Today in politics: Wednesday, August 22

Last updated 05:00 22/08/2012

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Politics

Below the Beltway: The week in politics Jo Moir: The Maori King has nailed his colours to the mast by shunning Labour Key washes hands of soap 'joke' but has he learned his lesson? PM on prison rape joke: 'It's nothing to do with me' Another minor National bill drawn from ballot amid Opposition complaints Alice Wylie: The nonagenarian with a lifetime of political tales to tell Nick Smith is 'Milllion-dollar Minister' as average Auckland house passes $1m mark Mayoral hopeful Paula Southgate says Hamilton needs a Housing Accord Overhauling New Zealand journalism Businesses on both sides of Easter Sunday trading law coin

SPOTLIGHT ON WAGE GAP IN TRANS-TASMAN FLIGHT

Labour, the Greens and unions have seized on new figures showing a record 53,900 New Zealanders moved to Australia in the past year, saying the Government must do more to lift wages. According to Statistics New Zealand, a record was also set in July when 4300 emigrated.

The Council of Trade Unions and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union say the exodus is a direct result of the wage gap. Greens co-leader Russel Norman said the Government was pinning its hopes on schemes such as mining and cutting a "dirty deal" with SkyCity casino.

OBBY GROUP CONTINUES FIGHT FOR FREE-TO-AIR TV

It may have lost the battle to retain New Zealand's only non-commercial free-to-air channel, but Save TVNZ7 is to live on. The lobby group has renamed itself the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and aims to be a voice for improved radio, television and digital media.

Spokesman Myles Thomas said the lobby group still hoped to get a public service television station back. "We'd like to bring back TVNZ7 but we'd like to bring it back better." Coalition for Better Broadcasting would also be pushing to have major sporting and culture events broadcast free-to-air.

TALK OF TERROR THREAT IN CORRIDORS OF POWER

It seems some terrorists are more considerate than others. There was speculation yesterday that a terrorism threat had been sent to Parliament. The intended date for the incident? Sometime in December. A spokeswoman for Parliamentary Service said all threats were immediately sent to police.

A police spokesman said they investigated a number of threats made to Parliament but would not comment on individual ones. We're wondering if this alleged threat is a good excuse for parliamentary staff to head off on their summer holidays early?

PETERS VOWS TO KEEP UP BARRAGE OF QUESTIONS

NZ First leader Winston Peters said it was appalling that he was kicked out of Parliament yesterday and Speaker Lockwood Smith was being "pedantic". He was ejected from the House during question time.

At a press conference later, Mr Peters said he had simply been trying to get answers out of Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson. He said he would not let Dr Smith stand in his way of doing his job.

"If they're allowed to get away, like the Speaker allowed them to get away today, then we will never have a performing democracy in this country."

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- The Dominion Post

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