Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

MP cops it again in the House

Mr Dunne said he expected to register the party again when its records were sorted out. Photo /  Natalie Slade
Mr Dunne said he expected to register the party again when its records were sorted out. Photo / Natalie Slade

United Future leader Peter Dunne was under fire on two fronts again yesterday - NZ First leader Winston Peters renewing his accusations that Mr Dunne leaked a GCSB report, and Labour asking the Speaker to decide whether United Future should still qualify for extra parliamentary resources after it deregistered because the party did not have the required 500 members.

United Future asked the Electoral Commission to remove its registration last week because it could not be sure of the required 500 financial members, and Speaker David Carter said yesterday he had written to Mr Dunne for more information before deciding whether to remove about $122,000 of funding Mr Dunne gets as a party leader.

Mr Dunne said he expected to register the party again when its records were sorted out, although it could take time because the Electoral Commission would have to process the new registration. He had not considered winding up the party, although he had not yet decided on standing again in 2014 and would do so closer to the election.

Mr Carter said such a situation had not arisen before but transparency was important with public finds. "There needs to be some certainty about the arrangements behind a party that seeks to be recognised for parliamentary purposes."

Mr Dunne's plight gave some amusement to his political foes. Labour leader David Shearer said it left National with few future support parties. Mr Key said such matters had a way of working themselves out, and there were other options such as NZ First or the Conservative Party.

Meanwhile, NZ First leader Winston Peters renewed his allegations that Mr Dunne had leaked a report into the GCSB spy agency a week before Mr Key was to release it. Mr Peters asked Mr Key about it in Parliament saying it was a Crimes Act offence punishable by up to three years' imprisonment if the report was a classified document.

He also asked if phone records showed Mr Dunne was in contact with the same reporter at the time of that leak as at the time of earlier leaks, including one relating to Novopay and another on the Dotcom case.

- NZ Herald

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