Today in politics: Monday, February 18
PARATA SET TO SELL BAD NEWS TO CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOLS
Hekia Parata's communication skills will be put to the test today, when she announces a provisional decision of the future of 31 Christchurch schools.
The embattled Education Minister will make the announcement, which affects about 5500 pupils at an announcement at the Christchurch Netball Centre at midday, shortly after the schools are told of the news.
They will have six weeks to respond before a final decision is announced in late May.
Ms Parata said last week she had made some changes to the plan as a result of feedback.
PETERS ATTACKS LACK OF WHANAU ORA TRANSPARENCY
New Zealand First kept up its attack on Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, claiming there is a "glaring lack of transparency" in funding for a traditional healing service.
Winston Peters, who has repeatedly attacked the Whanau Ora programme, said answers to Parliamentary questions from Ms Turia, the associate Health Minister, revealed that the Rongoa Maori programme received $1.9 million in funding, despite no steps being taken to measure how effective the programmes are.
Ms Turia's answers show the programme focused on "wellbeing" rather than the "Western medical paradigm".
POLL HAS NATIONAL UP BUT EDUCATION MINISTER ON THE OUTER
A new political poll shows support for the government strengthening, although most believed Hekia Parata should have lost her job as Education Minister.
The latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll, released last night, had National up 5 per cent since late November, at 49 per cent, its highest level of support in almost a year.
The poll would give National 62 seats, meaning it would require the support only one other MP to form a government.
The news was not all positive for National however, with 60 per cent of the 1000 elibible voters saying they disagreed with the decision to keep Hekia Parata on as Education Minister.
PROSSER LOSES CHANCE TO OUTLINE 'COMMON SENSE'
What could have been yesterday's hot political ticket was cancelled, apparently because of too much media interest.
Social media was abuzz at the prospect of NZ First MP Richard Prosser outlining his "common sense" views at the Aro St Community Centre, in the first public speech since his infamous "Wogistan" comments came to light.
However organiser Hugh Barr said as a result of a "media beat up" the long organised event had been cancelled. "We were scared that the only people who would turn up would be media."