Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Dunne: I've moved on from leak report scandal

United Future leader Peter Dunne.
United Future leader Peter Dunne.

United Future leader Peter Dunne says he has moved on from last year's leaking scandal and is prepared to work with the Government after this year's general election should National be voted into power.

But New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said any deal done between the parties before an election result was known, smacked of desperation of National leader John Key wanting to retain power.

Mr Dunne resigned as a minister last year after refusing to fully co-operate with an inquiry over how a report by Rebecca Kitteridge into the Government's spy agency the GCSB was leaked to the media.

However, he regained his ministerial portfolios after the Government outlined its Cabinet reshuffle yesterday.

Mr Key said an inquiry's failure to rule Mr Dunne out as a suspect in the leaking scandal was "very much a 2013 issue".

Today, Mr Dunne told Radio New Zealand he had moved on from the events of last year.

"I have always kept confidences that have been given to me, nothing has changed in that respect."

It was more important to focus on the election and party policies than revisiting the Kitteridge report leak, he said.

Mr Key yesterday announced which parties he would consider working with should National be voted in to Government.

Those parties included United Future, and for the first time, New Zealand First.

Mr Dunne said he had been able to work with Mr Peters in the past and did not rule out the possibility of doing so again.

"The important thing about all these sorts of arrangements is that parties will never agree absolutely on policy but they do agree on a broad direction, on a way forward and I think that making that work is important."

But Mr Peters told RNZ Mr Key's announcement was a "brazen attempt to manipulate the election result".

It was also a "dangerous move" by Mr Key to reinstate Mr Dunne as a minister because he was a "serial leaker".

"It demonstrates again the desperation and the preparedness to do any deal to try and preserve political power."

Labour leader David Cunliffe said Mr Dunne's reappointment as a minister was "the dance of the desperate - same old, same old, no matter what the baggage".

Mr Dunne has the Internal Affairs portfolio, and regained his associate health and associate conservation roles. He also held the revenue portfolio before his resignation, but that job is staying with Todd McClay.

Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga
Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga

New Pacific Island Affairs Minister

Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga is the new Minister for Pacific Island Affairs, taking the job from Hekia Parata. He said he was deeply humbled to be the first National Party minister of Pacific heritage,

Mr Lotu-Iiga, a former lawyer and financial analyst, said he planned to focus on lifting the achievement levels of Pacific people. He would also take on the associate local government portfolio.

The Samoan-born, South Auckland-raised MP entered Parliament in 2008 and is the chairman of the social services select committee. His promotion gives him a pay rise of $64,200 a year.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse will fill the vacancy within Cabinet created by the retirement of Internal Affairs and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain, who will step down at this year's election.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett gained Mr Tremain's local government role, and Todd McClay becomes Associate Tourism Minister.

The new ministers will be sworn in on January 28.

Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

• Aged 43
• Born in Apia, Samoa
• Grew up in Mangere, attended Auckland Grammar School
• Studied commerce and law at the University of Auckland, later gained MBA at University of Cambridge (Queens College)
• Worked as solicitor at Russell McVeagh and as a financial analyst in England
• First elected to Parliament in 2008 in Maungakiekie seat with 1942-vote majority
• Holds high chief status (Peseta).

- APNZ

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