Today in politics: Friday, November 16

Last updated 05:00 16/11/2012

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No concrete plans for Northland bridges Labour: Housing NZ must account for 'financial and human cost' of meth testing flaws What you need to know about Antarctica's huge marine reserve 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 PM Key tells off Max over 'real men ride women' blurt Motorcades and high level security are the perks of travelling with the PM: Brendon McCullum US Secretary of State tipped for NZ visit

National, Labour up slightly in latest poll

National holds a 13-point lead over Labour in a new political poll. The Roy Morgan survey, taken in the two weeks to November 11, put National up 2 points at 45.5 while Labour rose 3.5 to 32.5 per cent.

The Greens (down 2.5 at 10.5) and NZ First, 2.5 per cent lower on 5 per cent, both lost ground. The Maori Party was on 2 per cent, down 1.5. ACT and UnitedFuture each registered 0.5 per cent. Mana was on 1 per cent and the Conservatives on 1.5 per cent.

Return of QC attacked as nostalgia over progress 

Shadow Attorney-General Charles Chauvel has condemned as " a giant leap backwards" the restoration of the title of Queen's Counsel, which passed into law yesterday. "National's move ... is likely to reinforce unfounded prejudices that New Zealand prefers nostalgia over progress."

But Justice Minister Judith Collins said the move recognised "the special relationship with the Crown for New Zealand's pre-eminent law practitioners".

Hunua MP rolls up his sleeves

Luckily there was "a doctor in the House" when George Hawke, the brother of former MP and Ngati Whatua leader Joe Hawke, collapsed in Parliament's public gallery yesterday during the passage of the Ngati Whatua ki Orakei Settlement Act.

Hunua MP Dr Paul Hutchison, who rushed to Mr Hawke's aid and checked his pulse and blood pressure, said it did not appear to have been a heart attack. Paramedics were called and Mr Hawke was taken to hospital.

Fresh from the ballot box . . .

A bill that would set up a commission of inquiry into recent data breaches by Government agencies has been drawn from the members' bills ballot. The sponsor of the Electronic Data Safety Bill, Labour MP Clare Curran, said the Government was doing little to address the issue.

National MP Cam Calder's bill making it an offence to possess a hand-held laser in public without reasonable excuse was also drawn from the ballot.

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- The Dominion Post

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