Today in politics: Monday, 30 June

Last updated 05:00 30/06/2014

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Government sees less pressure on rates Nick Smith won't pursue defamation action Craig unfazed by PM's snub Beehive Live: July 29, 2014 Let's just talk politics and skip brewing up the pot Nurses to perform bowel cancer tests Key coup de grace for Craig MP facing scrutiny over accessing of records Get out and vote, Lorde urges youth Brownlee - brain fade or abuse of power?

Unwanted MPs avoid the limelight

It seemed like a particularly cruel form of punishment to make outgoing National MPs line up on stage at the party's annual conference, given the revelations in John Key's just-released biography.

The book explained that several of those MPs decided to retire after Key made it clear they weren't going anywhere in the caucus. That might shed light on why outgoing MPs Colin King, John Hayes and Tau Henare were conspicuously absent from the line-up. 

Technophobe Brownlee dips into Facebook

#TeamKey might be all over social media  -  but they can't convince Gerry Brownlee to embrace Twitter. The earthquake recovery minister once dismissed complaints from Cantabrians as ''buggerising around on Facebook''.

He's relented and  allowed one of his staff to establish an account. But don't expect him to be tweeting during this year's election campaign. ''I read some of your Twitter comments and think how could I compete with that?'' he told reporters.

Cunliffe joins immigration battle lying down

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been battling the lurgy all weekend which is why he did not attend the launch of Labour's immigration policy on Saturday, though he dragged himself out of bed in response to National's roading announcement yesterday.

Labour says it will increase the number of refugees, using the immigration points system to manage the number of people entering the country on work visas to even out peaks and troughs in migration.

Prime Mincer gives Ohariu a tongue-lashing

Whether it's mincing down the catwalk or joking about someone's gay red shirt, John Key has a knack for getting away with clangers that others could not carry off.

His latest verbal clanger, Ohuria, is his way of pronouncing Ohariu, the seat held by United Future leader Peter Dunne. Other famous Key-isms include textses (for texts), Afghanistanians (self-explanatory), scuttlebug (instead of scuttle butt), and allegator (someone making allegations).

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- The Dominion Post

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