Today in politics: Friday, June 29

Last updated 05:00 29/06/2012

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Politics

Greek crisis and China worries expose New Zealand's economic vulnerability Transport Minister Simon Bridges stands by Northland promise Colin Craig's lawyers in talks over Rachel MacGregor saga Scholarship exam fees a barrier for low decile schools - Labour NZ First leader Winston Peters keeps mum on deputy coup rumours Spare a thought for gay marriage opponents Children's free GP visits kick in tomorrow Opt-out contraceptive programme proposed to curb teen pregnancy rates Auckland to get a third of $13.9bn national transport fund MPs have better access than most when it comes to getting a rugby ticket

HENARE FAILS TO DENT SPEAKER'S THICK SKIN

National backbencher Tau Henare is known for public outbursts but he almost tweeted himself into trouble yesterday during Parliament's Question Time when he wrote: "Welcome to the Lockwood Smith knows everything show".

Labour's Clayton Cosgrove rushed to raise the issue with Dr Smith, suggesting it was a matter of respect for the Speaker.

But Dr Smith was having none of it. Using the third person, he said the Speaker had a thick hide and wasn't worried about such comments. "I'm not that precious."

GREENS LEADER FINALLY REALISES HE'S RUSTY

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman is affectionately known throughout the parliamentary press gallery as 'Rusty'.

Well, he has ginger hair and is called Russel. It was always going to happen. To top it off he was born in Australia  the land of shortened names.

So one senior journalist was surprised to learn that within the Green Party they'd never heard of the nickname.

Order was returned later in the day when Dr Norman was seen strolling the corridor and responded to a call: 'Hi Rusty.' We guess it's official now.

YOU CAN ALWAYS WATCH PARLIAMENT TV

There has been a lot of debate on saving TVNZ7 and potential ideas on how it could be funded.

Most of those who lament the loss of the free-to-air channel believe it will leave a gap with no other regular, commercial-free local programming.

But Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss believes otherwise.

"I am sure that the New Zealand public will get entertainment and political dialogue from Parliament TV as they observe and watch it when

Parliament is sitting," he said yesterday.

He said TVNZ7's funding had always been time-limited.

TREASURY EMAILERS BOTH GIVE AND TAKE

Treasury has had another email blooper.

Yesterday a press release detailing the release of Budget documents landed in journalists' inboxes.

Within three minutes the advisory was recalled. However, a third email confirmed the release of the documents would  go ahead this morning.

The information being released is that most frequently requested under the Official Information Act, including  reports to ministers and technical data.

Treasury recalled advisory emails last month after journalists were both offered and denied space in the Budget lockup.

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- The Dominion Post

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