Today in politics: Tuesday, November 11

Airborne PM beats Abbott in drag race to Beijing

Boys and their toys. Trans-Tasman rivalry reached new heights when Prime Minister John Key and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott parked up on the tarmac at Darwin airport en route to the Apec leaders' summit.

The two leaders' planes took off on a drag race for Beijing, with the Australians attempting to slow Key's 757 with some tactical flying. But age eventually caught up with Abbott's slower 737 and the Kiwis hauled in his lead to land 20 minutes ahead. 

Precision preferable when fossil fuel is in dispute

The Green Party says a Facebook post showing Key being tripped up by MP Gareth Hughes on climate change has had a whopping 773,000 views. Key was caught out after claiming that not a single fossil-fuel power plant had been set up  ''in the six years we've been in government''.

But Hughes brandished photos of Key opening the McKee gas-fired plant in March 2013. Key conceded the correct term was ''coal-fired'

Taylor's electoral petition a little short on numbers

Arthur Taylor, the litigious prisoner, is seeking to have a rerun of the vote in Helensville, the seat held by Prime Minister John Key,  whose electorate includes Paremoremo Prison. Newstalk ZB reported Taylor has lodged an electoral petition, as part of a wider campaign to enable prisoner voting.

Lawyer Richard Francois says his client is arguing the electorate result could have been different had the 667 inmates been able to vote. Key's majority is 18,287.

State-of-the-art blood centre in Christchurch

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman injected some new life into Christchurch yesterday when he opened the $26 million Blood Centre in Addington. This and other high quality health facilities would be part of Christchurch's recovery, he said.

The new facility will process all blood collected in the South Island, as part of the New Zealand Blood Service's vein-to-vein service making blood and blood products available to the 42,000 Kiwis who need them annually

The Dominion Post