Today in politics: Thursday, November 22

Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012

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Politics

National MP Maurice Williamson to retire at election John Key wants to put the brakes on Kevin Rudd in UN race Councils call for a return to the days when we were paid to recycle Government sets target to make New Zealand 'predator-free' by 2050 McClay rebuked by PM after failing to reveal wider fears of China retribution Labour MP Trevor Mallard vacates Hutt South electorate to apply for Speaker position Faces of Innocents: CYF facing 'unfunded cost pressures' of millions, Government admits Corrections failing Maori, needs drastic culture change - claim John Key: Don't write Helen Clark off yet, after UN polling Labour leader Andrew Little's New Plymouth billboard defaced by vandals

Budding bomb-disposal experts turn heads

The Defence Force's bomb disposal school arrives for the second day in a row. Students of the school will go on to become bomb disposal operators who will work with police.

Those gathered around Parliament's rear windows thought they saw men in funny suits. What they really saw was an operator in "bomb disposal protective suit neutralising an IED and rendering it safe", and another in a "forensic suit preparing a scene of an IED for forensic collection".

Special schools closure decision cost $25,000

Taxpayers paid almost $25,000 to facilitate the Education Ministry meetings that led to the closure of two residential special schools. Education Minister Hekia Parata announced last month that McKenzie Residential School in Yaldhurst and Salisbury Residential School in Nelson would close.

The process of deciding to close the two facilities cost $24,938, details revealed under the Official Information Act show.

Donald lecture reflects passion for democracy

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei last night hosted the annual lecture honouring former co-leader Rod Donald, who died suddenly in November 2005. This year the speaker was Canterbury University political science lecturer Bronwyn Hayward, who spoke on the topic "Hei Puawaitanga-Future Flowering: legacy politics for a changing world."

Ms Turei said this year's lecture addressed the passion Mr Donald had for democracy.

Key steers clear of dodgy Phnom Penh hotel lifts

Protocol at international pow-wows means mere mortals must take the stairs, as officials hold the lifts for the VIPs. However, Prime Minister John Key has been avoiding the elevators at his Phnom Penh hotel this week.

Although he has been known to run up the nine floors to his Beehive office, this time he is not on a fitness drive. The sluggish and unreliable lifts have already trapped Trade Minister Tim Groser – and an unfortunate aide got stuck twice.

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- The Dominion Post

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