Today in politics: Friday, December 21

Last updated 05:00 21/12/2012

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Politics

Nominations sought for ORC vacancy following death of Maggie Lawton Otago regional councillors halt water plan change English 'still not rushing into inquiry', says former defence minister has no new information Maori Party and Government reach deal to pass final stage of RMA reforms Australian Tax Office could oppose Apple paying tax in NZ, says source Housing First officially launched in Auckland A pragmatist signs out: Goodbye and good luck Edge of Lake Te Anau included in Govt tenders for oil and gas block exploration Editorial: SAS claims require full investigation Nicky Hager brings spirited conversation to Nelson cafe

Small Waikato iwi settles all historic Treaty claims

Ngati Koroki Kahukura, a small Waikato iwi, has signed a deed of settlement with the Crown covering all historic Treaty claims. Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson said the actions of the Crown had "led to the economic, social, environmental and cultural degradation" of the iwi as he announced the $3 million settlement.

It also vests the Maungatautari scenic reserve with the iwi while ensuring public access. It was the 10th deed of settlement inked this year.

Minister 'ignored' Novopay system test

The Government spent more than $1 million on consultants as part of a switchover of teachers' payroll to Novopay, including $650,000 on testing the system. Labour's Chris Hipkins said the money spent on the testing was "completely ignored", with neither Education Minister Hekia Parata nor associate minister Craig Foss asking to see the results. The results showed less than half the users were comfortable with the system.

SkyCity happy with fewer pokies in convention deal

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison has revealed the company wants fewer pokie machines in return for building a convention centre at its Auckland casino than previously signalled. Speaking on RadioLive, Mr Morrison said the company wanted "around 300" additional gaming machines, down from previous hints from the Government that it was seeking 450 more. The deal is also expected to include an extension to SkyCity's gaming licence.

Horan urges Speaker hopefuls to get in touch

With all the talk of who MPs will elect as the next Speaker, Brendan Horan clearly feels a bit left out. On Wednesday he wrote to Maurice Williamson, David Carter and Tau Henare, explaining that he had read in The Dominion Post that the rivals for the Speaker's chair "have been talking up their credentials to all and sundry".

"Equally, as an independent Member of Parliament, I look forward to hearing from you in due course."

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- The Dominion Post

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