Even before he gave his farewell speech in Parliament last week, renegade former Labour MP Shane Jones was already in a conversation about his return to politics with Mana's Hone Harawira, who in turn indicated he is considering leaving.
Ahead of his valedictory speech in Parliament on Thursday, Mr Jones was given a lapel microphone to wear by TVNZ's Marae programme. Yesterday Marae reported fragments of a conversation before the speech between Mr Jones and Mr Harawira who was unaware of the live microphone.
"If you come back in 2017 with Winston, I'll f****** hang round mate. Otherwise I'm out of here", Mr Harawira said.
Mr Jones who was rumoured to be considering throwing in his lot with Mr Peters' NZ First yesterday denied he was contemplating a return in 2017.
"My whole focus is te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific)."
Mr Jones left Parliament to take up a newly created role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific.
He said he had no idea what lay behind Mr Harawira's comment.
"You've got to go and ask Hone that."
Mr Harawira did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr Harawira's suggestion to Mr Jones he also considering leaving Parliament comes as his party closes in on a deal with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party.
Mana Party secretary Gerard Hehir yesterday confirmed the party had finalised a draft agreement with the Internet Party over the weekend.
That agreement now required final approval from within each party which was expected this week.