Today in politics: Wednesday, November 28

Last updated 05:00 28/11/2012

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Politics

Labour and Greens propose emergency refugee bill Historical Abuse: MSD secrecy over historical abuse claims New Zealand suspends aid to Nauru Yes ministers: Dame Margaret Bazley's 60 years of sometimes fraught public service Support for 'Red Peak' flag on the rise Fifth flag not an option for referendum Protesters at Parliament call for refugee quota increase Below the beltway NZ irrigation and its guilty secrets New bill proposes 'fair go' for renewable energy producers

Law Commission backs annual report on judiciary 

The chief justice should publish an annual report on the judiciary, the Government's legal think tank has recommended. Supporters of a campaign to reform bail laws have called for "performance reviews" of judges, to increase accountability.

In a report published yesterday, the Law Commission stops short of recommending appraisals – but says the public "must be satisfied that judges are deciding cases in a manner that is fair and impartial".

Key discussed Dotcom in chat with US president

Prime Minister John Key admitted he made a "passing reference" to internet piracy accused Kim Dotcom in a chat with US President Barack Obama last week.

While in Cambodia, Mr Key admitted that Dotcom, who is fighting extradition to the US, came up. But he refused to tell reporters who said what, insisting it was a private discussion. In Parliament, he confirmed: "Yes; I made a passing reference to it as an issue that was topical in New Zealand."

Critics of youth minimum wage to launch campaign

Opponents of the Starting Out Wage Bill will launch a campaign at Parliament today by presenting hundreds of submissions to Labour and Green MPs.

Same Work Same Pay campaign spokesman James Sleep says a youth minimum wage for 16-19-year-olds is unfair. The Government says the legislation provides for them to be paid no less than 80 per cent of the minimum wage. It is due to come into force in April next year.

Inquiry to assess any role of officials in Pike deaths

The Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry has launched an investigation into whether failings by individual officials contributed to the deaths of 29 men in the Pike River coalmine explosion. Terms of reference for the investigation were released yesterday.

The investigation will look into matters including whether any actions or inactions of individual employees might have contributed to the tragedy and could result in employment action.

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- The Dominion Post

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