Today in politics: Thursday, August 23

Last updated 05:00 23/08/2012

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Politics

Central Auckland millennials less likely to vote in the general election Corrections auditing transport fraudster Joanne Harrison, after finding she worked there Labour forced to rethink spending, tax policy after big Budget 'incomes' package Geoffrey Palmer: Social insurance scheme has turned into a lottery Warning after fraudster Joanne Harrison's doctored CV and mystery flights revealed Government sets aside $6m in budget to help build water resilience in Wellington Government accused of playing politics with Wellington's transport future Barclay says he will not let Lumsden Maternity Centre close Government considering sending more troops to Afghanistan at request of US NZ First Clutha-Southland candidate Mark Patterson keen to shine light on local issues

LABOUR TAKES AIM AT ACRONYM

When the Government re-announced a bunch of policies yesterday in the form of a Children Result Action Plan, it didn't take Labour MP Jacinda Ardern long to realise the acronym was Crap.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, Health Minister Tony Ryall and Education Minister Hekia Parata released the plan, which aims to increase the number of kids in early childhood education and receiving immunisations, and reduce child abuse and rheumatic fever rates.

Ms Ardern said the plan was a rehash of old policies and showed the Government was out of ideas.

KIWI SOLDIERS TO LEAVE SYRIA AS UN MISSION ENDS

New Zealand soldiers will pull out of Syria this week as the United Nations Supervision Mission ends. The foreign affairs and defence ministers announced the pullout yesterday.

"The UN Security Council's mandate for the mission expired on August 19. The UN has indicated it will have all international military observers, including all NZDF personnel, out of Syria by August 23," Foreign Minister Murray McCully said.

Six New Zealand soldiers were initially deployed to Syria three months ago and that was halved in late July.

PARATA ALMOST GETS APOLOGY FROM UNION

The Post Primary Teachers Association has apologised for suggesting Education Minister Hekia Parata and her staff used illegitimate means to discover where a teacher worked.

Well, sort of. President Robin Duff said he had now received information explaining how the information could have been obtained.

However, that in no way excused the "standover tactics" employed by Ms Parata, he said. The union was outraged that Ms Parata replied to school boards when contacted by individual teachers upset about proposed changes to class sizes.

GREECE'S PROBLEMS BLAMED ON BUILDING MOTORWAYS

At question time yesterday, Green MP Julie Anne Genter attempted to draw comparisons between National's transport policy and economically crippled Greece, which borrowed billions to build motorways. during a parliamentary debate the previous evening, transport spokesman Phil Twyford had made the same accusation the previous evening.

"It turns out Greece went on a motorway building binge in the years leading up to its economic meltdown." Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said Greece's problems were down to "extraordinary borrowing for large, monolithic rail networks".

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