UnitedFuture's Dunne keeps his options open

NICOLE PRYOR
Last updated 08:58 20/06/2013
Peter Dunne
HE'S BACK: Peter Dunne has returned to Parliament after a break following his resignation as a minister.

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UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has not ruled out competing for the Ohariu seat at the next election despite his party's Electoral Commission woes.

Yesterday the commission turned down United's request to give evidence of its membership based on an electronic spreadsheet, rather than hard copy evidence signed by each member.

The party asked to be de-registered last month because of confusion over its membership numbers. It needs 500 current financial members to be registered as a political party.

Dunne told RadioLive this morning that United was now in a "rather unusual and absurd" situation.

"The Electoral Commission accepted yesterday that we are not a new party, and accepted the number of members we were submitting," he said.

"But we still have to give hard-copy verification. This is the 21st century . . . and they don't seem to have caught up."

He said it was a frustrating situation because the party had fulfilled every other requirement and the commission was being "pedantic" and "behind the times".

He said he would talk to the Speaker today about continuing as a parliamentary party.

Dunne did not rule out competing for the Ohariu seat, despite the issue.

"I have made no decisions on the next election yet - I will later in the year," he said.

"At this stage I'm not contemplating not standing, I just haven't got around to making that decision yet."

He said he was fully committed to seeing the party through and the role he was performing at the moment.

Dunne said he had "no idea" what else he would do, and that would be a big factor in his decision-making.

And although the rumour mill had been "vile", and innuendo "sleazy" regarding his relationship with Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance, he said it was a past issue.

"I think it's disgusting frankly . . . those emails were personal and I have every right to retain them as personal correspondence," he said.

"It's a past issue and we are moving on."

Dunne refused to discuss the issue further.

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