Today in Politics: Wednesday, February 5

Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014

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Steven Joyce backs down on changes to student loan borrowing John Key commits $20 million to help reduce agriculture emissions Resource management reforms win initial Labour backing Japanese whaling fleet departs for hunt despite international outrage Palmerston North to consider time limits for letting off fireworks Kiwi detainee allowed to be with partner as she dies from cancer Bill English brushes off Treasury report into anchor project viability More NZ retirees will become homeless without action on housing - Salvation Army Andrew Little dismisses impact of Nanaia Mahuta demotion on Maori support High flying costs New Zealand tax payers

Guided tours lead in Year of the Horse

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, visitors can take a tour of Parliament with a guide who speaks fluent Mandarin. About 60,000 people a year take the guided tour, with up to 14 tours a day during the peak summer months. Parliamentary Service general manager David Stevenson said he hoped the Mandarin tours, which run daily at 1.30pm until February 12, would improve the experience of Chinese visitors.

Poll: Electoral deals unpopular with voters

Voters do not like the kind of electoral deals in which National indicates what  support parties they should vote for  to get them  into Parliament. Mr Key has indicated in the past that National supporters in Ohariu and Epsom should vote for United Future or ACT. But a 3News/Reid Research poll found 54 per cent of voters opposed the deals, although almost half of National voters  (49 per cent) backed them.

Caucus meet  a roaring success for Mallard

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Labour has outdone National with a two-day caucus meeting in Papakura, finishing yesterday. But the event was not without any fun. Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard tweeted a photo of himself riding shotgun in former leader David Shearer’s white 1957 MGA, adding later that it ‘‘sounds like a Spitfire’’. Mr Shearer has owned the car since the early 1990s.

Key: Longevity at the top can seem fleeting

Time flies when you’re having fun. John Key told Newstalk ZB yesterday that, if National were was to win the election this year, his intention was would be  to remain as prime minister until 2017. Asked if he planned to stay on to fight for a fourth term, Mr Key was coy, but said if you had ntehe was asked in 2008 whether he planned to be PM in 2017, he would have said it seemed a ‘‘long time’’. But ‘‘when you’re there, it goes really quickly’’.

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- The Dominion Post

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