Today in politics: Friday, May 30

Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014

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Politics

'Mate, you're dreaming': Kevin Rudd's UN hopes dashed, but what does it mean for Helen Clark? Murray McCully met Saudi businessman tied to a controversial farm deal Below the Beltway: The week in politics All mental health calls, including to 111, to be triaged in single system Prime Minister John Key seeks assurances regarding Tongan passports Southland MPs and councils urged to fight against legislation 'attacking local democracy' Labour and the Greens fall out over whether house prices should be cut in half Hamilton City Council votes unanimously for Momentum theatre rebuild Kevin Rudd's bid to become UN chief kicked to Australian PM Chinese get 70 per cent of NZ entrepreneur work visas

Peters wants pie cuts to 'parental reunion migrants'

Winston Peters has returned to his attacks on the superannuation payments to some elderly migrants.

Speaking at a Blenheim public meeting he said "the Super pie is not infinite – it cannot be an open resource for all and sundry to dine on".

One way to protect its current level would be to stop access by "parental reunion migrants" who qualify for the full pension after 10 years here.

"There are already over 68,000 such people," Peters said.

Mp turns to Twitter for question ideas

Green MP Julie Anne Genter turned to Twitter for inspiration yesterday, asking if her followers had any questions for Communications Minister Amy Adams at the commerce select committee.

She received a barrage of replies, including one from National’s Chris Tremain.

But they were not all friendly.

One blogger said she was paid well enough to come up with her own questions.

Genter replied that National backbench MPs were paid to ask ‘‘patsy’’ questions and ‘‘crowdsourcing can’t hurt’’.

Legal aid funding cut from the budget

Labour MPs have identified a $12 million black hole in legal aid funding.

From July 1, $7m will be cut from the budget for criminal cases and $5m from family and civil cases.

Justice Secretary Andrew Bridgman said underspending last year saw the money transferred to the Justice Sector Fund.

But in a move that seems to add red tape to the process they will apply to the fund for cash if demand for legal services increases, after a review in September.

Chinese Language Week launched in Havelock North

Xie xie (thank you) to Labour MP Raymond Huo for initiating the first Chinese Language Week.

The event was launched in Havelock North yesterday at this year’s New Zealand China Friendship Society 2014 conference.

Huo says there are growing number of people in New Zealand fluent in Mandarin and familiar with Chinese culture.

‘‘Chinese Language Week will play an important role in promoting cross-cultural understanding,’’ he says.

‘‘It will increase awareness of the Chinese language and culture and prepare future generations for increasingly important connections to Asia.’’

 



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