Today in politics: Wednesday, July 9
Another hefty donation for Conservative coffers
Colin Craig is not the only one dipping in to his pocket to help fund the Conservative Party. The Electoral Commission confirms that Hamilton couple Laurence and Katrina Day have donated another $500,000 to the party, after an earlier donation of $175,000.
But with polls putting the Conservatives at or below 2 per cent, the Days could be forgiven for hoping that Craig has convinced National to tell Murray McCully to stand aside in his East Coast Bays seat.
PM sticks by promise to deliver on forecast surplus
New Budget figures have cast doubt on the forecast surplus, but Prime Minister John Key was quick to promise steps to ensure it is achieved. For the 11 months to May the deficit was 332 million ahead of forecast and officials said it was too early to know what impact that would have on future years.
But Labour finance spokesman David Parker said the deficit and the lower than expected tax revenue show the economic recovery may have already passed most by.
Still no definite date for diplomat's return
Meanwhile, John Key says he still has no firm date on when Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman will be returned to New Zealand, to face burglary and sexual assault allegations. He said he did not think the Malaysians were ''playing games'' as Rizalman, a former defence assistant at the Malaysian High Commission, undergoes psychiatric observation.
''The Malaysian foreign minister would never have agreed to returning him to New Zealand unless they were genuine in doing so,'' Key said.
Charter school choice if ACT holds sway
ACT wants to give all public schools the choice to become charter schools. Leader Jamie Whyte launched the party's education policy yesterday, saying it was starkly different to those of Labour and National. It aims to raise standards by increasing choice and competition in primary and secondary education. However, the education union NZEI has dismissed the charter schools idea as ''crackpot nonsense''.
The Dominion Post