Today in politics: Tuesday, May 20

Last updated 05:00 20/05/2014

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Politics

The regions where you're most likely to miss out on surgery National MP Maurice Williamson to retire at election Weird coincidence: Andrew Little gets dodgy chair on Breakfast - again Every student to get a 'personalised career plan' under a Labour Government Maori needed at top levels of Corrections to reduce reoffending Weather wars: MetService and Niwa under spotlight in government review Labour open to negotiate a more-acceptable TPP if it fails to pass in US Weka caught in Picton possum trap the work of 'amateur' trappers Where do capital's mayoral candidates stand on a Wellington-Porirua merger? Predator-free New Zealand 'unrealistic' - NZ First

Key needs new policy adviser

One of the plum political advisory roles in the country is up for grabs, with Ben King, the prime minister's foreign policy adviser, off to study at Harvard.

Those said to be in the frame to replace him are existing ambassadors, including Reuben Levermore, the current ambassador to the Philippines, and Taha Macpherson, the ambassador to Turkey, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. 

The Bill stops here

In the leadup to the Budget, Prime Minister John Key repeatedly referred to Treasury advice that there was little room to lift spending before Government actions led to a rise in interest rates, hinting that Opposition policiese were likely to affect mortgage rates.

The advice showed that even an extra $500 million in annual spending (National's plan for coming years) would push up interest rates by up to 0.30 per cent. Key said he relied on assurances from Bill English

Dyson opts off list selection

Ruth Dyson Labour's longest-serving Christchurch MP,  is to run only in the Port Hills electorate, withdrawing from the list selection process.

Dyson, ranked as high as five by former leader Phil Goff, has been demoted in a series of reshuffles, and is now ranked 28 out of 34 MPs in the caucus. In 2011 Damien O'Connor withdrew from list selection, claiming the process was run by ''self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays''

Wilcox rules out Labour bid

Maori TV's general manager for news and current affairs Julian Wilcox has quashed speculation he will stand for Labour in the Tamaki Makaurau seat.

Maori TV said Wilcox had given an unequivocal written assurance he was not seeking political office for any party in the next  election. Labour has ruled out allowing former TVNZ staffer Shane Taurima to stand in the seat but is yet to decide if it will reopen nominations.

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- The Dominion Post

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