Today in politics: Wednesday, April 9

Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014

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New Zealand and Australia condemn Japan for resuming Southern Ocean whaling Education Minister Hekia Parata announces Marlborough colleges decision Jenny Shipley: Why we need a silver fern flag Faces of Innocents: Too many children are dying, are we about to break another promise? Children's flag referendum views are being heard by voters in their families 'Our job is not to censor. We're not serving the political elite, business or corporations' Stacey Kirk: Strewth! Join Australia? They're a bunch of flaming galahs! 'I don't want to be prime minister' – Jacinda Ardern Jacinda Ardern in da House – from red carpet celebrity to green leather politician Former Australian detainee burglary arrest not a surprise - Andrew Little

Dotcom needn't wait for Brownlee response

Virtually every electorate MP has denied plans to defect to the Internet Party, with most being outright dismissive. Few have been quite as plausible as Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee. A well-known technophobe, the MP for Ilam links his struggle to cope with the basics of his smartphone with the unlikely prospect of joining Kim Dotcom's party. "I struggle with texts," he said. "Frankly, on a smartphone, dialling a number's pretty hard for me." 

Greens: Drilling in pristine beech forest unacceptable

The Greens are labelling moves to open up a South Island conservation forest park for petroleum exploration unacceptable. Green MP Gareth Hughes says most of Victoria Forest Park on the West Coast - land the Department of Conservation describes as pristine beech forest - is part of the   Government's latest block offer.  Energy Minister Simon Bridges said operators would need resource consent, and to satisfy local bodies  and DOC before any exploration.

Underestimated tax-take will 'squeeze'

Tax revenues continue to come in below forecast, adding pressure to the targeted return to surplus in 2014-15. Figures from the Treasury made public  yesterday show that in the eight months to February 28, core revenue was $1.1 billion below expectations. That meant the deficit for the period was $884 million worse than expected, at $1.4b. Finance Minister Bill English admitted this would put  an added ‘‘squeeze’’ on next month’s Budget.

Budget 'One-armed bandit' takes on 'nanny' in Lotto row

Prime Minister John Key has labelled a call to ban Lotto sales at supermarket checkout tills ''a bit nanny state''. Labour MP Shane Jones likened the move to installing a one-arm bandit at every checkout,  and says it will take the food out of children's mouths. He also called for a cap on Lotto winnings as he believes a $30 million jackpot was too high. But Key said it was not up to the Government to tell people whether they should buy a Lotto ticket.

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- The Dominion Post

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