Today in politics: Tuesday, February 19

Last updated 05:00 19/02/2013

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Politics

Student achievement is improving in New Zealand but internationally Kiwis are slipping - report England lose to Iceland, John Key puts off call to David Cameron Officials reviewing P contamination guidelines, as expert says risk overstated New Zealand and Australia can 'piggy-back' each other post-Brexit, says Prime Minister John Key Should we rename State Highway 1 after Captain James Cook? What does the law say about cyber bullying? Pharmac poised to fund melanoma drug Keytruda subject to feedback Damning inquiry 'misinterpreted', says State Services Minister Paula Bennett 'Cloud' technologies prompt Search & Surveillance Act review Five soldiers to face drug charges after Fiji incident

Daughter of Kate and Will could become queen

A new bill, announced yesterday, will support British plans to change royal succession laws. The Royal Succession Bill will allow an elder daughter to precede a younger son to the throne.

It will apply to the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Justice Minister Judith Collins said. The bill will allow a royal married to a Catholic to rule, but will not allow a Catholic to accede to the throne. A bill is also progressing through Westminster.

Gilmore hosed down before return to Parliament

Aaron Gilmore – due to be sworn in as an MP today – was greeted by a drenching with a hose as he crossed the line of Wellington's AMI Round the Bays 7 kilometre race on Sunday. On seeing the pic one wag tweeted: "Not so happy Gilmore."

A list MP during the last term, the business consultant is returning following Lockwood Smith's departure. Meanwhile, new Speaker David Carter, 60, completed the half-marathon in a decent 1hr 49min.

Cabinet finally looks at tobacco packet laws

Cabinet has finally discussed proposals to implement plain packaging for tobacco. Prime Minister John Key said yesterday to expect an announcement in the next couple of days. Ministers agreed in principle last year, but were awaiting the results of public consultation, which ended in October.

After a legal battle, similar laws came into force in Australia last month, but three countries are mounting a challenge at the World Trade Organisation.

Third Whip's power equated to a fly swat

For the first time in Parliament's history a party has a third Whip. But it seems the role doesn't come with too much glamour. National's deputy and chief Whips jokingly have black riding whips hanging outside their offices. Apparently staff were considering giving Jami-Lee Ross a fly swat to mark his new position.

Meanwhile, Chief Whip Louise Upston made the unusual decision not to move office, instead sticking it out in the deputy's base across the hall.

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- The Dominion Post

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