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So what was Dunne’s price?

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, July 24th, 2013 - 110 comments
Categories: accountability, Ethics, Spying - Tags: , , ,

Peter Dunne used to be opposed to the GCSB spying on New Zealanders:

The GCSB should not spy on New Zealanders ”under any circumstances”, Dunne said.

Such comments were widely reported, e.g. by RNZ:

Mr Dunne says the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) should not be able to spy on New Zealanders, even on behalf of police or the Security Intelligence Service.

Dunne’s claims were specific, definite, and completely meaningless, because he is now going to vote for the GCSB to be able to spy on New Zealanders. Peter Dunne has made himself a hypocrite and a liar. His behaviour is getting the savaging it deserves. From Andrea Vance (ouch!):

Dunne turnaround on spy bill

To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Peter Dunne performed a U-turn on his flip-flop and agreed to support the expansion of the GCSB’s powers to spy on New Zealanders.

None of the concessions he claimed to have won on the proposed Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill, address his repeated assertion that only the domestic Security Intelligence Service should be allowed to spy on Kiwis.

…In the long term, his support for the bill, may only cement the view that he is prepared to trade principles for pragmatics to secure his political future. With that in mind, pundits will watch keenly for any signals of electoral accommodations by National in Dunne’s Ohariu electorate next year.

From Gordon Campbell:

Gordon Campbell on Peter Dunne’s illusory gains on GCSB Bill

In a week that will see nationwide protests against the GCSB, the politics of the passage of the agency’s governing legislation remain as polarized as ever. Now that Peter Dunne has re-assumed his usual posture as the government’s reliable footstool, this has given Prime Minister John Key the one vote majority he needs to get the spy agency’s new legislation through Parliament. The changes that Dunne has won as a pre-condition of his support could hardly be more token – apparently there will be warranted provision for such surveillance activities (always a rigorous process, right?) after-the-fact annual statistics on its spying actions, and an “independent” review of the legislation in 2015, and every five years or so thereafter. A review appointed by government, naturellement. Oh, and such things as medical records will apparently be exempt from the GCSB’s surveillance – unless of course, the needs of national security require otherwise.

Talk about a missed opportunity. Dunne could have demanded a coherent rationale for why the GCSB needs to be empowered to spy on all New Zealanders. Yet from asset sales to spying, Dunne has never been in the business of holding the government to account. In this case, almost all the gains by Dunne are retrospective in nature, even though they relate to forms of mass surveillance that infringe on the rights to privacy and the presumption of innocence that should exempt ordinary citizens and their phone, email and Internet activities from the attentions of the security services. In the light of such extensions of state power, Dunne’s gains look entirely cosmetic.

So – why did Dunne sell out? What was his price? 3 News asks

The Government gets Mr Dunne’s vote, which will allow them to pass the bill. But what does Mr Dunne get, exactly? Campbell Live wanted to ask him today, but he was too busy doing whatever he does to be interviewed. So reporter Rebecca Wright looked at the press conference he gave yesterday in search of an explanation. ….

Despite a lot of amusing 007 imagery, 3 News does not succeed in answering its own question. One possible answer is proposed in a piece in the NBR:

Cynics will also wonder Mr Dunne’s email exchange with reporter Andrea Vance around the time of the Kitteridge Report leak is now less likely to see the light of day.

A “featured comment” reaches the same conclusion as Vance (already quoted above):

“Call me a cynic, but I suspect we’ll see the trade off for our privacy is a deal in the next election: it’s the only way Dunne will get back in.”

Another electoral deal (like John “teapot” Banks) does seem most likely. But whatever it was he got, Peter Dunne sold out the rest of us to get it.

110 comments on “So what was Dunne’s price?”

  1. chris73 1

    Wonder if Labour are regretting going after him so viciously over the supposed leaking…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      …supposed leaking ?

      Right then , Vance got the report from some other mystery leaker ?

      That earthquake must have dislodged a few things onto ’73 s head.

      Even Dunnes carefully constructed timeline shows how he did it, if you read between the lines.

      He planned to meet Vance at some cafe, but ‘other things’ meant they didnt –

      Explanation- he took the report with him to cafe- where he had pre arranged to meet Vance- and he left the report inside a magazine, which she then picked up when he put it down.

      This gives him deniability as it didnt actually pass from his hands to hers, but she got it from his actions.

      Any way with knowledge of spycraft would know this is how its done. he has to admit the prearranged meeting since he could have been seen on the streets.

    • North 1.2

      Who knows, Chris73 @ 1 above ?. Not that it’s a relevant question in any event.

      What we do know, out of the man’s own mouth, is that there was a “willing seller and a willing buyer”.

      Ah, the supremacy of “The Market” !

      Can we blame any young person choking on the vaunted diet of “honesty, principles, personal responsibility” from self-servers and pricks like Dunney Boy and ShonKey Python, looking at this jack-up and saying “What a fucking crock. ? Respect respect respect, NOT !”

      • Chooky 1.2.1


        It makes it all the more important that transparency exists in the electing of new young dynamic leader and co-leader( female ? Maori?) of the Labour Party……by the rank and file Labour membership!!!!…then this bill could be overturned and a forensic postmortem public review could be done on who has been up to what.

        Otherwise we are going to have a generation of non-voters as they do in USA , with nothing but contempt for politicians.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.3

      Chris73 you clearly believe Dunne to be spineless and unprincipled. Do you think he will stay bought?

      • paul andersen 1.3.1

        does a bear shit in the woods? of course he will stay bought, key has him trained to roll over and beg , an ambassador’s post to chernobyl is what he deserves, dunne and banks, what a pair!!!

    • Huginn 1.4

      Dunne was always for sale – and Key knew it. He was just talking up the price.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    What price indeed for this willing seller?

    It was an unfortunate turn of phrase at best. The most charitable explanation is that Key bought Dunne’s vote with the alterations made to the bill.

    Does anyone seriously believe that? Any willing buyers?

    • David H 2.1

      “What price indeed for this willing seller ?”

      30 pieces of Silver. Standard price for a Judas.

  3. vto 3

    The sooner Peter Dunne departs positions of authority and command control the better.

    I loathe that unrepresentative fags like him have such a direct impact on our lives.

    (fag is used in the non-gay way for those of you requiring explanation. Like fuzzy, QC and other such terms )

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Explaining is losing.

      • Winston Smith 3.1.1

        Maybe the left shouldn’t have attacked him over him being leader and for the vance affair, he might have been a bit more receptive

        • Molly

          Perhaps at his age he should look up the meaning of integrity… and decide to aim for it.

          • Winston Smith

            You take a big steaming dump on someone for short term gain and then expect him to support you a little while later?

            – Seriously?

            Maybe he had concerns about the bill and those concerns have been answered and he voted accordingly…naah of course not

            • vto

              Ah, so it is about give and take between personalities like Dunne and nothing to do with what is best for the country.

              No wonder your kind rank so lowly winston

            • felix

              “and then expect him to support you a little while later?”

              lolz, support who?

              He should be standing up for what he himself claims to support you fool.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              You’re saying he’s spineless and unprincipled and fleeing in terror from horrid Lefties, then?

              Do you think blackmail is more or less effective than bribery?

              Do you think Peter Dunne will stay bought?

            • Tracey

              Did you actually read the man’s own words about what his concerns were and then compared it with what he will vote for? This isn’t about opinion it’s about;

              a. Dunne said he was unhappy with x, y and z;
              b. Dunne now voting for Bill which contains x and y

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          So you’re saying he’s spineless? Unprincipled?

          What do you think he bought with his vote?

          • Molly

            I’m of the perhaps unusual belief that he should have read the bill, looked at the submissions from the NZ Law Society, InternetNZ and others, gone over the report from the Human Rights Commission and made the rational judgement that this bill is fundamentally flawed.

            I have real no interest in what it has bought him, once again, it has cost him any semblance of credibility. However, it would not surprise me to learn that it was a form of self-interest or self-preservation that prompted the U-turn. It is hard to conceive that even he would convince himself that it for the betterment of NZers.

            Unfortunately, no surprises with his change of heart. But for a while there, I hoped like a small child for Christmas.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              My reply was intended for WS, who says that Dunne was fleeing horrid Lefties when he dropped his principles.

              Blackmail is a lot more effective than bribery. The cynics believe both are in play. If they’re right, then Key has taken a significant risk in burning Dunne so publicly, especially since it will again focus attention on the email exchange with Vance.

              But who is blackmailing who? What evidence does Kim.com have, and who else knows what it is?

        • felix

          Bullshit, he’s never done anything but cling to the skirts of whoever is in power.

      • vto 3.1.2

        not in this instance

    • Te Reo Putake 3.2

      What’s the non gay meaning VTO? Cigarette?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.1

        Private schoolboy assigned duties by a senior pupil, probably, oh, and “I’ve got a dog whistle and I can blow it very hard.”

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    It was a cup of tea moment alright, no pride, swatted aside by his master just weeks ago, now sliming back surely for two reasons. To retain his “precious” seat and bury the Vance emails for good.

    Thanks for nothing Dunne, maybe the emails will surface once the ‘stasi’ bill is passed, not that they will reveal anything of use apart from further proof of his bent character.

  5. Tracey 5

    It was his likening it to a commercial transaction which was betraying. Willing buyer and willing seller. In those four words he summed up where NZ politics and our country has gone since 1984. Whatever he thought he had with Vance was clearly not reciprocated.

    My partner and I watched Campbell live’s treatment of Dunne last night, and we wondered aloud, why they don’t do that with Key’s lies, or flip flops or whatever anyone is calling them…

    I hope BliP has sent them his linked thread.

    • vto 5.1

      Agreed. Dunne appears to have lost it and is now thrashing around in the sandpit one last time.

      No honour or service to the country in this little tantrum episode, just squealing and bulging eyes.

      Leave Dunne, just go, it’s over.

  6. King Kong 6

    MMP suckers!

    • felix 6.1

      Electorate MP, moran!

      • King Kong 6.1.1

        And Ohariu would be a United Future seat under FPP.

        Think again numb nuts.

        • Tracey

          Would it? You don’t think Katrina Shanks might win it under FPP?

          • felix

            He doesn’t think at all.

          • Rosie

            Hi Tracey. Katrina Shanks came third in the last two elections. Her votes dropped off dramatically in the ’11 election, and increased for Dunne. Labour, who came second in both elections with their votes also increasing in ’11. If Ohariu voters woke up and Labour campaigned hard enough (well they’d have to get their shit together first) would it be possible Labour could win it and kick Dunne out?


            • tracey

              Because national didnt back her. She wanted to campaign hard but was pulled off it.

              • Rosie

                Thats true Tracey. It was the one time that I felt almost sorry for a Nat candidate. She had been quite a trooper, (annoyingly so, even putting up Merry Xmas billboards one year) until the last election. CV, and whats going to happen in Ohariu without Charles Chauvel? Genuine question, I have no idea!
                Beardy: I’m also a Green voter but was going to give my electorate vote to Charles Chauvel given he came closer to Dunne last time and I was desperate to get rid of Dunne. What to do?

            • Colonial Viper

              And now Labour has told Chauvel to fuck off, and cut their nose off in the process.

              • pollywog

                They parachuted Fa’afoi into Mana as a good fit, they can do the same in Ohariu…

                Robertson maybe ?…another tubby lil gay guy might do the trick this time round 🙂

            • Bearded Git

              ….and the Greens agreed not to stand in Ohariu. I’m a Green voter-but I think they should do a deal with Labour in Ohariu not to stand to get Dunny-paper out.

        • felix

          “And Ohariu would be a United Future seat under FPP.”

          Would it? Gee it’s hard to know, he’s only held it for 150 years or so.

          Who knows? Have a banana.

          • King Kong

            You know.

            Keep the banana, apparently they are quite good brain food.

            • tricledrown

              primitive primate no amount of bananas are going to solve the problem you have!
              we are going to have to wait several million years for you to catch up!

        • framu

          so under FPP and MMP he gets the seat

          whats your point again?

          • King Kong

            My point is that it wouldn’t be a UF seat under FPP. This demonstrates that Felix’s position that Dunne’s influence in this bill is not because of MMP as he is an electorate MP is in fact, ill concieved rubbish.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Oh I absolutely agree. Point well made. Congratulations.

              Do you think Dunne will stay bought, and why do you suppose the lying Prime Minister is in such a hurry to rush this through as quickly as possible? Perhaps he’s afraid of missing a deadline?

              Did MMP force the Law Society to write to the UN, or was that the horrid Lefties?

            • framu

              “And Ohariu would be a United Future seat under FPP.”

              maybe an “‘nt” missing perhaps?

          • BM

            Dunne can do fuck all under FPP except warm a seat.

            Governments aren’t held to ransom because of some old fuck knuckle with an grossly over inflated opinion of his own importance.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Nah, they just get held to ransom by a minority of the electorate instead.

            • Colonial Viper

              That comment is just ignorant of how finely balanced the numbers in Parliament are.

            • King Kong

              To paraphrase Lennox Lewis when speaking of David Tua;

              “Don’t think you can come in here telling me what to do with one electoral seat and a bad haircut”

          • paul andersen

            king kong doesnt have a point, or many (any?) friends. if he did , he would be outside playing with them.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          So, according to Chris73 & Winston, Dunne has no principles because the Left, and according to KK Dunne has no principles because MMP.

          No doubt MMP and the nasty Lefties is why John Key is trying to force this steaming pile of dogshit through Parliament as quickly as possible.

          Look behind the Right’s freedom loving veil and what do we find?

          • Winston Smith

            Another three years 🙂

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Followed by Prime Minister Andrew Little with all the weapons of state security at his disposal.

              Look behind the veil and you find a very dim bulb indeed.

  7. Rosie 7

    Keen and informed watchers of NZ politics: Is there a comprehensive list available of all Peter Dunne’s failings against the citizens of NZ, ie, all the damaging legislation that he has voted for since ’08? It needs to go up on a huge billboard, ala pants on fire style, somewhere around the vicinity of the J’ville Mall and in view of his electorate office, just to remind the voters of Ohariu of what they are responsible for.

  8. Santi 8

    Wasn’t he a Minister in Labour’s nine years in office? Why has he changed?

    • framu 8.1

      he hasnt changed – the holders of power have – thats who he follows like a lost puppy

    • Tracey 8.2

      He was in Labour in the days of Rogernomics. he hasn’t changed he is still a right wing capitalist pretending he cares about families and people.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        And that contrasts with todays right wing Labour MPs how?

        • Tracey

          It wasn’t supposed to. The commenter was asking how he had changed. You are addressing a separate issue entirely

          • the pigman

            That’s alright Tracey, the original commenter is a very thinly-veiled tory astroturfer who is just here to waste everyone’s time. I’m guessing CV realizes.

            Gotta keep score on these pricks 😉

    • tricledrown 8.3

      Dunne is a compulsive swinger

    • alwyn 8.4

      In fact Peter was the minister of Revenue in the period 2005-2008, the same role as he had in 1996, under National and 2008-2013, also under National.
      He also had the job of Minister of Internal Affairs under National in 1996 and various Associate Ministerial roles under both Labour and National going back to the Labour Government in 1990.
      I don’t think he has changed at all. He is like Tim Shadbolt. Do you remember the joke song, something like “I don’t care where, as long as I’m mayor”

  9. ak 9

    No but to be perfectly serious for one moment, I’m afraid I really have no choice. Unfortunate, but there it is. And Andrea could release them anyway, let’s not forget.

    No. Not going to happen. Ever. Trust me on that, believe me. And actually you do have a choice ah actually. About how you want to be remembered actually. Either as a bit of a ah dodderly ah confused ah reliable MP under pressure who let his cock get in the way just once towards the end and ah anyway not really known actually for sure anyway OR the guy who brought down the most popular PM and government in history actually, and don’t forget what else we’ve got which ah would come out bit by bit I assure you yes yes we have everything actually as you should know full well better than anyone and more if you know what I mean. Yes. If necessary. So. No money, no wife no nothing and laughed and spat on wherever you go till the day you die, or a bit of temporary embarrassment that no media will touch and will wash away in a couple of weeks. Up to you.

    I’ll have to give the whole matter some more thought.

    You do that.

  10. Sable 10

    So Dung wants to keep his snout in the proverbial trough, what a surprise.

  11. red blooded 11

    Dunne belongs in the dunny with the rest of the dung. Don’t let’s forget that the bill started with the Keystone Cops, though, or that Winnie the Pooh was jostling at the sidelines and preening all over our TV screens, positively salivating at the prospect of selling his votes (at a slightly higher price, true, but still ready to empower mass surveillance of NZers by the GSCB as well as targeted surveillance of people pissing off the powers of the day).

    We know the Greens would want to repeal this bill. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not so clear about what Labour would do. I know they’re not voting for it, but would they repeal it?

  12. Sable 12

    Yes I have been wondering the same thing. Labour have not been vocal on this issue but then they were in power when the spying started under horse face Helen. I somehow doubt they would repeal the legislation, maybe just water it down a bit. This is why I have come to dislike Labour, they increasingly look an awful lot like National.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      when the spying started under horse face Helen.

      You really are a little shitty creep.

    • Tracey 12.2

      how old are you???

    • Te Reo Putake 12.3

      Jeez, I thought the misogynist and childish attacks on Helen Clark would end when she finished her stint as PM. Obviously not.

      • Not only have they not stopped Putake but the the same slime bags are now targeting David Shearer , The same people i’m thinking Crosby Textor .Unfortunately they are so clever that they
        fool,a lot of the people.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Too right! I’m pretty sure C/T will have been promoting the line that Clark still runs the LP via text message from New York. That rubbish pops up here from time to time and used to be about undermining Goff, but smoothly transitioned to Shearer. We should never forget that there are no depths these people won’t plumb.

          • King Kong

            Why would you need to pay C/T to undermine Shearer when his own side is doing such a brilliant job of it (see 95% of posts and comments on the Standard last November to see some hilarious examples)

  13. muzza 13

    Dunne is already paying his price, as will they all be!

    You cannot play god then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created, sooner or later, the day comes, and you can’t hide from things you’ve done anymore!

  14. weka 14

    Pete George having a whine about the protests and getting a slap from Bomber


    • Veutoviper 14.1

      PG was not having a good time on KB yesterday – my first visit for a long time. Even a lot of the righties were giving him a hard time re Dunne’s u-turn.

      And his comments on Gordon Campbell’s Scoop blog re the Dunne deal are laughable – delusions of power?

      “Yet from asset sales to spying, Dunne has never been in the business of holding the government to account.”

      Incorrect. I was personally involved in holding National to account when they tried to introduce a provision for selling more than 49% shares of an asset….” My bold

      And in a later PG comment – the delusions/denials continue
      I haven’t seen Key claim the bill doesn’t increase GCSB powers. Where has he done that?

      PG and Dunne are made for one another.


      Rather like the suggestion in Jenny Cark’s comment, though.

      “All we all have to do is cc the Prime Minister into ALL our emails and then the GCSB wouldn’t have to spy on us. Maybe we could BCC the GCSB as well to save them the trouble. A few million emails a day would keep them busy enough! Let’s do it”

  15. wyndham 15

    I’ve been asking for some time now – – – – why was John Key so absolutely confident that Dunne would give National his vote on the GCSB ? He made that statement several times even though Dunne was, on the face of it, expressing strong doubts about the legislation.

    • King Kong 15.1

      Because if he didn’t Key was going to show everyone the pictures he sent to Andrea Vance of him with his cock out.

      Apparently it wouldn’t poll that well.

      • felix 15.1.1

        Cock not necessarily withstanding, I think you’re pretty much on the money there.

        Key owns him and made it very clear.

        Dirty politics from a very dirty PM.

      • Huginn 15.1.2

        And definitely what everyone’s thinking.
        Bet that’s going to make quite a few National MP’s think long and hard about what they’re getting us into.
        The government whips will be out from now on – for sure.

    • Veutoviper 15.2

      Key’s confidence also struck me as odd, considering the stance that Dunne was taking publicly at the time, Wyndham. And Key’s confidence did not seem to be a case of his usual BSing. It was somehow different, but I could not pinpoint why. Now we know in general terms, anyway – if not the details of the wheeling and dealing or in Dunne’s words, buyer/seller ‘negotiations’. But I suspect these will become obvious with time.

      • Tracey 15.2.1

        It was a game. Key was always confidant because he knows where Dunne sits politically. He let Dunne do a bit of grandstanding to help save face from the resignation thing…

        • yeshe

          And isn’t Dunne being ‘allowed’ by Shonkey to present ‘his’ changes to the bill when it comes back into the House for a real grandstanding ? Think I read it yesterday somewhere …

          And has this by Audrey Young been posted yet ? Sorry to repeat but worth it imho ..

          GCSB changes ‘do not address flaws’ – QC

          Changes to the GCSB bill negotiated by United Future leader Peter Dunne do not address the main flaws of the bill, says Rodney Harrison, QC, who says it is still “rushed, ill-conceived and downright dangerous legislation.”


  16. The NSA 16

    We can tell you exactly what Dunne got out of the deal…..a blow-up bowtie.
    Turns out Peter’s tastes would have made J. Edgar Hoover blush.

  17. Santi 17

    Let’s do not maul and abuse Peter Dunne, who could be the next minister of Revenue in David Shearer’s cabinet with his important vote.
    Who knows? So, better be careful.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1

      Get off your knees, sycophant.

      • the pigman 17.1.1

        Suggest you search “Santi” and review his comments on TS – decide whether he is a sycophant or something else entirely. Sooner he gets banned the better.

  18. amirite 18

    Is Dunce going to stand in Ohariu in the next election?
    If so, will the fine folks of Ohariu have to hold their noses when voting for him? Like the Epsom folk did when they were instructed by Key to vote for Banks? I suspect they will.
    And that is the sad picture of NZ voter’s integrity.

  19. fambo 19

    “He got a spankin’ new identity
    And a condo’ down in Miami
    He bought a plane, a boat and jewelery
    But he couldn’t buy any company”

  20. Follow-the-money 20

    I’m thinking of a new political party, rising like a phoenix from the ashes:

    Peter Dunne, with Brendan Horan, Aaron Gilmore and either Don Brash or David Shearer as leader, depending who’s available.

    To be called “Untied Suture”

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