of the guy.”

However, Mr Cunliffe still faces questions over why he initially failed to declare an investment trust to Parliament's Register of Pecuniary Interests.

Mr Cunliffe invested in the ICSL Trust in March 2012. Set up by ASB Bank, ICSL reportedly manages $8 billion on behalf of 20,000 clients - an average of $400,000 per investor.

He did not declare he was a beneficiary of the ICSL Trust when he registered his financial interests for the annual Parliamentary Register of MPs' Pecuniary Interests for the year to January 31, 2013.

For his part, Mr Jones says he disclosed all donations of more than $500, as required.

“What Sir Maarten Wevers required of me I have already given him, and if it’s inadequate he will come back to me. If I have to do anything else to meet the obligations of the standing orders I will do so.”

Mr Jones said that the Labour Party understands they only have a short opportunity to build some momentum before the next election, which he says can only be achieved by being united.

“But I will not acquiesce or tolerate any discussion that feeds into the narrative that [NBR columnist] Matthew Hooton is pushing."

Comments and questions

“David took a difficult and honest decision and fronted up to the media that there was a collision between what the interpretations were in respect to meeting our party obligation and Sir Martin Weavers, who runs the registry for parliament,”

I call bull-puckey on this! A large load of Bull!

Why was it difficult for a Labour Leader to be honest and up-front?

As for the "collision" that's another load of fertiliser - attempting to distract from the issue.

The Registrar's advice for newbie pollies and each and every year since is: "if in doubt, declare it".

If the Labour Party have their own set of rules of lower or higher standards, that has no bearing on the long-standing obligations by all in Parliament to be transparent, up front and obey Standing Orders of declaring it all - otherwise secret donations and secret trusts just raise suspicions about the probity of someone attempting hide and launder secret donations through a 3rd or 4th rate blogger.

Both Jones & Cunliffe were part of the previous Labour government that "tightened" the rules around these matters, so Jones now running interference instead of Curran, only smacks of a leadership coward who won't accept responsibility and accountability for the deceit he attempted.

Cunliffe goes from bad to worse and really should front up and take it on the chin. Pushing underlings under the scrutiny bus is just weak and insipid...

Michael J Savage must be spinning faster in his grave than even the spin doctor's of Labour's corrupt Auckland Mayor.

Dear Shane, are you deluded? Cunliffe had no option than to front up. Had he not he would have been more than just tricky. Do you think if you stay close when he falls you get the big job. It’s a poison chalice now, your friend David has made it so.
I note Russell Norman is staying away

Take a bow, Mathew Hooton. Shane's spin doctor has read your erudite comment and penned the response. The syntax is simply not that of Jones. Shane, I know you and understand your unfortunate grasp of language. Try again if the Editor permits.

Yeah, right.

Et tu, Brute?

There were ambiguities in caucus? What could that possibly mean? Smouldering tensions among the members? Lingering conflicts over the Griffin’s digestives, suspicions served with a hot cup of Choysa, or maybe he meant a whole range of indelicate and faintly improper questions? Enquiring minds want to know.

I for one can most certainly imagine that Shane Jones has David Cunliffe's back firmly in his sights. The only question there is will it be the kidneys or between the shoulder blades. Anyone fancy a guess?

I can't see why the Labour contenders for the leadership needed any funding from others. They were all on fat parliamentary salaries, with unlimited air travel paid for by taxpayers. Why couldn't they pay there own way???