Today in politics: Tuesday, April 8

17:00, Apr 07 2014
Matt McCarten and David Cunliffe
GALVANISING INFLUENCE: Matt McCarten, leftl with Labour leader David Cunliffe at Parliament after being announced as Cunliffe's new chief of staff.

Hey Clint, it's Labour's economic message

Labour has had its own ''Hey Clint!'' moment.

Leader David Cunliffe's chief of staff Matt McCarten has confirmed the party has recruited the Green Party's political and media adviser, Clint Smith, to beef up selling its economic message.

Smith, who had earlier worked for Labour before going across to the Greens, shot to prominence when, during a television interview, MP Gareth Hughes turned to him with a ''Hey Clint!'' to check if the party was happy its power policy had put a dent in the Mighty River Power sale.

McCarten commands new-look war room

Meanwhile, as it goes on to election-year war footing, Labour has tossed its MPs out of the caucus room so spin doctors, researchers and advisers can get out of their silos and share the big room.

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There they sit under the eye of McCarten whose desk is at the head of the class.

The MPs will make do with a smaller room, one floor down.

The revamp saw one of Cunliffe's press secretaries provide the press gallery with a diagram of Cunliffe's new route to caucus so they could still intercept him for his weekly ''stand-up''.

Key: Nazi depiction offensive to Jews

The ''work'', by environmental activist Toothfish, was put up on Facebook seeking donations to fund more of them.

John Key, whose mother was Jewish, said it was ''unflattering'', but he accepted it came with the territory.  

He would prefer ''that they weren't there just because I think they are offensive to the Jewish community''. 

Internet Party goes offline to do checks on members

The Internet Party is seeking registration as a political party after submitting details of 550 members to the Electoral Commission. At least 500 are required.

Chief executive Vikram Kumar said more than 2000 members had signed up using the app and website, but details of only 550 members had been manually checked against the electoral roll, which had taken a week.

Confirmation of registration was expected to take four to six weeks. 

The party has also applied for an allocation of free broadcasting time.

Fairfax Media