Today in politics: Tuesday, May 27

Last updated 05:00 27/05/2014
gareth hughes in star wars costume
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TREKKIE: Green Party MP Gareth Hughes pictured at the Armageddon expo in Hamilton.

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Politics

Labour's David Parker calls for 'swimmable' test to reflect when and where you take a dip KiwiRail says 'Kaikoura effect' cuts surplus Bill English downplays high demand for emergency housing grants Chris Trotter: Labour's future has a single name National MP Paul Foster-Bell to stand down at election Jacinda Ardern: ambitious simply to be 'good at her job' Stacey Kirk: An expected steamroll - Mt Albert win gives Jacinda Ardern near unstoppable momentum Jonathan Milne: Is it time to take the keys from Police Commissioner Mike Bush? Pike River mum: What we wanted was simple then, and it is simple now School budgets have increased so why are so many principals struggling to make ends meet?

$6m earmarked for anti-P initiatives 

The Government has earmarked $6 million for anti-P initiatives, including $1.8m recovered under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act to help pregnant women and mothers of young children with drug and alcohol problems.

Another $1.8m will fund 10 police investigators of organised crime and drug syndicates and $490,000 will go to crack down on cannabis growers. Since 2009 police have seized assets worth about $38m.

Beam me up with the Greens 

You would think the Greens would run light years from situations where "off the planet" jokes could be fired at them.

But MP Gareth Hughes seems to welcome the incoming photon torpedoes, posting on Facebook a picture of himself dressed in Star Trek gear during the Armageddon Expo in Hamilton.

Hughes said it was great to talk about his Internet Rights Bill, and hang out with the Trekkies.

Interesting mix for Pacific trip 

John Key will lead a 40-member delegation to Samoa, Tonga and Niue with an interesting mix of leaders or their representatives on the plane.

They include NZ First leader Winston Peters, Labour's former leader David Shearer, Greens co-leader Metiria Turei and the Government's new economic ambassador to the Pacific, Shane Jones. Key will meet Pacific leaders and visit aid projects during the five-day trip. 

Strong support for limiting immigration

There is strong support for limiting immigration after Treasury's pick that it could top 40,000 this year. A 3News poll found 62.4 per cent wanted restrictions.

NZ First voters felt the strongest, with 84.3 per cent backing restrictions, against 67.8 per cent of Labour, 58.2 per cent of Green and 59.3 per cent of National supporters. A One News survey found 57 per cent backed limits to help control house prices.

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- The Dominion Post

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