Long may it last

June 7th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters is calling on Speaker David Carter to explain why he went against standing orders in Parliament today and would boycott Parliament until he did.

Excellent. Long may it last.

NZ First MPs and Labour’s Trevor Mallard have walked out of Parliament in protest after Speaker David Carter allowed United Future MP Peter Dunne to keep the extra funding and entitlements that come with being a party leader, despite the de-registration of his party.

Mr Carter announced the decision today but both Labour and NZ First objected, saying if Mr Dunne’s party was not registered then it clearly did not meet the rules required for those resources.

Maybe Winston should pay back the $158,000 he owes taxpayers before he tries to take the moral high ground.

As for whether Dunne is eligible to retain his extra funding, the Standing Orders are not clear on this. What Carter has effectively ruled is that as Dunne was the leader of a party when elected at the beginning of this term – that applies throughout.  I think it an arguable decision either way, but Peters is wrong to say the decision is against standing orders. The standing orders are unclear on what happens if a party is deregistered. Graeme Edgeler has blogged on this at Public Address.

After objecting, Mr Peters said that if Mr Carter did not produce the legal advice he based his decision on, then his party would boycott Parliament until that happened.

But as usual, he lied. They’re back already.

United Future deregistered

May 31st, 2013 at 5:08 pm by David Farrar

The Electoral Commission has announced:

On 31 May 2013 the Electoral Commission board cancelled the registration of the United Future New Zealand (United Future) party at the party’s request in accordance with section 70 of the Electoral Act 1993.

Section 70 says:

The Electoral Commission shall cancel the registration of a political party at the request of one of the persons specified in section 63(1) if satisfied that the request for cancellation is made by the applicant on behalf of the party.

I presume they asked to be deregistered as they no longer had 500 financial members.

I don’t think this affects Peter Dunne’s status in Parliament, or as a party leader, as they were a registered party when elected. It does mean that if he stands again, it will be as an Independent or for an unregistered party.

United Future have said:

UnitedFuture Party President Robin Gunston today announced that the party has asked the Electoral Commission to cancel its registration as a political party while it clears up inconsistencies in its confirmed membership numbers.

“While we have well over the 500 members required under Section 71 A of the Electoral Act for a political party to be registered, there are inconsistencies in the party’s records around current addresses and the financial status of some of those members,” Mr Gunston said.

“Quite simply, this meant that we could not, hand-on-heart, sign the required statutory declaration to swear to our membership.

“For that reason, we have asked the Electoral Commission to cancel the party’s registration while we confirm the numbers.

Personally I think the threshold should be at least 1,000 members.

The GCSB leak inquiry

May 31st, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters is demanding the release of phone records to pinpoint the source of the leak in the Government Communications Security Bureau inquiry.

Mr Peters has used parliamentary privilege to accuse UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne of leaking a report by Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge into potentially illegal spying by the GCSB.

Mr Dunne has categorically denied the allegation but has confirmed he has been spoken to more than once by inquiry head David Henry.

Other ministers who received the report have said they were not interviewed by Mr Henry.

In Parliament yesterday, Mr Peters questioned Mr Henry’s failure to take evidence under oath, or keep an electronic record of witnesses’ answers to questions.

He also questioned the failure to examine phone records of “particular ministers”.

“All the evidence is in those phone records, and your minister is gone,” Mr Peters told Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.

Mr English said later it was entirely up to Mr Henry whether to seek phone records.

I should make it clear that I would be absolutely amazed if Peter Dunne leaked the GCSB report. It would be remarkably out of character.

But it would be good to find out who did leak it. And I would expect an inquiry to look at phone records. They won’t prove or disprove anything, but they could help with the inquiry.

A cowardly smear

May 29th, 2013 at 3:23 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Prime Minister John Key is standing by United Future leader Peter Dunne and says he accepts the revenue minister’s word that he did not leak a report into the Government Communications Security Bureau.

NZ First leader Winston Peters today used parliamentary privilege to accuse Dunne of leaking the report by cabinet secretary Rebecca Kitteridge to Fairfax Media.

The report revealed that more than 80 New Zealand citizens may have been illegally spied on by the bureau.

An investigation was under way by former top public servant David Henry to try and find the source of the leak.

Speaking of Dunne today, Key said: “He’s given an absolute categoric assurance he didn’t do this; I accept him at his word.

“I’ve worked with him for a long period of time and the entire time I’ve worked with him I’ve found him to be extremely trustworthy.”

Peter Dunne would be the near the bottom of any list as a potential leaker.

But let’s be clear. Winston Peters is not just asking if Dunne is the leaker, but has asserted it:

After having attempts to question Dunne repeatedly thwarted, with committee chairman Todd McClay ruling that the questions were beyond the scope of the hearing, Peters directly accused Dunne of leaking the report.

“My assertion is you did leak the report,” Peters said.

This is a cowardly and defamatory smear. It is especially cowardly because Peters has a long record of suing people for defamation (and threatening numerous more that he will do so) yet he cowers under parliamentary privilege to defame Dunne.

The media should ask two questions of Peters, and keep asking them:

  • Do you have a shred of proof for your assertion?
  • Will you repeat your allegation outside of Parliament?

Peters has a long long history of just making shit up. Recall the fleet of limos he claimed WINZ had? A fiction, with no proof. But this is worse. He is defaming an individual, not an organisation.

He does it because he knows the media will report it, and his strategy is to stay in the headlines. He doesn’t care if 90% of NZ hates him, because all he is targeting is the 10% who may vote for him.

Recall that Peters lied several dozen times in 2008 with his claim he had no knowledge of Owen’s Glenn’s donation to his lawyer to cover his legal fees. there was overwhelming proof that he in fact brokered the donation, yet he lied to the media, the public and the Privileges Committee time and time again about it.

So why do the media give his assertions the time of day? Wouldn’t it be great, if they just said that we won’t report what you claim, unless you provide proof to back it up? You have lost the privilege to be trusted, because you lied day and night to us for four months.

Dunne on food in schools

May 9th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Pete George has an e-mail from Peter Dunne on why he is not backing the food in schools bill:

I fully understand what is intended by this essentially laudable proposals, but I think it is fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons.

Of course, there is a significant number of children who go to school to hungry, because they have not been properly fed at home, and of course poor nutrition has an adverse effect on learning and the subsequent development of the child. That is not the issue – rather, the question is what is the best way of addressing this problem.

At one level, the idea of meals in schools is superficially attractive, but it is essentially palliative, and does little to deal with the circumstances of these children on a long term basis.

Then there is the question of which group of children should we be focusing on. After all, not all children in schools will come from the same socio-economic backgrounds. So, should such a programme be applied universally, which would be as expensive as it would be impractical, or should it be more tightly targeted?

And if so, how? Should, for example, it just apply in low decile schools, even though there will children in those schools from a higher socio-economic status who would not need such a programme?

In that event, what about low-income household children in higher decile schools? Or, to get around income definition problems, should the children of beneficiaries be the only ones eligible?

Whatever way one looks at the issue, the definitional problems are massive, and strongly suggest that such a programme would not only be unsustainable, but also impractical, and in a number of cases potentially inequitable.

That is why I take the view that a much more realistic and workable approach is to target directly, through early identification by community agencies, at risk families and to work with them to help them  get the support they need to properly feed their children.

That support could take any number of forms, depending on individual circumstances, including direct assistance with the provision of food, at one end of the scale, through to such things as life skills advice on cooking, for example, and proper budget advice at the other end of the scale.

Such a targeted approach is far more likely to succeed in the long term, and benefit directly at-risk children, and would have my full support. 

Sounds sensible to me. Slogans rarely make good policy.

Dunne’s balance of power

April 25th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

United Future leader Peter Dunne says he is probably the most lobbied MP in Parliament, as his party has held the balance of power for more than 10 pieces of legislation this parliamentary term.

Mr Dunne’s crucial vote has sealed major law changes including the Government’s flagship asset sales legislation. On the other hand, the minister will oppose Government law changes such as the introduction of charter schools, and has helped private member’s bills from the other side of the House to get over the line.

With Act usually voting along the same lines as National, the ruling party relied on United Future’s vote for a majority in the House.

Mr Dunne admitted that he wielded power that was disproportionate to his party’s one-seat representation in Parliament.

“I’m quite conscious of … not trying to overplay the hand. On the other hand, you don’t want to be silent either.

If someone has to have the balance of power on many issues, I’m glad it is someone like Peter Dunne.

On the one hand, Peter doesn’t overplay his hand. he doesn’t extort the Government for $500 million for pet projects like Winston used to. He asks for a few moderate initiatives and agreements.

And when it comes to individual bills, he does judge them on their merits. He supported Mondayisation and (so far) paid parental leave extension.

He won’t vote against the Government on something that is absolutely critical to them (such as asset sales), but will vote against when the Government can’t persuade him that their view is best.

He initially planned to oppose a bill which aimed to deter people-smuggling.

The National-led Government had a majority on the Immigration Amendment Bill with the support of Act and the Maori Party, but wanted all of its coalition partners onside.

Mr Dunne forced National to change the definition of a mass arrival of refugees from 10 people to 30 people, and also to make changes which made the bill less punitive.

A good example of being constructive to improve a bill.

His key vote has also made him a lightning rod for criticism, in particular on the partial asset sales legislation.

Yet he made it clear before the election he would vote for the legislation subject to certain conditions. He got elected on that basis.

Dunne against charter schools

April 19th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Andrea Vance reports:


Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says he will vote against legislation establishing charter schools.


However, the Government still looks to have the numbers, with the Maori Party giving support at the Bill’s second reading. …

Dunne says he’s not convinced by the charter schools model and he is particularly concerned at proposals which will allow charter schools to employ teachers who are not registered or nationally certified.

The United Future leader is also worried the schools will not be compelled to follow the National curriculum.

“The current system already provides for a significant range of schooling opportunities, and I cannot see there is a need to introduce the partnership schools approach to achieve the level of flexibility the proponents of partnership schools are seeking,” he said.

The select committee recommended that charter schools be subject to investigation by the Ombudsman.

The independent schools will receive the same per-child funding from the Government but are less-tied to Education Ministry regulations.

So the likely vote is 63 to 58.


Now we know what the Greens mean by Green jobs!

April 12th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

TVNZ reports:

Metiria Turei’s claim that Maori growing marijuana are developing entrepreneurial and horticultural skills has been slammed as “mind-blowingly ridiculous” by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.

The Green Party co-leader made the comment on Maori TV’s Native Affairs programmethis week, but she has been cut down by Dunne, who branded the claim as “ridiculous” and “irresponsible in the extreme”.

In the show, Turei said growing the illegal drug helps develop “real skills” among Maori, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

This is what you have to look forward to if there is a change of government. I wonder if you will be able to apply for an entrepreneurial grant to help pay for your cannabis plantation?

He said her claims that growing cannabis could teach people much-needed skills, was akin to saying “a safe cracker is teaching his apprentice engineering skills”.

Peter Dunne is talking common sense on this. I actually support a change to our drug laws, but the last thing you want is MPs praising drug dealers as entrepreneurs.

However, Labour’s social development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern said Turei’s comments highlighted the difficult situation many families find themselves in New Zealand.

Oh, Good God.

Incidentally the video clip used by TVNZ appears to be taken from the Whale Oil blog You Tube channel, without attribution!

Disquiet from Dunne?

March 8th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Peter Dunne blogged:

This government prides itself on a business like approach to issues. It likes to cut through quickly and resolve issues before they get too bogged down in red tape. For many New Zealanders, this pragmatism is welcome, coming after years of stultification and wariness under successive previous governments.

A lot of this change is due to the attitude and style of the Prime Minister, who is focused on achieving things and making a difference. In general, it is an approach which has worked well and probably explains in part at least why the government remains so popular in its fifth year in office.

But, as a couple of recent examples show, there is a danger that the cut through which has been one of the government’s hallmarks will become a major problem for it.

Take the case of the Sky City Convention Centre proposal. There is no doubt Auckland needs a world class convention centre, and that in all probability, Sky City is arguably in the best position to develop such a facility. No problem with that, subject, of course, to the specifics of the deal stacking up. But as the Auditor-General’s report shows, while there has been no impropriety in the process followed by the government, it did play very fast and loose at times.

Similarly, with the Hobbit movies. No-one seriously opposed making the movies here, and the government would have been roundly criticised if let the opportunity slip through its fingers, but as the various documents recently released show, the government’s enthusiasm for the movies being made here did get in the way of the facts from time to time as deals were struck to ensure the right outcome.

There is a time-bomb warning to the government here. Support for the cut through approach will wither if it is seen to be a standard proxy for bending the rules or doing special deals to achieve the desired outcome. While the government is not immediately vulnerable on this issue, the clock has started ticking.

I think at the heart of what Dunne is saying, is that Governments should not be seen to be picking out individual companies to do “deals” with. There is a difference between measures which favour a specific sector such as relaxing RMA rules, making mining easier, tax rebates for films – and “deals” with specific companies.

In the two cases cited, there were unusual circumstances for both, which won’t generally apply across the board.

The Hobbit “deal” was basically triggered by the malign acts of an Australian union official who was trying to blackmail the production through an international boycott. The union represented almost no actual New Zealanders and was trying to muscle its way in. If MEAA had never triggered a global boycott, then the crisis that caused the deal would never have eventuated. It was an own goal. But the key point, is that it was forced on the Government. And in the end the agreement they came to with Warners did not apply just for that production or that company.

The proposed (not yet agreed) Sky City deal for some regulatory changes in return for building a $350 million convention centre is a deal with just one company. This is not ideal. But the reason it is that way is because we have a law that prohibits any further casinos in New Zealand – there is a monopoly in Auckland – Sky City. Hence there is only one company you can negotiate with if you want to negotiate regulatory changes in return for more investment. If I had my way I’d get rid of the silly ban on more casinos so we have multiple operators.

Anyway the point I think Peter Dunne was making is that these two cases should be exceptions, not the rule. And I agree with him.

A lie

February 15th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Adam Bennett at the NZ Herald reports:

But he [Prosser] hit out at leaders of other political parties who said he shouldn’t be in Parliament.

“Anyone can throw that mud and frankly many of the people throwing it shouldn’t be. You look at the likes of Peter Dunne. He’s a man who campaigned on the basis of not supporting asset sales and now he’s supporting them and he’s not only in his own mind fit to be an MP but fit to be a Cabinet minister.

This is a lie. Peter Dunne explicitly said before the 2011 election:

In principle, UnitedFuture does not advocate selling state assets, but in the event National puts up its mixed ownership model for the electricity companies and Air New Zealand we would be prepared to support that, provided the maximum was 49%, with a cap of 15% on any indivudual’s holdings. We would never support the sale of Kiwibank, Radio New Zealand or control of water assets.

The unions and Labour campaigned against Peter Dunne on the basis that he was going to vote for asset sales. Everyone knew this. People just like to repeat a lie, to try and make it stick.

A desperate attempt to deflect.

Labour on Dunne and Nazis

June 27th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A Labour MP drew parallels between the National Party and Adolf Hitler as controversial legislation allowing partial asset sales passed by a single vote.

The Opposition benches cried “Shame!” yesterday as National’s junior whip Louise Upston cast the decisive proxy vote of UnitedFuture MP Peter Dunne, which saw the legislation pass by 61 votes to 60.

Mr Dunne was not at Parliament for the vote because he was attending the funeral of his son’s girlfriend’s mother.

In a statement, he said he had intended to speak in favour of the bill at its final reading, which was in the “best long-term interests of the country”.

Opposition MPs continued to insist Mr Dunne had misled voters over his views on the partial asset sales plan.

Labour’s state-owned enterprises spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said Mr Dunne’s vote was “a travesty of democracy” because he had said he was against the sale of water resources before last year’s election.

Labour are trying to rewrite history. Not a single voter in Ohariu thought a vote for Peter Dunne was a vote to stop asset sales. Dunne’s reference to water resources was about water supply companies, not about power companies that use water.

Check  this thread out from May, where you have quotes from leftie activists before the election about how they need to stop Dunne as he is a vote for asset sales, plus this explicit quote from Peter Dunne:

in the event National puts up its mixed ownership model for the electricity companies and Air New Zealand we would be prepared to support that, provided the maximum was 49%, with a cap of 15% on any indivudual’s holdings

So Labour is clearly lying when they say Dunne misled voters. In fact that is exactly what they are doing, and are masters of.

Some believe the Government has no mandate for the sales because several polls have shown a majority of voters are against the policy.

Labour’s Wigram MP, Megan Woods, said yesterday: “Hitler had a pretty clear manifesto that he campaigned and won on … does this make what he did OK?”

Oh dear, where do we start with Dr Godwin.

Let’s even put aside the implicit comparison of partial asset sales (a policy scores of left wing governments around the world has also implemented) to the Nazis, Hitler and the Holocaust. Frankly if Dr Woods want to make such stupid comparisons, I urge her to carry on doing so. They reflect far more on her and Labour, than anyone else.

But what really annoys me is her woeful knowledge of history. Only those with a superficial scraping of history repeat the line that Hitler was democratically elected, as if he won a majority of seats. He was and did not.

In July 1932 the Nazis got 37.3% of the vote and just 230 out of 608 seats. In November 1932 the Nazis got fewer votes at 33.1% and 196 seats only. They made up only three of the 12 Cabinet members. He then seized power through various ways.

Also the assertion that Hitler had a clear manifesto he implemented is also woefully ignorant of history. Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party campaigned as an anti-big business and anti-capitalist party, with a later focus on anti-semitism and anti-marxism. Their 25 point plan did say Jews can not be citizens, and would be foreign guests who could be expelled. But that is a long way from saying “Oh yeah, we will exterminate them also”. People may be interested in some of their other policies:

  • We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
  • We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
  • We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
  • We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

UPDATE: Dr Woods has apologised.

Non voting shares

June 21st, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Vernon Small at Stuff reports:

The Government has backed down on a move that would have allowed it to sell more than 49 per cent of partially privatised state assets, providing the extra shares did not carry voting rights.

Fairfax Media highlighted the loophole in April and it is understood that sparked a backlash from United Future leader Peter Dunne. It is understood the Government made a U-turn after Dunne dug in his toes, arguing the wording in the Mixed Ownership Model Bill would breach his party’s support deal with National.

Last night SOE Minister Tony Ryall moved the amendment to the Bill, which changed the requirement on the Government from retaining 51 per cent of the shares with voting rights to 51 per cent of all shares. …

But under the wording originally approved by ministers, the companies could have issuing or sold non-voting shares, diluting the taxpayers’ slice of the dividends and profits that the companies generate.

In April a spokeswoman for Ryall said voting rights were the best way to measure ownership, because it was the voting shareholding that determined the ability to control the companies.

Non-voting shares are effectively more a type of debt, rather than equity. Basically it is debt, with a variable return. If you get none of the benefits of ownership such as voting, it is not ownership.

Just as non voting shares would reduce the taxpayer share of dividends and profits, so would increased debt – in that the interest on the debt would mean less profit and hence dividend.

So I didn’t think that there was an inconsistency. However perception can be very important, and hence it is not a bad thing that the Government agreed to the United Future change. It means that at least on this issue, there can’t be any scare-mongering that the Government will dilute its 51% with non-voting shares.

Personally the actual issue non-voting shares would have been highly unlikely. It is an unusual way to raise capital. People generally want a guaranteed rate of return, or a stake in the company.

It also is useful for Peter Dunne to be able to demonstrate that he got a change in line with his confidence and supply agreement.

A great own goal

May 19th, 2012 at 10:09 am by David Farrar

A wonderful own goal at The Standard. Zetetic blogged on Peter Dunne:

He lashed out that those who pointed out he’s voting for asset sales he never told his electorate he would support.

Now this is a lie the left keep repeating. And watch it bite them hard.

Pete George pointed out this was a lie and Eddie ranted:

three choices. Present evidence Dunne explicitly said he would support the partial sale of the energy companies and air nz, withdraw your comment, or face a three month ban. 

So Mr George gets to work.

First he brings up this quote from Zetetic him or herself:

and National is on a razor edge, with a 2 seat majority but the rest of Parliament opposing asset sales if ACT and Dunne lose, or on Dunne.

Absolutely proving Zeletic is lying about Dunne. He warned people before the election that a vote for Dunne was a vote for asset sales, and then afterwards he claims no one knew a vote for Dunne was a vote for asset sales. I think we now understand why he or she does not dare to post under their own name. They would be unemployable.

A second quote is found, this time from Eddie before the election:

This is high stakes stuff. If ACT goes and Dunne loses too, as looks likely, National will be bereft of natural allies. And National’s support is tracking down to the point where it can’t govern alone. The Banks endorsement should only make that more likely.

What happens in this scenario? There would be no parties that would support its asset sales policy through Parliament, except perhaps the Maori Party

So Eddie is also exposed as a liar. Remember this if anyone from the left ever claims Peter Dunne’s position was unknown – the left were actively campaigning against him on the basis they knew he had said he would vote for partial asset sales proposed by National.

Eddie, also very glad he does not use his full name or possibly even his real name, doesn’t give up and basically says that what he said is not important, but that he will ban Pete George for three months if he doesn’t come up with something directly from Dunne.

Then the final knock out blow as Pete George quotes from a live chat on Stuff:

The Dominion Post:
To Peter Dunne, from Joe Brown: Will you say no to all state asset sales like Labour and Charles Chauvel have this year?

Dunne Peter:
In principle, UnitedFuture does not advocate selling state assets, but in the event National putst up its mixed ownership model for the electricity companies and Air New Zealand we would be prepared to support that, provided the maximum was 49%, with a cap of 15% on any indivudual’s holdings. We would never support the sale of Kiwibank, Radio New Zealand or control of water assets.

Game, set and match to Pete George.

A huge thanks to The Standard. The left have got away with lying about Dunne for months on end now. Thanks to this thread they started, we now have nice documented proof that they have been lying.

Labour with their proxies in “People’s Power Ohariu” have an Operation Ohariu next weekend to try and build opposition to asset sales. I wonder how many of them will also spread lies about Dunne’s position?

I’d point out in Ohariu National got many mroe party votes than Labour and Greens combined, and that Dunne and Shanks (both known to vote for the mixed ownership model) got almost 20,000 electorate votes between them and Chauvel got 13,000 and Hughes 2,000 so not even close.

United Future and asset sales

March 14th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Some on the left have been pushing a message that United Future did not say they will back asset sales before the election, so hence there is no electoral mandate for them. This is, to be frank, absolute crap. I doubt a single voter in Ohariu voted for Peter Dunne thinking he might stop National’s asset sales. If Ohariu voters wanted to stop asset sales, they could have voted for Charles Chauvel. Instead Chauvel lost for the third election in a row.

In this video, Peter Dunne explicitly refers to asset sales and say they are on National’s path but UF will make sure three key assets are never sold – Kiwibank, Radio NZ and “our water”. The reference to our water is to water supply, as made clear on their website here.

UnitedFuture does not intend to wait until it is on the asset sales agenda. New Zealanders would never – or should never – accept a sell-off of the supply of the water, or any of the aspects around it.

A few people have tried to say that as power companies own dams, and dams use water, then somehow the reference to water is actually saying they are against the power companies being sold. Well that is like saying you’re against Coke being sold, as that also uses water.

Further their website stated:

 with regard to Asset Sales, UnitedFuture will insist that:

– The New Zealand Government retains majority control (51%)

– Shareholding by private investors be capped at 15%

– New Zealand household investors are given preferential purchase right at time of issue.

This is clear that they will support National’s proposed (part) sales so long as they remain majority owned, a 15% cap and preferential treatment for NZ investors.

Further Peter Dunne attended a dozen or more public meetings in Ohariu, and he was asked about asset sales at basically every meeting. His response was the same at each meeting – they will support the five partial sales proposed so long as 51% Govt owned, 15% cap and preference for NZ investors, and they will not support RNZ, Kiwibank or water supply companies being sold.

No one thought a vote for Peter Dunne was a vote to stop National’s asset sales. I doubt 57% of National party voters would have voted for Peter if they thought that voting for him would be voting against a core National party promise.

It is a lie invented by the left to try and get around the inconvenient fact they actually lost the election. Peter Dunne’s position before the election on asset sales is exactly the same as it is now.

Max the Tax

July 19th, 2011 at 4:30 pm by David Farrar

I asked on Twitter whether Labour were likely to use their “Ax the tax” bus in the election campaign. Lots of humourous feedback, but the best retort came within a few seconds from Revenue Minister Peter Dunne who said they were going to rename the bus to “Max the Tax”.

Whale has provided this new graphic. Thanks to Peter for the slogan, which I suspect we have not have heard the last of.


July 6th, 2011 at 3:51 pm by David Farrar

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says:

Foreign scammers might have over-stepped the mark with the latest target of their tax refund email scams, says Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.

Mr Dunne and members of his staff received emails today telling them they had tax refunds waiting for them and only had to click on the given link and fill out a claim form to get them.

I’ve had a few of those myself. At the moment I seem to be getting a lot of Paypal ones.

“Inland Revenue would never send you a hyperlink in an email. Delete the email from your inbox and trash folders,” Mr Dunne said.

He said it was notoriously difficult to track down those behind such scam emails and websites.

“So it is likely either Nigerian scammers or Labour trying to add to its email databases.”


Caption Contest

June 3rd, 2011 at 8:06 am by David Farrar

Peter Dunne “planking” on Backbenches. Good on him for taking up the challenge from a viewer, but nevertheless can’t resist a caption contest.

As always, funny not nasty please.

A speech by Peter Dunne

May 11th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

An amusing and at times apt speech by Peter Dunne to his electorate AGM. Some extracts:

One reason I am very confident National will lead the next government is that Labour, at this point in the political cycle, is not a viable, functioning alternative.

 Actually, I am being polite here.

 Events of recent times bring the term ‘cot case’ to mind.

 With no new faces on their front bench, they are essentially going into this election with the re-heated caucus that New Zealanders threw out three years ago, and as one would expect, they seem bereft of new ideas.

 It is not really possible to generate new ideas when you have yet to accept that your old ideas have been rejected.

All too true.

When I first turned my head to this speech, Rodney Hide was still leader of ACT and Osama bin Laden was still in ensconced in his Pakistani fortress.

 They have both since met merciless fates, one at the hands of the US Navy Seals, and the other at the hands of a force considerably more scary.

 One is now a bloodied corpse; the other at the bottom of the sea.


There is another thing that Middle New Zealand does not want.

 And I am going to speak his name: Winston Peters.

 His obfuscations, half-truths, dancing on the head of a pin and, ultimately, his destructiveness, finally caught up with him in 2008.

 My only concern about Winston Peters in 2011 is a very simple one: that people will have short memories.

 Actually, he relies on that.

 He counts on it.

 One can only hope that his recently auctioned ‘No’ sign goes on a national tour later this year, stopping in every town hall and Grey Power meeting five minutes after Winston Peters darkens its doorstep.

It may not be the original, but you can bet NO signs will be appearing most places Winston does.

People need reminding in one simple word of the destructiveness and duplicity that Winston brought to New Zealand politics.

 There is no more apt reminder of why New Zealanders should not have Winston Peters back – ever – than that sign.

 That sign said it all, but in a way that he never intended. It should be his political epitaph. ‘No.’

 I salute John Key for ruling him out yet again as a potential coalition partner.

 It was bold and it was principled, just as it was in 2008.

 Running a country is hard enough; you need to do it with people whose word today means what it meant yesterday, and will mean the same tomorrow.

 The wink, the grin and a good deal of opportunistic fact-free scare-mongering should never again be enough for Winston Peters to re-enter a House that has been more honourable for his absence.


Wellington quake risk buildings

March 7th, 2011 at 4:37 pm by David Farrar

Ohariu MP Peter Dunne did a good public service by getting the WCC to release a list of buildings that may not fully comply with modern earthquake standards (note some may now comply, so don’t make hasty decisions based on this info – ask landlords for more info).

Luke Howlison has put those buildings onto a map, which makes it very easy to use.

Gift Duty abolished

November 2nd, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Brian Fallow in the Herald reports:

The Government is to abolish gift duty, confident any risks to creditor protection or the targeting of social assistance programmes can be met by other laws.

The 125-year-old tax has brought in an average of $2.2 million a year over the past seven years, and on a declining trend.

But officials estimate it imposes $70 million a year in compliance costs on taxpayers, or rather on non-taxpayers, as only about 900 or 0.4 per cent of the 225,000 gift duty statements filed to the Inland Revenue a year disclose a liability to pay the tax.

A sensible move by Peter Dunne. Peter has been a revenue Minister in three separate governments, and has actually a achieved a lot of useful reform.

The good news with the law change is that Kiwblog readers can now donate more than $27,000 per annum to me, without attracting gift duty 🙂

Dunne v Zealandia

October 29th, 2010 at 6:00 am by David Farrar

Peter Dunne has done a PR:

Zealandia’s proposed rotenone poisoning of the upper lake and tributaries of the Karori wildlife sanctuary is quite literally “short-sighted, ideologically driven extremism”, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said today.

“The fact that Zealandia – with the backing of DoC and Wellington City Council – is poised to flush a waterway system with rotenone within the city boundaries in the name of conservation is almost beyond belief,” said Mr Dunne.

“To poison a lake and all of its tributaries in order to kill some introduced trout, which most people see as a positive recreational resource, just because they are an exotic species is just crazy.”

It does seem over-kill, literally.

Child Support Changes

September 3rd, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Peter Dunne has released some options for change. A summary document is here. There seem to be two major changes proposed:

  1. That child support payments should take account the income of the parent with majority custody, not just the parent who has to pay.
  2. That there should be more recognition of the amount of time non custodial parents spend with the kids. AT present if it is under 40% you get no credit – they propose that if the kid/s spend more than 14% of the time with you, this should be reflected in how much child support you pay.

Some non custodial parents get a raw deal at the moment. They split with their partner. The partner gets custody against their wishes, so they lose their partner and their kids. They are earning say $35,000 a year. The partner is earning $100,000 a year, and getting child support payments from the non custodial partner on $35,000 a year. And even if the $35,000 a year partner looks after the kids every weekend, they get no credit for that.

Now many custodial parents also get a raw deal, where the other parent disappears overseas, and pays nothing. That is a harder problem to fix.

A new blogger at Gotcha, Blondie, has some issues with the proposed changes:

Sec­ondly, under the pro­posed for­mula, if the cus­to­dial parent’s income increases, the child sup­port lia­bil­ity decreases.  Thus, if the cus­to­dial par­ent works harder to get a payrise, their ex – not them­selves, not the child, but their ex – ben­e­fits.  This just doesn’t seem right.  It would reduce the incen­tive for cus­to­dial par­ents to be pro­duc­tive – after all, why strive for a payrise if you won’t ben­e­fit from it?

I presume the abatement rate will be fairly low, so that any payrise for the custodial parent will mean they still receive benefit from it.

It will grate some that their payrise means their ex will benefit, but this is already what happens with the non custodial parent. They get a payrise and the ex gets more money. What this change will mean is that if either ex-partner gets a payrise, both they and the ex will benefit (but not to the same degree).

The Herald editorial is supportive:

Reform along some of the lines suggested in a Government discussion document is overdue. Eighteen years have passed since the system was last overhauled. Much has happened subsequently to warrant change.

The document, Supporting Children, has an array of options. One of the most eye-catching is that the income of both parents should be taken into account when childcare payments are set.

That seems a reasonable notion given more women are now in the workforce, especially in part-time jobs. Additionally, it is right in principle that parents should provide financial support according to their capacity to do so, whether or not they are living with their children.

Indeed, such a change would echo the situation if the parents were still together.

You can share your views direct with IRD at their dedicated website. The online survey is well done, as it makes it far easier to complete than sending in a formal submission.

Labour selections

February 1st, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Labour has announced four selections, reports the Herald:

Labour has already chosen its 2011 election candidates for Auckland Central, West Coast-Tasman, Ohariu and Maungakiekie.

First-term list MP Jacinda Ardhern will contest Auckland Central and Carol Beaumont, also a list MP, will contest Maungakiekie. Both are held by National.

List MP Damien O’Connor will try to take back West Coast-Tasman, the seat he lost to National in the last election.

Senior MP Charles Chauvel, another list MP, will contest Ohariu, which is held by United Future leader Peter Dunne.

I wonder why Labour did not open nominations for NZ’s most marginal seat of New Plymouth? Is it because Andrew Little plans to parachute in there later, as that is his home town?

There were four nominations for Waitakere, the seat held by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, and a selection meeting will be held on March 20. The nominations were Ann Pala, Carmel Sepuloni, Hamish McCracken and Phil Twyford.

It will be pretty devastating to Twyford’s career if he fails to win the nomination, after having been scared out of both Mt Albert and Auckland Central.

He is a more polished politician than Sepuloni, but Labourites may not be keen to put up a “white middle aged male” against the young at heart fiesty Paula Bennett.

McCracken is a perennial candidate – his list ratings have been in 1999 he was no 60, in 2002 no 52, in 2005 no 49 and in 2005 no 50. I can’t see him beating one, let alone two, MPs to the nominaton.

Ann Pala is a Fijian immigrant who was President of the Waitakere Ethnic Board, a director of Winmac Computer Solutions, member of the Islamic Women’s Council. To her great credit she has criticised her party’s association with Winston Peters.

Less agreeably, Pala called for an “ethnic ward” for the Auckland Council, which would elect two or three Councillors. Pala seems to be the only actual West Auckland standing for the Waitakere nomination.

Meanwhile the Dominion Post reports:

United Future leader Peter Dunne faces a tough battle for his Ohariu seat after Labour kicked off its campaign and National vowed it would not stand aside to give him a free ride.

List MP Charles Chauvel will begin door knocking and leaflet drops within weeks after he was the only nomination as Labour’s candidate.

The seat is the eighth most marginal in the country. It was held by Mr Dunne by just 1006 votes at the last election – well down on his 7702 majority in 2005 and the 12,000-plus margin he racked up in 2002. …

Mr Dunne won 12,303 votes in 2008, compared to 11,297 for Mr Chauvel and 10,009 for Ms Shanks.

I expect National will vigorously contest the seat. The reality is that if both National and Dunne stand, then it is possible Chauvel could win the seat due to vote splitting. However if Peter retires from Parliament, then it would be a safe seat for National. Take a look at recent election results.

In 2008 National’s party vote was 17,670 to 12,728 for Labour. In a clear two way contest National should win the seat by 3,000 to 5,000 votes (depending on if many Greens tactically vote).

The split voting statistics tell a story in Ohariu. This is where Dunne has picked up votes in the last three elections:

  • 2002 – Dunne got 47% of Labour voters and 57% of National voters
  • 2005 – Dunne got 34% of Labour voters and 52% of National voters
  • 2008 – Dunne got 16% of Labour voters and 44% of National voters

Peter used to pick up strong support from Labour and National voters. However from 2002 to 2008, he support from Labour voters declined by two thirds. Ironically it was during this period he supported them with confidence and supply, so there is no gratitude in politics!

Now that Dunne can’t attract large number of Labour voters, the main impact is to split the electorate vote of centre-right voters between him and the National candidate. Hence why Chauvel would have a reasonable chance of winning, if Dunne stands in 2011.

But if Dunne retires, then Ohariu should become the only National held seat in Wellington.

The worst behaved in Parliament list

December 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

United Future leader Peter Dunne has given up on his annual list of worst-behaved MPs, saying Speaker Lockwood Smith’s reign has ushered in a new era of dignity and propriety.

To be fair, I think the absence of Winston helps also. But the House has been a far less toxic place this year.

Mr Dunne did honour Labour’s Trevor Mallard with a lifetime achievement award in bad behaviour “for services to melodrama, fisticuffs, and generally aberrant behaviour”.

When Lockwood orders him to apologise, you can actually see the supressed rage in his eyes!!

The Herald does find a few insults though:

Labour’s Moana Mackey apologised for referring to Hekia Parata as “Lady Parata” and “her royal highness”. National’s Paul Quinn was pulled up for calling Labour’s backbench “monkeys”.

I’d rather be called Lady Parata than a monkey I have to say – well if I was a female Parata that is!

Some apologies:

For saying of Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee, “the notion of him and energy is a mathematical impossibility”.

For claiming another “fiddled the books” in ACC and Housing; for wishing the Speaker would use a 90-day eviction order on Trevor Mallard.


For North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams’ “madness”, for calling Trevor Mallard “the angry one”.

Isn’t truth a defence?

For claiming Green MP Metiria Turei thought Phil Goff was “racist”. She had said his speech was “the worst kind of politics”.

So worse than racism?

Peter the Xmas Elf Caption Contest

December 5th, 2009 at 7:20 pm by David Farrar

Dunne The Christmas Elf

Enter your captions below. As usual, funny not nasty.