Today in politics: Monday, December 10

Last updated 05:00 10/12/2012

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Politics

Number of cycle helmet fines drops from 11,000 to 5500 in two years Labour leader Andrew Little makes Pike River re-entry bill an election promise Beggars reveal what life is like on the street Fair trade pants hard to come by for Oxfam trailwalkers Good times on the water, political storm to come Nelson byelection could be parting gift from councillors bound for Beehive MPs' hidden talents: Statistics Minister Mark Mitchell has a handle on police dogs 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'

Press gallery says cheers as house ready to rise

The countdown to Christmas is under way in earnest this week as Parliament prepares to rush through its final business for the year before rising on Thursday. The end of the parliamentary year will be marked by two big events: the final Cabinet meeting and the press gallery party on Wednesday night.

But in a departure from tradition, the press gallery shindig won't be followed by a lock-up for the half-year fiscal economic update the following day. Small mercies.

Best efforts made to find CTV families

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission report into the collapse of the CTV building will be released today. The Government has spent recent days trying to track down as many families as possible, including those overseas, so they can see a copy of the report before it is released publicly.

Labour MP Lianne Dalziel said yesterday family members needed any information that might "give them answers, peace or some closure".

Can't hide these under the carpet forever . . .

Tis the season ... for Government agencies to clear the decks of controversial news. At last count we were still waiting on the Paula Rebstock-led inquiry into leaks at the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry, the police inquiry into illegal spying by the Government Communications Security Bureau, two reports into the Anzac Day helicopter crash, reports into privacy breaches and the latest MPs' pay round, announced last year on Christmas Eve.

Parliamentary divisions flare up over tunes

The Auckland tornado forced an abrupt change of travel plans for several MPs, but few did it harder than Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye who ended up on a road trip from Wellington to Auckland in a borrowed car with colleagues Paul Goldsmith, Mark Mitchell and Jian Yang.

"The boys and I are already fighting over the music and who is driving. Settled on Adele," Ms Kaye told her Facebook followers. "They are outvoting me on everything."

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- The Dominion Post

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