Today in Politics: Friday, April 11

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014

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Parliament considers call to pardon men convicted before homosexual law reformed John Key wrote to ethnic communities worried about their security Little's chief of staff to head new Labour office in Auckland Stacey Kirk: Long knives being sharpened, but can Helen Clark stay clear of the blades? Easter Sunday trading unlikely to gain support Nick Leggett's $27m plan to put decision-making in the hands of capital communities New poll shows more support for medicinal cannabis law reform in New Zealand Prime Minister John Key makes 'historic' visit to Dunstan High School ACC pulls investments in blacklisted companies Brian Roche to leave position as chief executive of NZ Post

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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