Today in politics: Wednesday, January 29

Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014

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Government education reform focuses on school-aged children learning from home Opinion: John Key playing loose with the facts on Easter Sunday trading law National MPs back lack of conscience vote on Easter Sunday trading bill NZ pushes, but more silence as UN Security Council fails to reach agreement on Syria Transport Minister Simon Bridges keen on self-driving cars in NZ by end of the year Waikato Regional Council changes mind, names misbehaving member Havelock North crisis: 'We don't have terrible water-borne diseases in NZ' - Jonathan Coleman, 2007 Shipping dairy cows to China is 'ecomomic treason', Winston Peters says Maori King's claims Andrew Little won't work with Maori Party wrong: Labour No public holiday for New Zealand Land Wars

Dunne strikes new problem with security swipe card

The morning got off to a bad start for  Peter  Dunne yesterday.  The Ohariu MP turned up to his new office in Bowen House to find his swipe card did not permit access. Mr Dunne was outraged when it emerged last year when the inquiry into a leak of a sensitive spying report tracked his movements through the parliamentary complex using his security access card. He resigned after the publication of the report, but  joked about the saga yesterday, tweeting: ‘‘They seem to have a thing about my swipe card.’’

Collins fronts at UN over human rights record

Justice Minister bfJudith Collinsnf has appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to defend New Zealand’s human rights record. Ms Collins was forced to answered questions about what was being done to combat increased child poverty and to deal with domestic violence, and even people’s rights during the Canterbury rebuild. All 193 UN member countries must report on their human rights performance every four and a half years. 

New MPs sworn in as Parliament resumes

Two new MPs were sworn into Parliament at its opening yesterday. National MP Joanne Hayes replaced list MP Katrina Shanks, who resigned for a new job as chief executive of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand. New Labour MP Poto Williams replaced Lianne Dalziel, who left to successfully contest the Christchurch mayoralty. National has so far had 10 MPs announce their plan to retire at the next elections, while three including Ms Shanks have left during this term. Several more are expected to say in the next few weeks they will step down. Labour has lost two MPs, Charles Chauvel and the late Parekura Horomia, this term, while Ross Robertson has confirmed he will retire.

'Ferals' blamed for forcing Whaleoil blog offline

A cyber attack has taken  Right-wing website Whaleoil  offline.  A denial of service (DOS) attack has left  the website completely inaccessible.  It was still down last night. ‘‘We are pretty certain it is from New Zealand,’’ Whaleoil’s editor, Cameron Slater, said. ‘‘We are also ‘‘pretty certain, due to the fact that they are skiting about it on Facebook, that it is these ferals on the West Coast’’.  Slater has also received death threats after he described West Coast man Judd Hall, who died in a car crash at the weekend after a police chase, as a ‘‘feral’’. A DOS attack is intended to block a website from its intended users by overloading the site with requests so it cannot be visited by legitimate traffic.

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- The Dominion Post

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