Today in politics: Wednesday, December 12

Last updated 05:00 12/12/2012

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Politics

The political year has kicked off so here are 10 things to watch out for Ministry of Education spends $2.5m on 'Stairway to Heaven' in office revamp The sale of an Abel Tasman beach and other gaps in the Queen's chain Prime Minister John Key outlines the Government's priorities for the year Metiria Turei returns with a surprise after a four-week sabbatical Max Key's less-than-luxurious Waitangi weekend holiday Finance Minister Bill English sees no reason to change Reserve Bank agreement NZ considering aid boost to help Tonga contain Zika virus TPPA: Labour will not pull out of trade deal if Govt - Andrew Little Govt unlikely to impose reciprocal health surcharge on UK visitors

Moves to tighten laws on shell companies 

Legislation has been tightened to tackle the proliferation of dodgy shell companies registered by fake overseas entities.

Commerce Minister Craig Foss said changes proposed by a select committee included requiring all New Zealand-registered companies to have a director who lives in New Zealand, or who lives in and is a director of a company in a country with which New Zealand has reciprocal enforcement arrangements.

Bennett admits she may be 'overleoparding it'

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett admits she may have too much leopard skin in the wardrobe after making it on to fashion guru David Hartnell's worst-dressed list. Hartnell described Ms Bennett as dressing to shock "in all the wrong places".

Mrs Bennett said she was happy to make any list. "Might be the leopard. Might be overleoparding it." She added: "I like to do things loudly. I do wear a lot of colour. Some like it, some don't."

Maori to push Government for action on child poverty

The Maori Party will lobby the rest of the Government to implement all of the recommendations contained in the children's commissioner's report on alleviating child poverty.

Te Ururoa Flavell said anyone who did not want to implement all 78 of the recommendations in the report should be asked why they were "happy" for 120 New Zealand children a year to die in poverty. The comments could strain the party's relationship with National.

Labour press secretary sneaks on to PM's list

John Key might be surprised by some people who made it on to his Christmas card list – including Julian Robins, press secretary to Labour leader David Shearer.

Robins was spotted opening a card from Mr Key this week. Mr Robins is a former Radio New Zealand political reporter and the PM's office clearly hasn't got around to updating its lists yet. But Mr Key can expect the card to take pride of place on Mr Robins' shelf in Labour's office suite.

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- The Dominion Post

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