Dunne to contest the next election?

Peter Dunne may have hinted that he intends contesting the election next year. When asked how long he will stay in politics he said “that decision’s ultimately not made by me but by my voters in Ohariu in the first instance, and that’s a decision that they will have the opportunity to refresh or reject next year”.

On United Future he said “we represent the flickering flame of liberal democracy in New Zealand”

And admitted “That does wax and wane from time to time”.

This was in an interview on Q+A this morning when Jessica Mutch asked Dunne about the future of UnitedFuture.

JESSICA Let’s talk about the future of United Future. How long will you stay in politics?

PETER I have no idea, because that decision’s ultimately not made by me but by my voters in Ohariu in the first instance, and that’s a decision that they will have the opportunity to refresh or reject next year.

JESSICA Your popularity in Ohariu has been going down. You got 1400 in the last election. Do you need to have a cup of tea with the prime minister?

PETER Well, my majority actually went up at the last election.

JESSICA 1400 isn’t a huge majority, though.

PETER No, it’s not, but it’s better than it was. And I’ve been there for nearly 30 years. I don’t need cups of tea with people. I think they know me pretty well and they can make a judgement.

JESSICA I mean a cup of tea with the prime minister.

PETER Yes, I know what you mean. I didn’t have one with the prime minister.

JESSICA Will you have one, or will you want one this time?

PETER Actually, I have a cup of tea with the prime minister quite frequently. It’s just that the public doesn’t see it. (LAUGHS)

JESSICA When you say ‘cup of tea’, will you ask for one with the prime minister this election?

PETER I’m not going into that at this stage because the election’s nearly 18 months away. What the lie of the political land is at that time is far too soon to speculate upon. What I will say is this – that United Future has been around for a long time. We represent the flickering flame of liberal democracy in New Zealand. That does wax and wane from time to time. There will always be people who will coalesce, if you like, around that point of view, and we’re here to represent those points of view.

JESSICA That’s a nice place to leave it. Thank you very much for your time this morning, Peter Dunne.

Video: Peter Dunne on the balance of power (9:48)