Today in politics: Monday, July 29

Last updated 05:00 29/07/2013

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Education Minister Hekia Parata announces Marlborough colleges decision Live Chat replay: Chief Social Worker Paul Nixon talks child abuse in NZ Partner of Kiwi detainee speaks out about detention centre struggles Stories of detained Kiwis show 'crude' nature of Aus policy - Andrew Little Why I'm voting my daughter's choice in the flag referendum Positive signs from Andrew Little's Australia trip, but more heat than light? Jacinda Ardern: 'It's not a good place to be a child' Waikato ratepayers pay for investigation into mayor's swear word Lack of trust in National Standards on the agenda for Blenheim schools MP Clare Curran posts photo of invalid flag vote online

PM may assist Dunne's campaign with a cuppa

A "cuppa" with United Future's Peter Dunne, as a signal to National voters to give him a boost in his Ohariu seat, is possible, Prime Minister John Key says.

But it was not part of the deal that secured the former revenue minister's key vote for the Government Communications Security Bureau law change.

Mr Dunne had not asked for anything beyond the changes to the GCSB Bill. Mr Key pledged to consider amendments from NZ First and others. 

Dry observations wasted on veterans

During his trip to Seoul, John Key tried to give some advice to Korean War veterans travelling on the air force 757.

"My experience of the return trip home is that they consume three times as much alcohol as on the way over," he said, so they should make sure they were sober when they boarded.

Mr Key, who is travelling commercially, is obviously unaware that the flight is completely dry – because of medical concerns.

Greens want inquiry into spying

The Greens want a royal commission of inquiry into the intelligence services after reports the Defence Force spied on journalist Jon Stephenson in Afghanistan.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman said it was alarming that a leaked manual showed "certain investigative journalists" were categorised as "subversives", making them legal targets for covert surveillance under the Security Intelligence Services Act.

NZ First wants tattoo rules to beat hepatitis

NZ First wants tattoo hygiene to be made a priority, in recognition of yesterday's World Hepatitis Day.

Health spokeswoman Barbara Stewart said the Government's lack of interest was appalling, especially given the lack of concrete data.

"New Zealand is missing out on the chance to reduce the transmission of this blood-borne virus, with the Government not taking the opportunity to regulate the unregulated backyard tattoo industry," she said

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- Fairfax Media

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