Sir Bob Jones
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When the Nats chose Todd Muller as leader I was stunned. There’s no precedent in our two Party history for electing someone so obscure.

After six years in Parliament he’d made no mark while his pre-Parliament history was to say the least ordinary, namely a mid-level manager in a large corporation.

He came across as affable but innocuous.

Now the Party has it right. Judith, perhaps with Stephen Joyce as her deputy, would have been a devastating duo after Bill English resigned.

Much is made of the short time up until the election as a handicap. In fact it’s a plus for the Nats as new leaders enjoy a honeymoon of attention.

It’s bad news for ACT and may cost the Party two or three MPs they’d otherwise have secured.

Judith has declared NZ First out which means if they get up again then Labour will retain office. They probably will for this reason.

By Labour supporters casting their Party votes for NZ First may cost them a couple of MPs but secure the coalition government.

Labour has a long tail of lightweights and shedding some of them will be healthy for them in the long run.

In all of these shenanigans the Greens will be swept aside.

One final comment. I was initially surprised at the selection of Gerry Brownlee as the deputy, rather than a younger comer such as Paul Goldsmith.

But on further thought it made sense. He’s one of our most seasoned politicians. Furthermore, he’s still fighting fit as evidenced by his weekend pole-vaulting recreation, although he no longer does it competitively.

One thing is sure and that is the coming election outcome is now anyone’s pick.

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Bob Jones
Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon. While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.