Dunne done over while parties piss and pose

Peter Dunne alone appears to have done more to tidy up the GCSB Amendment Bill than all other MPs combined yet he is copping most of the flak, criticism and abuse for not doing enough, or for doing anything.

Dunne has done what any MP (or party) should do, he has worked with Government on improving a bill that many claim is of utmost importance for the security of the country and the privacy of the people. He has initiated significant improvements.

But because he hasn’t re-written the entire bill on his own, or because he hasn’t halted the bill, or because he hasn’t done nothing, Dunne is heaped with scorn, abuse and ridicule.

Dunne has compromised on his ideals (he prefers the GCSB did not spy at all on New Zealanders) to achieve significant gains, and he is vilified and accused of flip flopping and u-turning.

While the other parties do nothing because they can’t get their own way, or because they can’t be bothered actually contributing positively to the parliamentary process.

Such is the pissiness of politics and the press in New Zealand.

In return for Dunne’s GCSB vote

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.

And then she pissed on Dunne with what looked like petulant punishment for not playing along with her story.

Andrea Vance, who often wears an excellent journalist hat, replaced that with her ‘opinion’ political activist hat and expressed her displeasure at Dunne not delivering everything she wanted. In Dunne turnaround on spy bill Vance sounds pissed off and pissy. She should remember that she has not been elected, and I’d be surprised if she’s a member of any party. A personal crusade seems to have usurped her professionalism.

And there’s Gordon Campbell on Peter Dunne’s illusory gains on GCSB Bill:

The changes that Dunne has won as a pre-condition of his support could hardly be more token…

Campbell’s impartiality, accuracy and balance wasn’t even token. But he does also take aim at Winston Peters.

On national security issues, it is hard to see Peters standing resolutely in opposition alongside Labour and the Greens.

Resolutely in opposition. Labour and Greens. That’s obviously what Campbell wants but it’s hardly what we are getting.

Russel Norman is sort of sounding principled and is unlikely to ever have supported the bill. But his line is nothing more than if the Government won’t do it his way he will do nothing else but oppose and criticise. Nothing positive to contribute.

David Shearer is similar but doesn’t even sound principled. If there was ever a time for Shearer to show leadership, if there was ever an opportunity to step up and show he could lead the way to a decent cross-party solution, it is now. But as usual he recites a few worn out phrases and adds nothing useful. Oh, he has replaced his head of staff. If only he could replace what’s in his head.

Winston Peters has done what he usually does, harrumph and complain and try to diss Dunne some more. But nothing to contribute.

The Maori Party? I emailed Te Ururoa Flavell asking what their position was but no response. Maybe they don’t care if the GCSB spies on Maori.

Hone Harawira has complained about the GCSB in the past, but at the business end of the bill where is he?

At least John Banks has put contributed something useful:

Act leader John Banks has secured a change to get a set of principles written into the bill including the requirement for the GCSB to have regard to the Bill of Rights Act 1990, which protects New Zealanders against unreasonable search and surveillance.

He could have tried more but that’s something worth having.

But the main opposition parties won’t get their way so won’t do anything but oppose.

But Labour and New Zealand First, who wanted a more immediate review, last night remained adamant that they would oppose the bill, and it will pass with a majority of just one.

The Greens called the changes cosmetic and will also oppose it.

And piss on Peter Dunne. They criticise the one MP who has worked hard to secure useful improvements to the bill. While they contribute nothing but bitching.

One MP does more than 120 MPs combined, and cops the blame and vitriol for the failure of others to front up.

Petty party posing and point scoring seems more important to Labour, Greens and NZ First than security of the country and privacy of the people.

So Dunne is done over for doing what any decent MP should do.

Piss poor.

Leave a comment


  1. Darryl

     /  24th July 2013

    Peter has done exactly what he said he would do, to support the Government with modifications to the bill. Good on Peter, and to hell with the opposition.

  2. robertguyton

     /  24th July 2013

    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.

    Pete. Did Dunne say this,as reported?

    • Dunne has said that his ideal is to not need the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders, but to reach an agreement with substantial improvements he had to put other things first.

      In contrast Norman tries to sound principled but remains futilely disconnected from achieving anything. Greens are yet to discover the necessities of being part of a Government. Pragmatic compromises have to be made to get things done. That’s a reality of actually doing something.

      And if the GCSB was prevented from any spying on New Zealanders then the DF, SIS and POlice would just do it themselves. All with different cultures, procedures and oversight. So what would be gained? Nothing of substance, with greater risk.

  3. Did Dunne say, The GCSB should not spy on New Zealanders ”under any circumstances”?
    That’s my question. If he did, he’s reneging, breaking his word, being a hypocrite.
    Did he, Pete?

  4. robertguyton

     /  24th July 2013

    Pete? Did he?

    • You tell me. You’re claiming it, show me a link.

      Then tell me how one can stick to all their ideals while contributing to a functioning Government.

      • Jeff

         /  24th July 2013

        Pete , that is the whole idea of a mixed member proportion parliament. To keep a government from passing such controversial laws as the GCSB amendment bill. While sticking to ones statements and ideals.
        The sad part about this topic,Do the people voting for this bill think they are going to be exempt. I would be more inclined to believe that they would first on the “who do we spy on” list. What ever the consequences for Mr Dunne, I for one wont be giving my party vote to United Future again.

        • One of Dunne’s ideals is providing input into Government bills, doing what he can to improve them, but not overstepping his one vote authority to much.

          People hate small parties from abusing their power – unless for selfish reasons it suits them.

          If Labour (and NZ First) were in government they would be backing this tidy up in general terms, or at least Clark and Cullen would have and with far less openness. Shearer is being advised to play petty politics.

      • And Jeff, as by far the senior party National have a responsibility to deal with the biggest issues in their bill. They haven’t fronted up yet, they seem happy to use Dunne as a scapegoat for their lax drafting.

      • graham

         /  26th July 2013

        Did Dunne say, The GCSB should not spy on New Zealanders ”under any circumstances”?

        According to Stuff, yes.


  5. Darryl

     /  24th July 2013

    Look if it was Labour/Greens proposing this modification to the GCSB bill, the left would be saying it was all hunky dory. Shearer/Norman are playing petty politics, along with there opposing anything that moves. Quite frankly they are not interested in the country at ALL. I am sick to death with there pathetic nonsense.

  6. “Then tell me how one can stick to all their ideals while contributing to a functioning Government.”
    That’s terribly sad, Pete. Sad that you’ve accepted that Dunne had to abandon his ideals around what he declared to be his belief about the GCSB bill.
    It’s even sadder that you justify his hypocrisy by implying that to keep to his stated principles, he’d have undermined the functioning of the Government. That’s completely untrue and I can hardly believe you said it. Key’s spy bill is NOT vital for this Government or any other New Zealand Government. New Zealanders should NOT be spied upon by their own agency. That’s what Dunne is enabling. That’s what you are promoting. This is a sad day for you, Pete and a disgraceful one for Peter Dunne.

    • That’s how you see it, but I think many people will accept spying (and it’s done now by the SIS and Police and possible the Defence Force) to provide some security.

      What if spying had prevented the Rainbow Warrior bombing? Or would you just accept that as an acceptable loss because of an absolute no spying ideal?

      Most will accept some spying as long as it is adequately limited and has adequate oversight.

      Greens have a huge reality learning curve if they ever make it into Government.

  7. Pathetic, Pete. Like Dunne, you’ve sold out – willing seller, willing buyer. Your credibility has evaporated completely. Earlier in the GCSB debate, it seemed as though you had some spine and intelligence. This double-flip from you is hugely disappointing. I encourage you to think a little more deeply, Pete around the question, “Should each and everyNnew Zealander be subject to being spied-upon by our own spy agency?”.
    Until now, our rights to privacy were protected by law. Key is preparing to take that right and that protection away from us, and Dunne has enabled him to do so. And here you are, spinning like a top. Very sad day, Pete.

    • “Until now, our rights to privacy were protected by law.”

      No, they weren’t. And they weren’t protected by politicians either, who supposedly ran our spy agencies.

      SIS, GCSV, Police and probably the Defence Force have spied for yonks.It was all kept very secret. At least now it is out in the open.

      If the GCSB Bill prevents the GCSB to spy on behalf of the other three then they will do it themselves. Don’t you get that?

  8. I get that the GCSB was acting illegally. I get that Key intends to legislate that away, as if by magic. I get that the GCSB will be able to brazenly do now, what they covertly did then. Pete, do you know why previous Governments had made it illegal for the GCSB to spy on us? And can you tell me why it’s now necessary for them to do so? What significant threat do we now face that wasn’t evident up til now. There must be a REASON Pete – what is it? Dunne said there was no valid reason. Everyone knows there is no valid reason. Please explain, Pete.

  9. robertguyton

     /  24th July 2013


  10. graham

     /  25th July 2013

    Pete says:

    “That raises a point that I haven’t seen discussed.

    Why would the NSA need the GCSB to harvest communication data? We don’t own any satellites. We use cables that can be monitored from elsewhere. What can be done from here is miniscule compared to what the NSA can do without us.”

    It is rather difficult to monitor fibre optic cables without the direct involvement (and therefore the implicit agreement) of the telco who has installed and/or terminated them.

    • Jeff

       /  25th July 2013

      not when you have a “Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill” being fast tracked through parliament.

  11. graham

     /  26th July 2013

    Jeff, as I said initially, monitoring fibre optic cables is reliant on the knowledge and co-operation of the telco. Part 2 and sub Part 2 don’t change this.

    • Jeff

       /  26th July 2013

      Admittedly Telecommunication and network providers keep records of their customers already, Specifically for billing purposes. But at present they do not have to have interception tools in place. Once this legislation is passed they will be required to have full interception capability. Why?

  12. insider

     /  29th July 2013

    Those in the know will tell you that a certain politician manufactured the whole gcsb leak / Dunne affair to elevate himself to the kingmaker role but it has backfired as no one will trust him. if you want to play with spies then dont be surprised if they turn on you,,, ha ha ha That is the nature of the business.
    Dunnes deal is in the countries best interest but also pay back.


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