Today in politics: Friday, July 27

Last updated 05:00 27/07/2012

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Politics

'Fat people' to blame for tobacco tax: Winston Peters Schools will decide how to spend targeted funding for under-achieving kids Key gets tough on Auckland with new policy forcing councils to release land Below the beltway: The week in politics Govt thinks about compulsory warranty to protect against building flaws Jeremy Elwood & Michele A'Court: Paying the rent DHBs still being shortchanged, says Labour - unveils health map to highlight regional shortfalls Budget 2016: Changing super will be super hard, which is why John Key should do it Polluters have to pay full cost of emissions after bill passes final hurdle Sole buyer of Invercargill state houses pulls out, stalling Government plans

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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