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Dunne Ready For Meeting With Key

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Peter Dunne
Peter Dunne

By Maggie Tait of NZPA

Auckland, Nov 9 NZPA - United Future leader Peter Dunne is looking forward to meeting National leader John Key tomorrow about his role in the new government.

Mr Dunne has been promised a ministerial role in the National-led Government but is not saying what he is after.

"I spoke to John Key last night, and I think I am going to be talking to him again tomorrow. We'll see how things pan out," Mr Dunne said today.

"Certainly I am looking forward to what the future might hold, but I don't have any definite idea at this stage."

Mr Dunne squashed a rumour he would become the next Speaker.

"It was suggested by the New Zealand Herald last week and took legs from there. It's never been suggested to me and I just don't think I am temperamentally suited to be Speaker. Too impatient."

Mr Dunne was Revenue Minister under Labour. He ruled out working with that party again last month. Was he interested in retaining that role?

"I prefer not to say at this stage because that might compromise discussions we are about to have but we will certainly be pursuing areas that were indicated in the meeting that John Key and I had a couple of weeks ago.

"We'll be talking about tax, we'll be talking about some health issues I imagine we will raise some other matters as well."

One bottom line was retaining the Families Commission, which United Future secured under its arrangement with Labour.

"I am confident that will remain and if there are changes to it they won't be ones that will gut it."

Being back as a sole representative of United Future -- it won three MP slots in 2005 -- was a bittersweet experience.

"It is nice to be back but being back by myself bitters the memory just a little bit. But that's the voters' choice and we will make do with it."

Mr Dunne held the Ohariu-Belmont seat (now just Ohariu) last election with a 7702 majority. This time was a closer battle with a reduced majority of 1169.

Labour's Charles Chauvel got 10,075 votes while National's Katrina Shanks got a healthy 8809. Green candidate Gareth Hughes got 2227 votes, which had they been given to Labour would have seen Mr Dunne out of Parliament.

Mr Dunne said there would be some analysis done on the result.

"It certainly wasn't what we were expecting, we thought it would be close but not as close as that."

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