Today in politics: Friday, 4 July

Last updated 05:00 04/07/2014

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Politics

Bill English and Malcolm Turnbull's diplomatic double date about relationship building Greg O'Connor defends standing for Labour Party as the 'natural choice' Treaty of Waitangi translated into 30 languages Government is 'wasting money' on oil companies who have already ditched NZ - Green MP Gareth Morgan's party tackles 'obsession' with school testing in education policy 'It's an insult!' Backlash against Trump's pick for diplomatic post to New Zealand David Slack: Hard to say but it must be said Jonathan Milne: If we as a nation find Senator Scott Brown's actions abhorrent, we can do more than talk – we can say no Damien Grant: Pike River disaster highlights lack of political leadership Boss of vulnerable children uber agency vows to halt New Zealand's roll call of shame

Bill to extend paedophile monitoring  over first hurdle

A bill to ensure high-risk paedophiles can be monitored for more than a decade has passed its first parliamentary stage with cross party support.  Corrections Minister Anne Tolley wants 10-year-old extended supervision orders to be renewed by the courts. The orders were placed on the high-risk offender, convicted child abuser Lloyd McIntosh, in 2005 and are due to run out in January. The Parole (Extended Supervision Orders) Amendment Bill will allow ESOs to be renewed, with regular mandatory reviews by the courts.

Peters hands farmers flea in the ear

NZ First leader Winston Peters was certainly out to make a splash at the Federated Farmers national conference in Palmerston North. He told the audience ''stop piddling down our backs and telling us it's raining'' and said he was baffled as to why the lobby group hadn't backed his party's bill to reform the Reserve Bank. Peters later gleefully tweeted: ''I think Fed Farmers were expecting a speech extolling their virtues. Left them looking a bit stunned by the time I finished!''...

Green MP recommends exotic trees as bee balm

Green MP Steffan Browning surprised his National counterparts at a primary production select committee meeting about the health of bees. Declining bee populations are causing concern around the world. Browning suggested planting more exotic trees at the expense of natives to provide a better food source for the insects. National MP Shane Ardern was amused. ''Have you run this past your caucus, Steffan?' he asked.  The Ministry for Primary Industries told MPs bees are in relatively strong health in New Zealand....

Candidates sacrifice locks for electorate popularity

National's Napier candidate Wayne Walford has cut off his distinctive pony tail, calling it ''a barrier to communication''. Walford said the hairstyle he has had for the past 10 years was not proving popular on the campaign trail and he had lopped it off to ''show some commitment''. He joins Maori Party hopeful Chris McKenzie in the ranks of the newly shorn. McKenzie, who is standing in Te Tai Hauauru, underwent the make-over last week.

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- The Dominion Post

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