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Pressure mounts on Dunne

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, March 10th, 2012 - 127 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

David Cunliffe turned his sights on Peter Dunne in the first reading of the Mixed Ownership Bill (which Winston Peters said should be called the ‘National Party makes Quisling look like a Patriot Bill’), pointing out that Dunne has the single vote that determines whether asset sales happen or not. Dunne didn’t like the pressure. He looked close to tears in his response. Let’s keep it up.

Here’s what I/S at NoRightTurn has to say:

The government’s Mixed Ownership Model Bill, allowing privatisation of our state-owned electricity companies, passed last night by a single vote. The culprit? Peter Dunne. Dunne likes to paint himself as the voice of middle New Zealand, but middle New Zealand overwhelmingly opposes this theft by the 1%. If you’d like to let him know that, then you can email him on p.dunne@ministers.govt.nz. Hopefully, he’s still concerned enough for his political future to change his mind if enough people demand it.

Meanwhile, the bill is off to the Finance and Expenditure select committee, who have already called for submissions. The due date is Friday, 13 April, and you can submit online here. If you’re not sure how to make a submission, then the Office of the Clerk has a handy guide here. This may be a fait accompli, but what we can do is make the political cost clear to National. We can also delegitimise it, opening up space for opposition parties to announce how it will be reversed. Assuming any of them have the backbone, that is.

127 comments on “Pressure mounts on Dunne ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Mmm. Pete skids past the “raise taxes” bit. Funny that the books are shy of tax take since they dropped the taxes. Taxes built schools in the past yes?

  2. Raising taxes on the wealthy is an excellent idea. Why has no one thought of it before? Oh what’s that? They have? Never mind then!

  3. He doesn’t look as though he’s about to cry. That’s ridiculous. He’s the most experienced member of the house. He is thinking about how to take Cunliffe down.
    As for raising taxes, that was the legacy of the Clark regime; you know, “hate on the “rich pricks”. The shame of it was that it taxed the middle class so they hid income in trusts or took off overseas. And how do you explain that it was a Labour government that did most of the asset fire sales in the past. So Labour shrunk the middle class and the tax base – 16 billion hid in Trusts since Clark/Cullen hiked the tax rate. And a lot of people here will tut tut about those naughty people hiding away money like that. I can tell you a lot of people piss off overseas because they can’t be bothered paying the bulk of the tax and be hated in a way that would make anti-semites proud. The reality is that if you can’t raise taxes without shrinking the tax base by pissing off taxpayers then looking for investment and new directors is one way to go. And you don’t raise profits by raising taxes, duh, you attract new business customers.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      ‘Business’ is the problem in the first place, so more business is not the answer, capitalism has cyclic boom and bust periods due significantly (as Marx pointed out) to the tendency for the rate of profit to fall over time. Bourgeois economists have long failed to sucessfully refute this.

    • ianmac 3.2

      So Monique, you admire the tax-cheats who “16 billion hid(den) in Trusts” . You suggest then that rich people cheat and feel good about it?

      • Reality Bytes 3.2.1

        Apparently when Helen tweaked tax figures by a few % this FORCED people to avoid taxes and flee the country en-mass. Since those dark days, John has dropped the tax rate by a few % so of course nobody uses tax-avoidance loopholes anymore!

        That’s why the economy and businesses are now growing at such an incredible rate. That’s why there are plenty of jobs for everyone! That’s why quality of life is so great, that’s why we are investing more and more into essential services etc… That’s why there is plenty of tax revenue and yet we have low taxes. That’s why all those ex-pats returning home! Success of a nation is all because of a slight few % adjustment in income tax! We really can be the Ireland of the south pacific! Yay brighter future here we come!!!

        Um Yeah. Meanwhile back in the real world.

        • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1

          National took the 5% gap between the 33% and 38% rates that people used to hide income in companies/trusts, and replaced it with a 5% gap between the 28% PIE and 33% personal rates…

    • muzza 3.3

      Perhaps if you knew anything about money (debt creation), you might be able to post something which makes some sense. You don’t, so you can’t!

    • Reality Bytes 3.4

      Ahh gotcha! So that explains why John Key implemented tax cuts, it all makes sense now! Heck cutting taxes is such a serious priority, our government is even selling profitable major SOA to pay for them.

      And I wondered why all those Aussies and ex-pat kiwis were leaving ‘high-tax-rate’ Australia in droves to come and live in the tax-haven that is New Zealand. Parity with Australia here we come! This plan is genius!

      / Tui ad.

      • Mark 3.4.1

        I’d love to see some figures on who it is that is actually leaving NZ, and what they are going to Aussie for.
        I suspect a lot of Kiwis over there are involved in mining /minerals or support industries, damn shame that we(you?) refuse to allow them jobs and wealth creation in those industries here.

        • McFlock 3.4.1.1

          Oh, so you have an opinion based on no knowledge whatsoever?
             
          There’s more to Aus than mining, mark.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.5

      Couple of questions monique:

      Who was the minister of revenue when this rorting of the tax base through trusts was going on during the 5th Labour government?

      Did you really just equate a few points on the top marginal tax rate to the sort of things that hard core anti-semites have historically done?

      • I think you can check the facts on the 5th Labour government as well as I can.

        And yeah I did equate that shit: plain as the nose on your face with the violence talked up here. Of course it’s a good few degrees less, but it is still there. Most of us tossers don’t come on here to discuss it, but you’re a second class citizen in NZ if you’ve made any coin. The treatment meted out to the Mad Butcher by Ms Fenton is typical. And it’s all jealousy.
        I’m not saying you need to strip the public service or not tax the super rich. I am saying that the tax increase targeted the wrong people.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.5.1.1

          I’m pretty sure our abilities to check facts are miles apart as it happens. This belief stems from your outraged defence of Dunne on the interesting grounds that there was lots of rorting of the tax base while he was minister of revenue in the last government.

          As for this second class citizen nonsense, what exactly are talking about? What rights were denied to people by the last government?

          What specifix pieces of rhetoric upset you so much? The ‘rich prick’ quote from Cullen?

          Show me where that was directed at anyone other then John Key. If you cannot show me that, and if you are John Key, we’ll talk about whether or not you have grounds for complaint. If you can show me that we’ll discuss things further as well.

          But the fact remains, you are comparing a few points on the top marginal tax rate to pogroms and the like. That’s not actually worthy of discussion. It’s painfully ridiculous.

    • locus 3.6

      “The reality is that if you can’t raise taxes without shrinking the tax base by pissing off taxpayers then looking for investment and new directors is one way to go. And you don’t raise profits by raising taxes, duh, you attract new business customers.”

      Raising taxes doesn’t turn all of us into tax avoiders. Or into runaways.

      Why are you surprised that people generally disapprove of tax avoidance?

      Most reasonable people recognise that increased tax is not squirelled away by the government but is spent on improving the public services we all benefit from. Furthermore, the additional money spent on public services creates employment and this means more tax revenue from income tax and GST and less tax spent on unemployment benefit & welfare. The increase in money spent on public services also stimulates the businesses supplying those public services.

      Seems to me like we’re being coerced into selling off State assets to pay for a spiralling national debt, to fund the ideological tax cuts which mainly benefited the rich.

    • Slap shot 3.7

      So you solved this by moving to California, a state that is in rapid civic decline because of its citizens tax averse behavior. They are having to let prisoners out early because they won’t pay to keep them. Whole towns are going bankrupt. The university system is in crisis. And there’s more…

      And you see fit to lecture New Zealand, a country that is in reasonable financial shape given the GCC and its aftermath because you preferred California? The most dysfunctional state in the union.

      How do you expect to be taken seriously. That’s the problem with you and the rest of the lumpenbourgeois – your sense of entitlement extends to an unconscious expectation that everyone else has to take seriously the idiocy you constantly spew.

      Please stop.

      • Who shit in your boot this morning and what do you do for society? Bet I do a shit load more volunteering. I’m also wondering if you’ve ever travelled. Then you might observe that in a country with a reasonable sized middle class any sense of entitlement extends to having a home and raising your kids in a community free of crime.
        And I wouldn’t believe all the shit you read about California. It seems pretty functional to me. And a lot safer than New Zealand. Except for the Occupyville parts of town where the losers are spawned.

        • Colonial Viper 3.7.1.1

          And I wouldn’t believe all the shit you read about California. It seems pretty functional to me. And a lot safer than New Zealand.

          California: 94 gun crimes per 100,000 population. That’s equivalent to over 4100 gun crimes (eg murders, armed robberies) per year in NZ

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/sep/27/gun-crime-map-statistics

          So it seems to me that you are about as ignorant as you are arrogant and smarmy.

          • Mark 3.7.1.1.1

            CV, that is a bullshit comparison.. California has no laws requiring gun or gun ownership registration, so no one knows how many people possess them.. but hey, don’t let any facts get in the way of “proving” a Leftie argument.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.7.1.2

          Except for the Occupyville parts of town where the losers are spawned.

          Funnily enough, that is the sort of rhetoric anti-semites have historically liked to throw around.

          But I’m sure you were only ironically declaring that the poorer areas of california are inhabited by subhumans who shouldn’t be counted in any sort of analysis of the state eh?

        • Reality Bytes 3.7.1.3

          Probably all the weed they smoke in Cali, chills them out I guess.

          Don’t let the herb get you too paranoid about those scary occupyville protestor spawners though honey. They are just fighting for a better future as you are in your own way.

        • Slap shot 3.7.1.4

          Looking at your blog, more than you by some way. Perhaps you might volunteer at a Trappist monastery for a change.

          I’ve also lived in various countries, not that this would be relevant.

          The massive budget crisis is plenty real and far worse than New Zealand’s. As for your attitude towards ordinary people, well it fits the profile.

          The others addressed the rest.
          .

    • Foreign Waka 3.8

      It is not often that one reads such utter dribble. Tax is a form of contribution by everybody to pay for common utilities such as roads, schools, hospitals etc. By paying a fair share of the cost these utilities are accessible to everybody. Raising taxes in an indirect form (GST) has been introduced by this Government. No one really “hates” rich people but if they feel that they can take all for free and granted and the working class get the bill for it, I belief the table will turn. You seem to have had not much of a history education just indoctrination.

    • Rosemary 3.9

      Go take your sycophantic hatred over to your idol Odgers’ dirt box where you’ll feel more at home. You could even give Slater’s arse a wee lick on the way over.

      • Foreign Waka 3.9.1

        Rosemary, is this a response to my comment????

        • Rosemary 3.9.1.1

          No, not at all. It was to RWNJ Watson’s. I know it can look like that a bit here but your comment looks like a response to her’s also, 3.8, mine’s 3.9 and RWNJ’s is 3.

    • rosy 3.10

      “So Labour shrunk the middle class and the tax base “
      What??? The ‘middle class’ grew! That was what the dissent about the tax rate was all about – more people entered the higher tax bracket. At best Labour could be accused of missing a trick by not having tax rate bands that moved with wage inflation.

  4. deemac 4

    the sell off of assets didn’t work last time – it exported those businesses’ profits to Australia and elsewhere. There would be no government deficit if those assets were still in NZ hands. It really is a triumph of hope over experience to expect it to work any better this time.
    The UK now has among the highest power prices for domestic users following the asset sell offs under Thatcher – but those sales made some middle men very wealthy so no wonder there are powerful cheerleaders for this failed policy.

  5. johnm 5

    David Cunliffe was passionate and brilliant, he should be the leader of the Labour Party. Selling these assets is neoliberal ideological criminal behaviour. If you closely examine what Dunne said it’s pure self justifying rubbish.No sign of our Hawaiien President to be seen there another importer of the U$$$$$’s 1% Chicago school rort. I am not looking forward to paying even higher electricity bills.

    • starlight 5.1

      I agree whole heartedly with you that david cunliffe should be the leader,a passionate,
      strong and articulate leader is what labor needs,shearer is not a politician,he seams like
      a nice guy,but seems to be missing in action,when action is needed.
      Hopefully labor will see the error and install cunliffe.

      • Vicks 5.1.1

        Move on you losers. Dunne and NACT are the enemy here. Cunliffe is more valuable where he is.

        • Rosemary 5.1.1.1

          Yes Vicks, I agree completely. He’s in the engine room without all the distractions. I have to say that I haven’t been overly impressed with Cunliffe in the past, but he’s getting on with the job now. He needs to wipe away all thoughts of the leadership shenanigans which the way Labour played it were a farce. Shearer so far is nothing but a cardboard cut-out and what he ends up standing for is anyone’s guess. Cunliffe needs to forget about all this and just get on with the job. Regardless what happens, it’s what you do that matters, not what you don’t do.

    • Treetop 5.2

      It is undemocratic that electricity consumption is going to be restructured so that I pay more for the product than I would pay were the power assets not to be sold. Just about everyone is reliant on electricity and who wants to pay more when they can pay less?

      I just hope that the damage done (selling profitable assets) can be repaired as much as possible.

      The D in Dunne stands for destruction/devious and the N in National stands for nasty/negative.

    • Mark 5.3

      Johnm.. so you’re not looking forward to paying higher electricity bills (which is not a given) but worst case scenario, at 100% increase would be what.. $2000 max per year?
      However you think it is ok to tax someone hard working another what.. $5k, $10k, $20k $50k?
      Remembering of course that  most high earners (high taxpayers) are far less likely to impose costs on the health system, justice system, education system, welfare system etc, and do spend a lot more on pretty much everything. 
      But that’s right, they are to be despised.
      FFS
       

      • McFlock 5.3.1

        What a load of crap.
        Your “high earners” consume more, which drives up prices for everyone because of higher demand. They poach the better teachers for their kids’ small well resourced classes and the better doctors for private practices in Remmers, and then complain about a few percent tax when their cats eat better than a lot of kids in NZ today.
            
        At a certain point, higher earners stop becoming justly rewarded for innovation and expertise, and just become parasites.

        • rosy 5.3.1.1

          …” and just become parasites.”
          Especially the ones that earn no income for tax purposes and get community service cards, live GST-free out of their businesses, get student allowances for their kids and the like.

        • Mark 5.3.1.2

          What a load of crap yourself..
          An oft spouted argument here is that higher wages drive higher consumption, which has a beneficial result in more jobs etc..  no?
          Poaching the better teachers?.. are they the ones that are happy to be rewarded on better performance?
          I have posted here many times and shown tons of evidence that whether you are a beneficiary, working poor, etc, etc, the tax system ( funded by “rich prick” or hard working middle class) combined  with WFF, and other State support provides an adequate at least take home income.
          Funny how no one refutes these facts.
           

          • McFlock 5.3.1.2.1

            Nobody refutes those “facts”, except the evidence. Check out the bits about poverty and hardship.
             
               
             
             

            • Mark 5.3.1.2.1.1

              “These disparities were present even in the mid 2000s, when New Zealand experienced some of its lowest unemployment rates in recent decades.”

              I’m a Father, I’m not a particular high earner, although I have been, and paid massive amounts in tax.
              I have also more than once in recent times remonstrated with people sitting in a car smoking (and I’m a smoker) with kids in there, or not even bothering to buckle the kids up.
              There has got to be some personal responsibility taken, as I said, I have posted on income levels, how you can stretch it a bit, how to clean mould, save power blah blah.
              It is bordering on criminal to suggest that even the oft displayed “underclass” or poverty stricken do not have any means or power to influence their own outcomes to a significant degree.  
              • McFlock

                And it is bordering on naive to assume that just because we manage  that others also should be able to.
                  
                And it is the height of arrogance to believe that our individual standard of living is the result of our effort alone, rather than a combination of effort and good luck.
                  
                 

          • rosy 5.3.1.2.2

            ” WFF, and other State support provides an adequate at least take home income.
            Funny how no one refutes these facts.”

            Mark, how do you not see that WFF and other state support are in lieu of a living wage? Higher wages for the working poor means a better tax take and more efficient use of those taxes than propping up a less than a living wage.

            • Mark 5.3.1.2.2.1

              Hi Rosy
              They may be in lieu of a living wage as you put it, where I’m coming from is that it is still a net household income.. and still paid mainly by people paying large amounts of Tax.
              Anyway, my brain is fuddled, I’ve spent all afternoon entertaining, feeding and settling 4 under 7’s,  happy in the fact that the environment is hygienic, they have learnt during the day, they are protected from harm…
              Hopefully we will all ensure better outcomes for those less fortunate, and we will encourage them to do the same.
              night night all. 

              • rosy

                Yes it is paid by people paying large amounts of tax – and will be increasingly so as large corps get away with paying a less than living income. Take a look at the excess profits these firms are making in the current downturn. Your anger is misdirected.

  6. muzza 6

    Tony Ryall, is a disgrace, he still spouting the scholls and hostpitals will be built, and that Kiwis will be at the front of the queue, even though it is not possible to do so. He is as big a lier as their is in the house currently!

    Debt he talks about, without having any idea that the sales will in fact add to the countrys national debt over time!

    As for having to listen to the use of the word honourable continually, really is sand in the eyes!

  7. I totally admire that they’re not on the dole. And I think it’s called tax minimization instead of tax avoidance. My point was that Clark/Cullen penalised the middle classes by calling them rich pricks and treating them as lower class citizens. I’m not saying that there aren’t rich people who should be paying more tax but I’m saying Labour got it wrong and taxed normal people too high. Now we’re all frigging off overseas where the prospects are better.
    I feel great when I pay less tax. Much better that it goes on my kids than out of my control.

    • Reality Bytes 7.1

      Do you and your mates realize Labour actually lost the last two elections?
      We now have a government in power that seems closely aligned to your taxation ideologies. So why are all these people aligned to your school of thought still frigging off overseas when JK has promised them all a brighter future?

      Hmm.. So John Key is doing pretty much exactly what you are saying, You should be happy about that right?

      So why are people still leaving, why oh why, lets think about this:

      Labor did so much damage to the economy, Nats are still picking up the pieces… – Well we still had AAA rating when they left power, so guess it wasn’t in that bad shape, and things should have improved since then with financial whiz kid Key in charge.

      I suppose it’s because of the Global Financial Crisis then… – But I don’t think that’s it, after-all the Global Financial Crisis, was well Global, and NZ weathered it pretty well. So that rules that one out.

      It must be because of our high taxes then… – But Key dropped taxes, and other countries have higher tax rates… Nope that can’t be that reason either.

      Maybe it’s because the Hippies won’t let us drill oil which will make us all rich and provide plenty of jobs… – Well 1 or 2% royalties isn’t all that much, and most of the decent jobs would be highly specialized utilizing foreign workers anyway, so don’t think this one is the answer to our woes.

      The Christchurch earthquake… – Yes this would have had devastating effects on the economy and peoples lives and explains why some people leaving, but that event has nothing to do with Labours tax policy… So this can’t really be the reason either.

      Wealthy kiwis are sad because someone thinks they are rich pricks… – But National loves them, and National is in power for another 3 years, so can’t be that one either.

      Gosh this is hard, why are they are still leaving? Whatever could the reason be…

    • bbfloyd 7.2

      you need to quit before you get utterly squashed moni….arguments based on silly, tory sponsored slogans just make you look foolish…..if you were to spend time actually looking at the reality of what clarke(on any issue you care to name) said in her time as pm, you would know just how silly what you are stating is….

      are you related to burt in some way?

    • lprent 7.3

      I think you mean the difference between tax evasion (which is illegal) and tax avoidance which setting up your affairs to minimize taxes (tax minimization is the causal process, and tax avoidance is the effect).

      My experience with having employees in the US (which I seem to remember is where you are from previous comments), is that when you look at all of the taxes at federal, state and municipal level plus the requirement for health insurance – well you’re paying far more tax in total than here. The only thing that winds up as being less tax is that the headline rates for federal taxes are lower – a kind of meaningless distinction.

      Sure there are more loopholes and rebates. To take advantage of them you wind up spending quite a lot of money on accountants and often lawyers. It becomes worth while when you’re earning enough to protect. That was a nonsense that we largely got rid of here a long time ago.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Cunliffe knows how to wield a baseball bat in the House very effectively.

  9. Campbell Larsen 9

    Dunne looks and sounds like a desperate man.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      “The Peter Dunne Epitaph Bill”

      Yep. priceless from Cunliffe.

      • Hami Shearlie 9.1.1

        Cunliffe is right on the money!! Dunne will go down in history the same way Max Bradford has!!The people of NZ have been ‘dunne like a dinner’! Of course, someone said on this website the other day, that Ohariu voters were savvy, and that Ohariu had a huge number of people in the electorate on $70,000 to $100,000. These people will largely be employed by the Public Service (apparently Ohariu has the largest number of public service workers in NZ) and as all public servants will now be in fear and trembling, worrying if their jobs are to be slashed next, how will this situation manifest itself in Dunnie’s little stomping ground? Watch this space I guess?

    • Treetop 9.2

      Dunne knows that a decision is to be made at the end of the month regarding Transmission Gully. The board is independent as the environment minister cannot interfere, but the transport minister could.

      Just today I heard that Simon Power intervened and stopped King.Com from buying property after another minister (think Williamson) gave the green light. I think Power left because of his mates turning ugly against one another and he wanted no part in being immoral.

      • Treetop 9.2.1

        Kim Dotcom was misspelled. Williamson was the minister and Power refused to comment yesterday as he is no longer an MP.

        What will Dunne say down the track when he is asked about not voting against the sale of power assets and people cannot afford to pay their power?

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          What will Dunne say down the track when he is asked about not voting against the sale of power assets and people cannot afford to pay their power?

          Probably: “No comment, I’m doing fine myself thanks”.

          • Hami Shearlie 9.2.1.1.1

            He won’t comment, he’ll be too busy washing his hair, the same way Pontius Pilate washed his hands!

  10. Dunne didn’t like the pressure. He looked close to tears in his response.

    I’m close to tears – laughing at that. Good grief, whether you really believe that, or are trying to get others to believe it, it’s funny regardless. Keep the pressure up.

    http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/11829

    • ropata 10.1

      Hairpiece flaps wildly with faux outrage

    • ropata 10.2

      The final burp from a lifelong trougher

    • johnm 10.3

      Dunne’s favourite pressure is patronage from any PM and a nice warm cosy Parli seat to park his rear end. Not having much heart or intelligence (Not required for paying client relationships) legitimate barbs of criticism are absorbed like a giant wet sponge-soaked up, producing some surplus moisture round the eyes.

    • rosy 10.4

      Watch it with the sound off, and check out the pleading body language.

  11. John McKensie 11

    Dunne was voted in by approximately 38% of his electorate. That means some 62 % of his electorate voted against him. As a representative in the House of Representatives it would appear he does not have a mandate from his electorate. If Dunne believes in representative democracy, he should pole his electrorate and be guided by what they want in relation to assest sales.

    • Should all MPs who don’t ‘have a mandate’ poll their electorates on all policies? Is there some sort of precedent for this sort of democracy? Is there a mandate for this sort of democracy?

      • Treetop 11.1.1

        Pete George some people are just existing as they have three bills, (power, rent and food) and to think that the cost of power will not increase more with the asset sales than without asset sales is being ignorant.

        Fact, Dunne holds the deciding vote on the contentious issue of sending the country backward for every New Zealander when the power assets are stripped.

        • Pete George 11.1.1.1

          There’s 61 deciding votes.

          Wouldn’t we be better reducing ownership in large scale power and investing more in conservation, renable energy and micro generation?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.1.1.1.1

            How’s that going? Did Dunne wrench some concessions on micro-generation out of the government in exchange for betraying his country? What measures has he taken to ensure that the cost of solar power comes down (currently about $18k for a 3 kW system)?

            Nothing – a big nothing bag of air. I think he revels in treachery the way a dog rolls in a dead sheep carcass; it’s the only way a weasel like that can ever do anything of note.

            Now and for evermore, the name Dunne will be the NZ equivalent of Quisling.
            Quisling = Dunne.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.1.2

            There’s 61 deciding votes.

                
            Everyone knew where 59 would stand on the issue, 1 is even nuttier than National, but Dunne is the one who promised to keep National in check.
                
            Apparently that means rubberstamping unaltered national policy.
             

            Wouldn’t we be better reducing our dividends from ownership in large scale power and paying debt that our ongoing dividends would have more paid for, and then remained an ongoing income stream?

            FIFY – green alternatives aren’t the issue here. And the answer is “no”.
             
             

          • mikesh 11.1.1.1.3

            “There’s 61 deciding votes.”

            Only because of double dipping by Epsom’s National supporters.

      • Foreign Waka 11.1.2

        Yep, Switzerland. Direct Democracy.

      • Rosemary 11.1.3

        So if Dunne is now made aware of the fact that most people who voted for him are against selling any of the power company shares or shares in Air NZ, regardless of who was to blame for the voters getting the wrong message on UF’s position, that Dunne should ignore what he now knows and go ahead supporting those sales? If so, proceed at your and your party’s peril.

        • Pete George 11.1.3.1

          So if Dunne is now made aware of the fact that most people who voted for him are against selling any of the power company shares or shares in air NZ

          That’s not a fact as far as I know.

          • Rosemary 11.1.3.1.1

            The question was “if” that were the case. If you answered the question, that’d be good, Mr Politician.

            • Pete George 11.1.3.1.1.1

              You didn’t mean to claim “the fact that most people who voted for him are against selling any of the power company shares or shares in air NZ”?

              It is not a known fact.

              • Rosemary

                Okay, Mr Smart Arse, here it is again as a sop to the pendant in you:

                So if it were to come to light that most people who voted for Dunne were against selling any of the power company shares or shares in Air NZ, regardless of who was to blame for those voters getting the wrong message on UF’s position, do you think that he should ignore this and go ahead supporting those sales?

                • I’d expect him to give consideration to any significant message from his electorate, but:

                  1. What you suggest is extremely unlikely to happen – for a start it’s pretty much impossible to determine. A poll or peition would have no cross checking who respondents actually voted for.

                  2. UF has made a commitment via the C&S agreement. It would be a very odd constitutional situation if some people in one electorate could potentially bring down a government with a poll.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Dunne’s commitment to the C&S agreement, and to two more years of Ministerial Pay, is greater than his commitment to future generations of NZ.

                  • mikesh

                    No-one is talking about bringing down a government, just not supporting unpopular policies. Even if the government loses the vote on asset sales it will still be able to continue governing.

                  • locus

                    It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating – Dunne only got his seat because National voters voted for him. He knows the best chance he’s got of being re-elected is to continue to suck up to these voters in his electorate by supporting National’s ideologically driven, highly unpopular, economically unwise, state asset sales. He is a self-serving hypocrite who openly stated in a speech to Deloittes before the election that New Zealanders were voting for John Key and not for asset sales.

                  • Rosemary

                    Again, you have ignored the question.

                    However, there’s no way Dunne voting against all asset sales would bring the government down. He would simply say that he has changed his mind on the issue. The reasons would not matter. The government being brought down would require UF to withdraw C and S which voting against all asset sales is not enough to do. This is the case even if supporting the currently planned sales was part of the C and S agreement because the C and S agreement would simply be renegotiated. If Dunne withdrew support for the current asset sales the Nactoids would simply accept that and carry on because they would not want to lose the ability to govern. More would be required for that to happen. Your position not only ignores this possibility, but ignores it as the most likely consequence should Dunne change his mind. There’s even the possibility that the Nactoids could try to govern holding a minority in the House, which admittedly is a bit fanciful given the nature of the current make up, but the fact that this can theoretically happen certainly deals to your silly belief that Dunne changing his mind on one issue, asset sales, could “bring the government down”. That is just laughable. I’d have thought someone who’s stood for parliament would understand this.

                    • It wouldn’t be just changing his mind and move on, it would halt one of the major policies National campaigned on and are promoting, despite a written assurance he wouldn’t. That’s potentially coalition breaking.

                      If a compelling case could be presented it may cause Dunne to reconsider, but it’s not as if a solid argument has been made against the MOM.

                      Emotive personal attacks and abuse plus over the top sensationalist claims with little substance tend to suggest the argument isn’t very strong, or the case would be argued on it’s merits.

        • rosy 11.1.3.2

          Rosemary, Dunne doesn’t need to be made aware of the fact that most people are against asset sales, he knows. Stated that himself

          And Pete George is fully aware of that as well. Good to see after all this time PG has given up on justifying the PD position through ‘mandate’. Because there was none.

          Now to get him to admit that PD is supporting national’s legislation despite his knowledge that people who voted for national did not vote for asset sales – they voted for that ‘nice man’ Mr Key. The writing is on the UF website wall, so to speak.

          • Pete George 11.1.3.2.1

            What sort of asset sales are they against Rosy?

            Asset sales as depicted by Phil Goff, David Cunliffe, and Standard comments?
            Or asset sales as proposed by National?

            PD is supporting national’s legislation despite his knowledge that people who voted for national did not vote for asset sales – they voted for that ‘nice man’ Mr Key.

            No one has produced any credible analysis of why people voted for National. That’s pretty much impossible to determine accurately.

            What we do know is that National’s flagship policy was partial asset sales and they increased their vote, so those voters either people supported asset sales or thought the asset sales weren’t as important as credibility in managing the economy, which was more important to many people.

            And we also know Labour lost votes after campaigning almost entirely anti asset sales, so the voting public either don’t put much weight on that stance or don’t trust current Labour to manage the economy.

            • rosy 11.1.3.2.1.1

              No one has produced any credible analysis of why people voted for National. That’s pretty much impossible to determine accurately.

              The point is – Dunne believes people were uncomfortable with asset sales proposed by national. He said so himself.

              The rest of your comment is dissembling.

  12. Treetop 12

    I do realise that there is a so called Act Party, however the leader seems to have an identity problem as he thinks he is still in the National Party. Yes, yes, yes prime minister.

    I have no problem with growing the power assets or conservation/renewable energy/micro energy and the country benefiting 100 % providing the power assets are not sold.

    Why can’t the government do this or see that this is a much healthier/sensible option?

  13. John McKensie 13

    P.G There are six national mp’s who were elected by a minority (below) plus the Ohariu and Epsom mp’s. So only 53 government members can claim to represent their electorates. The 61 deciding votes dont look too healthy for representative democracy.

    Seat Total Candidate Votes Percentage
    Mangakekie 34114 Lotu Iiga 16189 47.5
    East Coast 29976 Tolley 14003 46.7
    Waimakariri 36313 Wilkinson 16787 46.2
    Auckland Central 34370 Kaye 15038 43.8
    Waitakere 31422 Bennett 13465 42.9
    Christchuch Central 28261 Wagner 12064 42.7

    In relation to your second point, during the 1990’s and before ECNZ was “disbanded”, senior engineers in that organisation described the loss of efficiency in operation that would follow the separation of power generation into smaller units and the resulting cost increase that would follow. The politions of the time said the emarket would bring lower costs. So who was right then.

    • There are six national mp’s who were elected by a minority (below) plus the Ohariu and Epsom mp’s. So only 53 government members can claim to represent their electorates.

      On that basis, why don’t you count how many Labour MPs and NZ First MPs and Green MPs and Mana MPs can claim to represent their electorates.

      And you could submit your novel ideas on democracy to the MMP review and see if they get adopted.

  14. Chris Oden 14

    Dunne was right on one point.”If you fidlle with the tax system it starts a chain of events that reduces New Zealanders capacity to be a part of a productive economy” Didn’t that happen with the tax cuts made by key and english and isn’t it why they are having to sell off assets to pay for their abysmal error in judgement. Also I don’t think key should get so high and mighty about having the
    mandate to proceed as everything he said in on his campaign has turned out to be a pack of lies.They have had to backtrack on just about everything. He and english have totally misled the country and they are every bit as bad as all the failed finance companies that failed their investors by using the same methods. Perhaps they should be in the dock.

  15. Did Charles Chauvel have a mandate from the voters of Ohariu to use taxpayers money on a trip to participate in a protest in Auckland? Megan Woods? Moana Mackey?

  16. McFlock 16

    Cauvel’s an electorate MP? Wow…

  17. RedBaron 17

    Is there anywhere that a list of Dunne’s appointments and outings can be found for the next little while?
    Personally I think it’s time that he faced people wherever he goes, that question what he is voting for.
    I know that he would like to stick to to fellow travellers but they seem to be thin on the ground and if he is confronted by people who look and sound and dress like him, and there are more of these on this type of site than he would imagine, that will isolate him and may push him towards non voting.

    Failing that can we send him on a study tour to somewhere far far away………..

  18. Mark 18

    So long as there is vocal hatred to Dunne from the anti-asset sales lobby, he is never going to change his mind.

    In 2011 voters were given two options to get us out of spiralling debt and huge deficits: more tax (Labour) or partial asset sales and cuts (National). Either would work. People do not like tax so hence National and allies won a majority – close but still a majority.

    Labour strategists know that if parts of the assets are sold and we are back in black by 2014, they will lose again. Swing voters will not care about 2012 partial asset sales in 2014 and Labour will look pathetic for still going on about history. If Labour can stop the sales they will scuttle all of National’s plans, the country will be financially screwed in 2014 and Labour will win.

    Dunne cut all ties with Labour last election; his job is safe so long as National still wants him. He won’t do anything that will make Labour win in 2014 because as it stands he would not be part of a Labour government – i.e. he will not vote against asset sales. Period.

    The only thing that can change Dunne’s stance (and thus stop asset sales) is Labour extending the olive branch. They need to offer him a better deal than National has, even if that means a pledge to endorse him in Ohariu in 2014 with a confirmed senior cabinet spot. Cunliffe may have made some good sound bites but in reality by taunting Dunne he makes the task of persuading him to switch sides so much more difficult – probably impossible.

    Summary: thank you Mr. Cunliffe for ensuring asset sales progress, National wins in 2014 and Dunne is re-elected. Was it worth it just to act like a big man?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 18.1

      Silly, this isn’t about getting Quisling to change his mind, it’s about making the consequences of betrayal crystal clear; that the stigma of shame and treachery will stick to him like shit to a blanket.

      • Mark 18.1.1

        What betrayal? Sticking to what he said prior to the election? Getting National to adopt a policy (partial asset sales) that United Future had advocated the previous election? Continuing on the work of the Labour government he came in under in the 1980s (remember your own history)? Dunne hasn’t betrayed anyone, so betrayal will not be shit that “sticks to him like a blanket”.

        Silly, don’t you remember the other contentious issues of recent years – Seabed and Foreshore, anti-smacking etc? The public were against these also but they still went through with little or no impact once the dust settled.

        I was being purely pragmatic and for arguments sake pointing out that the only way Labour can stop asset sales is to suck up to Dunne. Labour is too proud to do this and you are clearly blinded by your ignorance. This is the reality of how politics works in MMP – and I agree that sucks.

  19. Interesting comments Mark. I agree that attacking Dunne in Parliament and on blogs like this is hardly the way to persuade him to change sides.

    I think there is quite a bit of acting “like the big man” in Labour. And they’re too busy doing that to notice that the ordinary man and woman see them as on a different planet in a different (past) age.

    Last year Labour bet their future on being hard out anti National (asset sales happened to be the issue they got sucked in to). They failed.

    Now they seem to be betting their future on asset sales again. Actually on partial asset sales. Of 3% of the country’s assets. As if they are the end of the world versus them saving the world. Like the big man act, the big issue act ignores the rest of the world (or country) outside their bubble.

    There’s signs Shearer may want to do things differently but the rest of his colleagues don’t seem ton have got the message yet, or are choosing to ignore it.

    • locus 19.1

      PG, you know perfectly well that the majority of NZers irrespective of political inclination are opposed to the sale of state assets. Why do you not admit that you and your ever-so ‘principled’ leader are completely dismissive of the majority of NZers on this issue?

  20. Reagan Cline 20

    Dunne was elected by the people of Ohariu and because he is effectively a party of one he is something of an Independant.
    I think we could be better off with more Independants in our Parliament and fewer MPs kept in line by the party whips.
    I admire Dunne’s action in sticking to the understanding before election day that he would in effect support this legislation and for not bowing to nationwide public opinion. Isn’t this the kind of principled independant behaviour in the interests of the people they represent we need from our MPs in parliament ?
    Or did he decide to become an MP largely for the sake of the salary and conditions, being prepared, at the cost of a few tears, to sacrifice his integrity and honour and betray the people who voted him in ? Has anyone asked him ? What do his Ohariu consituents say ?

    • Matt 20.1

      “Isn’t this the kind of principled independant behaviour in the interests of the people they represent we need from our MPs in parliament ?”

      Huh? Principled? And in the interests of what people?

    • locus 20.2

      Dunne is NOT an independent, he is merely self-serving. Nor is what’s left of UF ‘principled’ in any politically meaningful sense.

      Dunne was NOT voted in by the “people” of Ohariu. He was voted in by the Nat voters in his electorate – and why would he want to betray them?

      Dunne knew BEFORE the election that New Zealanders were voting for John Key and not for asset sales – he said so himself.

      Dunne is NOT principled despite his artless and fake protestations in parliament. Did you follow the links that Eddie gave in this Post!? Try listening to Cunliffe’s well reasoned speech on the mixed ownership bill. Clearly Dunne didn’t listen, because in his reply he shouted, waved his hands around pleadingly, pointed aggressively and totally avoided responding to any of the arguments against asset sales put forward by Cunliffe.

      Dunne spent his whole speech theatrically failing to justify his own self-belief that he has integrity.

  21. RedBaron 21

    So Mark and Pete G.
    What are you really saying. That if we disagree with Dunne we are not allowed to say so in person or on a blog? And that the opposition is not allowed to question him in parliament?

    Here I was all prepared to dust off my suit, dress up and make my views known politely, to his face, in a democracy. If I am any judge of the matter I would be speaking on behalf of many.
    Not allowed any more, huh.
    Seems like, in your bizarre world, we are required to suck up to him, tell him what a fabulous bloke he is and at that point he changes his mind and graciously votes against asset sales?? Really???

    Still it’s not hard to see where you are really coming from. You know he changes with every breeze and you fear that he is about to do so again or that he will take a pragmatic way out – like going on a fact finding mission to avoid the issue.

    While we’re on the overseas study mission, idea any ideas of any other NAT MP’s who might be tempted by one? It would be difficult to throw them out of the party as they would not have actually crossed the floor to vote against their lot and of course losing a vote would be fatal.

    • I don’t recall seeing anyone try and stop you from speaking. We’re just arguing about what some people are saying, don’t we have that right as much as you have?

      You know he changes with every breeze

      Funny – and on this thread people are blowing hot air and expect him to change for them.

      And wrong – aside from the political abusers, Dunne is seen as one of the most reliable MPs, trusted by both Labour and National governments, and by Ohariu voters.

      Cunliffe on Dunne” “he’s an integrity member”. Dunne does have integrity, more than Cunliffe who abuses MPs he happens to disagree with on this bill. Try a public poll on what people think of negative attack politics. And see how counterproductive that it is.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 21.1.1

        “…expect him to change…”

        lol. I don’t. I expect him to betray, and to justify, and to demonstrate his quisling nature, and that the name Dunne will be forever tainted.

    • Mark 21.2

      RedBaron – I was not trying to shut you up or tell you not to criticise Dunne in public. I was suggesting that name-calling is going to take your cause backward – who would respond positively to that? It’s purely playground bullying. I understand you may be frustrated and name-calling is your last resort, but logical argument is always an option!

      In a system of MMP where major parties need to win over minor parties to get their agendas through, the only way for Labour/Greens/NZ First/Maori Party/Hone to have any effect on the passage of this bill is to win Dunne over. Logical arguments might work however given Dunne was part of the 1980s Labour government that went for full privatisation of state assets one would assume even in his idealistic youth he thought this was the best solution. All I was suggesting was playing the game that is politics – Dunne’s been doing it 27 years so is clearly one of the best and no doubt understands the implications of what he is doing a damn sight more than anyone reading or writing on this blog does.

  22. Liberal Realist 22

    Below is the email I have sent to Peter Dunne. I wonder if he will respond?

    “Dear Mr. Dunne,

    I am writing to express my disgust at your vote on the Mixed Ownership Model Bill. You claim that you, and your party represent ‘Middle New Zealand’. This is a farce. ‘Middle New Zealand’ overwhelmingly oppose this legislation and yet you vote for it anyway.

    Please describe how United Future represents ‘Middle New Zealand’?

    I now hope you can look forward to being remembered as the politician who’s vote was solely responsible for enabling the National Party’s neoliberal agenda of privatisation where New Zealand’s best interests are second to lining the pockets of already wealthy backers of the National Party.

    Regards”

  23. Bruce 23

    Dunne needs to be exposed as much as possible. Email this web page to everyone you know.

  24. Reagan Cline 24

    Locus, This means laws that affect everyone are passed by members of political parties elected by people who can be bothered voting. Not ideal is it ?
    New Zealand needs a new consitution based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi.
    Article 3 of the Treaty will have to be re-considered – what does “the Royal Protection of the Queen of England” mean today ? And “Rights and Privileges of British Subjects” ?
    To me this would mean replacing the Queen of England with a Constitution and ensuring that the rights and privileges encoded in our Statutes and Common Law are guaranteed.
    I would like to see more of a cantonal system of more powerfull local government sending delegates to parliament where it would be usual to “cross the floor” on issues and “conscience vote”.
    A speaker elected as now by the delegates would take on the role presently acted by the PM and would have the power to choose delegates to discuss the issues presently discussed in cabinet and select committees.
    In any case, I would like to see a proper consitutional review with the widest possible scope. I reckon it would be money well spent. People I meet are fed up with politicians and to me this is not a good sign.
    I hope people with more legal and political knowledge than I have will join a debate on this suggestion on this site.
    Let me know if you think another site would be more appropriate.

    • Reagan, one opportunity is the upcoming MMP review, but that is limited in scope.

      I campaigned in the election on something along the lines of what you suggest, I started doing that before I joined UF and was able to continue.

      MMP has strengths and limitations, but it could be used a lot smarter by more electorates.

      Getting political change from Wellington is very difficult and slow. So the best approach is to try and change the thinking in a few electorates and try and spread it from there. If there was say half a dozen independent-ish electorates or single MP-party electorates it would start to achieve what you suggest.

      There are also things you can do to increase attention to the electorate from exisitng MPs. I am working with people in Dunedin to achieve this. All the MPs initially said they supported the concept (publicly and independently in a community newspaper) but they seem to be now resisting a bit. that relationship will evolve.

      There are too significant limitations, apathy (most people aren’t interested in ongoing politics or are fed up with a lack of power) and vested interests (people already involved in politics are reluctant to change their thinking from personal and party politics to a cross party/apolitical approach for comminity good.

      I took a risk joining UF but it helped me get places I wouldn’t have otherwise got. Independent candidates are ignored even more than small party candidates. But my main focus is achieving better democracy for Dunedin.

      It can be done – it’s not simple or quick, it involves a lot of effort, but progess can be made – despite the knockers and those who refuse to co-operate because of political arrogance.

    • locus 24.2

      Reagan Cline – I’m a blog novice so wouldn’t know which sites might be best to discuss constitutional reform. However, The Standard is an outstanding site for debating the subject 🙂

      I agree, any steps towards developing a constitution for NZ should be based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi. Bill English and Pita Sharples are currently engaged in a constitutional review

      Regarding the power of individuals in a hung parliament – i.e. the tail wagging the dog, I’m all for this and for more independents/small parties in parliament! What I don’t like is an individual in this position recognising it’s in his own personal interest to vote with the government when he knows that’s not what the majority of NZers want.

      A good step for better representation would be to reduce the MMP 5% threshold to say 3%. I’ve spent most of my life voting in FPP elections and living with foul and divisive two party politics with each side unravelling legislation of the other if they can. Yes MMP means that minority parties have a say and legislation is better considered and debated than under FPP.

      As for your suggestion of a cantonal system I’ll have to give it a bit more thought. Seems to work in Switzerland but in terms of comparisons with other political systems I’m not sure how it rates.

      • locus 24.2.1

        “What I don’t like is an individual in this position recognising it’s in his own personal interest to vote with the government when he knows that’s not what the majority of NZers want.” doh.. What I meant to say was ‘I don’t like elected politicians voting for something that they stated just BEFORE the election was not wanted by NZers.’ Clearly many votes by MPs are unlikely to represent the majority of NZers, but hopefully their votes reflect the basis on which they were elected, and are well considered through debate and interaction

  25. Kotahi Tane Huna 25

    A song for Peter.

    I don’t want to set the world on fire
    I just want to start
    Some flare in your hair

    In my heart I have but one desire
    To sit on the fence
    And damn the expense

    I’ve lost all ambition for achievements and fame
    I want to be the one that went along
    And with your revulsion, and feelings of shame
    I’ll have reached the grate I’m draining down now

    Believe me
    I don’t want to set the world on fire
    I just want to start
    A flare in your hair

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