Today in politics: Wednesday, July 31
Media advisers in for the spin
It pays to be a spin doctor. Figures released under the Official Information Act yesterday revealed there are now more media advisers working for the Government than there were in 2009.
The comms teams working for ministers was boosted from 32 in March 2009 to 36 last month. And the media advisers are all earning more.
In 2009, 21 earned more than $90,000, now there are 27, with 11 earning more than $120,000 a year.
Teasing the Conservatives
The Conservative Party's Colin Craig and Christine Rankin are holding a morning tea to thank volunteers for the efforts they've put in on behalf of the party.
We wonder whether the invitation was also extended to Prime Minister John Key.
Sharing one of his famous "cuppas" on the campaign trail has become synonymous with National's endorsement of a minor party, and helped give ACT a leg-up in Epsom in recent years.
Respects for the fresh prince
MPs yesterday congratulated the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their boy. On Parliament's first day back after a two-week break, Mr Key filed a motion to welcome George Alexander Louis, born on July 22.
"I have no doubt that he will grow into a fine young man," he said.
Labour leader David Shearer, Green Party MP Kennedy Graham, Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and ACT leader John Banks also paid their respects.
Hacked off at the knees
Hackers who attacked National Party-linked websites in protest against the GCSB Bill have had no thanks from spied-on internet mogul Kim Dotcom.
The group uploaded a video on YouTube in which they claimed they acted because Mr Key refused to listen to protests over the legislation.
But Dotcom tweeted yesterday: "Dear Anonymous NZ, hacking National Party websites is just giving John Key a new excuse to pass the GCSB Bill. Please stop it."