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Dunne won't commit to standing next year

Published: 6:34PM Wednesday June 05, 2013 Source: ONE News

United Future leader Peter Dunne is considering his future in Parliament, in the midst of a political scrap with Winston Peters.

Peters last week used parliamentary privilege to suggest Dunne leaked a report on the Government Communications and Security Bureau to media, which Dunne denied.

Dunne has been in Parliament 29 years but will not commit to standing again in 2014, and the future of his party is being considered too.

"I've made no decisions about the next election one way or the other," Dunne said today.

This comes amidst a political storm for Dunne. Embarrassingly, United Future did not get the 500 paid-up members it needs to stay registered.

That caused drama at Parliament because technically, to qualify for parliamentary entitlements, the party needs to be registered.

But the Speaker, David Carter, decided not to strip Dunne of his funding, for now at least.

Dunne said United Future is "going through a process at the moment which will see us submitting a pre-registration fairly soon".

But it has got people questioning the future of United Future.

"If he doesn't get 500 he probably hasn't," said Pita Sharples, Maori Party co-leader.

Labour leader David Shearer said Dunne "looks like a party that's past its use by date, quite frankly".

And Labour says that leaves National looking lonely.

"We've got a National Party that hasn't got any friends. We've got Peter Dunne who can't even muster a party, John Banks who's in court and the Maori Party that's disintegrating," Shearer said.

Prime Minister John Key, asked if he is nervous that he will have no friends on the right, said: "No, I don't think so. I mean these things have a habit of working their way out."

Interestingly, Key says he has got options.

"The position with New Zealand First is always something that's up for at least discussion I suppose going into 2014.

"Who knows how the Conservatives might poll. So it's not as dire as people would make out."

ONE News Deputy Political Editor Jessica Mutch says it is looking pretty dire for Peter Dunne though.

He needs to work on uniting his party members and getting United Future registered, Mutch said.

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