Today in politics: Tuesday, February 5

Last updated 05:00 05/02/2013

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Most Maori cannot name Labour leader, poll finds

A Maori political poll has found 63 per cent of those surveyed do not know who Labour's leader is. Of the 1000 respondents to the Te Karere DigiPoll, 34 per cent said they supported Labour in the party vote, 28 per cent the Maori Party and 9 per cent National.

But just 35 per cent of those who would vote Labour knew Mr Shearer was its leader. Of those who knew Mr Shearer was leader, 41 per cent said he had not provided good leadership on Maori issues.

Key, Gillard to discuss stronger economic ties

Prime Minister John Key and his Australian counterpart Julia Gillard will hold their annual get-together this weekend, in Queenstown. Mr Key said they would be discussing the recommendations of a joint Productivity Commission study into strengthening economic relations between Australia and New Zealand, among other issues.

This year's meeting coincides with the 30th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations between the two countries.

Judge Ryan's position in Family Court permanent

Acting Family Court Judge Laurence Ryan has been appointed to the role permanently. Attorney-General Chris Finlayson said Judge Ryan took over the role permanently on Friday, after acting in the role since October.

He replaced Judge Peter Boshier, who retired. Judge Ryan graduated from Auckland University and practised in family law until his appointment to the District Court bench in 1996. He was a member of the Family Court Education Committee.

Shearer backed as leader by majority of MPs

Labour MPs have overwhelmingly endorsed David Shearer as leader at a vote scheduled under the party's new rules. Mr Shearer did not face a challenge. His rival, David Cunliffe, said he supported him but would not say how he voted.

Mr Shearer needed the backing of more than 60 per cent of MPs to avoid a wider vote in which party members and unions had a say. Mr Shearer said he did not know the result of the vote. It is understood it was not unanimous.

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- The Dominion Post

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