Today in Politics: July 7

Last updated 05:00 07/07/2014

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Politics

Tracy Watkins: Helen Clark unlikely to pull out of next vote on UN Secretary General race Analysis: The scale of the Security Council - It does more than you think Little's chief of staff to head new Labour office in Auckland Council hopefuls make disability connection at Hamilton candidate evening UN Sec-Gen vote: Helen Clark in or out? How Steven Adams would look as prime minister Easter Sunday trading unlikely to gain support Nick Leggett's $27m plan to put decision-making in the hands of capital communities John Key wrote to ethnic communities worried about their security New poll shows more support for medicinal cannabis law reform in New Zealand

Australian Labor leader encourages Labour party

Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten's appearance at the Labour Congress gave him a chance to tell the party you can never assume anything in politics. His arrival drew media questions about  whether it was appropriate for a foreign party leader to appear at the Congress so close to the election. He said he was not giving advice, but he didn't help things by saying he spoke to both sides of the political divide and had a conversation with ''Prime Minister Keys''

No comments about diplomat's travel delays

Foreign Minister Murray McCully and his officials won't be drawn on possible delays in having Malaysian diplomat and alleged sex offender Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail returned here. Reports suggested he may not be fit to travel.  A ministry spokeswoman said arrangements for his return were still being determined. ''However we do not anticipate any issues related to diplomatic immunity with his return to New Zealand.''

Conservatives stand for tougher penalties

Conservative leader Colin Craig is trying to turn the ''crazy'' tag that some put on his party back on his critics. The party said one campaign advertisement would talk about ''Safer Streets .th.th. and other mad ideas''. ''While our opponents attempt to label our ideas as crazy, we are confident that everyday New Zealanders will see our party as the epitome of common sense,'' Craig said. ''.th.th. Victims and their rights are more important than criminals in our eyes.''

Coffey rates high on popularity stakes

Labour's Rotorua candidate, former TV weatherman Tamati Coffey, was a crowd favourite at the Labour Party Congress this weekend. Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson admitted that it was a humbling experience for most MPs hitting the campaign trail with Coffey, as he was so much more popular than they could ever be. Coffey described his first Labour Congress as a candidate as ''a whirlwind of hellos and selfies''.

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- The Dominion Post

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