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Government gets its welfare bill through first reading

Government gets its welfare bill through first reading
By Peter Wilson of NZPA Wellington, March 30 NZPA - The Maori Party turned its back on the Government and voted with Labour in Parliament today when the bill that enacts welfare changes was given its first reading.

ECan decision outrages opposition MPs

ECan decision outrages opposition MPs
By Chris Ormond of NZPA

PM rejects IMF call for further spending cuts

PM rejects IMF call for further spending cuts
Wellington, March 30 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key has rejected suggestions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Government needs to go further in cutting spending, saying plenty of progress is already being made in that area.

Greens see merit in adverse report on electric cars

Greens see merit in adverse report on electric cars
Wellington, March 29 NZPA - Research suggesting electric cars are often less environmentally friendly than petrol ones because of their energy consumption has merit and advances New Zealand's case to create renewable energy and better public transport, the Green Party says.

Survey says National mining proposal hurting support

Survey says National mining proposal hurting support
Wellington, March 28 NZPA - There are some indications that National might be losing some political support after it raised the prospect of opening previously protected areas up to mining.

UN urges the dropping of tasers in NZ

UN urges the dropping of tasers in NZ
Wellington, March 28 NZPA - The Greens are urging the Government to listen to the United Nations and stop the police using tasers.

Influential magazine slams NZ's green record

Influential magazine slams NZ's green record
By Maggie Tait of NZPA Wellington, March 24 NZPA - The Economist magazine has criticised the Government's decision to mine on protected land in part of an article lashing the country's green credentials.

Sue Kedgley presents petition on junk food in schools

Sue Kedgley presents petition on junk food in schools
By Maggie Tait of NZPA Wellington, March 24 NZPA - The Education Ministry was criticised today for tailoring its advice on the effect of nutrition on kids' learning to the new Government.

Welfare reforms worry opposition parties

Welfare reforms worry opposition parties
Wellington, March 24 NZPA - Opposition parties are urging the Government to make sure children don't suffer because of welfare reforms which put pressure on beneficiaries to return to work.

Welfare reforms to add pressure to unwilling workers

Welfare reforms to add pressure to unwilling workers
Wellington, March 23 NZPA - Welfare reforms announced by the Government today are expected to ramp up the pressure on beneficiaries to return to the workforce.

Forces gather against the Government

Forces gather against the Government
NZPA political reporters Wellington, March 23 NZPA - Outrage in the Coromandel and a warning of ecological disaster on Great Barrier Island are just the opening shots in a battle against the Government's proposals to mine conservation land.

Mining proposal unpopular with many

Mining proposal unpopular with many
Wellington, March 22 NZPA - Environmentalists and opposition parties have attacked the Government's discussion paper outlining its proposals for opening 7058 hectares of protected conservation land for mining.

Minerals worth billions could be mined within five years

Minerals worth billions could be mined within five years
NZPA political reporters Wellington, March 22 NZPA - Rare minerals worth billions of dollars could be mined within five years under government proposals to open up more than 7000 hectares of protected conservation land.

Mackenzie country faces more challenges, Greens say

Mackenzie country faces more challenges, Greens say
Wellington, March 19 NZPA - Canterbury's Mackenzie country isn't safe despite a plan for intensive dairy farming being shelved, the Green Party says. The plan by three companies to create intensive dairy farms has been put on hold because the consent process is too costly.

New regulatory scheme for natural health products

New regulatory scheme for natural health products
Wellington, March 19 NZPA - The Green Party and the Government have worked out a proposal to set up a stand-alone New Zealand regulator for natural health products.

Spy Agency's Changed Role Upsets Greens

Spy Agency's Changed Role Upsets Greens
Wellington, March 19 NZPA - The Green Party says it is an outrage that one of the country's spy agencies has changed its name and is going to have a new domestic security role, without Parliament even being told about it.

Security Agency Takes On Domestic Focus

Security Agency Takes On Domestic Focus
Wellington, March 18 NZPA - The Government's External Assessments Bureau has changed its name to National Assessments Bureau and will in future be involved in security for major events like the 2011 Rugby World Cup, it was reported tonight.

Muddy Waters

Wellington, March 18 NZPA - An annual snapshot report released today on the Clean Streams Accord between Fonterra farmers, councils and the Government showed that during the 2008-09 dairy season, non-compliance with regional council rules rose by 25 percent, from 12 percent to 15 percent of farm

Dirtier Dairying Triggers Call For Regulation

Dirtier Dairying Triggers Call For Regulation
Wellington, March 18 NZPA - An environmental lobbyist says dairying is getting dirtier and the Government should intervene and set easily-enforced standards to fight contamination of waterways and groundwater.

Further Cuts Will Handicap TVNZ, Say MPs

Further Cuts Will Handicap TVNZ, Say MPs
Wellington, March 18 NZPA - Cutting back further on TVNZ's news and current affairs budget is short-sighted and will lead only to a downward spiral in the broadcaster's ability to operate in a competitive environment, Opposition MPs say.

Govt Has Close Call On Mental Health Bill

Govt Has Close Call On Mental Health Bill
Wellington, March 17 NZPA - A Labour MP's member's bill was defeated on the narrow majority of 62-60 in Parliament tonight.

Greens Raise Legal Point Over Detained Whaling Protester

Greens Raise Legal Point Over Detained Whaling Protester
Wellington, March 17 NZPA - The Green Party says whaling protester Peter Bethune may have been legally entitled under international maritime law to attempt a citizen's arrest on the captain of Japanese vessel Shonan Maru, and that the New Zealand Government needs to act to assist him from a legal

Super City Row Hots Up In Parliament

Super City Row Hots Up In Parliament
Wellington, March 17 NZPA - Local Government Minister Rodney Hide is being accused of misleading Aucklanders as the row over plans for the new super city council hots up in Parliament.

Govt Under Pressure Over Conservation Land Mining

Govt Under Pressure Over Conservation Land Mining
Wellington, March 17 NZPA - Labour and the Greens are putting pressure on the Government over mining in conservation land, saying the public isn't going to accept it and ministers should come clean with their proposals.

Greens Push For Action To Help Anti-Whaling Campaigner

Greens Push For Action To Help Anti-Whaling Campaigner
Wellington, March 16 NZPA - The Government says it hopes the Japanese government will release anti-whaler Peter Bethune but will not interfere in Japan's court processes.

Concern Grows Over Use Of CCOs Under Super City

Concern Grows Over Use Of CCOs Under Super City
Wellington, March 16 NZPA - Concern is mounting over the intended use of council-controlled organisations (CCOs) to manage the bulk of Auckland's assets under the new super city structure.

Greens Question PM Over Mining Subsidy

Greens Question PM Over Mining Subsidy
Wellington, March 16 NZPA - The Government did not deny in Parliament today that it plans to give the mining industry a $4 million subsidy to survey three national parks.

Concern Grows Over Use Of CCOs Under Super City

Concern Grows Over Use Of CCOs Under Super City
Wellington, March 16 NZPA - Concern is mounting over the intended use of council-controlled organisations (CCOs) to manage the bulk of Auckland's assets under the new super city structure.

Ministry Glossing Over Mapua Health Risks, Greens Say

Ministry Glossing Over Mapua Health Risks, Greens Say
Wellington, March 16 NZPA - The Ministry of Health is glossing over the risks presented by a site near Nelson historically polluted through exposure to toxic chemicals and later cleaned up, the Green Party says.

Greens unhappy at reports of mining plans

Greens unhappy at reports of mining plans
Wellington, March 15 NZPA - Conservation groups and the Greens have expressed outrage at reports the Government is planning to allow mining in 7000 hectares of high-value conservation land in the West Coast's Paparoa National Park, Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula.

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