07 June 2013

Peter Dunne's resignation as minister

Mr Dunne's resignation as a minister has been made on the grounds that he was unwilling to meet all the requests for information made by the investigation into the leaking of the Kitteridge report on the GCSB. This does not conclusively prove, but it does at least lend strong support to, the accusations made earlier by Winston Peters that he (Mr Dunne) was responsible for the leak. The report (out today) by David Henry into the leak isolates, by a process of elimination, Mr Dunne. The Henry report says that Mr Dunne was not prepared to show Mr Henry unedited texts of all of the 44 emails he sent to the reporter who revealed the contents of the Kitteridge report in the media.
Mr Dunne's resignation is appropriate. There is still a possibility that he personally was not responsible for the leak, even though he was in contact with the reporter. For example, he could be covering up for someone else. But the refusal to co-operate with Mr Henry is enough to justify his resigning, as it leaves a cloud of suspicion over him. And, as a minister, that is unacceptable.
The resignation does not resolve any of the concerns surrounding the continued recognition of his (now de-registered) political party in the House. He continues to sit as an MP, and, according to the Speaker, as leader of a party. But it's looking like his political career is approaching an end, as it is hard to see how he can survive the next election after this.


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