Today in politics: Monday, July 29

Last updated 05:00 29/07/2013

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No increased medicine costs under TPPA TPPA: Tariff elimination big winner for everything but dairy Letter to Australia: What the bloody hell are ya? Annette King hits back at Bill English claims over detained Kiwis Economist who branded NZ economy rockstar says 'don't panic' New social housing launched in Ngaruawahia Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown named one of world's best female mayors National science and research investment strategy released by Government Crown concedes it failed to protect Lake Horowhenua from pollution Ministry of Health forces managers to sign statements on DHB proposals

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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