Today in politics: Tuesday, July 8

Last updated 05:00 08/07/2014

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The danger around John Key's visit to Iraq was exaggerated - David Shearer Carl Worker announced as New Zealand's new ambassador for counter terrorism Bloomin' heck: Government departments spend $600,000 on flowers Education Minister overrules ministry's advice on charter school report John Key's drama filled Iraq visit included potential security breach Serious problems at Taji military base in Iraq - US report TPP: Generic drug applications under greater threat of injunctions Labour continues push into regions with Taranaki tours Maori Fisheries Trust cynically ignored in Kermadec plan, leaders say Government off course in Kermadecs, says tuna fishing leader Charles Hufflett

Conservatives' 'vote' logo doesn't sit well with some

The Conservative Party's proposed logo to appear on the ballot papers in September's election has certainly raised interest.

Yesterday the Electoral Commission revealed that it had received 148 submissions on the party's proposal to have as its logo a large blue speech bubble with "VOTE" written on it.

The commission did not say how many supported or opposed the logo, although some are known to oppose the wording.

Claims taxpayers paid for NZ First software 'baseless'

Parliamentary Service says it could not substantiate claims made about spending by NZ First by its former MP Brendan Horan.

NZ First said the inquiry, which followed claims Horan made in the House in May, were found to be ‘‘baseless’’.

Horan had claimed software for party political purposes was paid for with taxpayer money but was for party political purposes, but Parliamentary Service said it was not operational and therefore ‘‘it is not possible for it to have been used improperly’’.

Maori Party to celebrate 10th anniversary

Yesterday marked 10 years since the creation of the Maori Party, formed during the turbulent period in 2004 sparked by Labour’s controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act. 

To mark the milestone, The Maori Party will hold birthday celebrations in Rotorua this weekend when it also officially launches its 2014 election campaign.

The party’s two co-founders, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples, will step down at the election.

Last month’s poll put the party at just 0.7 per cent support.

Schools unite to protest rewards payments

Upper Hutt school principals and boards of trustees have united to try to halt the Government’s $359 million programme to reward expert teachers and principals.

In a joint statement to the Ministry of Education secretary Peter Hughes, the group of 16 schools said the initiative needed a longer timeframente for development and a ‘‘rethink on the allocation of funds’’. 

The group says the cash injection would be better spent being paid directly to schools to support children’s learning. 

‘‘In our view we do not require executive positions to be established, nor do we want a salary to go to an individual principal.’’ 

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- Stuff

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