Today in politics: Friday, March 8
KEY WARMS UP TO COFFEE CULTURE
Prime Minister John Key paid tribute to Colombia's other most famous export in Bogota yesterday. In a speech at the El Nogal club, Mr Key told an audience of Kiwi and Colombian business people that although the countries have a lot to learn about each other, "most New Zealanders would be familiar with your excellent coffee". He told them: "Our capital city, Wellington, is reputedly home to more cafes per head of population than New York City."
WHEN A BONUS IS NOT A BONUS
It seems there are bonuses and "bonuses". Questions about the $23m paid to former Solid Energy chief executive Don Elder and his staff over the last two years saw new chairman Mark Ford attempt to draw the distinction. He said the "at risk" element of salary packages and incentive schemes were paid according to a formula and were part of individual or collective agreements. They were not bonuses. Bonuses were "discretionary", he said.
KIWIS TAKE A MIGHTY INTEREST IN POWER SHARES
The number of Kiwis who have pre-registered for Mighty River Power shares climbed past 200,000 yesterday afternoon. State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said the 200,000 mark was reached at 3.30pm. The bulk of pre-registrations - 89 per cent - were online, and the rest were divided between the call centre and smartphones. Those who pre-registered are first in line for Mighty River Power shares once they go on the market.
KELLY MAKES A POINT ON DROUGHT ASSISTANCE
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly has thrown support behind farmers getting drought assistance, but has made comparisons with how other "beneficiaries" are treated. Drought assistance "illustrates the importance of having a comprehensive social protection system that steps in when things go wrong, including the weather as in this case". But she noted farmers were working while they got the benefit, "presumably adding value to their assets"