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Politics briefs: February 27, 2014

Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014

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Politics

The 'Mad Men' budget 'Fat people' to blame for tobacco tax: Winston Peters Schools will decide how to spend targeted funding for under-achieving kids Key gets tough on Auckland with new policy forcing councils to release land Below the beltway: The week in politics TPPA, housing and child poverty protesters greet John Key on Palmerston North visit Govt thinks about compulsory warranty to protect against building flaws Jeremy Elwood & Michele A'Court: Paying the rent DHBs still being shortchanged, says Labour - unveils health map to highlight regional shortfalls Budget 2016: Changing super will be super hard, which is why John Key should do it

Young and very young

He is Parliament's youngest MP, and now 28-year-old Jami-Lee Ross wants son Henry to follow in his footsteps. The Botany MP has enrolled the toddler in the Young Nats. The "Baby of the House" proudly tweeted a picture of the membership card yesterday, saying "Start 'em early." Mr Ross made a New Year's resolution to spend more time with Henry.

Nats September election still looking good

The smart money is backing a September election, according to iPredict. An early election on either September 20 or September 27 is now looking the most likely, according to IPredict's 7000 traders, who are also tipping that interest rates will stick to a lower track than expected throughout 2014. Prime Minister John Key is yet to announce a date although he has signalled that it will be earlier than in 2011, when it was held on November 26.

Diplomatic post in the air?

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced plans to open a new Consulate-General in Honolulu. It made sense to open the office because it would allow NZ to work more closely with US officials and experts on regional security and development issues, he said. Honolulu is, of course, where Prime Minister John Key spends his holidays. We wonder whether this will make him reconsider his vow not to take up a diplomatic post after politics?

The eyebrows keep lifting

New ACT leader Jamie Whyte continues to raise eyebrows. Yesterday it was revealed the former journalist told a Left-wing blog he did not believe the state should intervene in cases of incest, where it involved consenting adults who want to marry. "Well personally, I don't think they [the state] should. However, it's a matter of almost no significance because it just doesn't happen." Mr Whyte added that this was not ACT policy.

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- The Dominion Post

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