Today in politics: Monday May 27, 2013

Last updated 05:00 27/05/2013

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We run the ruler over the Government's family income package Budget 2017: Nine years of spending under National First home buyers question how the Budget helps them Colin Craig's tactics against Rachel MacGregor revealed 'It's not easy' says candidate who withdrew from election race in East Coast Bays Why 16-year-olds aren't ready to vote Former MP John Luxton: National could win fourth term but Winston holds balance of power Election 2017: Pollution and climate change will ravage NZ as long as politicians dodge big questions Labour and Greens split over Budget tax cuts despite joint 'fiscal responsibility' deal $1.6 billion Waterview Connection's mystery opening date a 'few weeks away'

Nats still winning in polls - except for power

Two polls have confirmed a strong lead for National. A One News-Colmar Brunton poll put National up 6 points since early April to 49 per cent, with Labour trailing on 33 (down 3). The Greens were off 4 at 9 per cent. But a 3News-Reid Research poll put National on 47.1, down 2, and Labour up 3 at 33.1 per cent. The Greens were on 12 per cent and NZ First on 2.2 per cent. The Labour-Green power policy found favour, with 54 per cent backing it.

No hope for strike-busting legislation, says Key

National's backing for a law change to allow employers to take on temporary workers when permanent staff are on strike or locked out won't make it into law any time soon. The remit - mirrored in a member's bill from National's Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross - won support at the party's northern regional conference. But Prime Minister John Key said that although the party faithful called for it at times, it was not on the Government's agenda.

Defecting list MPs to stay where they are for now

John Key also kicked for touch a new waka-jumping law to force list MPs who leave their parties to quit Parliament. There was interest in reviving the law, which expired in 2005, when Brendan Horan left NZ First to become an independent MP and when it seemed possible that former National MP Aaron Gilmore may follow. Mr Key said there was merit in the view that list MPs should go if they left the party, but the Government was not  working on a change.

UN security council seat under  peacekeeping fire

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand has a ''good shot'' at winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council. But he also believes there is room to step up our peacekeeping now that deployments to Afghanistan, East Timor and Solomon Islands are over. A symposium in Wellington last week noted New Zealand was now ranked 92nd among those making a contribution to UN peacekeeping - which did not sit well with seeking a council seat.

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