Today in politics: Wednesday, November 7

Last updated 05:00 07/11/2012

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'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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