Today in politics: Wednesday, November 14

Last updated 05:00 14/11/2012

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Tributes paid to former trade union boss Helen Kelly at memorial service Labour: Housing NZ must account for 'financial and human cost' of meth testing flaws Former Horowhenua mayor reflects on 21 years in local politics No concrete plans for Northland bridges The US presidential race: Like the rest of New Zealand, I can't stop watching Editorial: MPs leave, but the taxpayer-funded flights go on Analysis: Was Joseph Parker's heavyweight bout 'political dynamite' for MPs? Paula Bennett's reign as acting Prime Minister ends via text message John Key's time in India was 'short and sweet' but will be chalked up as a success Brendon McCullum called Prime Minister by Indian announcer during John Key visit

Politicians scarce at rare-dolphin presentation

Politicians were thin on the ground when Greenpeace presented MPs with 55 artworks symbolising the estimated number of surviving adult Maui's dolphins.

Although none of the 41 invited National MPs turned up yesterday, four Opposition MPs fronted to get their prints. The series, called In Your Hands and inscribed with MPs' names, was by Wellington artist Sheyne Tuffery.

Bennett keeps an eye on chainstore vacancies

It seems Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been job hunting. When she was asked yesterday what the Government was doing to help beneficiaries find work, Mrs Bennett said positions were available at The Warehouse, a new Rotorua Mitre 10, and Paraparaumu New World.

Labour's Jacinda Ardern said her "holier-than-thou attitude to Kiwis struggling to find work is arrogance at its worst".

Move to restore 'archaic' legal title progresses

A bill to restore the rank of Queen's Counsel for top lawyers passed its committee stage in Parliament last night. Labour's Charles Chauvel said the Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Bill would restore the "archaic" title. "QC" was replaced with "Senior Counsel" by the previous Labour government. He said the move cut across the constitutional review that was under way. Labour, the Greens, Mana and NZ First are against the bill.

Canned carbon tax means cheaper flights, says Key

The suspension of a European carbon tax on airlines is good because it will lower the cost to consumers, Prime Minister John Key says. The European Union had planned to expand the rules requiring airlines to pay for their emissions to include flights to and from non-EU destinations, but other countries fought the move.

Mr Key lobbied British Prime Minister David Cameron to end a punitive departure tax which he says saw British visitor numbers plunge.

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- The Dominion Post

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