Today in politics: Wednesday, October 24

Last updated 05:00 24/10/2012

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Politics

New National MP Maureen Pugh delivers maiden speech National MP Simon O'Connor to marry Minister Simon Bridges' sister Govt should raise tobacco taxes by up to 50 per cent: smoking opponents Sex toy thrower's boss won't comment on disciplinary actions Police watchdog IPCA skips investigations due to financial pressures Ministry of Education boss says $19.5 million on office revamp couldn't be spent on teachers Police dismiss independent watchdog calls to change policy on fleeing drivers Taranaki DHB may get smaller cut of health funding pie Te Puni Kokiri limited in monitoring government impact on Maori New hope for Hawaiki or Bluesky cable after Pacific Island leaders meet in Auckland

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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