Today in politics: Wednesday, April 16

Last updated 05:00 16/04/2014

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Once flea-covered student flat one of the first inspected in Government crackdown Hekia Parata's trials and tribulations as Education Minister Why the selfie election has given way to the Facebook campaign Government moves to make dairy industry more competitive Shamubeel Eaqub: Immigration an emotionally charged topic John Key heads to India as Indian students face deportation from NZ over visa fraud Long-term infrastructure spending jumps $15b, but leans heavily on local govt Labour leader Andrew Little visits Marlborough for party's 100th anniversary Duncan Garner: A surplus of cash and a deficit of concern for people Government denies report NZ SAS in combat in Iraq

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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- Wellington

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