Election 2023: Peter Dunne claims Kiri Allen scandal shows Government ministers don't 'know their responsibilities'

Former United Future leader Peter Dunne says Labour's most recent scandal involving Kiri Allan paints a picture of "wheels falling off chariots" to voters as the country gears up for this year's election.

Dunne, who previously served as a Cabinet minister while in the Labour Party, said voters are seeing a series of scandals where Government ministers have come up looking a "little shabby", which will be damaging the party's ongoing credibility.

His comments come after a public servant with years of experience told Stuff Allan "yelled and screamed" at her during a phone call and was so loud staff in the office could hear her. 

Allan strongly refutes the allegations.

"No complaints have ever been taken up with MBIE or myself and certainly nothing that resembles these allegations," she said on Friday. 

The allegations came after the Department of Conservation confirmed a staffer seconded to Allan's office chose to leave amid concerns about working relationships there more than a year ago. 

Appearing on Newshub Nation's political panel, Dunne, who noted he doesn't know the substance of the allegations, said the accusations point to a bigger issue. 

"The real point is the damage they do to ongoing credibility by coming in the wake of other things," Dunne told co-host Rebecca Wright on Saturday's show.

The political commentator cited the recent Michael Wood and Stuart Nash sagas, as the Labour Party deals with ministerial scandal after scandal.

Wood resigned as a minister on June 21 after it was revealed he had not properly disclosed multiple shareholdings, while in March, Nash resigned after potential interference surfaced.

"Frankly, there are people who are serving as ministers who don't seem to know what the responsibilities they've taken on actually imply, and don't seem to know how to conduct themselves," Dunne said. 

"Whether it be filling in a disclosure form, or how you treat staff. To me, that's the bigger issue."

But, former Labour candidate Shane Te Pou hit back saying the accusations against Allan must be looked at in isolation.

"We've got an unnamed allegation, a year old, that she yelled and screamed… I think this is a mountain of a molehill," he told the panel.

Fronting media on Thursday morning, Allan, who was away on mental health leave when the accusations surfaced, disputed the suggestion staff felt uncomfortable in her office.

"I don't necessarily think that's an accurate description of what occurred in our office," she said.

"I'm pretty proud of our crew and I'm really proud of our team. 

Allan said she didn't believe she was a tough boss but "a fair bit of fun" and "pretty passionate".

"We do things a little bit differently. But I think I am fair, I think I have clear expectations and when those aren't met, I am clear about those as well," Allan said.

NZ Herald journalist Simon Wilson told the panel the robust environment in Parliament coupled with the Government "not being on the same page" with the public service would result in some very tense meetings.

"It is no surprise at all, to me, to hear that some ministers are behaving badly with public servants," Wilson told the panel. 

"I am not trying to justify the behaviour but I am absolutely clear in my mind that those relationships must be very fractious."

Dunne pointed out, to the average voter, the allegations against Allan don't matter.

But instead, continues to paint a picture in their minds of "wheels falling off chariots".

"At the end of the day, it's those things that matter when people decide who they want," he said.

Watch the full video for more.

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