There's more than one Rocketman centre stage at the moment. The Country's Jamie Mackay talks to Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, who says local councils need a rocket where the sun doesn't shine. Jones also fires a few shots at superstar director James Cameron and plant-based meat alternatives.
Water storage may have its critics, but Shane Jones is not one of them - he reserves his criticism for local councils.
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"They need a rocket in the nono," the Regional Economic Development Minister told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
"Unless we invest and continue to invest largely in water storage ... I see a very grim future for our cockies and our rural towns."
Trying to achieve anything with a general election looming was also proving a challenge, Jones said.
"There's only about three months left that enable us to get work done because you have to be very, very restrained from late June to the date of the election. Then you have to be restrained going towards doing the Budget.
"I'm going to be putting a very stern verbal missile where the sun doesn't shine with a lot of these councils because they're holding us up. We've gone and got the money."
"I think quite frankly that the way in which local government delivers water services itself is due for remedial attention and reform, but I guess we're going to have to actually campaign at that level mate."
Meanwhile, Jones' One Billion Trees initiative is facing a huge challenge from the coronavirus outbreak, as the forestry industry takes a hit because of import restrictions in China.
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Mackay asked Jones if he regretted putting all his "logs in one basket" by trying to plant the nation in trees.
"No, no, no, no, no, no. The expansion of the forestry estate is also driven by our policy to create an industrial and manufacturing hub at the same time," Jones said.
"I know that' I've been taking stick that more of the landscape needs to go back into trees but I think for the majority of Kiwis they're buying into it and quite frankly a lot of the farmers themselves are starting to come around."
As for China, Jones said there was "never a guarantee" the free trade deal set up by Helen Clark's government was going to "go on incessantly".
"Since the Helen Clark government made us the first western trading nation to sign up a free trade deal with China, the traffic has all headed off to China and now the traffic is hugely disrupted.
"People are losing their livelihoods. Thousands of men and women in the forestry sector are going through a process of dislocation so my advice to all the traders and the logmongers is: diversify."
However, Jones admitted Mackay had "a very valid point" about the New Zealand forestry industry's reliance on China.
The threat of plant-based foods to New Zealand's meat and dairy industry was something that should not be tolerated, Jones said.
"This notion of veganism and almond powder or something akin to that is going to replace genuine red meat, genuine dairy milk, it needs to be stopped in its tracks."
"We should not tolerate, we should not acquiesce for one inch of the political journey with these people who are continuing to stigmatise and demonise our legacy industries and I don't care if I sound politically backward saying that.
"I'm an accurate reflection of people who have had a gutsful of our legacy industries being talked down.
One person in Jones' sights was "Hollywood chap", film director James Cameron.
"This chap who flies all over the world generating negative carbon emissions. He's got no mandate to speak to New Zealanders in the vein that he does and he should focus his attention on trying to fix up America. I don't like it."
Also in today's interview: Jones talked about gang violence and NZ First's ongoing battle with the media.