How Peter Dunne votes

Peter Dunne in a recent address to Petone Rotary:

Casting Vote

In the current Parliament, UnitedFuture’s position has had added prominence because my vote is periodically the casting vote.

I am sure you can imagine the consternation that has caused in certain circles!

Is it an act of just capricious judgement?

Is it just made up on the spot?

Or, am I playing out some act of political revenge on those who may have crossed me in the past?

Occasionally tempting, perhaps, but no, I do not play such games!

Well, actually, it is none of the above.

While I might be one man in Parliament, I am nevertheless a UnitedFuture Member of Parliament.

So the first port of call in determining a stance on a particular issue has to be to refer back to UnitedFuture policy.

Many who were so critical of the stand we took on the Mixed Ownership Model for state assets failed to do that, and were probably stunned to learn we even had policy on this and a range of other issues, because they never expected our vote to matter, and therefore had never bothered to check out our policy positions.

Likewise, my support for Labour’s paid parental leave policy arises from the fact that Labour’s current Bill is a step towards achieving our own overall policy goals for paid parental leave.

Second, if an issue is not clearly covered in our policy documents, the second port of call is whether it forms part of a confidence and supply agreement provision.

Again, with the Mixed Ownership Model, there was a specific confidence and supply agreement provision about having statutory minimum Crown ownership and maximum private ownership.

So, based on existing policy and our confidence and supply agreement, not only was it obvious that UnitedFuture would support the Mixed Ownership Model, but it was also utterly consistent for us to do so.

However, in the event that an issue is covered by neither existing policy, nor a confidence and supply agreement provision, the UnitedFuture Board and I will decide jointly what our stand should be, consistent with our previously stated party principles.

The proposed Mondayising of ANZAC and Waitangi Days comes into that category.

To those who say this is all poppycock and that I simply do what the National government wants, I say it is worth noting that, ironically, the Labour Party has so far been a greater beneficiary of UnitedFuture’s approach on these matters than has National!

Note: I’ve communicated with Peter (Dunne) a number of times on bill voting and he has always referred to and followed United Future policy and principles in making his decisions. And he is always willing to discuss, consider and explain policy positions. He is a major component of the party but he doesn’t fly solo. PG.

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