Today in politics: Friday, October 11

Last updated 05:00 11/10/2013

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Pattrick Smellie: Global trade politics just got harder NZ Fire Service to train Syria's 'White Helmets' civil defence volunteers Serco-run Wiri prison towards bottom of Corrections prison rankings Chris Laidlaw chosen as chairman of Greater Wellington Regional Council Free trade agreement top priority as PM John Key finally arrives in India Former MPs and spouses spend over $700k on taxpayer-funded travel New Zealand under a Gary McCormick regime Report reveals details of Gerry Brownlee airport incident PM John Key arrives in Jakarta en route to India Prime Minister John Key's trade trip to India has been anything but smooth sailing

More work options for international students

Changes to legislation will make it easier for international students to work during their studies. Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said fulltime students could now work during all scheduled course breaks, rather than just summer. Doctoral and research masters students will be able to work fulltime, and English-language students part-time. But visas will no longer be granted for those wanting to enrol at category 4 providers.

Peters remains keen to help Parliament's cleaners

NZ First leader Winston Peters says his offer to top up the wages of parliamentary cleaners from his party's budget stands, and he wants other parties to front. "There is a lot of talk going on about the low-paid parliamentary cleaners," he posted on Facebook. "NZ First met with them last year and we offered to top up their wages ... from our budget. It's all well and good for some MPs to do one night of cleaning, but how will that change anything ... ?"

Five new biosecurity advisers appointed

The Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee has five new members. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said they would bring a range of skills, experience and networks provide independent advice on the performance of the biosecurity system. The five are Environment Southland CEO Rob Phillips, Kiwifruit Vine Health chairman Peter Ombler, Lincoln biosecurity professor Philip Hulme, aviation and maritime expert Catherine Taylor and Auckland University biological sciences professor Jacqueline Beggs.

Collins wants better deportation information

In light of the Jade Bayliss case, Justice Minister Judith Collins has requested a memorandum of understanding between New Zealand and Australian police. Currently Australian Immigration notifies police here when a Kiwi is deported because their visa is revoked, but the reasons have to be requested from Interpol. "It's critical [we] have timely access to deportation and conviction information to properly manage offenders who are deported ... " she said.

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- Fairfax Media

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