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Today in politics: Wednesday, October 24

Last updated 05:00 24/10/2012

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MPs told to avoid Falun Gong events due to Chinese 'sensitivities' Government may over-ride Auckland council on housing areas National rakes in big dollars from small(ish) donations Parliament's catering contractor Spotless moves to dump zero hours contracts ACT Party admits late declaration of $32,000 donation Flag debate opens to public End zero hour contracts for Parliament catering staff: Labour Australian execs in Wellington for private audience with top politicians Beehive Live: Flag designs and fasting Votes rolling in for Maori ward referendum

Politicians pay tribute to Sir Wilson Whineray

MPs paid tribute yesterday to former All Black captain and businessman Sir Wilson Whineray, who died on Monday. Labour leader David Shearer told Parliament how, when he was 8, he wrote to Sir Wilson.

He had been delighted when he received an autograph in return. Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said Sir Wilson "loved his family, his country and his rugby". Prime Minister John Key said his business acumen had been "hugely respected".

Drop in P-making drugs pleases minister

More than 300 kilograms of methamphetamine precursor drugs were seized in the first nine months of this year. Customs Minister Maurice Williamson said this was much less than a peak of 1200kg in 2009.

This was the result of the Government's Methamphetamine Action Plan and showed that a concerted effort to choke off the supply of precursor drugs was paying dividends, he said.

New governor takes up post as economy slows

Prime Minister John Key says the economy is slowing as new Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler prepares to issue his first official cash rate review.

"It was always likely that the second half would be a little slower on prediction," Mr Key said. "Generally speaking the consensus view of economists would be 2.5 to 3 per cent, relatively not too bad." The former World Bank managing director's first decision will be made public tomorrow.

Dotcom surveillance not mentioned by spooks - Key

Prime Minister John Key has admitted that he met Government Communications Security Bureau agents five days after his deputy, Bill English, signed a ministerial certificate to prevent disclosure of their role in the Kim Dotcom case – and they failed to mention it.

Mr Key learned the bureau had illegally spied on Dotcom almost a month later. He says this was the first time he had heard that foreign spy agents were involved.

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- The Dominion Post

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