VIDEO: Who Are You Really Voting For? United Future & Peter Dunne (NZ Elections Part 6)
Dunne has been a Member of Parliament since 1984, representing the centre-left Labour Party in Parliament from 1984 to 1994, and a succession of minor centrist parties since then. He served as a Cabinet minister while in the Labour Party and has since done so in governments dominated by the centre-right National Party as well as by the Labour Party.
With the departure of leading right-wingers Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and David Caygill (All Parliamentarians for Global Action) he found himself isolated.
In October of 1994, Dunne resigned from the Labour Party, becoming an independent, under MMP.
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From 2005 to 2008 he held the posts of Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister of Health as well as a minister outside of Cabinet with the Labour-led government.
After Labour suffered an election defeat in 2008 to the National Party,
United Future was reduced to having Dunne as its sole MP.
In mid-2013 Dunne refused to hand over all 86 emails between himself and Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance,
relating to the inquiry into the leaking of Rebecca Kitteridge's GCSB report,
following its illegal spying on Kim Dotcom.
John Key told Dunne that if he would not co-operate with the inquiry,
he would have to resign his ministerial positions - which he did on 7 June.
[In December 2013, Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee found that Dunne was entirely within his rights to decline the Henry Inquiry access to his emails.
It further described the actions of the Henry Inquiry as "unacceptable", "mystifying" and "unprecedented". The committee found "failure at many levels", particularly, as to why the Speaker of the House was not consulted, or at least informed,
about the requests and information releases.
On the 28th of January 2014,
Dunne was reinstated as Minister of Internal Affairs, Associate Minister of Health,
and Associate Minister of Conservation.
He retained his portfolios on 29 September 2014,
after he signed his third confidence and supply agreement with National Party leader, John Key.
In December 2014 the Chief Ombudsman ruled that the emails did not contain official information and were therefore not required to be released.
2002: Peter Dunne made an agreement with Helen Clark that the government could not relax the cannabis laws.
2006: An Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot.
[The purpose of the bill was to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act so that cannabis could be used for medicinal purposes,[
and to permit the cultivation and possession of a small amount of Cannabis by registered medical users,
or a designated agent.
[The bill received a conscience vote at its first reading in July 2009, and was defeated 84–34.
All MPs in the ruling National Party voted against the bill, as did the sole members from United Future Peter Dunne.
In 2008: John Key agreed to continue the same anti-legalisation cannabis policy agreements Dunne had entered into with Helen Clark.
2011: A law to ban synthetic cannabis products was put in place by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.
2011: Dunne: ruled out Kiwibank, Radio NZ and water for asset sales.
2012: Legislation allowing the partial sale of four state owned energy companies has passed Parliament by a single vote.
The passing of the controversial legislation mandates a sell-down to 51 percent Government ownership of Mighty River Power,
expected by the end of September.
The Government again came in for a final sustained attack from opposition MPs over the bill,
but it was the absent United Future MP Peter Dunne, who was reserved for particular criticism.
Dunne's vote, combined with that of Act MP John Banks and National’s 59, overcame the 60 dissenting votes of Labour, the Green Party, New Zealand First, the Maori Party and Mana's Hone Harawira.
2013: Peter Dunne pushed for the legalisation of synthetic cannabis.
Later in 2013: To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Peter Dunne performed a U-turn,
on his flip-flop,
and agreed to support expansion of the GCSB's powers to spy on New Zealanders.
A 2014 Headline reads: Dunne slams Opposition, Mayors over legal highs - Peter Dunne has slammed the Opposition's push for a ban on synthetic cannabis, accusing them of turning the issue into a "circus”.
Later in 2014 Peter’s son, James Dunne, emerges as the legal representation for advocates of the recreational synthetic drug industry.
At the time James was a lawyer at Chen Palmer, Lawyers and lobbyists on behalf of the synthetic drugs industry.
John Key confirmed today the relationship had been checked with the Cabinet Office,
which saw no issue.
James Dunne's online profile describes him as a lawyer with "inside knowledge of how Parliament works", specialising in the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority,
which oversees the regulating of legal highs.
In 2016 Dunne Stated: “I agree with the Labour Party on the TPP.
Well, some of what it is saying anyway.
Actually, to be more accurate,
some of what Andrew Little is saying,
because everyone else in his Caucus seems to be trying to cover all sides of the argument,
all of the time.
No, I agree with Andrew Little when he says it would be crazy for New Zealand to pull out of the TPP once it takes effect. He is absolutely right”.
But in 2017: Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne dramatically changed his views (for the umpteenth time) on drug policy, over the past eight years.
Calling for the legalisation of Cannabis, as deaths in synthetic cannabis mount up.
Deaths that Dunne now calls, predictable.
Multiple allegations of Dunne having close relationships with the tobacco and alcohol industry have long being hinted at by many - yet an investigation of Dunnes election donation in 2014 reveals an even more amazing result, he got zero dollars, making him the first party to run with out donors or election donation funds.
As Ripley would say, believe it or not.
But in that case NOT!
In 2009 United Future leader Peter Dunne was offered thousands of dollars from a wealthy businessman,
after agreeing to oppose international fishing restrictions.
The offer was made on behalf of businessman Philip Vela - whose family owns one of New Zealand's largest privately-owned fishing companies.
The millionaire, was also advised that giving Mr Dunne a $5000 donation, could lead to the MP's help with a tax issue the Vela company faced,
and for "access" to a parliamentary select committee.
Private papers obtained by The Dominion Post,
say Mr Dunne agreed to raise United Nations plans,
to protect fishing stocks,
with a select committee chairman in August 1999. Within days of a meeting with former National MP Ross Meurant,
(who also brokered donations from Mr Vela to NZ First,)
Mr Dunne issued a press release opposing parts of the UN fishing plan.
Six days later,
The documents show that Mr Meurant recommended Mr Vela donate $5000 to Mr Dunne's party,
to recognise his "assistance”.
The report said:
"In view of Dunne's assistance with the UN charter issue,
and the good relationship I have with him ...
I believe there is merit in making good the advice,
you allowed me to give him last (time) Dunne and I met
- and that a donation would be made,
I suggest $5000, Payable To United Future New Zealand Political Party Campaign Fund."
Mr Meurant told Mr Vela:
"I think Dunne is worth it.
He will be a key actor in the finance select committee - and I believe the donation will have the effect of moderating opposition, he [Mr Dunne] may have previously displayed toward IRD related issues, involving Vela Group."
Mr Dunne has served for the past three years as revenue minister, which includes overseeing the tax department.
Mr Meurant told Mr Vela in the September report,
That National's own polling suggested it would not win the 1999 election.
Its polling also correctly predicted that Mr Dunne was expected to win his electorate,
and that ACT leader Richard Prebble,
would lose Wellington Central.
Mr Meurant viewed Mr Dunne as "critical" for having access to Parliament's finance select committee,
when he suggested the $5000 donation.