An MP for a Pet
August 24, 2018
Peter Dunne, MHR 1987-2017; Reminds me of another (but fictional) student-politician: Ben, from Parks and Recreation.
For a long time, Dunne occupied a special
niche as a super-duper on-the-fence Centrist for hire that both Labour and National took on. He served in the boring role of Minister of Revenue for Bolger, Clark, and Key.
The point of being National’s pet MP is to float policy trial balloons and say and do things that are ‘dirty jobs’ they would like done without it impacting on the Nat’s brand. That’s why they keep David Seymour around still.
Both parties had the use of Peter Dunne in similar capacity until last election when Greg O’Connor defied expectation by a smidge. The Ohariu scheme had to be halted so fast that Dunne didn’t have time to negotiate very much of a golden handshake (that we know of) for getting his vote-splitting tail out of there (too late: O’Connor got in by a meniscus.)
These thoughts generated by a pretty decent summary of where another political party stands today, ACT; See Act’s ‘Populist Soufflé Unlikely To Rise Twice’; Bowalley Road blog