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It will be Shane vs Shane in Whangarei

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/06/2017

An announcement anticipated for months is about to be made - Shane Jones will be named as NZ First's Whangarei election candidate.

Winston Peters confirmed on Thursday he would make the candidate announcement at 1pm on Friday - without naming Mr Jones.

It's been one of parliament's worst-kept secrets that the former high-profile Labour MP intended standing in Whangarei.

NZ First is having another go at taking a seat from National.

Mr Peters did it when he won the Northland by-election in 2015, and he believes Mr Jones can do it in Whangarei.

It won't be easy.

Whangarei has been a safe National seat for decades and Shane Reti retained it for the party in 2014 with a majority of more than 13,000.

NZ First's candidate, Pita Paraone, was fourth with just under 3,000 votes.

Mr Jones, 57, served nine years on Labour's benches and held several ministerial portfolios during that time.

He left parliament in 2013 to become to become MFAT's Pacific Economic Ambassador.

At the time, it was believed the post had been created by then foreign minister Murray McCully to remove a popular MP from Labour's benches and the upcoming election.

He's had a colourful career which included being sensationally embarrassed in 2010 when he admitted using his ministerial credit card to hire pornographic movies in hotels he stayed at while on official business.

He apologised, explaining he was "a robust dude" and saying "God knows what my mother's going to think".

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