23 Apr 2014

Maori Council praises Jones

7:07 am on 23 April 2014

The Maori Council says it is shocked Shane Jones is leaving Parliament - and calls him an outstanding politician.

It says the MP stood out during the Labour Party leadership struggle.

Co-chair of the council, Maanu Paul, praises Mr Jones for his oratory in both English and Te Reo Maori.

Shane Jones.

Shane Jones. Photo: RNZ

He says the politician has skill, capacity and a brilliant understanding of the English language and is an expert in the use of Te Reo.

Mr Paul calls Mr Jones the ultimate New Zealander - due to his biculturalism - and says Mr Jones is one of the few Maori political leaders to have his finger on the nation's pulse, and is in the same class as New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters.

Former Labour MP Kelvin Davis is next on the party list and is expected to replace Mr Jones.

Earlier this year Mr Davis announced he would contest the Maori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau, after being runner up to Hone Harawira of the Mana Party in 2011.

Mr Davis says he's very sad that Mr Jones is leaving and says he's a great friend inside and out of Parliament.