Today in politics: Thursday, November 6

16:00, Nov 05 2014

National security? Let's have a coffee first

On the day the prime minister was primed to warn the nation of dire terrorist threats, there was a timely reminder that we're still quite laidback. A reader having a coffee at Floriditas on Cuba St was surprised when a Crown car pulled up. Out jumped two security men and in walked John Key and his wife Bronagh. "Boiled eggs for him, poached for her, plus two lattes," she reported. Security breakfasted at a separate table and "nobody batted an eyelid".

PM states intentions in trademark style

The spotlight was on Key's long-awaited speech on national security, but it didn't stop him in trademark style getting a bit loose with his language. In the House he said putting the SAS in ''as some sort of killing machine'' would not work and it was up to Iraqis to find their own solutions. Most bizarrely he attempted to explain what troops ''behind the wire'' in Iraq meant, saying: ''It's a bit like Waiouru in Iraq, but a much smaller capability of course.''

Different security strokes for different folks

Not all MPs were content to confine their speech during the debate on national security to the topic at hand yesterday. Te Ururoa Flavell criticised New Zealanders recognising Guy Fawkes, when 133 years ago an army of nearly 1600 bombarded Parihaka. Across the House, usual suspect Winston Peters outlined NZ First's position on legislative changes and intervention in Iraq then had a dig at the Government's ''open door immigration policy''

It's a long, long trek around the beehive

Security measures imposed at Parliament following attacks in Canada last month are to be relaxed. After the Ottawa shooting all but two entrances were locked. Yesterday Parliamentary Service general manager David Stevenson said two more entrances would be partially opened, restoring direct access to Lambton Quay and the car park behind Parliament. The changes are likely to be popular with staff who faced long walks to get to their cars and favourite cafes.


The Dominion Post