Today in Politics: June 19

Last updated 05:00 19/06/2014

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Politics

John Key: Don't write Helen Clark off yet, after UN polling Nick Smith reveals he gargled paint stripper as mouthwash Reserve Bank mandate no longer cutting it - Labour Labour leader Andrew Little's New Plymouth billboard defaced by vandals 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 Legal cannabis could collect $150 million a year but Bill English isn't pursuing it Failed leadership coup exposes more 'toxic culture' at Wellington City Council Tracy Watkins: Helen Clark's down but not out in the race to lead the UN

NZ signs pledge to combat sexual violence in war zones

New Zealand has joined an initiative aimed at wiping out sexual violence in war zones. Justice Minister Judith Collins was at the  Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, co-chaired by actress Angelina Jolie who is a special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Collins said 70 ministers were at last week's London event, the largest group brought together on the matter, and signed the pledge to try to find ways to protect victims in war zones.

A round of high-level politics occupies House

As MPs debated yesterday the decision to forgo an Epsom by-election, National's Chris Finlayson noted the irony of Labour MP Trevor Mallard lecturing others on ''bad choices''. ''This is the person who used to do girly weights at Bodyworks with Chris Carter, lecturing people on manliness,'' he said.  Mallard replied he ''did do weights occasionally but I didn't get my trainer to carry my drink bottle and towel like the member did''. 

Whether to advocate or not to advocate

Labour list MP Sue Moroney was fired up in the general debate yesterday in defence of her leader as he faced accusations of helping a National Party contributor  he had previously denied knowing. But she was quickly off message. Moroney said National had nothing to be excited about, apart from ''a letter about an MP advocating for a constituent''. The problem was that David Cunliffe had explicitly denied just an hour earlier that there was any advocating.

Slip has Wilkinson treated like royalty

National MP Paul Goldsmith was having a tough time corralling the unruly MPs at yesterday's finance and expenditure committee hearing, which might have explained him mistaking his colleague Kate Wilkinson for royalty. Goldsmith referred to Wilkinson, 56, as Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, to  the packed room's delight. No doubt Wilkinson was doubly flattered when Labour's David Parker promptly leapt to his feet and bowed. 

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- The Dominion Post

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