Today in politics: Thursday, July 17
Dotcom spying findings to be released today
The police watchdog will today release its findings on a police investigation into illegal spying on Kim Dotcom. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman asked the Independent Police Conduct Authority to investigate how detectives handled his complaint about surveillance of the tech mogul and his internet piracy co-accused Bram van der Kolk. Surveillance conducted by the foreign spy agency was illegal because Dotcom is a permanent resident.
Lack of discipline questioned by group
The Taxpayers’ Union lobby group is questioning why National list MP Claudette Hauiti was not disciplined for inappropriate use of her parliamentary charge card. ‘‘If an employee charged a trip to Australia on the staff card, they would be sacked. How can someone be trusted to run the country when they can’t be trusted with the plastic?’’ executive director Jordan Williams said. He called on Parliamentary Service to disclose details of all MPs’ mis-spending
Scientist supports Greens’ cash injection
The Greens brought along nano-scientist Dr Michelle Dickinson to the launch of their ‘‘innovation’’ policies yesterday. Dickinson said that while she was excited about plans to invest $1 billion in research and development, she is not a Greens supporter and is yet to make up her mind where to cast her vote. The money, injected over three years, would be channelled into information and computer technology (ICT), renewable energy and manufacturing.
Government expects to spend ‘millions’ in region
To head off any criticism of its initial $100,000 grant to help Northland flood victims, the Government says it expects to spend ‘‘millions’’ in the region. Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye said although thresholds weren’t met for a formal declaration of a state of local emergency, there would be assistance through hardship grants for residents, tax breaks for farmers and road repairs. The floods have been declared a medium-scale adverse event.