Dunne does deal to fight RNZ sale

Last updated 15:29 05/12/2011
Peter Dunne John Key
TALKING TIME: Peter Dunne and John Key meet after the 2011 election.

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United Future leader Peter Dunne has done a deal with National to guarantee KiwiBank and Radio New Zealand will not be sold.

Mr Dunne, who won his Ohariu seat at the election, will also hold onto his revenue portfolio.

He has also won a newly created Associate Minister of Conservation post and will also keep his Associate Minister of Health post.

He will be a minister outside cabinet, which means he is not bound by collective responsibility.

In return he will agree to support the policies outlined by National in its post-election plan. This will include the partial sale of state-owned assets, a revamp of ACC and welfare reform.

What Mr Dunne gets:

- No sale of KiwiBank or Radio New Zealand.
- Statutory limits will be introduced on the sale of public asset to no more than 49 per cent of shareholding to private interests and limits would be put on the extent of single entity ownership.
- A ban on guided helicopter hunting on conservation land will be introduced to Parliament.
- The budgets of both Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand will be maintained.
- The Families Commission will be revamped.
- There will be public consultation on Mr Dunne's Flexi-Super policy.
- Guaranteed access to rivers, lakes, forests and coastline.
- An agreement to reintroduce Mr Dunne's income sharing legislation which failed to win enough support in the last Parliament.
- Free health-checks for over 65-year-olds would also be investigated.

Mr Dunne said he did not believe he had got more concessions proportionally from National for his one vote.

"That's in the eye of the beholder."

The two votes will give National the numbers to govern, giving it a 62 vote margin in the 121-seat Parliament.

However, National could lose up to two votes when special votes are counted by Saturday, although it is more likely it will lose only one.

Mr Key said he was pleased his party could negotiate constructively with Dunne.

"In addition, National has agreed to support a range of principles, policies and priorities that have been put forward by United Future. I look forward to continuing the constructive relationship we built with Mr Dunne in the previous term," he said.

Mr Key will wait until special votes are counted or the Maori Party decides whether it will enter into an arrangement with National, which would give it a further buffer of three votes, before he goes to Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae to announce he can form a government.

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ACT MP John Banks has won two ministerial roles and two associate ministerial posts in a confidence and supply agreement with National.

The deal sees National secure support on key legislation as well as on confidence and supply.

- The Dominion Post


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