Today in politics: Thursday, September 27

Last updated 05:00 27/09/2012

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Politics

Peter Dunne's Ohariu seat could be crucial if the election is close Labour won't win a 'change' election by looking the same Labour's David Parker calls for 'swimmable' test to reflect when and where you take a dip KiwiRail says 'Kaikoura effect' cuts surplus Bill English downplays high demand for emergency housing grants Chris Trotter: Labour's future has a single name National MP Paul Foster-Bell to stand down at election Jacinda Ardern: ambitious simply to be 'good at her job' Stacey Kirk: An expected steamroll - Mt Albert win gives Jacinda Ardern near unstoppable momentum Jonathan Milne: Is it time to take the keys from Police Commissioner Mike Bush?

Fewer parole hearings for obdurate offenders

Offenders who refuse to accept their guilt, or make little effort at rehabilitation, will have fewer parole hearings, Justice Minister Judith Collins says. At present, offenders are eligible for parole every 12 months. New rules will have a maximum time between parole hearings of 12 to 24 months, or three to five years for those serving sentences of 10 years or more. Ms Collins said the change would reduce the number of parole hearings by about 800 a year.

Bennett cautious about giving benefit details

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett appears to have learnt her lesson after making public a couple of years ago how much solo mum Natasha Fuller got in welfare payments. Last month the Human Rights Commission told Mrs Bennett she had breached Ms Fuller's privacy.

When Mana leader Hone Harawira asked Mrs Bennett in Parliament yesterday about another beneficiary, she would say only that the figure quoted was incorrect.

Greens' job losses inquiry call falls on deaf ears

Living up to their reputation of calling for inquiries, the Green Party responded yesterday to the rash of job losses in manufacturing by pressing for a select committee probe into the matter. When this failed to get the go-ahead, party co-leader Russel Norman tried to persuade Prime Minister John Key during Question Time, arguing that manufacturing was in crisis, with nearly 100 skilled workers quitting the country every week.

MPs fuelled by vege curry to highlight world poverty

Five Labour MPs are living on $2.25 a day this week in support of "Living Below the Line". For five days the MPs are scrimping to support the campaign highlighting global poverty.

The MPs have pooled their daily allowance and yesterday chowed down on potato and spinach curry. Coffee is out, though, and so is Labour's customary Parliamentary lolly jar, making for a particularly testy Question Time for some of the hungry and caffeine-deprived MPs.

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- The Dominion Post

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