New Zealand First blocked Andrew Little's proposal to repeal the three strikes law. Winston Peters is pushing ahead with damages claims against MSD, Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley. Manufacturing figures suggested GDP growth slowed a little to 2.7 percent in the March quarter. Kim Jong Un went for a walk around Singapore overnight.
Little's 'ready, fire, aim' moment
Reform of sentencing and bail laws to reduce the prison muster will be a politically difficult task for the Government and that was proved in spades yesterday.
Justice Minister Andrew Little was forced to pull his proposal to repeal the three strikes law just before yesterday's cabinet meeting after New Zealand First moved to block the plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Little would have been better to have waited until after Cabinet's decision before releasing the plan.
This was also the first time New Zealand First had moved to publicly block a Labour policy in this term of Government. The Opposition leapt on the false start, describing the Government as in a mess and incompetent. However, Little pledged to push ahead with plans for justice and corrections reform, but the first-up rejection suggests it is a politically risky area, both for wider public support and because of New Zealand First's 'tough on crime' stance.
See more in a detailed piece from Newsroom's Shane Cowlishaw below.
Also, for more fresh background on the debate, here's a discussion paper released yesterday on preventing youth offending from the Office of the Chief Science Advisor Peter Gluckman. It proposed early intervention to prevent crime and reduce recidivism.
Not giving up
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters lodged papers in the High Court seeking damages and costs worth $450,000 from Ministry of Social Development CEO Brendan Boyle, State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes, the Attorney General on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development, and National MPs Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley over the release of details about his pension over-payments before the election. ( Stuff )
Better GDP news
Statistics New Zealand reported slightly better-than-expected manufacturing volumes growth of 1.4 percent in the March quarter. This was the last major component of the March quarter GDP figures due next Thursday and contrasted with weaker than expected for building work put in place, retail sales and wholesale trade sales for the quarter.
Economists are still compiling their forecasts for the quarter, but initial estimates suggest growth slowed to 0.4-0.5 percent in the quarter from 0.6 percent in the December quarter. That would mean GDP growth from a year ago was around 2.7 percent and starting 2018 at a slightly slower pace than previously forecast by the Reserve Bank and Treasury.
Kim's Jalan Jalan
Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan tweeted the selfie above of him with Kim Jong Un taking a stroll through the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore last night before the North Korean leader's summit with US President Donald Trump later today. The Foreign Minister titled the selfie 'Jalan Jalan', which is Singaporean slang for taking a walk.