DUNNE STANDS IN WAY OF ACT'S BUDGET CAP
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has refused to back a cornerstone of ACT's support deal with National that would have capped Budget spending, and the measure has been shelved. Finance Minister Bill English and ACT leader John Banks aim to revive it in a separate bill later, but Mr Dunne remains critical, saying it was "part of an unnecessary Right-wing agenda" and inconsistent with constitutional principles which prevent one Parliament binding a successor.
SPRING COLLECTION TO LURE ASSET SIGNATURES
The referendum against asset sales has collected 240,000 signatures so far, thanks mainly to the efforts of the Greens. But it still needs another 100,000 to reach its target. With collectors finding it increasingly difficult to find supporters who have not already signed, the referendum backers will today launch a "Spring Collection"- including an anti-asset sales T-shirt - to get the extra names by the end of September. They hope that will put the pressure on for an early 2013 referendum, possibly before the first part-asset sale, if the Mighty River Power float gets delayed.
EARLY CONTENDER FOR MINISTER OF SILLY SHIRTS
The silly shirt is an annual staple at any gathering of world leaders, when they all appear in matching tops to be photographed and ridiculed. This year it seems the silly-shirt moment has come early. Since arriving in the Cooks Islands for this year's forum, John Key has sported a fetching array of Hawaiian-style shirts. Yesterday's shirt was a hand-made, hand-painted blue number with a large fish painted on the front. "It better be made in the Cooks," he joked. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard noted she had a similar one. Wisely, she wasn't wearing it.
NZ FIRST REACHES KING-MAKING THRESHOLD
There was little change in the fortunes of the main political parties in the latest Roy Morgan poll but, with NZ First back at the 5 per cent threshold, it would be in the king-making role. The survey had National on 44.5 per cent (up .5 on the previous poll taken at the beginning of August). Labour was unchanged at 32 per cent and the Greens were up .5 at 14.5 per cent. Among National's support parties, the Maori Party was on 2.5 per cent (up .5), and ACT 1 per cent (up .5). UnitedFuture and Mana failed to register and the Conservatives registered .5 per cent.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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