Payoff for austerity needed in 2013

18:25, Jan 28 2013

It may be two years out from the next election, but 2013 is turning into a make or break year for our political leaders.

After kicking off the start of the political season with his state of the nation speech last week, Prime Minister John Key will outline his plan for the year today. We take a look at his likely priorities, along with those of other party leaders - and also unfinished business from 2012.

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UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Review of MMP: The Government may balk at lowering the 5 per cent threshold for winning seats in Parliament.

Kim Dotcom: A police investigation and separate inquiry still hang over the Government's top spooks after they bungled a covert operation involving the internet entrepreneur.

Top-level leaks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: The Paula Rebstock inquiry is in its final stages and due to report soon.

Privacy investigation into leaks at ACC: The final saga in the Bronwyn Pullar saga is due out soon.

The auditor-general's investigation into wheeling and dealing between the Government and SkyCity over an international convention centre - delayed from December: After viewing a draft report, Mr Key insisted he had nothing to worry about.

The auditor-general's investigation into Labour MP Shane Jones over a visa granted to a former Chinese national: David Shearer's likely promotion of Mr Jones back to his front bench suggests he is not expecting any fallout.

Novopay: Fourth-ranked Cabinet minister Steven Joyce has been put in charge of fixing the shambolic school-pay system.

David Bain compensation: It was back to the drawing board after Justice Minister Judith Collins threw out a report suggesting Mr Bain was innocent of murdering his family and deserved compensation.

Constitutional review: Launched at the instigation of the Maori Party, it has disappeared without trace - and could be overshadowed by a parallel Maori-led review.

Education Secretary Lesley Longstone: Ms Longstone quit after a breakdown in the relationship with Education Minister Hekia Parata. The State Services Commission has promised full disclosure of her final exit package.

The Dominion Post