Today in politics: Wednesday, May 21

Last updated 05:00 21/05/2014

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Trans-Tasman roll call - the best and worst of the 2015 political year Faces of Innocents: Too many children are dying, are we about to break another promise? Prime Minister John Key defends 'green' credentials ahead of major summit Andrew Little to unveil Labour's shadow Cabinet New Zealand and Australia condemn Japan for resuming Southern Ocean whaling Jenny Shipley: Why we need a silver fern flag Children's flag referendum views are being heard by voters in their families 'Our job is not to censor. We're not serving the political elite, business or corporations' Stacey Kirk: Strewth! Join Australia? They're a bunch of flaming galahs! 'I don't want to be prime minister' – Jacinda Ardern

Critical tweeting may breach House protocol

A tweet by Labour MP Trevor Mallard describing Speaker David Carter as "like a Mafia Don" running his protection racket for the National Party has sparked a privileges committee probe into MPs' use of social media.

Carter said it was uncertain how parliamentary privilege, which protects MPs' free speech in the House, applied to social media given it was not a "proceeding of Parliament".

MPs could run the risk of being guilty of contempt. 

Economic development part of Collins' time-out


Judith Collins has revealed how she occupied herself when ordered to take some ‘‘time out’’ by Prime Minister John Key.

Collins said she shifted some of her furniture, got stuck into the garden and ‘‘I also did some economic development, which is shopping’’.

The justice minister was told to take some time off after  coming under sustained attack from Opposition MPs over her links to dairy exporter Oravida and lashing out at a press gallery journalist. 


Key tempted to declare horse under 'donkey'


Prime Minister John Key has belatedly declared his interest in a racehorse, a week after NZ First leader Winston Peters faced controversy over his interest in a nag. 

Key said he owned the horse, which he dubbed a ‘‘donkey’’, as part of a syndicate. 

He bought his share in 2007, sold it in 2008 and never thought to declare it in Parliament’s register of pecuniary interests until asked by the media.

‘‘I can’t see why I’d need to declare it but, honestly, it’s so long ago I can’t really be bothered going through the arguments so I’ve declared it.’’


Gluckman goes global in childhood-obesity battle


The prime minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, will co-chair a global commission aimed at ending childhood obesity.

He has been appointed to the role by the World Health Organisation and the commission will report back to it on the most effective approaches to tackling childhood obesity in different contexts around the globe. 

Sir Peter Gluckman’s advice on the topic had guided the New Zealand Government’s anti-obesity policy, Health Minister Tony Ryall said.

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