Today in politics: Tuesday, December 18

Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012

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The danger around John Key's visit to Iraq was exaggerated - David Shearer Carl Worker announced as New Zealand's new ambassador for counter terrorism Bloomin' heck: Government departments spend $600,000 on flowers Education Minister overrules ministry's advice on charter school report John Key's drama filled Iraq visit included potential security breach TPP: Generic drug applications under greater threat of injunctions Labour continues push into regions with Taranaki tours Maori Fisheries Trust cynically ignored in Kermadec plan, leaders say Government off course in Kermadecs, says tuna fishing leader Charles Hufflett Iraq: Kiwi trainers 'somewhat quarantined' from dangers of Islamic State - John Key

Trade Me may serve as example for Opposition

Prime Minister John Key has repeatedly held up Fairfax's selldown of 49 per cent of Trade Me as an example of private sector use of the "mixed ownership model" planned for the partial sale of state energy companies.

But now that it has moved to sell the rest of the firm, it may be of more use to the Opposition's argument that partial sales are a precursor to full privatisation.

 Majority want Horan to quit Parliament - survey

There is little public sympathy for Brendan Horan staying on as an independent MP after being booted out of NZ First. A UMR Research poll has found that 70 per cent of New Zealanders think list MPs expelled from a party should have to leave Parliament.

Only 16 per cent think they should not have to leave Parliament, and 14 per cent are undecided. Some 78 per cent of those who had closely followed the Horan furore said he should go.

 Military jail to remain in south due to lack of funds

Defence Force plans to shift its main detention facility from Christchurch to the central North Island have stalled because of a lack of funding. It had intended moving the facility, which can cater for up to eight detainees at a time, to where most personnel are based.

But with no funding available, it will remain in Christchurch for the foreseeable future. Budget restraints have also stalled plans to replace the detention facility at the navy base in Devonport.

Greens urge Government to invest in rival cable

The Greens want the Government to spend $100 million on a 25 per cent stake in a second international cable, to rival Telecom's Southern Cross Cable. Party co-leader Russel Norman said the cost could be found by shifting money from building 3.3km of motorway.

Lance Wiggs, who co-founded the unsuccessful Pacific Fibre bid to build a similar cable, said: "If we'd had $100 million it would have gone through. The business case is compelling."

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- The Dominion Post

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