Today in politics: Tuesday, May 20

Last updated 05:00 20/05/2014

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Education Minister Hekia Parata announces Marlborough colleges decision Live Chat replay: Chief Social Worker Paul Nixon talks child abuse in NZ Partner of Kiwi detainee speaks out about detention centre struggles Stories of detained Kiwis show 'crude' nature of Aus policy - Andrew Little Why I'm voting my daughter's choice in the flag referendum Positive signs from Andrew Little's Australia trip, but more heat than light? Jacinda Ardern: 'It's not a good place to be a child' Waikato ratepayers pay for investigation into mayor's swear word Lack of trust in National Standards on the agenda for Blenheim schools MP Clare Curran posts photo of invalid flag vote online

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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