Today in Politics: Monday, March 24

Last updated 05:00 24/03/2014

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Government moves to make dairy industry more competitive New Zealand's net migration back at record breaking levels at almost 70,000 Nothing wrong with Hekia Parata's husband's health - not why she's stepping down Hot, cold and windy conditions for TPPA hikoi group's first week Labour's last MP for Marlborough Ian Brooks talks records and death threats Human Rights Commission wants code of conduct for NZ spy agencies Sharp increase in Kiwis on social housing register downplayed by Government Hekia Parata satisfied with Christchurch legacy What do you buy for the world leader - and spouse - who has everything? Andrew King talks Hamilton, city hall and his rapid rise to the top

Labour picks five more candidates

Yesterday Labour picked five more electorate candidates in contested selections, taking it to about halfway in its electorate selection process. The five, all in seats seen as safe for National, are insurance representative Tofik Mametov, Botany; clinical psychologist Barry Kirker,  Pakuranga; union organiser Jerome Mika, Papakura; Otaki councillor Penny Gaylor, Taranaki-King Country; and lawyer Kelly Ellis, Whangarei.

NZ joins symbolic action on Russia

New Zealand has added its ''largely symbolic'' weight to sanctions aimed at individual Russians and Ukrainians seen as responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said New Zealand had made it clear Russia's actions in regard to Ukraine and Crimea were unacceptable. Speaking from Singapore on his way back from Europe, Mr McCully said the list would cover ''roughly 20'' individuals. He would not give the names. 

Dairy domination not on, says Key

Prime Minister John Key says he will not ban dairy farm sales to China or any other country, but he did not want the industry to be dominated by one big foreign player. ''I don't think we want to get to a point where we're effectively having a Chinese replica of Fonterra or any other country ... in New Zealand on that scale.  I think it's OK when you've got some - in fact it's quite healthy when you've got a little bit of competition happening there,'' he told TVNZ's Q+A

One disciple doth not a party make

After  Kim Dotcom claimed one disciple for his planned Internet Party and said he was talking to other MPs about joining, several  went public to rule themselves out. They included Labour's Clare Curran, who  visited Dotcom's mansion last year, and National's Jami-Lee Ross. Labour leader David Cunliffe said he saw no need to seek assurances from his MPs. ''I can't take it seriously. Why would I get all excited about a party that is not even registered yet?'' 

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- Fairfax Media

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