Today in politics: Monday, January 17

Last updated 05:00 17/02/2014
judith collins
Fairfax NZ
DECISION MAKER: Justice Minister Judith Collins.

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Politics

Grant Robertson: Labour ready to deliver a fresh approach Prime Minister Bill English can't decide which pie to take Steven Joyce on Budget Day Auditor-General has to be held to higher standards Steven Joyce's first Budget is likely to provide an income boost for families Auditor-General Martin Matthews to stand down pending independent inquiry MacGregor accuses Craig of doctoring texts Petitioners wanting inquiry into forced adoption practices await fate Good heavens! Blasphemy law remains in New Zealand after National and Maori Party vote down repeal Labour, Greens and National unite to solve cathedral deadlock ACC to shut Auckland and Wellington call centres, 87 staff affected

LABOUR DRESS CODE INQUIRY 'A GENUINE CRY FOR HELP'

In an apparent attempt to flush out any ''dress codes'', similar to Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson's famous writing style guide, Labour has been quizzing ministers under the Official Information Act about any instructions to staff about what they can and cannot wear.

In her reply Justice Minister Judith Collins said she saw it as ''a genuine cry for help'' and a recognition of the collective good dress sense in her office, but her office held no such information.

UNION PATRONAGE TRUMPS SUPERMARKET BOYCOTT

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly yesterday revealed she was shopping at Countdown, suggesting all is not black and white when it comes to proposed social media boycotts and Labour MP Shane Jones' attack in Parliament on the Australian-owned supermarket chain's alleged tactics.

''Yes have an inquiry into the dominance of both chains, but CD unionised with (collective agreement) paying $2 more per hour,'' she said on Twitter.

GREENS ABOUT TO MAKE HISTORY 

Green co-leader Russel Norman is not short on confidence. He told the party's weekend campaign conference they were standing on the threshold of history: ''The moment when the Green Party forms New Zealand's first green government,'' he said.

''We're about to make history, but we can't do this alone,'' he went on. Did he mean Labour and the other centre-Left parties? Apparently not.

''We need to bring the country with us; share our vision for a smarter, greener, and fairer Aotearoa New Zealand.

'BIG SPENDERS' TAX HIKES COULD PROVE PUNISHING

News the latest Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll found almost 70 per cent of voters opposed tax increases for new government spending was music to the ears of Right-leaning lobby group the Taxpayers' Union.

''Politicians will need to sit up and take notice,'' spokeswoman Gabrielle O'Brien said.

''Politicians with big-spending promises will need to find savings elsewhere or will be punished at the ballot box.

"They should trim waste before increasing the tax burden.''


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