Today in Politics: Friday, April 11

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014

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The US presidential race: Like the rest of New Zealand, I can't stop watching What you need to know about Antarctica's huge marine reserve Tributes paid to former trade union boss Helen Kelly at memorial service Labour: Housing NZ must account for 'financial and human cost' of meth testing flaws Former Horowhenua mayor reflects on 21 years in local politics No concrete plans for Northland bridges Editorial: MPs leave, but the taxpayer-funded flights go on Analysis: Was Joseph Parker's heavyweight bout 'political dynamite' for MPs? Paula Bennett's reign as acting Prime Minister ends via text message John Key's time in India was 'short and sweet' but will be chalked up as a success

Is there a Dr Other in the house? 

Is Capital & Coast DHB desperately seeking Dr Other? Labour health spokeswoman Annette King is questioning if it is too cash-strapped to find the name of doctors providing services after a letter advised a patient of a referral from ‘‘Doctor Hcp Other’’ requesting an appointment. It  said  based on the information from ‘‘Doctor Other’’ the consultant had decided the patient’s condition could be managed by her family doctor. It was unsigned.


17,000 have  view on plain packaging

More than 17,000 submissions have been made on legislation to impose plain packaging on cigarettes, although the vast majority are said to be duplicates arranged by the tobacco companies. Parliament’s health committee chairman Dr Paul Hutchison said other submissions were also ‘‘graphic and colourful’’ from children. The committee is expected to start hearing on April 16 from the more than 100 submitters who wish to make oral presentations.


Botulism comments show glass half-full

Trade & Enterprise chairman and former Fonterra boss Andrew Ferrier  raised hackles with comments at a select commitdhtee that Fonterra’s botulism  false alarm last year was ‘‘a net benefit’’  because it 

 showed how good our security systems were. ‘‘The negatives were vastly outdhweighed by the positives.’’ Labour’s  Damien O’Connor said Ferrier should consider the advice he was giving if he thought ‘‘botulism and New Zealand linked in any way is a positive’’.


Aussies envious of China trade ties 

The Australian Government seems to be casting an envious eye at New Zealand’s free-trade deal with China. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary Josh Frydenberg said New Zealand had more than doubled exports to China since  signing a free trade agreement six years ago. That included a six-fold increase in dairy exports. ‘‘We want to replicate that sort of growth in two-way trade and we can do that through an FTA,’’ Frydenberg told Sky News.

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