Today in politics: Wednesday, December 19

Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012

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Politics

Auckland housing land released by Crown Former ACT secretary referred to police over late declaration of donations Support for mass KiwiSaver enrolment Matthew Hooton and Dirty Politics: anatomy of the vast right-wing conspiracy Jenny Shipley among Mainzeal directors facing legal action Remember that time Helen Clark called John Campbell a 'sanctimonious little creep'? PM not fazed by poor turnout at flag meetings Asset sales fund over-committed by $424 million, Labour claims MPs to get pay rise, but by much less than expected Prime Minister John Key warns property speculators will get caught

Maori water rights appeal cuts out middleman

The Supreme Court has granted an application to leapfrog the Court of Appeal to hear an appeal against the High Court ruling in the Maori water rights claim.

The Government was keen to fast-track the court case to clear the way for the partial privatisation of state assets, starting with Mighty River Power. Maori Council lawyer Donna Hall said yesterday that the council, which lost in the High Court, was pleased the application was approved.

Flat house prices tipped to keep spending down

The Treasury is downbeat on house prices. After a 6.5 per cent rise in the year to last March, mainly because of the buoyant Auckland market, it is picking that increased supply and rising interest rates will lead to house prices rising at less than the pace of inflation.

That would make households reluctant to take on more debt, and there would be a weakening of "wealth effects", the tendency for consumers to spend more when real estate values rise.

Greens grill frontrunner for Speaker's job

As always, the Greens are taking the processes of Parliament deadly seriously. Although rivals for the Speaker's chair, pending Lockwood Smith's resignation, have been talking up their credentials and lobbying all and sundry, the Greens have taken the business-like step of "interviewing" John Key's favourite for the job, Primary Industries Minister David Carter. Metiria Turei would not disclose his answers, but seemed satisfied with them.

SkyCity convention centre report delayed till new year

The Auditor-General's Office has put on the backburner the publication of a report into the process that led to SkyCity winning the right to build a convention centre. Last week it sent a draft to "relevant interested parties" for consultation and said it hoped to publish the final version this year.

But yesterday it said it had postponed it until next year, prompting speculation it included adverse findings that had caused one party to "push back".

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- The Dominion Post

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