Today in politics: Thursday, December 20

Last updated 05:00 20/12/2012

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Politics

Government promising action to tackle the gender pay gap in 2017 Political fracas hogs spotlight at Ratana celebrations Minimum wage increases do not appear to be choking the job market PM Bill English to attend Waitangi Day celebrations at Auckland's Orakei Marae Minimum wage to rise to $15.75 an hour, Government announces Manawatu farmers worry US TPP withdrawal puts tariff cuts in doubt Jo Moir: Prime Minister's effort to learn Te Reo well received at Ratana Number of foreign trusts declines ahead of new regulations Gareth Morgan v Winston Peters - political sledging in full force at Ratana Six up for Cunliffe seat; Russell and Presland frontrunners

Official information act requests get heat stroke

Government departments are expected to respond to Official Information Act requests within 20 working days, but replies can take twice that time over the holiday period. The act states that a working day is any day of the week other than Saturday, Sunday, public holidays and the "summer holiday" period between December 25 and January 15. So a request on November 26 should come by December 24, but a request on November 27 isn't due until January 16.

NZ on the right track on big business tax avoidance

An IRD report on tax paid by multinational corporations has found some are "thwarting" normal expectations but international tax treaties would override any attempts at a crackdown. Revenue Minister Peter Dunne, who ordered the report after it emerged Facebook paid less than 1 cent in tax for every Kiwi user, said it was an international issue but New Zealand was on the right track. Labour's David Clark called Mr Dunne's position a U-turn.

Police inquiry into Dotcom surveillance held up

Police have told the Greens their investigation has been held up into whether the Government Communications Security Bureau's surveillance of Kim Dotcom was legal. That follows a court ruling that the bureau is a party to Mr Dotcom's legal proceedings in the High Court.

Police said information and disclosure "impacted the technical processes" of the investigation. They told Greens co-leader Russel Norman they will provide an update early next year.

PSA wants to look at how top bosses are treated

The PSA believes it is time to take stock of how chief executives are appointed and supported after Education Secretary Lesley Longstone quit. It follows the early resignation of Work and Income head Janet Grossman, who was also headhunted from Britain.

"High level public sector management requires not only competence but a deep understanding and experience of the issues past and present," the PSA's Brenda Pilott said.

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- The Dominion Post

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