Today in politics: Wednesday, April 16

Last updated 05:00 16/04/2014

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Labour accused of plagiarism over flagship work document High court bid in wings to shed light on TPP talks NZ First president Anne Martin won't seek re-election Auckland councillors must accept a 2.3 per cent pay rise Ministers' travel and accommodation expenses creep up MSD officials 'unlikely' to have seen babies as 'lab rats' - ethics professor Government trains more high-level nurses as hospitals buckle under winter strain TPP deal inadequate for NZ dairy Murray McCully the man in the middle on MH17 Security Council vote Michael Woodhouse promises 'guidance' on health and safety law

MP gets cold feet on jumping ship

The Internet Party has ended discussions with an unnamed MP about jumping ship to join the fledgling party. In March the Internet Party claimed it had signed up an existing MP to join the party, but yesterday it said that after the Mana Party agreed to continue talks over an alliance the MP had got cold feet. The Kim Dotcom-led party said it would not name the MP because of a confidentiality agreement. All MPs have denied being the one signed up.

Parker gives thought to carpet colours

Deputy Labour leader David Parker had a less than stellar time substituting for David Cunliffe yesterday. He said Cunliffe had twice postponed an "at home with the leaders" gig on TV3 because of privacy concerns. But Cunliffe blamed a family illness and a misunderstanding. Parker also said people were not interested in the colour of the leaders' carpets. Told by one reporter that they probably were, he opined: "they've got sadder lives than I think".

PM gets to know the royal visitors

Prime Minister John Key declared his private (yet taxpayer-funded) dinner with Wills and Kate to have been an enjoyable evening in a relaxed environment at Premier House. "I feel I know them well now," he said. Bronagh Key, who is an ambassador for the Foundation for the Blind, gave them a "touch and feel" Hairy Maclary book, which the Duchess of Cambridge seemed very pleased to receive, he said.

Opinion of public services falls

The Government claims repeatedly that the public's opinion of the quality of government services is improving. It is not surprising then that little fanfare was given yesterday to the latest survey which measures this claim. The Kiwis Count survey, which measures perceptions of public services, dropped to 72 in the December quarter, down a point from the September quarter, with the trend flat for the past five quarters.

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