Today in politics: Saturday, April 12

Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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When having a nose for a story lands a journalist in trouble Steven Joyce backs down on changes to student loan borrowing John Key commits $20 million to help reduce agriculture emissions Heather du Plessis-Allan says police home search 'unsettling' Housing NZ boss set for big pay rise as CEO of Metlifecare next year Parents ditching schools with modern classrooms Ruth Dyson sent to privileges committee for criticising Speaker David Carter VorTech wins drone innovation competition backed by James Cameron Japanese whaling fleet departs for hunt despite international outrage Palmerston North to consider time limits for letting off fireworks

PM doubts Mana, Dotcom comfortable bedfellows

Kim Dotcom will attempt to win Mana members over this weekend as he lobbies for a deal with his Internet Party but Prime Minister John Key doesn't get it. Key said Mana members were outside the Young Nats ball last week "basically talking about how disgraceful it was" that members had paid $95 for a ticket.

Dotcom, meanwhile, lived in a mansion, flew in helicopters and drank champagne out of the bottle, he said. 

Artful tax dodgers being targeted, says minister

Revenue Minister Todd McClay is dismissing claims that the Government focuses more on welfare fraud than illegal tax dodging. Speaking at the OECD Cash and Hidden Economy Conference, he said a focus on tax evasion was starting to see results.

Investigating "hidden economy" tax evasion was returning $5.60 per dollar spent, while property-speculation probes returned $8.42 per dollar.

Firm seems likely to fail in bid to e-radicate old TVs

An e-waste company paid $4.4 million to rid New Zealand of its old televisions is dangerously close to defaulting on its contract, Environment Minister Amy Adams says.

Auckland-based RCN, responsible for disposing of about 80 per cent of the televisions collected in the TV Takeback programme, has told Adams it is likely to default on its contract because it is overwhelmed by the numbers – 220,000. 

Bryce Edwards makes good his bet with Winston Peters

Political commentator Bryce Edwards briefly turned party activist yesterday, making good a bet he lost to Winston Peters. In 2011 the University of Otago politics lecturer bet the NZ First leader that his party would not return to Parliament following the election.

Edwards had agreed to campaign for NZ First if he was wrong. During a Vote Chat session in Dunedin, Edwards, once an Alliance Party worker, held up a "vote NZ First" banner. 

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- The Dominion Post

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