Today in politics: Thursday, January 30
Health Minister Tony Ryall yesterday announced a $10 million boost for elective surgery. The money will pay for surgery for an extra 1800 patients over the next five months. Not everyone was pleased. Labour’s Annette King says it doesn’t meet demand and adds up to an average 30 knee and hip operations at every district health board. The Health Funds Association of New Zealand said it was a ‘‘sticking plaster approach’’.
'Wild child, turned good'
Parliament’s newest MPs have given their maiden speeches in the House. National List MP Jo Hayes spoke of being a ‘‘wild child turned good’’ and a single mother on a benefit with no qualifications who realised she wanted more and worked to get it. Labour’s Christchurch East MP Poto Williams focused on children and the impact of the Christchurch earthquakes on her community.
Parliament makes top 10
The tens of thousands of tourists who took guided tours of Parliament last year have voted it one of New Zealand’s 10 top landmarks. The buildings won a 2013 Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice award for being in the top 10. Each year about 60,000 visitors take a tour of Parliament, with 14 tours a day during the peak summer months, Parliamentary Service general manager David Stevenson said.
Best Start, best explanation
Labour leader David Cunliffe will today visit an early childhood centre to discuss Labour’s Best Start package and what it means for early childhood centres. He will speak to teachers and a representative from the Rimutaka Kindergarten Association. At Trentham Kindy he will outline to teachers what expanding free early childhood education from 20 to 25 hours means for centres.