Today in politics: Friday, September 7

Last updated 05:00 07/09/2012

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Politics

Gerald McGhie: Engage over North Korea, don't dismiss Community services cards are pointless, say critics Steven Joyce, Gareth Morgan speak about issues facing South Canterbury Labour commits to Christchurch commuter rail in $100m package Green Party puts housing, farming on the agenda during Palmerston North visit 'Bring it on' - Canterbury health board member responds to Health Minister's attack Greens urge people to be part of a culture change in Invercargill Unpaid student says scheme not Labour's fault, describes squalid conditions Prime Minister Bill English's police statement meant a search warrant was possible, lawyer says Environment Minister Nick Smith announces $19m plan to deal with 'blot' of tyre mountains

FOR THE BENEFIT OF VIEWERS, SHE MEANS PAULA BENNETT

It's an easy mistake to make. ''Paula Benefit'' is a familiar cry from Parliament's Opposition benches, but not often do  journalists call Social Development Minister Paula Bennett by the pseudonym. TV One's Breakfast show host Petra Bagust made the slip-up yesterday morning while interviewing Mrs Bennett. She was quick to apologise and no offence seemed to have been taken.

McCULLY (AND TAXI DRIVER) GET LOST IN VLADIVOSTOK

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully arrived in Vladivostok ahead of Prime Minister John Key’s official delegation this week but, without an official motorcade to transport him, he had to rely on taxis. Unfortunately some taxi drivers brought in from Moscow to cope with the Apec conference influx didn’t know their way around. After asking a local cop, Mr McCully got to his destination. Luckily for him, Mr Key was due to arrive in Russia overnight.

COLLINS ZEROES IN ON ALCOHOL ENFORCEMENT

Justice Minister Judith Collins liked the sound of ‘‘zero tolerance’’ for ACC privacy breaches so much she has applied it to  the alcohol industry.  She told  the Institute of Liquor Licensing Inspectors conference that  her Alcohol Reform Bill would introduce seven new ‘‘infringement offences’’ for the inspectors to enforce. ‘‘I expect you to show a zero-tolerance policy towards bad behaviour,’’ she said. Read: We mean business - and strict enforcement.

CREECH BACK IN FIRE SERVICE HOT SEAT

Former National minister Wyatt Creech has been reappointed chairman of the Fire Service Commission. Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain said keeping Mr Creech on the board provided continuity. The other reappointment was deputy chairman David McFarlane. Veteran firefighter Rangi Wills will succeed former Masterton mayor Bob Francis and Mr Tremain said his appointment brought Maori representation back to the board.

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- Fairfax Media

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