Today in politics: Saturday, June 7

Last updated 05:00 07/06/2014

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Politics

Legal cannabis could collect $150 million a year but Bill English isn't pursuing it Tracy Watkins: Helen Clark's down but not out in the race to lead the UN Foreign Minister Murray McCully contracted Zika Veteran Taranaki regional councillor will not contest seat in upcoming election PM's department warned of Chinese trade threats, but didn't brief him Failed leadership coup exposes more 'toxic culture' at Wellington City Council Patrick Gower admits man crush on Donald Trump's son in weird live video from RNC Helen Kelly: 'My back is broken and I only have months to live but I'm pain free' US Vice President Joe Biden accepts challenge at Government House Prime Minister John Key visits South Canterbury

Niue a social call for Paula Bennett

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett clearly has her work-life balance sorted. Despite her holiday on Niue coinciding with Prime Minister John Key's visit she stayed out of the media eye. Key said she was holed up on the island, and former Wellington mayor and High Commissioner to Niue Mark Blumsky confirmed she was at his place. Blumsky and his wife have become significant players on the island, running five companies, mainly in tourism.

Craig dumps damages in defamation case

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has indicated he will not be seeking damages in his defamation case against Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, but is seeking a court declaration that the comments were defamatory. Craig is taking action against Norman over comments made at the Big Gay Out in Auckland earlier this year. A spokesman for the Greens confirmed CLockwood Smith in the gun over pricey digs Craig dumps damages in defamation case Students ask John Key the hardest questionsraig was not seeking damages but may pursue legal costs. The party will defend the action. 

Lockwood Smith in the gun over pricey digs  

Parliament's former Speaker, Lockwood Smith, has been in the firing line over his London digs. Smith has been renting, at $7500 a week, rather than using the official High Commissioner's residence, which has now been sold for $11m. Foreign Affairs says the building was inadequate, with  ''limited representational functionality''. But insiders blame a Russian neighbour for turning the street into a construction zone, with major renovations lasting years.

Students ask John Key the hardest questions

John Key ended his otherwise positive Pacific tour facing tough questions - from high school students. Their questions included the rights and wrongs of aid spending and whether lying was an essential skill for politicians. He was also asked his favourite politician, and mooted  newest ''recruit'', economic development ambassador and recent Labour MP Shane Jones.  But he then named former Australian prime minister John Howard.

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- The Dominion Post

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