Scoop’s Gordon Campbell continues his series of interviews with party leaders. This one is with Peter Dunne.
Campbell: The evidence for the prosecution would be the story that you started reading Hansard when you were twelve –
Dunne : Fourteen.
Good God, I didn’t start until university!
Campbell: Do you think any of the Christian-based parties will cross the 5 % threshold this year?
Dunne : No. United Future is not in that camp, not any more.
Campbell: You’ve been through your prayer meeting phase ?
Dunne : Well, we were never really in it. I certainly wasn’t. But we had some people who imagined that United Future could become New Zealand’s version of the Taliban.
Harsh rhetoric, but similar to what Mark Blumsky said, based on his experiences there also.
Dunne: Yes, and my own view is, that in today’s circumstances for a whole variety of reasons, technology being amongst them, the procedure of a woman, her doctor and two certifying consultants is somewhat cumbersome. I think probably, you should be looking at the woman, her doctor and informed consent. I have a very strong view that – and I appreciate the moral issue involved here – but the moral issue is actually the individual’s morals. I don’t think it’s a matter of the state imposing a moral code. I mean, there is a moral dimension as to whether you should have an abortion and that issue is still there – but that’s not a call that the state should be seeking to make on behalf of the people involved.
A pretty sensible view in my opinion.
Campbell: You’ve governed with Roger Douglas before. Would you like to again?
Dunne : No.
Campbell: Why not?
Dunne : Roger was dynamic to work with in the circumstances of the 1980s, which was big ideas, bold change et etc. The problem with Roger and the whole Act Party is that they’re trapped in a time warp, at the point when Roger was sacked. The world has moved on. The implicit mantra is that if we all went back to 1987 and picked up where we left off, things would be different. Its rubbish.
ACT people won’t like this, but Dunne does have a point here. There is sometimes a lack of reality about where NZ is at today, as compared to 20 years ago. The sense of crisis of the 1980s is not the same challenges we face today.
Campbell: If the Emissions Trading Scheme involves any extra costs whatsoever to taxpayers, would you oppose it?
Dunne : I want to know what those extra costs are, for a start.
Campbell: Understood. But from your statements, it sounds as if there is anything at all extra on household costs. you will oppose –
Dunne : If there’s anything extra that is not properly compensated then yes, we would oppose it.
Campbell: Is there one thing left that you want to achieve before you leave Parliament ?
Dunne : My personal biggest ambition in whatever time remains to me is the whole question of national identity, constitutional change and the path towards a republic. On the weekend I set out a timetable by which we could, if not get there, at last resolve the issues…. by 2017.
And that would be good. Labour’s shattering on the constitutional conventions over electoral law have pushed me 100% towards supporting a written constitution, to safeguard fundamental rights.Tags: Gordon Campbell, Peter Dunne, Scoop