Today in politics: Friday, February 15

Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013

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Politics

Government heads towards ban on microbeads Police to revise information requests following watchdog complaint Labour leader Andrew Little not giving 'false hope' to Pike River families ahead of visit to the West Coast Little flags away Rongotai, New Plymouth to go list-only for 2017 election Wealth inequality in NZ worse than Australia MPs' hidden talents: Paul Foster-Bell is Parliament's culinary connoisseur Denise Lee seeking Maungakiekie MP nomination Prime Minister Bill English to attend Ratana a day early because of clash with first Cabinet meeting New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball to fight for Palmerston North seat again Government at 'high risk' of losing $10 million annually if tobacco black market surges

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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