Today in politics: Friday, February 15

Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013

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Politics

Government declines inquiry into convictions of Peter Ellis New Zealand troops depart for Iraq Call for Government to lift refugee quota Free GP visits don't cover all children - Greens MPs forced to reveal property in private super funds under new rules Brothers in arms - sort of Australia-New Zealand PMs urge a show of force on Anzac Day Use it or lose it, Government tells Special Housing developers Unions call for reforms to quarry rules Maori Party hits out at visiting Australian PM Tony Abbott

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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