Today in politics - Tuesday, November 26

Last updated 05:00 26/11/2013

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Duncan Garner: A surplus of cash and a deficit of concern for people Once flea-covered student flat one of the first inspected in Government crackdown Hekia Parata's trials and tribulations as Education Minister Government moves to make dairy industry more competitive Shamubeel Eaqub: Immigration an emotionally charged topic John Key heads to India as Indian students face deportation from NZ over visa fraud Long-term infrastructure spending jumps $15b, but leans heavily on local govt Labour leader Andrew Little visits Marlborough for party's 100th anniversary New Zealand's net migration back at record breaking levels at almost 70,000 Below the beltway

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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