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Dunne hits out at other support partners

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Peter Dunne
Peter Dunne

By Kate Chapman of NZPA

Wellington, April 7 NZPA - United Future leader Peter Dunne hit out at his peers in a speech today, saying the ACT party was too right wing for most New Zealanders.

Mr Dunne said with the Labour Party still looking like an "old government thrown out at the last election, rather than a government in waiting", National was likely to win the election next year.

However, he said they were unlikely to be able to govern alone and "dark clouds" were gathering with their support partners.

"ACT's right wing is already becoming impatient and has shown no hesitation in trying to throw its weight around, well beyond the limits of its electoral mandate," Mr Dunne said in a speech to the Wellington South Rotary Club today.

ACT has made it clear the Government's reforms were too slow and too moderate and their "muscle flexing" was a taste of things to come, he said.

Average New Zealanders would shudder if they knew the half of ACT's political ambitions, he said.

"ACT is not a force that Kiwis would want shaping an increasingly far right second-term National-led government."

ACT leader Rodney Hide refused to comment on Mr Dunne's speech.

ACT received 3.65 percent of the party vote in the 2008 election and have five seats in Parliament, United Future got 0.87 percent of the party vote and Mr Dunne is their sole MP, having won the Ohariu electorate.

Mr Dunne said the Maori Party's relationship with National was also likely to change in the second term.

The Maori Party was prepared to tolerate the "watering down" of some policies but would want "much more than lip service and personal warmth" on future issues, he said.

"National therefore faces the unenviable possibility of being the largest party in Parliament -- indeed the only party capable of forming and leading a government after the 2011 election -- but with partners whose core demands are likely to tear it in completely opposite directions."

United Future, however, was a "voice for middle New Zealand families".

"Fundamentalist mania" within the party from 2002-2005 left a false impression of the party was a "bunch of religious zealots with a narrow, prescriptive moralistic agenda", Mr Dunne said.

"Those days are behind us and will not be repeated."

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