ACT Party Press Release:

“The Prime Minister needs to stamp her authority on this Government by telling Shane Jones to pull his head in,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour

“We almost expect to hear Jones asking for votes in return for Provincial Growth Fund money. It shows how far the standards of pork barrel politics have slipped under this Government. Steven Joyce, now he had class. He knew a picture painted a thousand words, so was endlessly photographed with business owners who’d received his Growth Grants. Asking for votes explicitly was beneath Joyce but not Jones.

“However, Jones is not only uncouth but turning feral with his threats to use the Overseas Investment Office for political purposes. Jones Comments on Newstalk ZB this morning that he would be ’checking with the Overseas Investment Office to see if (foreign investors who criticized him politically) should lose their standing in good character’ is a problem for several reasons.

“Jones seems to think the OIO can be used to silence his political critics. Nobody but Jones could believe that the ‘good character’ test in the Overseas Investment Act means ‘agree with New Zealand First.’ Ministers who think an office such as the OIO can be politically corrupted is another good example of why business is holding back investment.

“Jones’s comments are also contemptuous of free speech. In a free society all people should be able to express themselves so long as they do not incite or threaten violence. Simply criticizing a politician, particularly one who is nakedly asking for votes for money, is well within the ambit of free speech.

“The Prime Minister is under fire from business for being a great cheerleader who’s indecisive at home. What a great opportunity for her to show leadership by putting Jones back in his box.