Today in politics: Saturday, August 10

White rabbit cufflinks apt birthday gift for Key

Prime Minister John Key turned 52 yesterday and was given a pair of white rabbit cufflinks by his children, Stephie and Max. The gift is significant because of Mr Key's superstitious habit of repeating "white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits", on the first of each month. The early morning ritual is believed to bring luck, he said yesterday. Mr Key admits he has visibly aged over the past five years as prime minister. It "comes with the job".

Government's ambitions for women questioned

The Green Party has given National a flick over the the declining number of women on state appointed boards. The Ministry of Women's Affairs issued figures yesterday that show a drop from 41.1 per cent last year to 40.5 per cent. The number of women on the boards has fallen from 1153 in 2008 to 1059. "This Government is not ambitious for women. Government has a role to play in setting a leadership example, but it is not doing that," MP Jan Logie said.

Goff defends 'misogynistic' dig in House at Finlayson

Meanwhile, Labour MP Phil Goff is under fire for a dig at Attorney-General Chris Finlayson in Parliament this week. He said Mr Finlayson was "beaten on three occasions - each time by a woman member of Parliament" in elections. dig created a social media stir, with have branded him misogynistic but Mr Goff said the online storm was "utter crap" and he was only stating a fact. "Nobody in the House took offence at it, least of all my female colleagues."

McCully to lead Pacific mission delegation

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully will lead a delegation to Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu next week. The delegation is made up of MPs, leaders from non-government organisations and businesspeople representing New Zealand companies with an interest in the Pacific. In Vanuatu the mission will focus on how New Zealand can support sustainable economic development through tourist infrastructure in Port Vila.

The Dominion Post