Today in politics: Wednesday, November 7

Last updated 05:00 07/11/2012

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Politics

Bill English top of preferred PM rankings, but National drops in latest poll Bill English and Malcolm Turnbull's diplomatic double date about relationship building Greg O'Connor defends standing for Labour Party as the 'natural choice' Treaty of Waitangi translated into 30 languages Government is 'wasting money' on oil companies who have already ditched NZ - Green MP Gareth Morgan's party tackles 'obsession' with school testing in education policy 'It's an insult!' Backlash against Trump's pick for diplomatic post to New Zealand David Slack: Hard to say but it must be said Jonathan Milne: If we as a nation find Senator Scott Brown's actions abhorrent, we can do more than talk – we can say no Damien Grant: Pike River disaster highlights lack of political leadership

'Child poverty' activists hit on wrong target

Oops. Child poverty activists are being urged to register their disappointment with UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne over his failure to support a bill extending the child tax credit to beneficiaries. But the phone number emailed out by the Child Poverty Action Group is not Mr Dunne's.

It turns out the number is for Labour MP Ruth Dyson, whose assistant has had to field the calls. Labour, of course, campaigned on extending the child tax credit.

Foss pirouettes away from charge of responsibility

Labour's education spokeswoman has been trying to draw Associate Education Minister Craig Foss into the debacle over the new Novopay teachers' payroll system, but he has claimed he only became a minister in 2011, and did not know details from 2008 when the project began.

That clearly frustrated the generously proportioned and heavily pregnant Nanaia Mahuta. "If that was an answer, I am a ballerina," she said after one exchange in Parliament.

Pledge of allegiance to Treaty deemed unsuitable

A disappointed Maori Party has accused National of talking out of both sides of its mouth after deciding not to support a bill giving MPs the option of pledging to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi when they are sworn in as Members of Parliament.

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell said he found National's opposition to his member's bill disturbing and something he might have expected from former leader Don Brash.

National minister shifts left, urges colleague to follow

With the media gathered around Prime Minister John Key in the corridor outside National's caucus room, it can be difficult for the rest of the MPs to find a way through each Tuesday morning.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter managed to squeeze past them yesterday morning and suggested his colleague follow him down the left-hand side of the hallway. "I never normally go to the left," he quickly added.

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- The Dominion Post

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