Today in politics: Friday, February 15

Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013

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Politics

Below the Beltway: The week in politics Jo Moir: The Maori King has nailed his colours to the mast by shunning Labour Key washes hands of soap 'joke' but has he learned his lesson? PM on prison rape joke: 'It's nothing to do with me' Another minor National bill drawn from ballot amid Opposition complaints Alice Wylie: The nonagenarian with a lifetime of political tales to tell Nick Smith is 'Milllion-dollar Minister' as average Auckland house passes $1m mark Mayoral hopeful Paula Southgate says Hamilton needs a Housing Accord Overhauling New Zealand journalism Businesses on both sides of Easter Sunday trading law coin

Ex-MP suggests Jones celebrates with wontons

Former Labour Party MP Kelvin Davis took the leaking of the auditor-general's report on Shane Jones as an opportunity to poke a bit of fun at his former colleagues. He tweeted: "Bloody politicians. Snouts in the trough. Leeches. Parasites. Sucking off the taxpayers teat. Sorry, couldn't resist."

He also suggested that Mr Jones could celebrate the alleged clearing of his name with a dinner of Asian food, including a dozen wontons.

Prosser does penance in debating chamber

It hasn't been made official, but it seems like NZ First MP Richard Prosser's punishment is having to spend Parliament's entire session in the House. Normally MPs from each party take turns, making sure they're always represented.

Since hitting the headlines, Mr Prosser has spent almost every minute in the House. That includes the first reading of a bill which strengthens regulation of foreign-owned commercial fishing boats in New Zealand waters.

Finlayson pushes for Islamic greeting

Is Chris Finlayson auditioning for the inter-faith affairs portfolio? The attorney-general made a special request of Assistant Speaker Ross Robertson as he convened Parliament on Wednesday night.

After Richard Prosser's anti-Muslim rant, Mr Finlayson thought it might be nice if Mr Robertson added the Arabic greeting, "as-salamu alaykum", to the traditional opening words. Mr Finlayson is well known for his strong Catholic faith.

Shearer sends Valentine to his wife on Facebook

Has Labour leader David Shearer lost his wife Anuschka's phone number, or does he think it will help him politically if his followers see his human side by parading a private message in public?

Between telling his followers about his trip to Taranaki yesterday, he tweeted: "Happy Valentine's Day Nush, sorry I can't be there – again! Thanks for your love and patience, as always!"

Prime Minister John Key said he sent his wife Bronagh flowers.

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- The Dominion Post

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