Today in politics: Tuesday, November 13

Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012

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Politics

Taking a sledgehammer to homelessness Bill English attends Ratana for first time as Prime Minister - and a day earlier than expected Christchurch City Council opposes plan to give district health boards power to decide on fluoridation 'Labour has to step up' for Maori, Turia says ACT leader David Seymour calls for action on housing affordability US scrapping TPP bad for NZ - English Sugar content too high in nearly half the drinks Kiwis kids can buy, study finds American ex-pats show their colours as hundreds protest Donald Trump's inauguration in Wellington Sam Sachdeva: Greens take the lead as parties prepare candidates for 2017 election David Slack: No need to go overboard

David Shearer's conference speech had better be good

Labour leader David Shearer has been getting a towelling on new media ahead of his conference speech on Sunday, after reports of mounting pressure on him to put up or push off.

Former party secretary Mike Smith tried to calm the troops with a Dad's Army-vintage cry of "don't panic!", arguing that Labour leaders Ed Milliband in London and Julia Gillard in Canberra had revived their fortunes with a single speech. No pressure Dave!

Labour MP's defence dig gets lost in translation

Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway asked Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman in a written question on October 29 for the total number of interpreters employed by the Government during the Afghan conflict. By yesterday, Dr Coleman had still not responded.

"Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman doesn't know how many interpreters have worked for the NZDF in Afghanistan," Mr Lees-Galloway remarked.

Tony Ryall to take pulse of Obama administration

Health Minister Tony Ryall is likely to be the first government minister to meet with a member of the re-elected Obama administration when he travels to the United States this week.

Mr Ryall leaves for the trip to Washington DC and New York today. As well as attending the International Symposium on health care policy, he will also have discussions with Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius. He will also visit the World Bank headquarters.

Auntie Judith sends boxing nephew good luck hopes

Forget Crusher Collins, what about Bruiser Collins? It seems the justice minister is not the only tough cookie in the family – her nephew is rising heavyweight star Joseph Parker.

Ms Collins took to Facebook to wish the 20-year-old good luck for his fight in Auckland this week. The pair are actually cousins by marriage, but Parker calls the Papakura MP "auntie".

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- The Dominion Post

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