Today in politics: Friday, March 7

Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014

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Politics

Australian federal election 2016: Count looms as one of the most engrossing in living memory New report says NZ 'destination' for forced labour, sex trafficking New Zealand's new border system will be five years late Smoke alarm and insulation regulations for rentals will lead to rent rises, landlords say Protesters barrack National Party conference in Christchurch Southgate enters Hamilton mayoral race Will the Australian election be our canary down the mine? Construction on Christchurch Hospital's outpatient facility weeks away from start Silver Fern Farms and Shanghai Maling put off deal decision until end of September Shamubeel Eaqub: Brexit a pyrrhic for Divided Kingdom

 Joyce joins young Nats recruiters 

That Steven Joyce is very naughty. The Minister for Everything posed for a snap while visiting Victoria University for Orientation Week. "Recruiting a young(ish) returning student to nzyoungnats," he cheekily tweeted. The man he was caught on camera with was Labour's Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson, while his colleague Ruth Dyson looked over their shoulder.

Finlayson says Pike decision not his to make

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has hit back at claims made by Labour's Andrew Little that he refused to make public the decision made not to prosecute former Pike River Coal boss Peter Whittall. Mr Finlayson says it was not his decision to make, but the solicitor-general's.

It would be "constitutionally offensive" for a politician to be involved in anything involving the conduct of particular Crown prosecutions, Mr Finlayson said. 

Tolley going ahead with sex offender register 

A register of convicted sex offenders is likely this year as Police Minister Anne Tolley prepares to take a paper to Cabinet. It was first reported two years ago that officials were working on proposals after it was revealed convicted paedophile Terito Henry Miki was found to be working as a teacher. The register will not be open to the public, just officials with security clearance. She wants legislation introduced to Parliament this year.

Solid rumours but no firm Indian deals

The Government is dismissing reports in India that it has struck a deal to sell Solid Energy's assets to Indian owners. An Indian minister, after a meeting with Energy Minister Simon Bridges, said he was "looking forward to the government of New Zealand allocating mineral assets to Indian public sector companies". Finance Minister Bill English said there was "no serious proposition" though many wanted the assets "on the cheap".

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- The Dominion Post

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