Today in politics: Wednesday, November 21

Last updated 05:00 21/11/2012

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'Australia has no greater friend' - what Julie Bishop really thinks of New Zealand Greens call on Government to 'call in' major gas-fired power plant under RMA Stacey Kirk: Grim prospects for suicide, as conversation goes quiet Security threats focus of Australian foreign minister's visit Stacey Kirk: tension still boils below the surface but cooler heads prevailing between New Zealand and Fiji Fiji Prime Minister extends personal invitation to banned TV journo Barbara Dreaver Cambridge locals barking mad at MP's response to dog breed law questions Fiji's Frank Bainimarama and Prime Minister John Key 'let bygones be byones' after diplomatic talks Government denies report NZ SAS in combat in Iraq Why the selfie election has given way to the Facebook campaign

Labour diversionary tactics a little outside the box

It looked like a scene out of the movie The Hurt Locker when the Defence Force staged a drill at Parliament yesterday to detonate a package. The Museum St entrance was closed off and even MPs were forced to use alternative doors.

The bomb disposer wore a full padded black bodysuit with helmet and the package made a boom when detonated. It led to suggestions on Twitter Labour had organised the drill to divert attention from its urgent leadership vote.

Well-seasoned prisoners as guards get pepper spray

Former police commissioner Howard Broad will chair an expert advisory panel to help make work safer for prison guards. The panel will oversee the implementation of the Corrections Department's new staff safety action plan next year, including giving 4000 staff "tactical exit training" to help them deal with violent situations.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said that for the first time all prison staff would have access to pepper spray.

Food for everyone if Kiwi kids were in charge

The Greens want Prime Minister John Key to take advice from Kiwi kids. A survey for International Children's Day yesterday asked New Zealand kids what they would do first if they were in charge.

Co-leader Metiria Turei said they voted to provide the basics: food, clothing and shelter. "Kids are telling us that what really matters is that people are cared for." Children were aware many of them were missing out on the essentials, she said.

MPs' Mintie moments before leadership decision

Labour MPs were greeted by questioning reporters when they arrived at Parliament for yesterday's urgent leadership vote. Finance spokesman David Parker delivered brisk answers before striding off into the complex.

However, there was no security guard on the door and he returned quickly to ask a reporter to swipe him in. Employment spokesman Su'a William Sio was less prepared, asking waiting media: "What's going on, guys?" when he arrived.

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- The Dominion Post

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