Today in politics: Wednesday, December 11

Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013

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Politics

Government fighting immigration's tentacles on every front Trump to use food safety as a cudgel in trade deals, leaked tape reveals A glittering Trump inauguration party at NZ's Washington Embassy cost taxpayers $81,000 Queenstown man's book predicts assassination attempt on Donald Trump Bill English claims about Kiwi jobseekers using drugs 'not backed by data' Death follows birth and passports online as NZ's digital transformation continues Government 'very keen' for stronger trade ties with Iran Peter Dunne's Ohariu seat could be crucial if the election is close Bill English says employers are regularly telling him that Kiwis can't pass drug tests Labour won't win a 'change' election by looking the same

MANDELA OUTSHONE THE QUEEN'S VISIT

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.

BROWNLEE ORDERED OUT OVER 'HOMELESS' STORY

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.

INVESTORS 'LESS WEALTHY' NOW

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."

SHANKS LEAVING EARLY FOR NEW JOB

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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