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Labour Opposes Student Loan Bonus Bill

By Peter Wilson of NZPA Wellington, April 30 NZPA - The Government has brought a bill to Parliament which meets its campaign promise to give a bonus to students who make extra repayments on their loans.

Labour MPs Criticise Government For Using Private Contractors

Labour MPs Criticise Government For Using Private Contractors
By Maggie Tait of NZPA Wellington, April 30 NZPA - Private sector contractors employed by ministers but paid for by departments are being labelled "hired guns" by enraged Labour MPs, who say National is circumventing normal hiring practices.

Govt Signals More Cautious Approach To Investment Policy

Govt Signals More Cautious Approach To Investment Policy
Wellington, April 30 NZPA - The Government wants Crown entities to take a more cautious approach to how they invest. Finance Minister Bill English today pointed out to MPs that the Government has built up almost $30 billion worth of investments in financial markets.

Cabinet Overules Cross Party Recommendation On Electorate Cash

Cabinet Overules Cross Party Recommendation On Electorate Cash
Wellington, April 30 NZPA - Cabinet has rejected a cross-party parliamentary committee's recommendation about how MPs with large electorates should be funded to service them.

Govt Can't Stop Costly Move, Minister Says

Govt Can't Stop Costly Move, Minister Says
Wellington, April 30 NZPA - The Government isn't happy about the $8.5 million it will cost to move the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from Petone to downtown Wellington, but it doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it.

McCully To Announce NZAid Reintegration Into Foreign Ministry

Wellington, April 30 NZPA - Foreign Minister Murray McCully will announce tomorrow that NZAID is to be reintegrated into the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Review Could See Leaky Homes Tribunal Wiped - Chairwoman

Wellington, April 30 NZPA - A government review of the Weathertight Homes Tribunal could lead to major changes to its jurisdiction or even the tribunal's abolition, its chairwoman says.

Row Brewing Over `Boot Camp' Bill

Row Brewing Over `Boot Camp' Bill
NZPA political reporters Wellington, April 30 NZPA - A row is developing between Labour and the Government over controversial "boot camp" legislation.

Govt Confident Of Reaching Broadband Goal

Govt Confident Of Reaching Broadband Goal
Wellington, April 29 NZPA - The Government says it expects to be able to meet its goal of connecting homes to ultra-fast broadband, despite Labour producing a report which says it would cost much more than original estimates.

Minister's `Money Is Tight' Comment Worries Students

Minister's `Money Is Tight' Comment Worries Students
Wellington, April 29 NZPA - A warning from Education Minister Anne Tolley that money is tight has worried students, who say underfunding would be reckless during the recession.

Michael Cullen Leaves Parliament For The Last Time

Michael Cullen Leaves Parliament For The Last Time
By Peter Wilson of NZPA Wellington, April 29 NZPA - Michael Cullen, an MP since 1981 and finance minister for the last nine years, left Parliament's debating chamber for the last time tonight after a valedictory speech marked by the cleverness and wit for which he was so well-known.

LWR Receivership Disappointing But Out Of Govt Hands Says Key

Wellington, April 29 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key had his first job with textile manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin and expressed sadness today about it being placed in receivership, but said there was little the Government could do.

Minister Defends Boot Camp Plan

Minister Defends Boot Camp Plan
By Kate Chapman of NZPA

Fiji Likely To Be Expelled From Forum - John Key

Fiji Likely To Be Expelled From Forum - John Key
Wellington, April 29 NZPA - Fiji is likely to be suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum on Friday -- the deadline for holding democratic elections, Prime Minister John Key said.

New Zealand Still A Safe Holiday Destination - Prime Minister

Wellington, April 29 NZPA - New Zealand is still a safe place to travel, despite having confirmed cases of swine flu, Prime Minister John Key said.

Bill To Remove Police Vetting Requirement For School Workers

Bill To Remove Police Vetting Requirement For School Workers
Wellington, April 29 NZPA - A bill introduced in Parliament yesterday changes police vetting requirements for non-teaching staff so only those who have unsupervised access to children have to be checked out.

Govt Has Doubts About Reported Moves Against Fiji By UN

Govt Has Doubts About Reported Moves Against Fiji By UN
Wellington, April 28 NZPA - The Government reacted cautiously tonight to reports that the United Nations had decided to stop using Fijian soldiers for peacekeeping missions.

Local And Central Govt To Work Together To Tackle Job Losses

Local And Central Govt To Work Together To Tackle Job Losses
Wellington, April 28 NZPA - Mayors and the Government have agreed to work together to tackle unemployment, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said today.

Power Cuts Unlikely But Thermal Power May Be Needed - Brownlee

Power Cuts Unlikely But Thermal Power May Be Needed - Brownlee
Wellington, April 28 NZPA - Power cuts are unlikely but thermal generation may need to be increased after the Cook Strait power cable failed last night, Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said today.

Smith Dismisses RMA Criticism

Smith Dismisses RMA Criticism
Wellington, April 28 NZPA - Environment Minister Nick Smith is standing by a change to the Resource Management Act that critics -- including the New Zealand Transport Agency -- say could make projects take longer and cost more.

Cook Strait Cable Failure Cause For Concern Says Govt

Cook Strait Cable Failure Cause For Concern Says Govt
Wellington, April 28 NZPA - The failure of the Cook Strait power cable last night is cause for concern, Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said today. Pole 2 of the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) tripped at 10.30pm.

PM Defends Minister Speaking Out Over Auckland Super City

PM Defends Minister Speaking Out Over Auckland Super City
Wellington, April 28 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key has defended Social Minister Paula Bennett speaking out over her concerns about the Auckland super city. He said Ms Bennett was making comments about the scope of local boards and that was a "legitimate debate that needs to be had".

Minister Critical Of Government's Auckland Plans

Minister Critical Of Government's Auckland Plans
Wellington, April 28 NZPA - Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says she has concern about the Government's Auckland super city plans.

Key Says Widespread Support Over Supercity Debate On The Detail

Key Says Widespread Support Over Supercity Debate On The Detail
Wellington, April 27 NZPA - There is widespread consensus on the major issues concerning Auckland into a single united council, but debate still to be had around the detail, Prime Minister John Key said today.

Budget Will Show Long Term Debt Coming Down Says Key

Budget Will Show Long Term Debt Coming Down Says Key
Wellington, April 27 NZPA - May's budget will deliver a long-term debt track showing a downward trend, Prime Minister John Key said today.

Key Making Excuses For Not Holding Referendum, Republicans Say

Key Making Excuses For Not Holding Referendum, Republicans Say
Wellington, April 27 NZPA - The Republican Movement has accused Prime Minister John Key of making excuses for not holding a referendum on New Zealand's constitutional future, but he said it was not a high priority for him.

Suspected Flu Cases Checked In Hamilton, Nelson And Otago

Suspected Flu Cases Checked In Hamilton, Nelson And Otago
Wellington, April 27 NZPA - Suspected swine flu cases were being monitored in Hamilton, Nelson and Otago, Health Minister Tony Ryall said today as more people waited for test results on the potentially deadly virus.

Hawke's Bay Region Declared In Drought

Hawke's Bay Region Declared In Drought
Wellington, April 27 NZPA - Hawke's Bay has been declared a drought region by Agriculture Minister David Carter. The Hawke's Bay Drought Committee decided on Thursday to formally ask the minister to declare the region drought stricken entitling farmers to claim relief.

Key Making Excuses For Not Holding Referendum, Republicans Say

Key Making Excuses For Not Holding Referendum, Republicans Say
Wellington, April 27 NZPA - The Republican Movement has accused Prime Minister John Key of making excuses for not holding a referendum on New Zealand's constitutional future.

Key Pours Cold Water On Republic Referendum

Key Pours Cold Water On Republic Referendum
Wellington, April 27 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key is not backing a call for a referendum to be held on New Zealand becoming a republic.

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