|Minister of Revenue|
17 October 2005
|Prime Minister||Helen Clark
|Leader of United Future|
|Preceded by||Position Established|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament
(Previously Ohariu - Belmont)
17 July 1984
|Preceded by||Hugh Templeton|
17 March 1954 |
Christchurch, New Zealand
|Political party||United Future New Zealand|
Peter Dunne (born 17 March 1954) is a New Zealand politician and Member of Parliament who leads the United Future political party. He has served as a Cabinet minister in governments dominated by the centre-left Labour Party as well as by the centre-right National Party. From 2005-2008 he held the posts of Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister of Health as a minister outside of Cabinet with the Labour-led government. After Labour suffered an election defeat in 2008 to the National Party, United Future was reduced to having Peter Dunne as its sole MP. However, in a deal between United Future and National, Dunne retained his two portfolios outside cabinet.
Dunne entered Parliament for the Labour Party in 1984 and resigned from Labour in 1994.
Early life and family 
Peter Dunne was born in Christchurch. He gained an MA in political science from Canterbury University before studying business administration at Massey University. He worked for the Department of Trade and Industry from 1977 to 1978 and then for the Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council until 1984. He served as Deputy Chief Executive of the Council from 1980 onwards. In 1976, he married highschool chemistry teacher Jennifer Mackrell, and they have two sons.
Member of Parliament 
Labour MP 
In the 1984 elections, Dunne successfully stood for Parliament, winning the seat of Ohariu as a candidate of the Labour Party, defeating National MP Hugh Templeton. Bob Jones, leader of the New Zealand Party (not to be confused with New Zealand First) also stood in the seat, splitting the National vote, and ensuring a Labour victory in the seat. He held that seat in the 1987 elections, after which he became a Parliamentary Undersecretary. Later, in 1990, he became Minister of Regional Development, Associate Minister for the Environment, and Associate Minister of Justice. He retained his seat again in the 1990 elections, but the Labour government suffered defeat, and Dunne lost his ministerial posts.
In the 1993 elections, Dunne won the seat of Onslow, which covered much the same area as his former Ohariu seat. He found himself, however, increasingly at odds with the majority of the Labour Party – Dunne tended to support Labour's right-leaning faction rather than the party's more unionist wing. With the departure of leading right-wingers like Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and David Caygill he found himself isolated. In October 1994 Dunne resigned from the Labour Party, becoming an independent. A short time later, he established the Future New Zealand party (not to be confused with a later party of the same name).
United New Zealand Party 
In 1995, however, a group of MPs from both Labour and National decided to band together and form a new centrist party. Dunne, who had already quit his party in a similar way, decided to join the larger group. Together, the defectors and Dunne established the United New Zealand party, with a total of seven MPs, led by Clive Matthewson. United eventually established a coalition with the National Party, with the deal seeing Dunne return to Cabinet as Minister of Internal Affairs and Inland Revenue.
The 1996 elections, however, saw United almost completely wiped out – Dunne, by virtue of his personal support, won the newly-formed seat of Ohariu-Belmont, but all other United MPs suffered defeat. As the sole surviving United member in the House, Dunne became the party's leader. Towards the end of the parliamentary term, Dunne became part of a varied assortment of minor parties and independents who kept the National Party government in office after its coalition with New Zealand First collapsed in August 1998. Dunne retained his seat in the 1999 elections. In this contest, the National Party put up no candidate in his electorate.
United Future New Zealand Party 
|Parliament of New Zealand|
|1995–1995||Changed allegiance to:||Future NZ|
|1995–1996||Changed allegiance to:||United NZ|
Shortly before the 2002 elections, Dunne's United merged with the Future New Zealand party (not to be confused with Dunne's own earlier party of the same name). Dunne remained leader of the new group, called United Future New Zealand. In the 2002 elections, Dunne retained his seat despite challenges from both major parties. Mostly as a result of a strong performance by Dunne in a televised political debate, United Future surged unexpectedly in support, winning 6.69% of the nationwide party vote. In Parliament, United Future came to an agreement to support the governing Labour Party, although the two parties did not enter into a formal coalition arrangement. Dunne remained United Future's leader.
United Future New Zealand working with Outdoor Recreation 
United Future, like other minor political parties working in coalition, suffered in the polls. The United Future entered an agreement to work formally with the Outdoor Recreation Party, a registered political party formed to represent the views of hunters, fishers, trampers and recreational users of the marine and natural environment.
Dunne retained his seat in the 2005 general election but his party's proportion of the nationwide vote diminished considerably, with a corresponding loss of seats in Parliament.
Fifth Labour Government 
Dunne’s decision to support a Labour-led Government disappointed some. During the election campaign Dunne and National Leader Don Brash publicly sat outside an Epsom café over a cup of tea as a demonstration to the electorate that Dunne could co-operate with the National Party. This demonstration saw the majority of National supporters in Ohariu-Belmont combine with United Future and other Dunne-supporters to return Peter Dunne with a comfortable majority. National won the party vote in his seat by 3.57% over Labour. Dunne's party received 5.55%, while the Green Party, which Dunne had criticised heavily in the campaign, received 5.84%.
Dunne's decision to work with Winston Peters also couterpointed Dunne's previous comments about Peters' reliability. In one well-publicised press release Dunne reworded one of Peters' well-publicised campaign phrases by saying "Can we trust him? No, we can’t!"
Don Brash expressed a lack of amusement with Dunne's decision to support a Labour-led coalition government. Brash expressed astonishment at Dunne accepting the important ministerial portfolio of Revenue while remaining outside Cabinet. Asked if he considered Dunne guilty of dirty dealing, Brash said he would not use those words. Representatives of business, however, welcomed the appointment.
After the New Zealand general election, 2005, United Future retained only two list Members of Parliament, Judy Turner and Gordon Copeland. Copeland left the party in May 2007 to re-form the Future New Zealand Party, after opposing Dunne over Sue Bradford's private members bill against parental corporal punishment of children. After Copeland's departure, Judy Turner remained the only United Future List MP in Parliament.
Fifth National Government 
United Future's share of the party vote declined further in the 2008 election, to less than one percent. However Dunne retained his electorate. The National Party won most seats overall and formed a minority government with support from Dunne, the Maori Party and Act New Zealand. Dunne retained his position of Minister of Revenue and also became an Associate Minister of Health. However, like Ministers from the other support parties, he remained outside Cabinet.
Between December 2008 and August 2009, Dunne was the chairman of the Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee. Dunne described the Committee's report, which consisted of four minority reports, as a 'middle road' through 'complex and contentious' material.
Dunne attracted attention during this term due to his decision to "plank" on a live TV programme following the deaths of a number of young people doing it in contrast to his normally sensible image.
Dunne's support for the Government's asset sales plan was crucial in getting it through Parliament, and his retraction of support for charter schools in April 2013 could see that particular plan of the Government's ditched.
Political philosophy 
He strongly supported the decriminalisation of homosexuality when it became an issue in the mid 1980s, and has consistently favoured more liberal drinking laws. In a 2008 interview, he suggested it may be time to review New Zealand's abortion laws and leave the decision to a woman and her doctor, based on informed consent.
Since 2007, Dunne has rebranded United Future as a modern centre party, based on promoting strong families and vibrant communities. He wants United Future to become New Zealand's version of Britain's Liberal Democrats. Dunne has summarised his political views in two books, Home is Where My Heart Is (2002) and In the Centre of Things (2005).
In 2010, Dunne, as Minister of Revenue he introduced the Taxation (Income-sharing Tax Credit) Bill to Parliament in September 2010, to give effect to UnitedFuture's policy of allowing couples raising dependent children up to the age of 18 years to share their incomes for tax purposes. The Bill was referred to a select committee and was reported back to Parliament in March 2011, and is currently awaiting its second reading. In April 2011, the government announced the establishment of a statutory Game Animal Council, another UnitedFuture initiative agreed to as part of the 2008 confidence and supply agreement.
Dunne strongly supports a New Zealand republic, and holding an early referendum on the future of New Zealand's head of state is now part of United Future's policy programme. In 2004, he chaired the Constitutional Arrangements Committee. Dunne also supports the creation of a New Zealand Day and has sponsored a members' Bill on the issue.
Peter Dunne has served as Associate Minister of Health (with particular responsibility for Drugs, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention) in both the recent Labour-led and National-led governments, and is the only minister who retained office after the change of government.
Drug Policy 
Dunne has been criticised for his drug policy, with opponents claiming that it ignores scientific evidence and public opinion. Under powers introduced in 2011, Dunne can ban any substance without referendum or recommendation from advisory bodies. He has come under fire from political opponents for ignoring the advice of New Zealand's Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs in the banning of certain drugs and for ignoring the Law Commission's recommendations on medicinal cannabis. Dunne decided that there will be no medical trials permitted by the government on medical cannabis and that the subject was closed to debate 
After passing the law in 2011 that allowed the government to impose an emergency ban on any substance, Dunne banned a wide range of synthetic cannabis alternatives saying that there wasn't enough research on them to prove their safety. However clinical trials done before the ban showing their safety were disregarded by Dunne. Less than a year later, Dunne reversed his position on the issue, announcing plans for a new, regulated legal high market in New Zealand. In December 2012, he announced that new recreational drugs would be tested on animals, saying "...the hard truth is that scientifically, animal testing is unavoidable to prove that products are safe for human beings." 
Partial Asset Sales 
Peter Dunne voted with the minority government of John Key in passing the legislation allowing the partial sale of state assets such as power generation companies, despite surveys showing indicating that the majority of the public are against the sale 
Political works 
- Dunne, Peter (2002). Home is Where My Heart Is. Wellington, [N.Z.]: United Future New Zealand. ISBN 0-473-08433-3.
- Dunne, Peter (2005). In the Centre of Things. Wellington, [N.Z.]: Dunmore Press / United Future New Zealand. ISBN 1-877399-03-5.
- Martin Kay (17 November 2008). "New groups part of deals". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2008-10-17.[dead link]
- "Dunne on Peters: ‘Can we trust him? No, we can’t!’". scoop.co.nz. 16 September 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Brash: I had the 57 votes". New Zealand Herald. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Dunne post lifts optimism". New Zealand Herald. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- 2008 election results
- "Key's Government". The New Zealand Herald. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- NZPA (31 August 2009). "Report on emissions trading scheme review released". 3 News. Retrieved 17 September 2012. "Committee chair Peter Dunne today described the resulting report as a 'middle road' through some 'complex and contentious' material."
- Bennett, Adam (2 June 2011). "Peter Dunne planks for television audience". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Labour blames Dunne for close vote". 3 News NZ. June 27, 2012.
- "Dunne against charter schools". 3 News NZ. April 18, 2013.
- "Gordon Campbell talks to Peter Dunne". Scoop (news website). 16 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
- "For Queen or Country?: New Zealand Listener - March 2005". Retrieved 2006-08-02.
- 'Lethal party pill testing on dogs ruled out' in Sunday Star-Times 2012-12-02, retrieved from Stuff.co.nz website, 2012-12-03
|Wikinews has related news: New Zealand girls planned "undie run" defended by politician|
- Profile at United Future party
- Profile at New Zealand Parliament
- Releases and speeches at Beehive.govt.nz
|New Zealand Parliament|
|Member of Parliament for Ohariu
1984 – 1993
Constituency recreated (as Ōhariu) in 2008
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Onslow
1993 – 1996
|Member of Parliament for Ohariu-Belmont
1996 – 2008
Constituency abolished (as Ohariu) in 1993
|Member of Parliament for Ōhariu
|Party political offices|
|New political party||Leader of Future New Zealand
1994 – 1995
|Party merged into United New Zealand|
|Leader of United New Zealand
1996 – 2000
|Party merged with Future New Zealand into United Future New Zealand|
|New political party||Leader of United Future New Zealand
|New ministerial post||Minister of Revenue