Today in politics: Wednesday, December 11

Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013

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English: No evidence of shocking conditions for detained Kiwis in Australia Complaints about Work and Income up almost 30 per cent under National What 'special bond' between Australia and New Zealand? Ministry of Health forces managers to sign statements on DHB proposals A good dairy deal under the TPPA is unlikely as talks begin to wrap up Detention centres 'a sore that will fester' - Australian politician Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox and Tariana Turia disagree over Chris Brown Widower vows to campaign until assisted-dying law changed Giant pandas have Brownlee smiling broadly TPPA NZ talks push back deal deadline


MPs yesterday paid tribute to former South African leader Nelson Mandela, and UnitedFuture's Peter Dunne summed up his impact when he visited Wellington in 1995. "You could not move around this complex for people in the grounds – every building nearby, every balcony was thronged with crowds, waiting to see the great man alive." Weeks later barely 200 people turned up to greet the Queen at Parliament while she visited on a royal tour.


Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee found himself on shaky ground after calling Labour MP Phil Twyford a liar in Parliament yesterday. Mr Twyford had been talking about the case of a Christchurch woman forced to move into a tent after being made homeless when Mr Brownlee interrupted by saying "tell the whole story, you're a liar". But he quickly found himself on the other side of the debating chamber door.


Bill English is closer to admitting investors in asset sales have lost money. Although shares in Mighty River Power are down 20 per cent since listing, so far the finance minister has maintained that unless the shares had been sold, investors had lost nothing. Yesterday, when asked if the sales had increased inequality, he said, "The main complaint about it is those that felt they were wealthy enough to buy the shares are now less wealthy several months later."


Wellington-based National MP Katrina Shanks will quit earlier than previously announced, leaving at the end of the year to be chief executive of the Funeral Directors Association. Ms Shanks had already said she planned not to seek re-election in 2014. She was looking forward to spending more time with her family. Her replacement Joanne Hayes, who stood for National in Dunedin South in 2011, is director of community relations at UCOL Whanganui

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- Fairfax Media

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