Peter Dunne votes with Labour and a barb

Today Peter Dunne is expected to vote in support of two Labour Member’s bills:

Dunne to use casting vote

  • David Clark’s bill to Monday-ise Anzac Day and Waitangi Day
  • Sue  Moroney’s bill to increase paid parental leave to 26 week

Dunne has commented on Facebook:

Tomorrow, two Labour Member’s Bill will pass first reading in ParliamentThe vote in both cases will 61-60 in favour.

What perplexes me is that Labour seems happy to accept my vote being the one that tips their Bills over the line tomorrow, while only a few weeks they were railing in the most disgusting terms against the fact that the Mixed Ownership Model Bill was also passed 61-60 on the basis of my vote.

In both cases, my vote was based on long standing UnitedFuture policy positions. I have been entirely consistent. But on the face of it, Labour’s position seems not only remarkable inconsistent, but also extremely self-serving.

This is a fair call from Dunne. He has been bombarded with extensive criticism on hos MOM Bill vote – much of it ill-informed or deliberately false.

Ironically David Clark has been one Labout MP who has openly criticised Dunne…

1 –Absent conscience when it comes to keeping his election promise never to sell off our water assets.

…and wouldn’t retract this blatantly false accusation, but who accepts Dunne’s support for his own bill when it’s on exactly the same basis, consistent with United Future policy.

So Dunne has made a point…

Mr Dunne admitted he was tempted to withhold support for the Labour MPs’ bills in revenge for the “smears” he was subjected to during debate on the state assets sale bill, but decided sticking to his principles was more noble than political utu.

…but common sense politics prevails.

Severely flawed referendum promoted as filibuster

Russel Norman has tried to force a hold on the Mixed Ownership Model Bill until the outcome of a referendum is known.

A referendum that we don’t even know will happen or not.

I’ve also been asked about this on blogs, in this case by “John M”:

Is this why you don’t support even arguing for holding off on the sales until the result of the referendum (as a compromise to Dunne pulling the pin on the legislation)?

I’ve replied:

We don’t even know if there will be any referendum. It would be ridiculous to set as precedent of holding off any legislation pending the possibility of a referendum.

Apart from making a nionsense of our democratic process it would encourage even more abuse of CIR as a means of massive filibustering.

If we had a Labour/Green led government do you think they would put CGT legislation on hold for a couple of years to wait for the possibility there could be a referendum that could indicate majority opposition that they could ignore anyway?

Do you think any government legislation should be put on hold if a referendum is promoted as a possibility by opposition parties?

I think it would make a mockery of our democracy.

If the Greens got into a position of pivotal power would they delay addressing “child poverty” until a referendum had been held? Did Greens and Labour wait until the results of a referendum to decide how to vote on a “smacking” bill?

They are playing politics. And abusing taxpayer money to fund an extended election campaign, as illustrated in this comment yesterday from Robert Guyton:

The referendum will reflect the country’s real feelings and will come at a time when it counts – just prior to the election. Perfect. Bye bye Mr Dunne. Bye Mr Key. Sayonara.

The referendum looks like it has been hijacked by opposition parties using it as a massive taxpayer funded campaign tool for 2014.

That is highly unethical and a a cynical and hypocritical abuse of both taxpayer money and the Citizen Initiated Referendum.

Greens play media with Asset amendment

To get things done in parliament parties need to work together, not just work the media.

From Stuff: Dunne slams Green asset sales amendment push

United Future leader Peter Dunne is refusing to back a Greens’ amendment to keep partially sold state-owned assets open to public scrutiny, saying the party is being “mischievous”.

The Government’s legislation to enable the sale of up to 49 per cent of Mighty River Power, Genesis, Solid Energy and Meridian returns to Parliament today for a clause by clause debate.

State-owned assets are open to public scrutiny through the Official Information Act and the Ombudsman Act but under the Mixed Ownership Model Bill the partially sold enterprises would no longer be subject to those laws for commercial reasons which also exclude public companies.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman will put up an amendment to keep the state-owned assets subject such scrutiny.

However Dunne, who holds one of two crucial support votes for the Government, said today he wouldn’t be supporting the amendment.

“I’m not interested in supporting anything the Greens are putting forward on this.”

Dunne said he didn’t agree with the Greens’ opposition to asset sales.

“I think what they are being is mischievous. They are entitled to be but I’m certainly not support it. I don’t care what they are trying to do, my position is clear and I’m not budging from it.”

Norman said Dunne was being “incredibly unreasonable”.

“It’s not a very common sense position to oppose something solely on where it comes from rather than whether it is a good idea or not.”

@PeterDunneMP has just tweeted on this:

@NZStuffPolitics If the Greens expected their amendment to be taken seriously, they would have circulated it at least 24 hours in advance…

… and not via the news media on the morning of the debate

I think that’s a fair call.

Greens seem to work very well together within their party, and how to play media, but don’t seem to have figured out how to work inter-party yet. Or is it deliberate?

Would the Green Party change a policy position on the morning a significant amendment appeared in media, without consulting within the party? No, they wouldn’t. So they shouldn’t be surprised when other parties tell them to get real.

UPDATE: Peter Dunne on Facebook:

The first I heard of this amendment was when the Fairfax journalist rang me about 8:30 am this morning.

UnitedFuture may be only a small party in Parliament but it has always been and remains our policy to oppose all amendments of which we have not recevied at least 24 hours prior notice.