Today in politics: Tuesday, December 4

Last updated 05:00 04/12/2012

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Politics

North Taranaki iwi welcomes first Government Minister in almost 100 years Green lawyer hopes to be first refugee to win a seat in Parliament MPs' hidden talents: Kris Faafoi turns to guitar for 'a bit of an escape' The truth about inequality in New Zealand Labour, Greens team up for joint 'state of the nation' event in Auckland Matt Lawrey competes against Nick Smith as Green Party candidate for Nelson MP Labour approaches former Police Association president Greg O'Connor about running in 2017 Jo Coughlan mulling tilt at Wellington Central seat Prime Minister Bill English hopeful of reviving TPP, keen for quick EU deal Government heads towards ban on microbeads

DAVID SHEARER LEADING THE CHARGE

Labour leader David Shearer has seen off the challenge from David Cunliffe and now it seems he is also beating his erstwhile rival in the battle for voters’ hearts.

A 3News-Reid Research poll found that 43 per cent of voters thought he was the best person to lead the party against 12 per cent for Mr Cunliffe.

Among Labour voters Mr Shearer had even stronger support, with 60 per cent to about 12 per cent for Mr Cunliffe.

NEW SPEAKER IN NEW YEAR

Parliament’s new Speaker is likely to be elected on January 31.

Fairfax NZ understands the personal vote, with no proxies, will take place then, with  Lockwood Smith set to take up the post of High Commissioner in London.

Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key would only say: ‘‘Assuming that vacancy presented itself, that would be early next year.’’

The smart money is on Primary Industries Minister David Carter.

SENIOR SPOOK FLIES IN TO SEE SPY

A US Government jet spotted at Wellington Airport was carrying a senior spook, although Prime Minister John Key, who is in charge of intelligence services, is not saying why.

He confirmed the plane was carrying a US intelligence official who met a New Zealand spy.

The visitor was ‘‘obviously pretty senior’’ given he or she had come in a US Government plane.

Mr Key could not name the official or exactly what the discussion involved.

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- Fairfax Media

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