Today in Politics: Friday, April 11

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014

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Panel get two out of four flags right according to survey Labour MPs go against leader on charter school Southland way behind cities on broadband - Labour MP Abuse in state care 'hurts forever' Laser-kiwi artist uninspired by flag designs Mike Yardley: Final four flags a flop New agency to unlock potential of $1b worth of Auckland Council land RECAP: Final four NZ flag designs unveiled Sir Edmund Hillary's daughter applauds 'beautiful' new NZ banknotes Western North Island flood recovery gets another $2.6m boost from the Government

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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