Today in politics: Friday, November 30

Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012

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Politics

Gerry Brownlee exits Christchurch a controversial, contrary figure New Zealand enters Chinese "upgrade" talks with longer list than its counterpart National offer a first-time candidate for Rimutaka Region could become renewable energy powerhouse Live: PM announces Gerry Brownlee new Foreign Minister in cabinet reshuffle $53m Kiwi pavilion for World Expo 2020 makes 'clear economic sense', Bridges says Sir Don McKinnon: Why Rewi Alley matters today FBI director James Comey lands in Queenstown ahead of top-secret meeting Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee lashes out at North Korea's 'evil intent' Pharmac rejection disappoints group pushing for subsidised sanitary products

Gag attempt doesn't fly with Opposition MPs

National MP and select committee chairman David Bennett won't comment on suggestions he was too high-handed during hearings into the proposed youth wage. Labour is considering complaining after he tried to gag FIRST Union general secretary Robert Reid from talking about a caucus revolt in 1984 when Prime Minister Robert Muldoon tried to bring in a similar rate. During the session, Labour's Phil Twyford threatened a revolt by Opposition MPs.

Another step ticked off in local government reform

Legislation to reform local government cleared its final hurdle in Parliament last night. The Government wants to rein in council costs and curb rates rises, and the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill reverses a decade-old law that gave authorities wide powers.

Local Government Minister David Carter said it was a milestone that would lift efficiency and performance. The next part of the reform programme will be a second bill next year.

Foss's farcical show of self-confidence

Labour's attempt to force Education Minister Hekia Parata to express confidence in her associate Craig Foss went around in circles yesterday. With the minister absent, it was left to Mr Foss to express Ms Parata's full confidence in him in light of the Novopay debacle.

"She thinks he has done a good job of a hard job," he said. But after being pressed by Speaker Lockwood Smith, he confirmed Ms Parata had signed off on the pay system going live.

Ardern blames Bennett for fewer benefit statistics

Labour's attempt to force Education Minister Hekia Parata to express confidence in her associate Craig Foss went around in circles yesterday. With the minister absent, it was left to Mr Foss to express Ms Parata's full confidence in him in light of the Novopay debacle. "She thinks he has done a good job of a hard job," he said.

But after being pressed by Speaker Lockwood Smith, he confirmed Ms Parata had signed off on the pay system going live.

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- The Dominion Post

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