Topic: Politics

Worrying signs within Coalition Government - Peter Dunne

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Wellington

Political commentator and former leader of United Future party Peter Dunne says Coalition Government's lack of coordination could spell the worst if left unaddressed.

Dunne says Coalition Parties need to re-evaluate their internal coalition mechanisms he believes are currently not working.

"The lack of coordination between Ministers basically. People announcing things that they haven't even bounced off their coalition partners or even taken into Cabinet.”

“I think that's pretty amateur and it could become a problem."

Dunne's comments follow recent political controversies.

On Monday Justice Minister Andrew Little pulled a proposal to repeal the Three Strikes Law after it failed to receive support from NZ First.

NZ First leader Winston Peters filed a lawsuit against National MPs for leaking details of his superannuation overpayments.

On Wednesday Shane Jones launched blistering attacks on Fonterra with calls for its chief executive John Wilson to step down.

Meanwhile Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage of the Green’s Party is facing backlash over a decision that allowed a Chinese water bottling company to purchase land and expand its water bottling plant at Ōtākiri Springs.

"Individually none of these things matter by themselves but if you get a succession of them they build up and the Government starts to get a reputation, as I think it's in danger of getting, for being disorganised and slightly chaotic."

"Then the people in it start to think what's the point in being here and that's when I think you've got trouble."

Dunne says with Labour Ministers largely inexperienced in Government, the party risks being overruled by NZ First.

"Winston Peter's is a wily old fox. He'll know exactly what he can exact out of Labour and he'll know where to put the pressure on and that's what you're seeing happen which is fine and that's all good politics but at some point it runs the risk of the Labour Party saying ‘hang on we're not putting up with this any longer."

Dunne says while it's still early days yet, Ministers should be worried.

"It's a constant discussion. You got to talk to your partners, you've got to understand where they're coming from. They've got to understand where your point of view is and if need be if you can't resolve them then you have worked out how you're going to manage the difference publicly."