Today in politics: Thursday, February 14

Last updated 05:00 14/02/2013

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Politics

Government changes will have "almost no impact" on medium term immigration: ASB War veteran's epic pension fight has taken its toll, the 80-year-old's daughter says Nick Smith reflects on 'small reduction in responsibilities' after cabinet reshuffle Peter Dunne: Unified fire agency will emphasise flexibility Malcolm McKinnon: Anzac Day 2017 – time to lower the flag? Cabinet reshuffle sees Waikato get two more minsters Brownlee already in diplomatic mode Gerry Brownlee exits Christchurch a controversial, contrary figure Brownlee gets foreign affairs, but Smith's demotion on drip-feed Red Cross nurse in the line of fire

Turei calls for Parata to stand down

The Green Party has had a minor reshuffle of responsibilities and handed education to co-leader Metiria Turei. She wasted no time homing in on her target.

Education Minister Hekia Parata was a "proven failure" and should stand down, she said. She will also target the Government's charter school programme.

Mallard a surprise guest at National party

Labour MP Trevor Mallard has a rather unexpected event coming up. He was surprised to have been invited to join the National Party for "Business After Five"' with party president Peter Goodfellow in Lower Hutt next month.

He'll also have the opportunity to meet general manager Greg Hamilton. The National Party might want to review its mailing lists – Mr Mallard said he would be delighted to accept.

Treasury boss gets it easy at select committee

Few officials preparing for a select committee grilling could dream of Treasury boss Gabriel Makhlouf's treatment. During his appearance before the finance and expenditure select committee yesterday, MPs were more focused on the man sitting beside him, Finance Minister Bill English.

In 45 minutes, Mr Makhlouf's entire contribution was confirming that figures on the Christchurch earthquake's contribution to economic growth could be prepared.

English picks a date for more fiscal restraint

Finance Minister Bill English has named the big day – his fifth Budget will be delivered on Thursday, May 16. But it sounds like it will play a familiar tune. It would be delivered against the backdrop of "extremely challenging global economic times", Mr English said.

In other words, expect more fiscal restraint and a big emphasis on paying off debt.

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- The Dominion Post

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