Map of the Day

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Nuclear share of electricity production by country

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Key needs flag referendum debate as distraction from all other woes

This New Zealand national blue ensign flag was flown at Quinn's Post, Gallipoli, in 1915. The flag was brought back to New Zealand by Private John Taylor, Canterbury Battalion.

This New Zealand national blue ensign flag was flown at Quinn’s Post, Gallipoli, in 1915. The flag was brought back to New Zealand by Private John Taylor, Canterbury Battalion.

It’s starting to look like a total waste of time and money, with a recent pull showing public support for a flag changed having dropped from around 40% to 25%.

The next step in a potential change to the New Zealand flag will be announced by the Flag Consideration Project today.

Twelve prominent Kiwis including Beatrice Faumuina and Lt Gen (Rtd) Rhys Jones sit on the panel which will engage with the public about a possible change in flag, seen as a personal project of Prime Minister John Key. Read more »

Over the counter contraceptive pill: perhaps a simple compromise would help?


The Government is considering a proposal for contraceptive pills to be sold over the counter by pharmacists without a doctor’s prescription.

Government drug agency Medsafe’s medicines classification committee will today consider a submission which proposes making selected oral contraceptive pills available without a GP’s prescription.

The submission from Green Cross Health says consumer research shows women in New Zealand, Australia and the United States want non-prescription access to contraceptives.

Its submission says women would benefit from immediate access to contraception and reclassification of the drug would reduce the barriers to starting contraception. Read more »

Bankrupt, convicted blackmailer and tax cheat McCready presses ahead despite wishes of victim

The NZ Herald’s favourite serial litigant is pressing ahead with his ego boosting prosecution of John Key despite be asked not by the alleged “victim”.

You know they are on his side by the descriptors they use for the ratbag.

A private prosecutor says he will not back down in his bid to prosecute the Prime Minister over the ponytail-pulling debacle.

Graham McCready has told waitress Amanda Bailey and the Unite union his private prosecution “will not be withdrawn in any circumstances.”

Mr McCready, in an email forwarded to media overnight, warned Ms Bailey and Unite against advising or preventing any other witnesses from getting involved in his private prosecution.

He said he expected a district court Judge to decide who will have to give evidence under oath as to their knowledge of the “Key Pony Tail affair.”

After 26-year-old Ms Bailey posted an anonymous blog post about the ponytail-pulling incidents that spanned several months, Mr Key made a public apology and said he was just “horsing around”.

On Wednesday Mr McCready filed paperwork at the Auckland District Court. He proposed to charge the Prime Minister with “male assaults female” which carried a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

The serial litigant alleged Mr Key abused his power when engaging in ponytail-pulling with Ms Bailey, who worked at Rosie cafe in Parnell.

Mr McCready said other people could file their own private prosecution or complain to the Human Rights Commission if they wanted to take action.

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Sign of the Day

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Photo Of The Day

Photographer: Kenneth O’Halloran

Photographer: Kenneth O’Halloran

Living with Alzheimer’s

 Angel, Dioni and Cristina exhausted, doze in the living room.

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The House Today #nzqt

Question time/Questions for oral answer starts at 2 pm today.

Questions to Ministers

  1. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements; if so, why?
  2. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on low inflation in New Zealand, and how does that benefit households and businesses?
  3. ANDREW LITTLE to the Prime Minister: Does he enforce high standards of conduct on all his Ministers, including himself?
  4. DAVID SEYMOUR to the Minister for Economic Development:What are the fiscal risks to the Crown from Tracey Martin’s New Zealand International Convention Centre Act 2013 Repeal Bill, if any?
  5. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Science and Innovation: What is the Government doing to grow business-led research and development? Read more »

John Key should break #1 Rule of Politics, suggests Armstrong

If John Key wants to make life a lot easier for himself, he should immediately seek leave to make a personal explanation when Parliament sits this afternoon.

Under standing orders – Parliament’s rules – MPs are allowed to make personal statements to the House if their integrity has come into question or they have been accused of improper conduct or practices.

Today is the first opportunity since the Prime Minister returned from overseas for him to do himself a power of good by using the backdrop of Parliament to make an unconditional apology to Amanda Bailey for his pulling on the waitress’ ponytail during his frequent visits to the Parnell cafe where she works.

Front-footing the matter in such fashion might even enable Key to draw a line under something that has been a huge embarrassment for him. Read more »

Cartoon of the Day


Credit: SonovaMin

None at all? Key goes soft on sorting out public service

John Key seems to have lost his smiling assassin reputation, going all squeamish on addressing costs int eh public service as tax revenues fall.

Prime Minister John Key is pledging no cuts to public services in Bill English’s seventh Budget, despite low interest rates and falling prices carving billions from the Crown’s coffers over the next four years.

On May 21 Finance Minister English will release the Budget, which is expected to show National failing to hit its often repeated target of reaching surplus this year.

Although Key has not given up on reaching surplus when the final accounts for 2014/15 are released, he appeared to announce details of Treasury’s forecasts for this month’s Budget showing a squeeze on the tax take.

“The very factors that are helping households and businesses get ahead are making aspects of the Government’s finances more challenging,” Key told reporters at his weekly post Cabinet press conference on Monday.

“A combination of low inflation, low interest rates and lower dairy prices is slowing growth in government revenue.”

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