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You can’t be a leader of nothing

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, June 6th, 2013 - 17 comments
Categories: leadership, Parliament, united future - Tags: ,

Peter Dunne’s status as a party leader in Parliament (i.e. funding and perks) is under threat:

Dunne’s parliament recognition on the line

United Future leader Peter Dunne could lose his status as a party leader in Parliament in the latest twist in a nightmare week for the embattled MP.

The Ohariu MP has endured a week of accusations from NZ First leader Winston Peters that he was behind the leak of a top-level report into the Government Communications Security Bureau.

And on Friday, the Electoral Commission cancelled United Future’s registration at the party’s own request, after party president Robin Gunston said there were “inconsistencies” in its confirmed membership numbers.

Today, MPs in the debating chamber queried what the de-registration meant for Mr Dunne’s status as leader of a political party.

Labour MP Trevor Mallard said Mr Dunne should no longer be recognised as a party leader in Parliament.

Speaker David Carter said it was the first time a party in Parliament had been de-registered. …

It’s an interesting precedent, but as far as I can see the case is pretty cut and dried. You can’t be a leader of nothing. Peter Dunne has become an independent MP, and that’s how he should be treated. Being a sensible type, I’m sure that Peter will agree.

17 comments on “You can’t be a leader of nothing”

  1. Roy 1

    Yep, seems like a no-brainer.

  2. Jimmie 2

    Probably depends on a judicial interpretation of the law. If the law says that they must be the leader of a registered party then he should lose the funding.

    If the law just says the leader of a party without specifying whether it needs to be registered or nor then it probably comes down to what a judge thinks.

    Also timing. Does it only apply to parties directly after an election or during the whole term?

    For example if Brendan Horan (currently independent) decided to start a Stop Elderly Abuse party and managed to convince 500 oldies to sign up could he then apply for leadership funding or would he have to wait until the next election?

    • Ben 2.1

      Well if Dunne gets “party leader” perks with no registered party, surely Horan could say “I’m a party of one, and I’m the leader” and get the same perks?

      No need to do a ring-round of nursing homes.

      EDIT: Horrible typos.

  3. vto 3

    r0b, “You can’t be a leader of nothing”

    But you can and Dunne has proved it.

    He is a leader of nothing.

    • paul andersen 3.1

      being a leader of nothing will come easy for dunne, his principles and vote have been for sale for years. he would have to be the least trustworthy m.p. in the house(lots of competition there), but his survival instincts make bear gryls look like a preschooler. but look on the bright side for dunne, he will only need to hire a phone booth for his next election night party. it remains to be seen if the voters of ohariu have more of a brain and spine than the voters of epsom. a good hairdo will only take you so far.

    • CnrJoe 3.2

      there are several hairdos around ther country that will disagree – except in gisborne – he’s bald

  4. ianmac 4

    At a crisis meeting this morning, the United Future Caucus saw Mr Dunne unanimously re-elected as Leader. Mr Dunne blushed with pleasure and vowed to lead his team to a bigger brighter future. It is rumoured that the UF Leader may invite the National Party to join UF in a Grand coalition.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    He still gets a Ministerial salary I’m sure Dunne will be fine.

  6. Ad 6

    Anderton was fine with it.

    • Suitably Clueless 6.1

      Yeah, that always bugged me about that old curmudgeon, but we do owe him small debt for putting some brakes on the Douglas reforms. I firmly believe that 30 years in parliament is way too long!

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      fine with ‘what’?

      Anderton was always the leader of a registered party.

      Not sure what that has got to do with Dunne, since up until recently he was as well. Now that he isn’t, he shouldn’t be paid a party leader salary or get any of the other perks that go with it.

  7. fender 7

    Now that UF and Act are such cosy bedfellows Dunne can get some pointers from Act on how to acquire some false identities to boost their membership numbers, sounds like a job for PG.

  8. JonL 8

    “Being a sensible type, I’m sure that Peter will agree.”

    Yeah, right!

  9. Jenny 9

    “You can’t be a leader of nothing”


    I dunno. Ask Jim Anderton

  10. vto 10

    It must be possible to be a leader of nothing as lots of people seem to be led by nothing.

  11. Chrissy 11

    So dunne has absolutely now got 500 registered party members. Did he buy them off national?

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