Not a Dunne deal

March 28th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

David Williams reports in The Press:

The Government has moved into damage control after it emerged senior civil servant will not be Christchurch’s first recovery tsar.

Earthquake Recovery Minister confirmed in a press release yesterday that Dunne would not be involved in the new government department.

The department will manage Canterbury’s recovery from the devastating February 22 earthquake.

Brownlee refused to be interviewed yesterday by The Press, including about suggestions Dunne had turned down the role because he would not work with Brownlee.

In his press release, Brownlee said Dunne had been contracted to the State Services Commission to help set up the new department and that media speculation about his role had been “premature”.

It may have been premature but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t correct. When Trans-Tasman published the name of whom they thought was taking the job, the Government said it wasn’t him within minutes.

With Dunne, his name was kept out there for several days. Hence I think one can conclude he was the preferred candidate and had been offered the job. And it is a shame he will not be doing it, as he really does have a good reputation.

However, Paul Holmes, the presenter of television current affairs show Q+A, said yesterday Dunne had “turned down the job, not wanting to work with Mr Brownlee, we understand”.

I’m not sure why Paul said that was the reason. It’s hard to judge how credible that is, without any details. Personally, I’m a bit sceptical because Gerry being the Minister in charge has been known throughout. If that was the problem, I’d expect Dunne to have said he was not interested at the first opportunity.

What might be the cause (and i am just speculating) was the proposed division of powers between the Minister and the CEO.

Regardless of the cause, it is a setback. Hopefully an appointment can still be made quickly.

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10 Responses to “Not a Dunne deal”

  1. buffalobob (14 comments) says:

    Thats a terrible pun DPF….something you would expect from the Herald. :P hahaha

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  2. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    After the self-indulgent performance of Paul Holmes on yesterday’s Q+A, his credibility is hardly on the rise.

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  3. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    Perhaps Paul Holmes should have been asked what was the basis of his so-called understanding about Major-General Dunne.

    If they’re looking for a person with a military background there’s a batch of reasonably youngish, recently retired rear admirals (Ledson, McHaffie), another major-general (Gardiner), the soon-to-retire Air Vice-Marshal Lintott, or even Air Marshal Ferguson, who was temporarily in charge of Civil Defence between his CDF job and then his posting to the Government Communications Security Bureau.

    Perhaps Ferguson, though, was regarded as too much a ‘Labour Party’ man.

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,272 comments) says:

    David Williams reports in The Press…

    The headline of the article is “Martyn Dunne ‘says no’ to top Christchurch recovery job”.

    The caption below his photo is “CHIEF: Martyn Dunne will lead a Canterbury earthquake recovery body.”

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  5. backster (2,103 comments) says:

    I tend to agree with Deb Coddington {yesterdays Herald} that setting up a Govt. Department to do the job is not likely to be very efficient, bureaucrats setting up a bureaucracy, and military bureaucracy has resulted in poor outcomes in the last decade or so.

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  6. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Isn’t it just possible that Dunne accepted the role and THEN met Brownlee?

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  7. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    @ Graeme Edgeler:

    They didn’t change the caption from last week’s mugshot. I’m sure they’ll do it now.

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  8. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Isn’t it also possible that Dunne, who is due to take up the role of High Commissioner to Australia soon, decided that that was the role he wanted?

    Certainly not out of place with the work he has done with Australia on streamlining customs and immigration processes (e.g. Smart Gate) and also his work against trafficking of counterfeit medicines.

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  9. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Good point. Only Dunne knows for sure and he isn’t telling.

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  10. Colonel Blimp (8 comments) says:

    Maggie (10:54)- Gerry Brownlee would be the main issue with any credible candidate to consider. GB-has not handled ChCh at all well. Perhaps if there is a ChCh ministry – there is an opportunity to replace him with a a younger more dynamic person. Great opportunity for JK for a change

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