Today in politics: Friday, July 27

Last updated 05:00 27/07/2012

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Politics

Nominations sought for ORC vacancy following death of Maggie Lawton Otago regional councillors halt water plan change English 'still not rushing into inquiry', says former defence minister has no new information Maori Party and Government reach deal to pass final stage of RMA reforms Australian Tax Office could oppose Apple paying tax in NZ, says source Housing First officially launched in Auckland A pragmatist signs out: Goodbye and good luck Edge of Lake Te Anau included in Govt tenders for oil and gas block exploration Editorial: SAS claims require full investigation Nicky Hager brings spirited conversation to Nelson cafe

TREATY CLAIM PASSES THIRD READING

Politicians passed legislation last night atoning for some of the reportedly worst moments in Maori-Pakeha relations. The Rongowhakaata Claims Settlement Bill passed its third reading in Parliament yesterday.

A 2004 Waitangi Tribunal report was damning of the illegal detainment of men and confiscation of land from Rongowhakaata and Nga Uri o Te Kooti Rikirangi.

The bill includes financial compensation, a formal apology and an agreed version of history. It brings the total number of Treaty settlements passed this year to nine.

LABOUR HOPES TO RAISE WAGES WHILE ON A ROLL

Labour is hoping its fight to see the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour will find cross-party support. David Clark’s member’s bill to increase the minimum wage from $13.50 was drawn from the ballot yesterday after Labour’s successful week in Parliament that resulted in two of its members’ bills – for an extension to paid parental leave and to ‘‘Mondayise’’ public holidays – passing their first reading.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is again likely to have the deciding vote.

AND THIS WEEK’S LUCKY WINNERS

Other member’s bills to be drawn yesterday were one by Shane Jones to allow the Ombudsmen to set guidelines for recovering the costs of its investigations from the agencies being investigated, Clayton Cosgrove’s attempt to entrench state-owned enterprises by requiring a 75 per cent majority in Parliament to sell assets or force a referendum, and Catherine Delahunty’s bid to prohibit the pollution of waterways, which is now allowed under exceptional circumstances.

SLIP-UP OVER WHO SLIPS INTO PARLIAMENT

Some influential lobbyists may have been caught out by a change to the rules for Parliamentary access cards — including Federated Farmers’ lobbyist and the brother of Bill English, Conor.

After Speaker Lockwood Smith published a list of 15 lobbyists with cards, a mystified Mr English phoned media to say he also had a card, despite not being on the published list.

But it turns out several lobbyists are holding on to expired cards after failing to return a form mailed out by the Speaker’s office. Mr English said he never got the Speaker’s letter.

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- The Dominion Post

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