Today in politics: Saturday June 1, 2013
Williamson pulls out of mayoral race
Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson has decided against running for the Auckland mayoralty and his boss is not surprised. Prime Minister John Key said he had always thought it was a ''marginal call'' whether Mr Williamson would run because he had been an MP for a long time and it would have been a big call to step out of Parliament into local government at the end of his career. Mr Williamson said he came to the decision after much ''in-depth analysis''.
Jones steps out from Horomia's shadow
Labour Party leader David Shearer has reshuffled the Maori portfolios held by the late Parekura Horomia. List MP Shane Jones will become the party's Maori affairs spokesman after years of being Mr Horomia's heir apparent. He will also be associate food safety spokesman. Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene will pick up the Treaty negotiations portfolio.
Some people are just porn racist
Prime Minister John Key says racism is like pornography - subjective. He was commenting after Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy questioned whether the threshold for being racist needed to be changed because cartoons printed in two Fairfax newspapers did not meet the definition. Mr Key said it was not practical to change the law because what was racist, or pornographic, to one person was not to another.
Hundreds expected for Tuhoe Treaty settlement
The signing of the $170 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement between the Crown and Ngai Tuhoe is expected to draw about 800 people on Tuesday - and Parliament's banquet hall is too small to accommodate them all. Extra space has been made available in the old legislative chamber, foyers and nearby Pipitea Marae. The deed will be signed by Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson and Tuhoe chief Treaty negotiator Tamati Kruger.