Today in politics: Saturday, November 1

Last updated 05:00 01/11/2014

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The immigration debate: Please leave your logic at the border Maori land reform bill continues to divide Mana and the Maori Party despite a promise to work together NZ's net migration gain still at record highs near 72,000 as arrivals continue to climb Reserve Bank promotes Geoff Bascand, possible future governor, to deputy chief executive Ilam candidate Raf Manji questions how incumbent Gerry Brownlee can juggle roles NZ immigration flows unlikely to slow despite Government's changes: ASB War veteran's epic pension fight has taken its toll, the 80-year-old's daughter says Nick Smith reflects on 'small reduction in responsibilities' after cabinet reshuffle Peter Dunne: Unified fire agency will emphasise flexibility Malcolm McKinnon: Anzac Day 2017 – time to lower the flag?

John Key in talks with Australian counterpart

Prime Minister John Key has travelled to Albany, 400km southeast of Perth, to mark the centenary of the first New Zealand and Australian troops departing for World War I.  But ahead of today’s commemorations, Key met Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott over dinner last night for their first bilateral discussion since Key was re-elected. He said their discussion would be ‘‘broad-ranging’’, with international security and domestic threats dominating.

Lots of new things  installed in casinos

New pokies, new casino layouts, new surveillance equipment – the 2013-14 year was a busy one for casino operators. The Gambling Commission’s annual report showed it made 200 decisions on applications to amend licence conditions, up from 127 decisions the previous year. Most were for new casino signage, gambling floor layouts and game mixes, as well as for the new surveillance system at SkyCity’s Auckland and Hamilton casinos. 

Home building consents drop in Auckland

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford says Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards, despite Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith’s claims of a new construction boom. Twyford said the city’s residential building consents had dropped for the second month – 7366 dwellings from a target of 9000. ‘‘Smith promised Aucklanders 39,000 houses ... He doesn’t have a hope in hell of achieving that.’’

Govt has no plans to review Holidays Act

Labour Minister Michael Woodhouse says there are no plans to review the Holidays Act, after speculation further reform may be in the pipeline. After the Employment Relations Amendment Act passed this week, Woodhouse said he was aware some employers feel ‘‘the Holidays Act is confusing’’ and he would ‘‘be listening very carefully to those views’’. Labour’s Annette King said the Government should be upfront about its intentions. 

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- The Dominion Post


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