Today in politics: Saturday, December 22
MAORI PARTY NEEDS NEW BLOOD, TURIA TELLS CO-LEADER
Tariana Turia is urging Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples to follow her lead and stand aside for new blood. Mrs Turia has announced she won't be standing for Parliament in 2014 and may relinquish the co-leadership earlier, but Dr Sharples wants to stay on as Maori Affairs minister. Mrs Turia told Waatea News he could do that and still hand over the leadership to the party's only other MP, Te Ururoa Flavell, who is mulling it over.
'ZIP IT' GOOD, SAY QUOTE OF THE YEAR POLLSTERS
Paula Bennett’s ‘‘zip it, sweetie’’ has been voted the top quote of the year. In a Massey University-run poll the quote took 57 per cent of the vote. Mrs Bennett, the Social Development Minister, told Labour MP Jacinda Ardern to zip it during a debate in Parliament. Massey speech-writing specialist Heather Kavan said it was no surprise. ‘‘There’s something almost primal about two women fighting, and the line seemed completely unscripted.’’
GROSER GETS PM'S NOD FOR PRESTIGIOUS POST
Prime Minister John Key has formally nominated Trade Minister Tim Groser for World Trade Organisation director-general as the international hunt for Pascal Lamy’s replacement begins. Mr Groser would have to quit Parliament midway through his second term if successful. The nomination risks upsetting Foreign Minister Murray McCully as it may undermine his efforts to secure New Zealand a place on the United Nations Security Council.
WE'RE TAKING OUR BREAK WHILE THE HOUSE IS OUT
You know it is the end of the political year when they start moving the furniture for the carpet cleaners, the prime minister has already left for Hawaii and Treasury peforms its traditional pre-Christmas Cabinet paper dump. Documents released in the last couple of days include analysis of the charter schools proposal and the Government’s shares-plus consultation. It is a sure sign that it is also time to wind up Today in Politics until late January.