Today in politics: Monday, November 19

Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012

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Politics

Grant Robertson: Labour ready to deliver a fresh approach Steven Joyce's first Budget is likely to provide an income boost for families Auditor-General Martin Matthews to stand down pending independent inquiry MacGregor accuses Craig of doctoring texts Petitioners wanting inquiry into forced adoption practices await fate Good heavens! Blasphemy law remains in New Zealand after National and Maori Party vote down repeal Labour, Greens and National unite to solve cathedral deadlock ACC to shut Auckland and Wellington call centres, 87 staff affected SSC to investigate whistleblowers treatment and MPs meet to discuss Auditor-General's appointment Government backs down over collecting individuals' data until security confirmed

'STABLE' FINANCES FALL SHORT IN FUNDING PLANS

Labour's finances were "stable rather than healthy" the party's general secretary, Tim Barnett, told delegates at the weekend.

The annual report showed income of $2.5 million last year against expenses of $2.6m, leaving a deficit of $76,645.

Mr Barnett said "stability" did not allow for all the services the party wanted to put in place.

FAR-REACHING CONSEQUENCES OF BORROWING A LAWN MOWER

Labour leader David Shearer had a salutary warning for young party members. If your new flatmate offers you a lawnmower think through the possible consequences.

Thar was what happened when he moved into a flat owned by a young woman called Anushka.

He subsequently married her and now 25 years later "I am still moving the lawns".

SHEARER NOT READY TO KICK THE BUCKET

Mr Shearer clearly put a huge effort into his speech and he was closeted preparing for its delivery while furious number-crunching by rival leadership camps went on in the conference venue.

Some of his lines that went down well included: "I'm not here to cross something off my bucket list", and a promise to rebuild Christchurch "from the grassroots up, not the Beehive down".

DELEGATES PUT OFF RULE CHANGE DECISIONS

Labour delegates heading home in relief after one of the most divisive party conferences for two decades, might not like to be reminded of next year's agenda.

After failing to reach a consensus on contentious changes to candidate selection rules, over which the interests of sector groups, unions, electorates and MPs clash, the matter has been put off to next November.

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