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Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

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Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

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Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

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Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

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NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

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Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

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Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

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Restrictions Lifted: No Further Tau Flies Found
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that all restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables in Manurewa, Auckland, due to the Tau fly, have been lifted as of 2.26pm on Sunday 7 February. More>>

Crowdfinding: Awaroa Beach To Become Public Land If Appeal Succeeds
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says a privately-owned beach will become part of the Abel Tasman National Park if an online crowdfunding campaign to buy it succeeds... More>>

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Statistics: Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.3 Percent
The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. There were 16,000 fewer people unemployed than in the September ... More>>

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Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released
“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa
The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

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Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings
Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

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PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP
Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

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Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change
NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

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School's In: Children Head Back To School
“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

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Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases
Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

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TPP Signing: Implicit Police Threat Appalling
Reports of the police visiting known activists to ask their plans for the TPPA show appalling judgement and are a poor attempt at a chilling effect, said the Green Party... “It carries with it an implicit threat and New Zealanders have the right to speak out and have their voices heard." More>>

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Labour Ructions:

Gordon Campbell: On Bribing The Saudis, Investor-State Disputes, And Oscar Racism)
Does this sound familiar? In the mid 2000s, New Zealand wanted to pursue a humanitarian policy, on live sheep exports. This happened to offend a Saudi foreign investor, who eventually threatened legal action against it… More>>

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Whangaruru: Partnership School Agreement Terminated
Education Minister Hekia Parata, together with Parliamentary Under-Secretary David Seymour, has terminated theagreement under which the Ngā Parirau Mātauranga Charitable Trust runs a partnership school at Whangaruru in Northland. More>>

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Cops Not Appealing: Update Nicky Hager Vs Police
Yesterday, the New Zealand Police informed Nicky Hager through their counsel that they are electing not to appeal the decision of the High Court given in December last year. That decision held that the Police's search of Mr Hager's home had been "fundamentally unlawful". There are still other issues that remain unresolved. ... More>>

Down Two To 4th: NZ Falls In International Corruption Rankings
New Zealand has fallen down the league table of the least corrupt nations, with access to official information and discussion about environmental policy both issues... With a score of 88 out of 100 for 2015, New Zealand dropped to fourth least corrupt nation globally, behind Denmark, Finland and Sweden in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. More>>

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