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|Merger of|| United New Zealand, |
Future New Zealand
|Headquarters||Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, |
|Ideology|| Liberal conservatism |
|Colors||Purple and green|
United Future New Zealand,usually known as United Future, was a centrist political party in New Zealand. The party was in government between 2005 and 2017, first alongside Labour (2005–2008) and then supporting National (2008–2017).
In politics, centrism—the centre or the center —is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.
The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.
The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.
United Future was formed from the merger of the liberal party United New Zealand and Christian-dominated conservative Future New Zealand to contest the 2002 election. It was represented in the New Zealand Parliament from its foundation until September 2017. The party won eight seats in 2002; however it was reduced to three Members of Parliament in 2005. Between 2008 and 2017, United Future was solely represented in Parliament by party leader Peter Dunne, who represented the Ōhāriu electorate in Wellington. Dunne was re-elected during both the 2011 and 2014 general elections.
United New Zealand was a centrist political party in New Zealand founded in 1995. It merged with the Christian-based Future New Zealand party to form the United Future New Zealand party in 2000.
The 2002 New Zealand general election was held on 27 July 2002 to determine the composition of the 47th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the reelection of Helen Clark's Labour Party government, as well as the worst-ever performance by the opposition National Party.
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.
In August 2017, Dunne announced his retirement from politics prior to the 2017 general election. Damian Light was appointed as the new leader on 23 August.During the 2017 general election, United Future lost its sole seat in Parliament and attained only 0.1% of the party vote.
The 2017 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 23 September 2017 to determine the membership of the 52nd New Zealand Parliament. The previous parliament was elected on 20 September 2014 and was officially dissolved on 22 August 2017. Voters elected 120 members to the House of Representatives under New Zealand's mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system, a proportional representation system in which 71 members were elected from single-member electorates and 49 members were elected from closed party lists. Around 3.57 million people were registered to vote in the election, with 2.63 million (79.8%) turning out. Advance voting proved popular, with 1.24 million votes cast before election day, more than the previous two elections combined.
Damian Francis Light is a New Zealand politician who was the leader of the United Future party from August 2017 until the party's dissolution in November 2017. He became party leader following the resignation of Peter Dunne. Light had previously served as the president of the party. He was the first openly gay leader of a political party in New Zealand.
In November 2017, a leaked email announced that United Future would be dissolving after a unanimous decision by the party board to do so. On 14 November an announcement was made on the party's website signalling that the party had officially been dissolved.
United Future was formed from the merger of liberal centrist party United New Zealand and Christian-dominated conservative Future New Zealand to contest the 2002 election. United, formed as a centrist party by a group of moderate Labour and National MPs, held one seat in parliament—that of Dunne. Future New Zealand, which was not represented in parliament, was a "secularised" evolution of the Christian Democrats, following the same basic principles as the Christian Democrats, but abandoning the explicit religious connection.
United Future's first party president, Inky Tulloch, stated that "United Future isn't a Christian party – it's a political party that has a lot of Christians in it, and a lot of non-Christians."Tulloch said that the "universal principles of family, of common sense, of looking after one another, of compassion, integrity" are equally valuable to both Christians and non-Christians.
Ian "Inky" Tulloch is a New Zealand racing-driver and a former politician in both local and national politics. He is most famous for his career in racing saloon cars as well as for being the last Mayor of Mataura before it became part of the Gore District Council. His father was Malcolm "Mac" Tulloch, a man who had been the Mayor of Mataura twice between 1959–1962 and between 1968–1970.
Support for United Future, which was already growing in early 2002, was boosted further by Peter Dunne's strong television debating performance and the public response to it. The uplift in United Future support during the last two weeks of the campaign caught many commentators by surprise and drew votes away from National, Labour and the Green parties, who were engaged in a public squabble over genetic engineering.
United Future made a strong showing in the 2002 election, taking 6.7 percent of the vote and eight seats: Dunne's electorate seat of Ohariu-Belmont and seven list seats.It would have been assured of getting into parliament in any event, however; under New Zealand's mixed-member proportional system, any party that wins at least one electorate seat qualifies for list seats even if it falls short of the five-percent threshold. The party faced a minor embarrassment after the election, however, when it was discovered that one of its list MPs, Kelly Chal, was not a New Zealand citizen, and thus ineligible to stand for parliament.
After 2002 United Future in its family law reform proposals took to heart the trauma and adverse impact on children caused by the separation of their parents. United Future MP Judy Turner made clear that then current government policies were failing in regard to keeping both parents in children's lives, and to this extent made a huge effort in promoting a Member’s Bill on mandatory mediation by means of a national roll-out of the North Shore Family Court "Children in the Middle" pilot programme.
In December 2004, United Future MPs exercised their individual conscience votes to oppose a bill to enable civil unions. This bill, which passed Parliament by a vote of 65 to 55, provided some marriage-like benefits for same-sex couples (who could not marry in New Zealand until August 2013) and for opposite-sex couples who choose not to marry. However, Peter Dunne aloneamong United Future MPs voted for the subsequent Relationships (Statutory References) Bill in March 2005, which passed by 76 to 44 votes and removed discriminatory wording from a range of statutes.
In mid-2004 United Future announced that it would contest the 2005 general election in partnership with Outdoor Recreation New Zealand. Cynics pointed out that, like Future New Zealand, Outdoor Recreation was a minor party with no prospect of reaching the 5% threshold (Outdoor Recreation gained 1.28% of the vote in the 2002 election) seeking parliamentary representation via the security of Peter Dunne's electorate seat.
A month before the September 2005 election, list MP Paul Adams quit the party to stand as an independent in the East Coast Bays electorate. His daughter Sharee Adams, also on the United Future List, also quit to assist her father in his campaign. After the general election, disgruntled right-winger and ex-United Future MP Marc Alexander also voiced repeated criticisms of his former colleagues, in his "Marc My Words" political opinion column for Scoop, a New Zealand news website.
In the 2005 election, United Future had the support of the WIN Party, which was set up to fight the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. WIN's leader, John van Buren, was United Future's candidate for Christchurch Central. This further spoke of alliances still to come. In this election, support plummeted to 2.8% and the party won only three seats. Peter Dunne retained Ohariu-Belmont, and Gordon Copeland and Judy Turner were returned on its party list.
United Future had tried to distance itself from its more assertive fundamentalist list MPs, such as Adams, Larry Baldock and Murray Smith.[ citation needed ] As Election New Zealand data revealed that the Outdoor Recreation Party still provided about 1% of the vote, 4.8% of the previous vote had gone elsewhere. During 2004–2005, the National Party had made renewed efforts to attract social conservative voters, through adoption of pro-life and anti-same-sex marriage voting records.[ citation needed ]
Following the 2005 election, New Zealand First and United Future entered into a confidence and supply agreement with Labour, under which Dunne became Minister of Revenue, outside Cabinet.
In March 2006 Outdoor Recreation New Zealand split with United Future, due to a dissatisfaction with what it saw as the Christian evangelism within the party. Outdoor Recreation acting chairman Phil Hoare said, "We strongly believe in the traditional bedrock values of our nation's heritage but we also affirm the separation of church and state."In 2006 several younger centrist members also departed from the party.
United Future, like most New Zealand Parliamentary parties, was caught up in the 2005 New Zealand election funding controversy. It voted in favour of the retrospective validating legislation, which was passed through the New Zealand Parliament in October 2006.
From February to April 2007, Peter Dunne exercised his own right to a conscience vote to support Sue Bradford's private members bill against parental corporal punishment of children, while Gordon Copeland vigorously opposed it, as did Judy Turner, but on a more subtle level.
On 16 May 2007, Copeland resigned from the party due to his dissatisfaction with Dunne's support for the aforementioned private members bill, although Turner did not follow suit.Copeland was subsequently part of forming the socially conservative Kiwi Party. Several other United Future members resigned in sympathy with Copeland, including former United Future List MPs Larry Baldock and Bernie Ogilvy. In 2011, the Kiwi Party ceased to exist as an independent entity after it merged with the Conservative Party of New Zealand, another conservative Christian dominated centre-right political party, currently unrepresented in Parliament.
On 13 August 2007 United Future unveiled a new logo which Dunne said was a revitalisation of the party before the 2008 election.The re-branding of the party was taken further on 3 September 2007 when Peter Dunne announced that United Future was becoming a moderate centrist party after the break with its former conservative Christian faction. Speaking of the departure of Copeland and the rest of the more strident Christians in the party, Dunne said, "I think it's taken a bit of a monkey off our back, frankly."
In 2008 the United Future Party named candidates for 51 seats.Policies included tax cuts and various initiatives aimed at supporting parents, such as the extension of paid parental leave to 12 months; the option of income splitting for tax purposes for parents with dependent children and couples in which one partner relies on the other for financial support; and the promotion of shared parenting. There were also a number of health care policies including granting everyone one free health check per year.
Peter Dunne was re-elected as United Future's only Member of Parliament. He retained his parliamentary seat of Ohariu-Belmont, but United Future did not poll sufficiently highly to bring additional caucus members into Parliament. Some Future New Zealand members defected from United Future to establish The Kiwi Party, which was unsuccessful in retaining parliamentary representation after the election.
The National Party won the most seats overall and formed a minority government with support from United Future, the Māori Party and ACT New Zealand. Dunne retained his portfolios as Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister for Health.
In 2011 United Future campaigned on income splitting, flexible superannuation and restricting asset sales.
Peter Dunne retained the electorate of Ōhariu electorate, formerly Ohariu-Belmont. The Labour candidate Charles Chauvel accused Dunne and the National Party of an "unprincipled political deal" which encouraged National voters to give their electorate vote to Dunne to ensure his survival as an MP.
As in 2008, the National Party won the most seats overall and formed a minority government with support from United Future, the Māori Party and ACT New Zealand. Together with his previous Revenue and Associate Health portfolios, Dunne became Associate Minister of Conservation. The agreement included provisions barring the sale of Kiwibank or Radio New Zealand, and public consultation on United Future's flexible superannuation policy.
On 31 May 2013 the Electoral Commission cancelled United Future's registration at the party's request after it failed to retain 500 members.The party became an unregistered party – unable to contest the party-list vote. However, on 10 June 2013, its party president made a media release stating that it had succeeded in attracting the needed 500 members for re-registration. It was subsequently reported that United Future was encountering difficulties over its re-registration, related to the need to acquire printed proof of sufficient membership, although Party President Robin Gunston had supplied the Electoral Commission with copies of traceable economic transactions associated with the influx of new members.
On 16 June 2013 the Electoral Commission noted that United Future had provided the aforementioned spreadsheet record, which contained names and details of putative party members. It noted that under Section 63 of the New Zealand Electoral Act 1993, bona fide registered political parties were bound to supply name, address, eligibility for membership, evidence of paid membership fees, member authorisation to record such details and to release them to a third party. The Commission stated that it would therefore accept signed and dated (although electronically submitted) membership forms from United Future and other eligible parties as evidence of membership enrolment. Signature and membership authenticity had yet to be assessed at that point
Events took a further turn when New Zealand Parliament Speaker David Carter ruled that as United Future could not guarantee that his party had 500 financially solvent members for another six to eight weeks after Dunne had submitted a membership list to the New Zealand Electoral Commission, Dunne would therefore have to sit as an "independent" Member of Parliament, and to forfeit NZ$100,000 parliamentary party leader operational funding unless and until United Future could conclusively establish whether or not it had sufficient membership to warrant re-registration. This occurred after New Zealand Labour Party MP Trevor Mallard contacted the New Zealand Attorney-General over the current legal status of United Future
On 8 July 2013 Dunne stated that his party had now been able to enrol sufficient members to satisfy the Electoral Commission's random sampling techniques, although he also noted that the process of evaluation and re-enrolment would take six to eight weeks.At the same time, the New Zealand Electoral Commission verified that this was indeed the case and then clarified what would happen next. There would be an interim period when it checked the actual status of the party's membership, then provided public notice of United Future's membership application and invitation of comments, then provide the applicant party's leadership with an opportunity to respond to the comments and then decide whether to refuse or approve the application from United Future On 30 July 2013, the New Zealand Electoral Commission requested input pending United Future's ultimate re-registration
On 13 August 2013 the electoral commission accepted United Future's re-registration.
As in 2008 and 2011, the National Party won the most seats overall and formed a minority government with support from United Future's single MP (Dunne) and the Māori Party.
During the 2017 general election, United Future ran 8 electorate candidates and 10 list candidates.On 21 August 2017, leader and MP Peter Dunne announced that he was quitting politics at the election, citing recent polling and his perception that there was a mood for change in his seat of Ōhāriu. Damian Light was announced as the new leader on August 23. During the 2017 election, United Future gained only 0.1% of the party vote and lost its sole seat in Parliament.
On 13 November 2017, an email was sent to party members, stating that a decision had been unanimously made between the members of the party to disband in light of their poor electoral results and the unlikelihood of receiving enough votes to enter parliament in future.On 14 November, Party Leader Damian Light and Dunne confirmed that United Future would be dissolving due to the loss of its Parliamentary presence. The party's registration was cancelled on 28 February 2018.
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United Future adopted the following mission statement in early 2007:
"United Future is a modern centre party, focused on New Zealand's best interests. We promote strong families and vibrant communities. We seek a fair, and open society, free from poverty, ignorance and prejudice, and based on innovation, self-reliance, justice and integrity in business and personal dealings. We promote a sustainable environment, and a competitive economy which encourages growth, prosperity, ownership and opportunity through market policies where possible, and government where necessary. We want all New Zealanders, whatever their background, race or creed, to have the chance to enjoy everything that is good in our country."
In 2007 the party had a number of policy successes, including:
|Election||candidates nominated (electorate/list)||seats won||party votes||popular vote||Government/Opposition|
|2002||63 / 60|
8 / 120
|135,918||6.69%||Supported Fifth Labour Government|
|2005||62 / 57|
3 / 121
|2008||51 / 30|
1 / 122
|20,497||0.87%||Supported Fifth National Government|
|2011||20 / 17|
1 / 121
|2014||11 / 11|
1 / 121
|2017||8 / 10|
0 / 120
|Leader||Term Began||Term Ended|
|1||Hon Peter Dunne||2000||23 August 2017|
|2||Damian Light||23 August 2017||14 November 2017|
|Leader||Term Began||Term Ended|
|2||Judy Turner||2004||14 November 2017|
Peter Francis Dunne is a retired New Zealand politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ōhāriu. He held the seat and its predecessors from 1984 to 2017—representing the centre-left Labour Party in Parliament from 1984 to 1994, and a succession of minor centrist parties from 1994. He was the Leader of Future New Zealand from 1994 to 1995, United New Zealand from 1996 to 2000, and United Future from 2000 to 2017.
Larry Baldock is a New Zealand politician. Before entering national politics, he was previously involved with the International Youth With A Mission organisation and spent 15 years living in the Philippines. After returning to NZ in 1996 he joined the Future NZ Party in 1999. He stood in the Electorate of Tauranga in 1999. In 2001 he was elected to the Tauranga District Council and then became a member of Parliament for the United Future New Zealand party as a list MP from 2002 to 2005.
Gordon Frank Copeland was a New Zealand politician who served as a Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2008. He entered the House of Representatives as a list MP for the United Future New Zealand Party from 2002 but he resigned from the party in 2007. In March 2009, Copeland became Party President of The Kiwi Party, which he had co-founded with another former United Future list MP, Larry Baldock, in May 2007. Copeland stood for the Conservative Party in the 2011 New Zealand general election. Prior to entering Parliament he held a number of corporate positions before working as the financial administrator for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington.
Judith Anne Turner is a New Zealand politician who was the deputy leader of United Future New Zealand. She was a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008 as a list MP.
The Kiwi Party was a political party operating in New Zealand between 2007 and 2011. Briefly known as Future New Zealand, it was a breakaway from the United Future New Zealand party and sought to carry on the tradition of Future New Zealand. The party was formed when MP Gordon Copeland left United Future after a dispute over support for the Crimes Amendment Act 2007. At the 2008 general election, the Kiwi Party was unsuccessful, and was not re-elected to Parliament. It did not contest the 2011 general election under its own banner, but the leaders and other members stood for the Conservative Party.
The New Zealand electoral system has been mixed-member proportional (MMP) since 1996. MMP was introduced after a referendum in 1993. MMP replaced the first-past-the-post (FPP) system New Zealand had previously used for most of its history.
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The name of the party shall be United Future New Zealand