GUEST BLOG: Mathew Danaher – Dunne’s hypocrisy on The Spinoff


Words are cheap, particularly when criticising a foreign head of state who has managed to unite a coalition of the respectable right (Dick Cheney anyone?) and the liberal left in mostly justified outrage against him.

So, do I welcome Peter Dunne’s forthright column in The Spinoff where he roundly condemns Trump’s perverse ban on 7 Islamic countries, not including font of all terrorism Saudi Arabia?

As a new arrival myself, I’m not going to disagree with any call for Kiwis to show the same welcome they did me to people who really do need a new home as soon as possible, and having seen the damage done in the UK by a government housing refugees with no reference to the
local communities they have been housed in, I can hardly disagree with Peter’s proposal that local authorities and people should be involved in any schemes.

However I imagine that if the sort of New Zealander who doesn’t read The Spinoff was to see this heartfelt plea for compassion from a Government Minister, who has helped preside over a steady rise in income inequality starkly illustrated recently with stories of disabled families living in their cars, and hardworking families struggling to make ends meet while Dunne’s fellow ministers stick up for their billionaire mates and sell citizenship to Trump’s billionaire mates.

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It’s easy to sit in a comfortable Wellington office and bash out a couple of paragraphs condemning someone all the nice people have already united against.

Another illustration of Dunne’s abstract approach is his statement that “no one expected Trump to act on his promises”, except of course the 26 million people who voted for him. Donald Trump is doing exactly as he promised them.

I will stand alongside anyone calling for fair treatment for refugees, but I’d like to ask Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne MP what he has done over the last two and a half years to make a real difference to the poorest and most vulnerable in his own neck of the woods?

The US, and NZ, and the rest of the world needs a genuinely progressive movement capable of taking on this insurgent popular nationalism that is on the rise everywhere – but I won’t believe Peter is part of that movement until I see him make concrete steps to address poverty and unfairness in the country he helps govern.


Mat Danaher is a union organiser who has recently relocated from the UK. You can see his blog here:  or follow him on Twitter


  1. Mathew, Peter Dunne has a long, long record of screwing the people of NZ and being an absolute hypocrite. An arsehole in fact.

    The real mystery is why Dunne is even in parliament at all, and the answer seems to be manipulation of the masses way, way back when they had ‘The Worm’ on television, and ‘The Worm’ was manipulated upwards whenever Peter Dunne opened his mouth, or even if the camera was pointed in his direction.

    If you think you have migrated to a democratic country, think again. It’s all a rigged game, rigged to ensure the agendas of banks and corporations go unchallenged (and thereby ensure that NZ society and the environment are destroyed).

    The notion that MPs care about their constituents at any time other than around voting time is absurd. And we are not even sure that votes are actually recorded and reported accurately.

    And the notion that MPs care about the future of the country is even more absurd. They are only there for what they can get out of the system, and they get well rewarded for avoiding all the fundamental issues.

      • The voters that keep voting for him are a majority of those who vote in the electorate of Ohariu. It certainly helped that National didn’t stand a candidate against him in the last election. Votes against him are divided between candidates from Labour, the Greens, NZ First etc, allowing him to float to the top in each election since he left Labour to form the United Party with a bunch of other Labour and National MPs.

        Greens and Cannabis party voters who want to finally flush the Dunney this year are going to have to hold their noses and vote for the Labour candidate, Greg O’Conner. Electorates are an FPP race, and splitting the vote will only ensure that Dunney gets another three years.

  2. I’d love to see what kind of NZ would rise from the ashes of burned down banks. I’d like to see what might happen to poorer housing areas after the greedy little debt pimps were run out of town. And all the loan sharks and pawn shops and pokies in grimy pubs. And Lotto. What a rip off. Instead of having a black hole for desperately hard earned disposable income pretending to be a charitable organisation like Lotto how about instead a working ministry to alleviate suffering by simply crushing out the real estate rats nest that feeds lawyers and insurers while snivelling and crawling like hungry lice to the Banking ‘ Industry’? I believe charity’s a curse on a modern, democratic society at the best of times. Charities simply stand on the backs of the most at risk to elevate their ego and to swell their pockets.
    Sure, vote dunne out, but there’ll only be another dunne-ite waiting in the wings to suck on our $-six figures plus entitlements.
    Bring the Banks down. Run the fuckers out of town.

  3. “……….but I’d like to ask Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne MP what he has done over the last two and a half years to make a real difference to the poorest and most vulnerable………..”
    Don’t hold your breathe!
    This useless ponce hasn’t changed in over 40 years (tho’ his electorate has)
    40 or so years ago this hanger-on leech in a bow tie would have been drummed out of town – especially by those pretending support.
    Funny ole whurl eh? The guy still has the gall to play it up to the masses. If they only knew the true Peter Dunne – but then I’m not sure he knows who that is himself

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