Today in politics: Wednesday, April 2

Last updated 05:00 02/04/2014

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Politics

Budget 2016: Facebook Live chat with Finance Minister Bill English Budget 2016: Cigarettes to soar in price Mike Williams: Govt delivers a Budget that strives to ignore the housing crisis Grant Robertson: A Budget that lacks vision and courage to make life better David v Jacinda: 'Wasteful spending is everywhere' Budget 2016: Cash-strapped health sector receives record $2.2b shot in the arm Budget 2016: Funding for social housing and Crown land scheme may not satisfy housing critics Budget 2016: Govt $2.1 billion infrastructure plan to help park your car and go to the loo Budget 2016: A smart Budget from Bill English, but no big fixes Carpark cordoned after 'further security threat' sees Parliament briefly in lockdown after arrest

Nigerian groups added to list of terrorism factions

Two Nigerian groups have been added to New Zealand's list of official terrorism organisations.

Prime Minister John Key said the groups, Boko Haram and Ansaru, were responsible for terrorist acts, including the killing of civilians.

Any assets held by the groups in New Zealand, "either now or in the future", could be frozen and it would also be a criminal offence to deal with their property or make property or financial services available to them. 

Officials to look at buying back Waikato battle site

Key says there is a ‘‘reasonable case’’ for the site of the famous and bloody Battle of Orakau in Waikato to be returned to public ownership.

Local Maori have called on the Government to buy back the land from its private owners.

About 150 Maori died in the 1864 battle in which 300 Maori were pitted against 1100 colonial troops. 

It would have to be carefully considered buying back the site as there were other sites  which had historical significance relating to the land wars. 

He has asked his officials to look into the idea.

Continued hunt for oil, gas angers Greenpeace

Greenpeace has criticised the continued search for oil and gas in New Zealand waters, with today’s announcement of the latest oil and gas block offer coming just after a major UN report warned of the dangers of climate change.

Energy Minister Simon Bridges is expected to confirm new areas to be opened up for exploration around much of the country.

Greenpeace said the UN report emphasised the world was threatened by more extreme weather ‘‘but by opening up whole new areas to drill and mine for oil ...the Government had shown that it was ‘‘ignoring  the science’’ on climate change.

The Government has trumped the potential economic benefits of the programme.

Councillor eats humble pie over April Fool's Day joke

A prominent Auckland councillor has apologised for an April Fool’s Day joke in which he claimed the luxury Huka Lodge had been sold to a Chinese buyer.

Cameron Brewer posted on his Facebook page that he had met the owners but later confirmed it was a joke.

The Chinese people he was photographed with were guests at the lodge who had asked to meet to discuss Auckland investment opportunities.

He had telephoned the lodge to apologise.

His stunt followed earlier claims by NZ First leader Winston Peters who said he had proof the lodge was going to Chinese owners. The lodge owners quickly rejected the claim. 

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- Fairfax Media

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