Today in politics: Saturday, May 17

Last updated 05:00 17/05/2014

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Defunct health cost-cutting scheme lacked organisation, DHB buy-in - report Stoush erupts over benefit figures - good news, or bad news? Government asks for Labour's support on TPPA Judge orders Trade Minister to review his refusal to release TPPA documents Andrew Little: $2000 a day bill for Paula Rebstock CYF work 'a disgrace' Labour would stick to ban on foreign house buyers despite TPPA - Andrew Little Shutting down multinational tax rorts could mean 'more work for tax advisers' Cropping-related deaths low compared to other farming activities Student protests spark victory for civil rights - 150 Years of News John Key sees 'positive signals' from Australia on deportation

We've sold family silver, says Norman  

The Government's asset sales programme is costing $145 million, $43m more than forecast in December, the Green Party says. Co-leader Russel Norman said this was because lost dividends were greater than the reduction in interest faced by reducing debt.

This "hole" in the Budget was similar to the cost of providing maternity services in this year's Budget. "We've sold the family silver," Norman said.

Man from Myanmar on visit to NZ

Myanmar's upper house Speaker U Khin Aung Myint arrives in Wellington this weekend. He will hold talks with his counterpart, David Carter, attend three select committees and observe Question Time during his visit. He is a former senior military general, and once had the sinister title of Director of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare for the Ministry of Defence.

More access cards to Parliament

Seven new members of the public have been allocated access cards to Parliament, taking the total number of lobbyists and insiders with cards to 70.

Speaker David Carter published the list yesterday, showing BNZ government relations manager Kenny Clark and WeblingMedia's Brent Webling have been given access along with Councillor Jo Coughlan, Chris Major of Sky TV, the Film Commission's Patsy Reddy, and Stella Teariki, representing the PSA.

Back to coalface for battler Fenton 

Labour list MP Darien Fenton will retire at the next election after nine years in Parliament. The staunch unionist said she would "return to the coalface to continue the fight for the dignity and respect workers deserve"

. Labour leader David Cunliffe praised Fenton's "significant contribution to the Labour movement", saying she had been a strong voice for workers. 

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- The Dominion Post

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