Damnit. I thought Peter Dunne was supposed to be resigning! Turns out the whole thing was a farcical troll-attempt on his part.
Confused? Let me explain:
Every MP, during the course of their three-year term selects a Youth MP. This is a representative for the young people in their community/constituency, and helps to keep the MP in touch with the opinions and sentiment of young people. They also get to participate in a Youth Parliament mid-way through next year.
Now, for most parties and politicians ... recruiting a young person to be their Youth MP is not especially difficult. The only serious problem is finding some way of filtering through the many, many applications of seriously talented young people that come back in order to find the stand-out youngster to be it.
Not so for Peter Dunne.
Evidently, he's so short on youth applicants - or, heaven forbid, youth appeal - that he has to rely upon perfidious gimmickry in his press releases in order to get noticed and manage to lure some unsuspecting young person into his clutches.
Which explains yesterday's press release.
"Ohariu MP Peter Dunne says he will stand aside as MP for Ohariu next year to enable a new, young MP to be chosen for the vibrant, growing north Wellington electorate.
“I have been MP for Ohariu since 1984 – but plan to hand over to a new youthful MP in July."
So you can see why I was initially overjoyed that one of the longest-serving wastes of space in our Parliament was *finally* giving the people what they want - and vanishing from public life in a puff of synthetic cannabis smoke.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. And as Andrea Vance revealed later in the day (why is it *that* journalist getting the inside word...) - the whole thing was merely a fake and false-front exercise in gimmickry designed to attract widespread media attention in order to assist his bid to find a youth MP.
As former Greens staffer Simon Tapp put it on twitter: "how am I supposed to get the cork back in this bottle?!"
Oh well. Guess we'll just have to get back to the serious business of rolling him the old fashioned way.
With less than 700 votes between Peter Dunne and his next most strongly performing rival (Labour's Virginia Andersen) at the last Election ... I'd say within three years, he'll have a serious decision to make about what he intends to put into his *actual* letter of resignation and farewell.
That date can't come soon enough.
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