Today in politics: Monday, April 7

Last updated 05:00 07/04/2014

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Politics

Government 'very keen' for stronger trade ties with Iran Peter Dunne's Ohariu seat could be crucial if the election is close Bill English says employers are regularly telling him that Kiwis can't pass drug tests Labour won't win a 'change' election by looking the same Labour's David Parker calls for 'swimmable' test to reflect when and where you take a dip KiwiRail says 'Kaikoura effect' cuts surplus Bill English downplays high demand for emergency housing grants Chris Trotter: Labour's future has a single name National MP Paul Foster-Bell to stand down at election Jacinda Ardern: ambitious simply to be 'good at her job'

NZ still wooing hard for United Nations seat

Sir Don McKinnon says New Zealand is still campaigning hard for a seat on the United Nations Security Council with eight months until the vote. Speaking on TVNZ's Q+A programme, McKinnon, who is working fulltime on the bid, said New Zealand had been campaigning for a year – longer than our last bid two decades ago. But with New Zealand up against heavyweights Spain and Turkey, the outcome hangs in the balance. 

Labour rug attracting interest on Trade Me

It may not be pretty but it's a talking point.A 2.23 metre by 1.25m rug depicting the Cabinet from the fourth Labour Government is for sale on Trade Me and attracting a lot of interest and even some bids.

According to the vendor, the rug was made for a fundraiser and only a handful are in circulation.  One sold on Trade Me in 2012 and was said to have been made for former Cabinet minister, Ann Hercus. Bidding was at $555 last night.

Peters joins Cunliffe in bashing the pollsters

NZ First leader Winston Peters has joined Labour leader David Cunliffe in rejecting the latest opinion polls. On TVNZ's Q+A, Peters said the polls had been ''overly kind to National election after election and against a real night result they've been far too high''.

The polls were also ''excessively favourable'' to the Greens, while always understating NZ First's support, said Peters, whose support has risen in most recent polls. 

Mana and Dotcom link not off the table

Hone Harawira has kept the possibility of a deal with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party alive, confirming talks over the weekend to explore a political relationship.

Dotcom and the Mana Party leader have held talks previously but Harawira ruled out a formal merger after a backlash from members of his party. Long-time activist and former Green MP Sue Bradford is among those who balked at a deal and threatened to quit.

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- The Dominion Post

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