Today in politics: Monday, September 10

Last updated 05:00 10/09/2012

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Politics

Stacey Kirk: Is New Zealand's mental health service doing more harm than good? Legal cannabis could collect $150 million a year but Bill English isn't pursuing it Tracy Watkins: Helen Clark's down but not out in the race to lead the UN Foreign Minister Murray McCully contracted Zika Veteran Taranaki regional councillor will not contest seat in upcoming election PM's department warned of Chinese trade threats, but didn't brief him Failed leadership coup exposes more 'toxic culture' at Wellington City Council Patrick Gower admits man crush on Donald Trump's son in weird live video from RNC Helen Kelly: 'My back is broken and I only have months to live but I'm pain free' US Vice President Joe Biden accepts challenge at Government House

TREMAIN IN TRAINING FOR NEW PORTFOLIO?

In what might be seen as an audition for the role of Sport and Recreation Minister, Cabinet rookie Chris Tremain is in London this week representing New Zealand at the World Anti-Doping Association Executive Committee.

Mr Tremain is standing in for Murray McCully, who is tied up with the Apec summit in Vladivostok.

A keen sportsman himself, the choice of Mr Tremain at this week's conference confirms he is in line for the sport and recreation portfolio in any future reshuffle.

COLOMBO CONFERENCE AND PERHAPS A SPOT OF CRICKET

Also overseas this week is a delegation of MPs attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The delegation of four MPs will be led by Labour's Annette King and has prepared for talks on a possible Commonwealth commissioner for democracy and youth unemployment, among other issues.

No word on whether the MPs will get the chance for a look in on the action in the early rounds of Cricket's T20 World Cup, which starts in Sri Lanka this week.

COLLINS HACKED OFF BY 'IDIOT' IMPOSTER

MPs and their minders could be forgiven for starting to think social media is more trouble than it's worth.

After a series of "social media own goals" from MPs trying to make political points via Twitter and Facebook, a swag have seen their Twitter accounts infected with all manner of nasty spam spreading viruses.

The latest victim, Justice Minister Judith Collins, was unimpressed over the weekend after finding her had been account hacked.

"Some idiot" imposter had infiltrated her account, she fumed.

"They deserve crushing," she tweeted.

ASSET SALES REFERENDUM ON CHILD'S PLAY

Are kids being asked to sign on to the campaign for a citizen's initiated referendum on the Government's partial asset sales programme?

Finance Minister Bill English made the suggestion on yesterday's Q+A programme, saying the Government's "political opponents" were worried about getting the 350,000 signatures they needed to force a referendum.

Labour leader David Shearer said that was rubbish and it was the Government that was worried because 250,000 had already signed on.

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- Fairfax Media

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