UC Legend - Peter Dunne

Prior to studying business administration at Massey University, Peter Dunne graduated with a BA and MA (Hons) in Political Science in 1976 and 1977 respectively from the University of Canterbury.

Peter Dunne

After working for the Department of Trade and Industry, followed by the Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council, he entered the 1984 New Zealand Parliamentary elections as candidate for the Labour Party in Ōhāriu. He became Parliamentary Undersecretary following the 1987 elections and in 1990, Minister of Regional Development, Associate Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister for Justice.

In 1994, he resigned from the Labour Party to become an independent MP and shortly afterwards established the Future New Zealand party. In 1995 he joined with a group of MPs from both National and Labour to establish the United New Zealand party with seven MPs who eventually formed a coalition with the National Party. This move returned him to cabinet as Minister of Internal Affairs and Revenue in 1996.

Shortly before the 2002 elections United NZ joined with the Future NZ Party to become the United Future party, which Dunne led. He retained his seat in Ōhāriu-Belmont or Ōhāriu through until 2017. He served as Minister of Revenue and as Associate Minister for Health between 2005 and 2008 under the Labour-led Government and was the only minister to retain office after the election of the National-led Government in 2008, serving as Minister of Revenue, Associate Minister of Health, and Associate Minister of Conservation until 2013. He also served as Minister of Internal Affairs,  Associate Minister of Health, and Associate Minister of Conservation  between 2014 and 2017 when he did not seek re-election to Parliament. 

In the 2018 New Year Honours, Dunne was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a member of Parliament.

Learn more about Peter Dunne’s life and work.