Peter Dunne appears to have used his position in 2010 as a Minister in the Key Government to seek the release of funds caught up in a major internal affairs operation.
Prime Minister John Key needs to explain just why he has appointed Peter Dunne as Minister of Internal Affairs given his links to the pokie industry, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.
Mr Dunne, outside of Parliament has been chair of the Northern Wellington Festival which has sought and received tens of thousands of dollars of pokie proceeds through The Trusts Charitable Foundation.
“Peter Dunne has benefited through his chairing a committee that receives tens of thousands of dollars of pokie proceeds – funds that pay for a giant Santa parade he actively participates in as an elf,” Denise Roche said today.
“Mr Dunne has also actively campaigned in his electorate on the work he does with the Northern Wellington Festivals.
“He receives a direct benefit from his association with this organisation.”
In 2010 during an active Internal Affairs investigation into the way pokie money was distributed Mr Dunne sought to get funding that was frozen released. An internal affairs investigator, who worked on the case, claimed that Dunne’s intercession had helped stall the investigation.
“Peter Dunne appears to have used his position in 2010 as a Minister in the Key Government to seek the release of funds caught up in a major internal affairs operation,” Ms Roche said.
“Peter Dunne claims his actions in regard to this are an open book. If that is the case Mr Dunne should be happy to release any file notes or emails regarding his attempts to get frozen pokie funding released.
“Peter Dunne is simply the wrong person to be the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Associate Minister of Health.
“I question whether he should be the Minister in charge of the gambling levy [money paid from pokie trusts to treat problem gamblers], the public health protections for problem gambling and involved in the regulation of the industry.”