Today in politics: Wednesday, February 27

Last updated 05:00 27/02/2013

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Politics

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 International media batter New Zealand's progressive social welfare legacy Parliament's public entrance goes smokefree, but total ban stubbed out Opinion maker: Tony Holman QSO on his vision for a better Auckland post local body elections Alexandra shows Prime Minister rural heart of New Zealand Petition calls for change to allow children to ride on footpaths Superannuatants form political party to stop Government taking their pensions Government urged to tear up surplus carbon credits, not use them to meet target

Peters concerned about Key's memory

Prime Minister John Key, putting the record straight over his erroneous claim that SkyCity had approached TVNZ over land to build a convention centre, said he "believed it to be true at the time" and made a "pretty fair assumption" after seeing architects' drawings incorporating the land.

That was too much for NZ First leader Winston Peters, who said Mr Key looked like "a ridiculous schoolboy" and advised a memory check from medical professionals.

Kim Dotcom? Clark requires a mega-pole

Former prime minister Helen Clark spent time on an "ask me anything" session on community news chat-site Reddit yesterday but was steering well clear of anything political back home.

She told questioners the nuclear policy was now "part of the Kiwi DNA" but, when asked about Kim Dotcom, she said: "I ain't touching that with a 20ft pole." She believed "that as PM I contributed to making NZ a fairer, better place to live in".

Celebrants won't be forced to say I do

The marriage equality bill is due to be reported back to Parliament today and is expected to confirm celebrants will not be forced to perform same-sex marriages.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford has said it would breach human rights to require celebrants to conduct a marriage they did not agree with. Supporters of the bill argued it did not force them. But a change to make that explicit is on the cards.

MP? Doesn't that stand for Member of Public?

An MP for four years and one of National's rising stars, Sam Lotu-Iiga doesn't exactly lack a public profile. But parliamentary reception staff failed to recognise the Samoan MP yesterday, when he tried to access Bowen House's security gates without a swipe card.

The brawny MP explained he'd left his pass at home, only to be asked if he was one of the security team. Even after identifying himself as an MP, he was told to use the public entrance.

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- The Dominion Post

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