Today in politics: Friday, August 3
PM WAGS TO TRY TO REVIVE RADIO LIVE
Prime Minister John Key skived off from Parliament's Question Time yesterday for another stint as a DJ on Radio Live.
Mr Key landed in hot water on the same show last year after his office insisted he was unavailable to comment about New Zealand's credit downgrade while he laughed his way through a series of interviews with celebrities and talked about his cat, Moonbeam.
Our advice after yesterday's effort is don't give up the day job. Question Time at Parliament was livelier and – given Radio Live's abysmal ratings – probably had a bigger audience.
GREENS CALL ON RUSSIA TO FREE PUNK BAND
The Greens are calling on the Russians to free three members of all-girl punk group Pussy Riot arrested in February after performing an impromptu song deriding President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral. The women face up to seven years in jail if found guilty of ‘‘hooliganism’’.
MPs Gareth Hughes, Jan Logie and Denise Roche carried balloons representing the women to the Russian embassy in Wellington. In a letter to ambassador Andrey Tatarinov, they said they believed the women were trying to make ‘‘a legitimate political point’’.
PACIFIC CABLE FLOP DOWNPLAYED – LABOUR
Labour says the Government is trying to minimise fallout from the failure of the Pacific Fibre cable deal. Pacific Fibre member Rod Drury yesterday said the United States scuppered the deal because of concerns about Chinese spying through the involvement of Huawei.
Communications and IT Minister Amy Adams said she couldn’t comment on the claims but understood the deal collapsed for commercial reasons. Meanwhile, the Government says the the rollout of its ultrafast broadband initiative exceeded its target for the year by more than 6000 sites.
CARTER’S NOW ODDS-ON FOR SPEAKER’S JOB
Primary Industries Minister David Carter has confirmed he is in the running to be the next Speaker when Lockwood Smith takes his expected posting as high commissioner to London. As previously reported, Mr Carter has long been the favourite, despite Maurice Williamson’s name also cropping up.
Prime Minister John Key yesterday confirmed it was possible that Dr Smith would be posted overseas. Mr Carter said he had been asked by Mr Key if he was prepared to be Speaker. His answer? ‘‘If I received a formal proposition, I would seriously consider it.’’
The Dominion Post