Today in politics: Thursday, November 8

Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012

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Politics

Salvation Army and government lay foundations for Nelson emergency housing crisis Six questions we can answer about the SAS incident, and three we can't Family of killed soldier Tim O'Donnell back New Zealand Defence Force Labour-Greens have signed up to a joint position on surpluses, cutting debt Teacher aides told there is no funding freeze for schools' funding ACT leader David Seymour talks about two certainties - death and taxes Labour leader Andrew Little headed to court over defamation case Government wants Free Trade Agreements to cover 90 per cent of exports Youthful banker gets nod in Pakuranga David Walsh named new chief executive of NZ Post

Wall says gay marriage bill backs a basic human right

Denying homosexuals the right to marry denies their basic human rights, Labour MP Louisa Wall said as she gave the first submission on her Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. It has drawn more than 20,000 submissions and is expected to face stiff opposition.

Ms Wall said marriage was a birthright. But National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said he respected human rights for everyone, "but marriage is between a man and a woman".

English firm despite larger Budget deficit than awaited

Finance Minister Bill English says there will need to be restraint "for some years to come" to meet the Government's aims, after Treasury released figures showing the Budget deficit running $449 million worse than forecast.

For the three months to the end of September the deficit before gains and losses was $2.1 billion, mainly because most sources of tax revenues were behind forecast. He said the Government was committed to getting back to surplus.

US, NZ top brass sign logistics support deal

Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and United States Pacific Commander Admiral Samuel J Locklear III have signed a "Treaty-level Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement" in Sydney. Defence said it would give New Zealand logistics support for routine activities, such as exercises, or while on operations such as in Afghanistan. The deal would also cut costs and increase efficiencies. It replaces an existing agreement.

Banks bemused to be at centre of zealous protest

ACT leader John Banks was about to score a photo opportunity on Parliament's forecourt by signing a petition against shark finning. But his presence baited those winding up a housing protest who called him a liar and a coward.

A group of women seemed to recall his 1996 anti-abortion remarks, chanting: "Not John Banks and not the state, women must control their fate." Mr Banks, looking bemused, said he didn't know what they were talking about.

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- The Dominion Post

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