Today in politics - Tuesday, November 26

Last updated 05:00 26/11/2013

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Politics

McCully slates Russia, but shies away from attacking Putin Duncan Garner: Driven to distraction - the issue is safer roads, not foreigners Vernon Small: RMA reforms no long-term solution Labour's long-standing ties with Ratana in focus Greens use Ratana meeting to attack John Key Arthur Taylor claims John Key's election as MP unlawful NZ First MPs make most of summer lull Better Budget deficit renews Government surplus hopes Len Brown cool on light rail in Auckland transport plan John Key and David Cameron compare notes over jelly and icecream

Labour, Greens 'would get good deal' in asset buy-back 

As the anti-asset sales referendum gets under way, Prime Minister John Key says Labour and the Greens should buy back the privatised assets if they are serious about opposing the sales.

He joked that they would even get a good deal since shares in Mighty River Power are cheaper than when the Government sold them. But Labour leader David Cunliffe said Key "will have to get up earlier in the morning" to trap him into an unfunded promise. 

Film industry subsidies may rise to bring in work

The Government is considering lifting subsidies to encourage more films to be made here.

Key said the feedback from the struggling film industry was that the current incentives were not competitive enough and the Government had asked Film New Zealand for a report.

"They're working on it but whether that means there will be any movement is a very different issue," he said.

Inquiry into court system as hearing delays continue

The Productivity Commission appears set to investigate the courts system among rising concern within the Government that its efforts to introduce efficiencies have had little impact.

Key said the Government had invested in upgraded electronic systems among other measures "but in the end people are waiting an awfully long time to get to court".

He did not say whether long service leave for judges, which has soared, may be a factor in the delays.

MPs head to Sydney for leadership forum

A gaggle of MPs has headed across the Tasman for the annual Australian New Zealand Leadership forum, which is being held in Sydney.

On the Government side, Finance Minister Bill English, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, Trade Minister Tim Groser and Commerce Minister Craig Foss are attending.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe will deliver a speech to the forum tomorrow.

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- Fairfax Media

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