Today in politics: Saturday, November 17

Last updated 05:00 17/11/2012

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Politics

Nelson byelection could be parting gift from councillors bound for Beehive Number of cycle helmet fines drops from 11,000 to 5500 in two years Labour leader Andrew Little makes Pike River re-entry bill an election promise Beggars reveal what life is like on the street Fair trade pants hard to come by for Oxfam trailwalkers Good times on the water, political storm to come MPs' hidden talents: Statistics Minister Mark Mitchell has a handle on police dogs North Taranaki iwi welcomes first Government Minister in almost 100 years Green lawyer hopes to be first refugee to win a seat in Parliament MPs' hidden talents: Kris Faafoi turns to guitar for 'a bit of an escape'

DECISION ON CHARITIES LAW UNDER FIRE

Opposition parties have attacked the Government's decision not to review the Charities Act. Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew said the review scheduled for next year would not go ahead after the Charities Commission was disestablished and its functions transferred to the Internal Affairs Department. Labour MP Louisa Wall said the decision was a U-turn and a sop to commercial sector interest groups.

GREENS IN PUSH FOR ABUSE VICTIM SERVICES

Sexual abuse victims and survivors of rape need better access to specialist services, Green MP Jan Logie says. The Greens have launched an ''Everyone needs the right help'' campaign to draw attention to the matter. Ms Logie said groups of people did not have access when they needed specialist services, particularly men, refugees, the disabled and Pacific people. Inadequate funding of services had been going on for years, she said.

FORMER MANUFACTURERS CHIEF TO CHAIR INQUIRY

A former Manufacturers and Exporters Association head will chair the Parliamentary inquiry into manufacturing. Cameron Moore is an executive member and former president of the association. The inquiry was set up by Labour, the Greens, NZ First and Mana to investigate the decline in the manufacturing sector over the past four years. Mr Moore said the decline needed to be taken seriously. The inquiry will be held in December.

NZ WATCHERS AT BIENNIAL WAR GAMES

New Zealand Defence Force personnel will observe a biennial Australia-United States exercise next year with the aim of full participation in 2015. The move aims to further strengthen Australia and New Zealand's defence co-operation. Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman and his Australian counterpart have agreed to increase co-operation by the countries' navies, personnel exchanges and collaboration on ntsGPacific nte maritime security

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