Today in politics: Monday, March 3

Last updated 06:42 03/03/2014

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Politics

Stacey Kirk: Is New Zealand's mental health service doing more harm than good? Legal cannabis could collect $150 million a year but Bill English isn't pursuing it Tracy Watkins: Helen Clark's down but not out in the race to lead the UN Jonathan Milne: Killer Tania Shailer's bid to shift blame to Moko provokes real anger Foreign Minister Murray McCully contracted Zika Veteran Taranaki regional councillor will not contest seat in upcoming election PM's department warned of Chinese trade threats, but didn't brief him Failed leadership coup exposes more 'toxic culture' at Wellington City Council Patrick Gower admits man crush on Donald Trump's son in weird live video from RNC Helen Kelly: 'My back is broken and I only have months to live but I'm pain free'

Trio taking Best Start on road trip

Labour is taking its Best Start package to the people, with a series of community meetings planned around the country. MPs Jacinda Ardern, Annette King, Chris Hipkins and Sue Moroney are hitting the road to promote the policy, starting in Christchurch later this month and winding up in Northland in June.

It would see about 26,000 families each year benefit from a plan to extend paid parental leave to six months.

Comments don't live up to the Skype

The Taxpayers Union has been forced to defend its comments about deaf Green MP Mojo Mathers. Director Jordan Williams prompted a hail of outrage on Twitter after questioning Ms Mathers' need to travel to Wairarapa for a radio interview at a cost of about $550 for flights and a rental car.

Mr Williams said  it still wasn't value for money when the interview could have been done on Skype. Skype doesn't allow for lip reading Ms Mathers pointed out.

Laughter Key to happy marriage

What's the secret to a long and healthy marriage? Find the Prime Minister's ''shock announcement'' in this week's New Zealand Woman's Weekly. John Key took to Twitter to promote his story, announcing he and wife Bronagh would be gracing the cover of today's issue of the mag.

''Almost 30 years of marriage later, we're still making each other laugh,'' Mr Key tweeted. A laughing Bronagh was hanging from his neck in the accompanying picture.

Craig still mulling over litigation

The second deadline for Conservative Party leader Colin Craig's potential defamation suit against Greens co-leader Russel Norman has passed with barely a whisper.

A fortnight ago, the country was braced for litigation over comments from Dr Norman suggesting Mr Craig was sexist and homophobic, Mr Craig said he would seek further advice from his lawyers. His spokeswoman said an announcement would be made today or tomorrow

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- The Dominion Post

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