Today in politics: Saturday, November 17

Last updated 05:00 17/11/2012

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Politics

Key washes hands of soap 'joke' but has he learned his lesson? PM on prison rape joke: 'It's nothing to do with me' Another minor National bill drawn from ballot amid Opposition complaints International media batter New Zealand's progressive social welfare legacy Parliament's public entrance goes smokefree, but total ban stubbed out Nod for Easter Sunday trading law gives councils power to decide Wellington's mayoral candidates reveal where they stand on light rail for the capital Opinion maker: Tony Holman QSO on his vision for a better Auckland post local body elections Alexandra shows Prime Minister rural heart of New Zealand Petition calls for change to allow children to ride on footpaths

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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- Fairfax Media

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