Today in politics: Wednesday, September 26
Te Papa leader takes Te Puni Kokiri's top job
Te Papa Maori leader Michelle Hippolite has been confirmed as the new head of Te Puni Kokiri. She will take over from Leith Comer in December on a five-year term. Ms Hippolite is also the acting business group director at Te Papa and has held advisory roles in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples welcomed her appointment, saying Ms Hippolite had a "solid track record".
Brown hopes to speed up planning processes
Auckland Mayor Len Brown hopes the Government will decide soon whether to approve a change to allow the city to fast-track bringing in new planning rules. He met ministers Amy Adams, Steven Joyce, Bill English and Chris Finlayson at Parliament yesterday. The unitary plan was the "final piece of the jigsaw" in the unification of Auckland, he said. "The district scheme plans have basically been litigated to death and we don't want that to happen."
Check to see if driver's engine worthy of a warrant
Health checks just became the last tick of approval when getting a warrant of fitness through a Vehicle Testing New Zealand station. During parliamentary question time yesterday, Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew announced a national campaign in which anyone taking their car through VTNZ stations next month would receive a leaflet encouraging them to get their heart checked. Rugby legend Buck Shelford is fronting the promotion.
English survives PSA encounter
Finance Minister Bill English stuck his head into the lion's den and got only a very gentle savaging by the Public Service Association when delivering a speech to its congress in Wellington. But he acknowledged that the introduction by PSA secretary Brenda Pilott was a touch more critical than the usual platitudes delivered before a minister rose to speak. "There is no gilding the lily just because the minister is here," he noted.
The Dominion Post