Today in politics: Tuesday, March 18

Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014

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Politics

Judith Collins wants back into Cabinet PM's promise to Northland: We will regain your trust $3 million to Northland cycle way English reluctant to give the surplus promise its last rites Royal baby: New Zealand welcomes news of Prince William and Kate's princess Cabinet minister's brother faces sex charges Former NZ First MP leaves country during police probe John Key: Expert in chief Selling New Zealand by the pound Vulnerable Children's Act: New law means police checks for children's workers

Extra border recruits to beef up 'front line'

Another 26 border staff have begun training as part of efforts to beef up frontline resources, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says. "Close to 125 new quarantine inspectors have joined MPI in the last 18 months and this is another big boost in resources."

Graduating mid-year, the recruits will be posted around the country. "While there is increasing use of technology and intelligence to protect our border, we still need people on the front line." 

Cunliffe: Insurance move a timebomb

Labour leader David Cunliffe says the insurance industry is overseeing ''a ticking timebomb'' by moving to sum-insured policies, leaving thousands underinsured. The insurance ombudsman had made it clear insurers often failed to give homeowners  an accurate idea of how much to insure.

It showed the need for a locally owned firm to raise standards, he said. But Labour has given no guarantee its KiwiAssure would eschew sum-insured policies

Parata 'shying away' from schools shake-up

NZ First deputy Tracey Martin has taken a swipe at Education Minister Hekia Parata, who has ruled out - pre-election - performance-based school funding.

''She is now shying away from comments that suggest a big shake-up in education if National wins the election,'' Ms Martin said. She called on boards and parent-teacher groups to join teachers opposing such moves

Parliament cuts power use but bills still mount

The seat of power has cut its energy use, but its bills keep rising. Between 2012 and 2013, Parliament's usage fell from 10.55 million kilowatt hours to 10.47 million kW,  but its bill rose from $1.38 million to $1.46m.

Green MP Gareth Hughes said his party's policy would slice 8 per cent off commercial bills, saving Parliament $120,000 a year. He said current prices meant efforts to cut usage were not being sufficiently rewarded.

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- The Dominion Post

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