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Today in politics: Wednesday, Feb 12

Last updated 05:00 12/02/2014

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Politics

Are voters falling out of love with John Key? Government ordered to reveal details of Crown limo use after three-year battle A beginner's guide to the housing crisis: Who says what? Budget: Help is on the way for those most in need, says John Key Budget 2016: Government under pressure to take the heat off housing Budget 2016: It's not so tough at the top while the bottom 'gets ignored' John Key says no Auckland housing crisis, but 76 per cent of voters want more action Budget 2016: Did the Finance Minister's 'no comment' just give away a Budget secret? Minister moves to fast-track fisheries monitoring after fish dumping Green Party transport policy: Get rid of trucks, move freight to rail and sea

Parata perfecting the art of political obfuscation

Education Minister Hekia Parata is shaping up as a worthy successor to the late Parekura Horomia as a master of opaque language.

Asked by Labour's Chris Hipkins what baseline cuts would be made to fund $30 million of property development, she replied: "None.

The ministry is reprioritising existing resources, informed by condition assessment data, to accelerate progress for specific schools identified as experiencing complex property issues."

Abbott keen to follow in Key's fiscal footsteps

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to follow New Zealand's lead by careful management and saying "no" to unwarranted spending proposals.

He believes his government's job is to make the economy more productive by bringing down taxes and reducing regulation. He noted that the New Zealand Government was on track to cut spending from 35 per cent of GDP to 30 per cent.

"They didn't do that through savage cuts," Abbott said.

Staying fighting fit crosses party lines

There was cross-party fitness harmony at Parliament yesterday. National MP and Minister of Labour Simon Bridges and Labour's primary industries spokesman, West Coast MP Damien O'Connor, were spotted together returning from a run on the Wellington waterfront.

When asked who was the faster of the two, Bridges was diplomatic, saying both were faster than National list MP Paul Goldsmith, who was trailing a long way behind.

Key gets his own back on Labour over expat Kiwis

John Key has been under fire all week from Labour for not taking a tougher line over Australia's treatment of expat Kiwis, including refusing them welfare payments and other benefits.

But Key returned the fire yesterday and had some fun at Labour's expense.

He quoted from a paper written by then foreign minister Phil Goff supporting Australia's right to make the 2001 changes foisted on New Zealand and hailing it as a breakthrough in the relationship.

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- The Dominion Post

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