Today in politics: Friday, February 8

Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013

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Politics

Government sets target to make New Zealand 'predator-free' by 2050 Trade Minister admits officials had known about China trade retaliation fears for 'months' John Key: Don't write Helen Clark off yet, after UN polling Labour MP Trevor Mallard vacates Hutt South electorate to apply for Speaker position Corrections failing Maori, needs drastic culture change - claim Labour leader Andrew Little's New Plymouth billboard defaced by vandals Nick Smith reveals he gargled paint stripper as mouthwash Reserve Bank mandate no longer cutting it - Labour Foreign Minister Murray McCully contracted Zika Veteran Taranaki regional councillor will not contest seat in upcoming election

New Zealand opens wallet to help Solomon Islands

New Zealand has provided $200,000 to the Solomon Islands after Wednesday's earthquake and tsunami and will consider further assistance later. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said it would probably take some time for the Solomon Islands Government and relief agencies to gain a full picture of the damage.

The $200,000 would go towards humanitarian supplies and Solomon Islands Government assessment teams.

Round 2: All eyes on Peters v Carter

New Speaker David Carter will be put through the mill when he controls his first Question Time next week, and it is likely NZ First's Winston Peters will be even more of a handful than usual.

Mr Peters unsuccessfully sued Mr Carter for defamation over comments about the 2004 scampi inquiry. "I took him on," Mr Carter said, "and the action was struck out.

But does he think the hatchet has been buried? No. I don't think I have really spoken to him since."

Parata fronts up in Christchurch

Education Minister Hekia Parata has been dogged by controversy over the Christchurch school closures and mergers plan and the Novopay fiasco. Today she will have the chance to confront both her demons during a visit to several Christchurch schools.

On her programme is a look at new classrooms at Clearview School in Rolleston, a visit to the site of the planned Pegasus school and a call at Beckenham School to view quake repairs.

Groser not afraid to blow own trumpet

If Tim Groser fails to become head of the WTO, it won't be for lack of modesty. Speaking in Geneva last week, he said the director-general must be "deeply articulate, persuasive" with high personal credibility.

Asked how a politician would avoid becoming partisan, Mr Groser said: "If you asked any New Zealand journalist, they would say, no, no, Tim is the least partisan politician in New Zealand. I have no problem on that front in terms of credibility."

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- The Dominion Post

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