Today in politics: Wednesday, December 5

Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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Politics

Could Jacinda Ardern's star rise further on a Mt Albert by-election win? New 'swimmable' fresh water targets are also 100% pure politics New Government target to see 90 per cent of rivers and lakes 'swimmable' by 2040 Auckland central's new Labour candidate to take on Nikki Kaye Peter Dunne proposes Civil Defence merger with new fire service after recent problems Alison Franklin wants to give back to Tararua through new councillor role Stand-down for employers who exploit migrants not enough: unions Pattrick Smellie: Bill English struggles to offload a billion dollars On oldie but a goodie: Joyce is playing the election year tax-cut shuffle Labour leader Andrew Little's divide and conquer 'not kaupapa Maori'

Carter coy on taking on Speaker's role

He might be first in line for the Speaker's chair, but Primary Industries Minister David Carter wasn't overly enthusiastic about it yesterday.

Quizzed by reporters, he would only say: "I've had some discussions with the PM ... no, I haven't put my hand up. Those discussions are ongoing." Asked if it was a job he'd like, he said: "I'll decide that as we develop the discussion." There was "always more to do" in Primary Industries, he said.

PM mum on visiting US intelligence staff

Prime Minister John Key is refusing to reveal which United States spy flew into Wellington last week. He confirmed "a number" of US intelligence officials were in the country to meet our spooks but stopped short of saying who was on the US Air Force jet spotted parked at the airport.

"I could make a wild guess ... but I don't know. I'm not their travel agent." He said the Government did not talk about who attended security meetings.

Collins to attend launch to fight online child abuse

Justice Minister Judith Collins will be at the launch of the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online in Brussels today. Ministers from 47 countries are participating and will commit to policy targets to identify and protect child victims. They will report back in two years.

Ms Collins says a "global approach" is needed because "online sexual abuse of children knows no borders and child pornography circulates easily across countries".

Taxpayers' cash funds trans-Tasman job hunt

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern says Work and Income is using the Transition to Work grant to pay for beneficiaries' passports and flights to take up job offers in Australia. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said she would be "very unhappy to see that as common practice".

It had been made clear to Work and Income managers "that they should not be paying for any airfares overseas, and, as far as I have seen to date, I do not have evidence of that".

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- The Dominion Post

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