Today in politics: Thursday, December 6

Last updated 05:00 06/12/2012

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Politics

Stacey Kirk: Long knives being sharpened, but can Helen Clark stay clear of the blades? Below the Beltway: The week in politics Jo Moir: The Maori King has nailed his colours to the mast by shunning Labour Key washes hands of soap 'joke' but has he learned his lesson? PM on prison rape joke: 'It's nothing to do with me' Jonathan Milne: There's only one answer to the housing bubble – gently deflate it Oscar Kightley: 'Unfairness at work continues, thanks to one u-turn' Jacinda v David: Put kids at the centre of the school funding debate Alice Wylie: The nonagenarian with a lifetime of political tales to tell Nick Smith is 'Milllion-dollar Minister' as average Auckland house passes $1m mark

BANKS TAKES DELIGHT IN PETERS' TROUBLES

ACT leader John Banks appeared to be enjoying Winston Peters woes, taking to Twitter to gloat with comments like: "Winston will be seriously intimidated by the weather mans arrival at Parliament .....just witness the bluff and bluster !"

But he was much quieter later on when Labour MP Grant Robertson once again raised the Dotcom donations saga in Parliament.

Mr Banks kept his head down as Prime Minister John Key was forced to defend his actions once again.

LABOUR TAKES AIM AT POLICE REDUNDANCY

Labour's police spokesman Kris Faafoi says the police are footing a "massively increased" redundancy bill - up from $180,980 to $1.75 million in two years. He blames lay-offs because of a budget freeze.

"Kiwis don't ...want to see redundancy payments translated into fewer front line resources for their communities," he said.

Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard yesterday told MPs: "The payments on average remain the same per member we've made redundant, around the $50k mark."

GOVERNMENT DEFICIT HIGHER THAN FORECAST

The Government's deficit is running $169 million higher than forecast at $2.9 billion for the first four months of the financial year.

Treasury yesterday released the Crown's financial statements showing that for the four months to the end of October tax and interest revenue were both lower than expected, partially offset by lower expenses.

Tax revenue of $17.9b was $292m, or 1.6 per cent, lower than expected.

MARINE RESERVES BILL PASSES FIRST READING

Three marine reserves are to be created under legislation which passed its first reading at Parliament yesterday.

The Subantarctic Islands Marine Reserves Bill will establish a marine reserve covering the entire 12 nautical miles of territorial sea around Antipodes Island, and around the Bounty Islands and Campbell Island, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson said.

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