Today in politics: Saturday, February 9

Last updated 05:00 09/02/2013

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PREBBLE TIES THE KNOT ON HIS 65TH BIRTHDAY

Former Labour Party minister and ACT leader Richard Prebble has made his 65th birthday a double celebration, holding a party in Auckland on Thursday after quietly tying the knot at the registry office earlier in the day. The author of I've been thinking and I've been writing and his new wife, Ngahuia Wade, met when he was a politician and she a press gallery journalist for Maori language radio station Ruia Mai. 

DOC'S TOP GUY SAYS IT WITH FLOWERS, OF COURSE

Department of Conservation director-general Al Morrison is a thoughtful guy. He has shelled out $77 on greeting cards, charged to his taxpayer-funded credit card, in the last six months. Another $50 went on ‘‘get well flowers’’. Mr Morrison also provided $1452.62 in hospitality, including 12 breakfast meetings and six lunches. His expenses, made public yesterday along with those of other state bosses, show Mr Morrison did not receive any gifts or hospitality in return.

CARTER TO WALK FASTER IN SMITH'S STATELY FOOTSTEPS

New Speaker David Carter intends to stick with his predecessor’s decision to shift the route of the daily procession into the House away from the back door – where only a handful of staff saw it – to Parliament’s main lobby where the public and media can view the daily pomp and circumstance. It has been derided for its stately pace and as vanity by Lockwood Smith, but Mr Carter says he will keep it ‘‘though, I suspect I will walk a bit faster than he does’’. 

TOP STATE SERVENTS KEEP TIGHT REIN ON PHONE BILLS

The latest release of credit card spending by public service bosses reveals most have continued to adopt a frugal approach. There were a couple of phone bills that grabbed our attention. State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie was among the most cautious with repayments made for personal calls, often up to half the Vodafone monthly bill, while Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment boss David Smol had a consistent $100 bill each month.

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