Today in politics: Saturday, November 10

Last updated 05:00 10/11/2012

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Politics

Will English and Joyce ring the changes? Smiles, selfies and fitting Christchurch farewell for John Key National party heavy hitters throw their weight behind Paula Bennett for deputy Prime Minister Best of the west: Bridges or Bennett? Gibbston Valley Concert liquor licence approved Ultra-fast broadband rolled out on Waiheke Island A safe pair of hands - but can Bill English fill John Key's shoes? English hires Key's chief of staff Eagleson in sign of 'continuity' Legal cannabis in NZ? Green Party offers green light to pot smokers Below the Beltway: A week in politics

UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES AT ODDS WITH EVERYONE

Opposition politicians continued to attack the Government over the unemployment figures. Labour MP Megan Woods said New Zealand is facing a youth job crisis with one in four young people unemployed. A spokesman for jobs tsar Steven Joyce said the correct figure is one in 26, as 56 per cent are not in the workforce at all - and around two-thirds are students. Prime Minister John Key argues that the data are at odds with ''anecdotal'' evidence.

MANAKAU COURTHOUSE TO HAVE 40.6M MAKEOVER

The contract to redevelop Manukau District Court had been awarded to Mainzeal Property and Construction. The court is to get a $40.6million refurbishment, a four- storey extension and new jury trial courtrooms. The court will continue to sit during construction work. The finish date is March 2014. Auckland handles one-third of the demand for court services. Recently the Justice Ministry announced it will close four courtrooms across the country.

TAMIHERE SKILLED IN WINSTON PETERS TALK

Former Labour minister John Tamihere says he hasn't considered joining NZ First, despite speculation that he might. But if his Winston Peters-style answers to questions are any guide, he is auditioning. Asked if he had legal counsel to advise him on his push to rejoin the Labour party Mr Tamihere, a lawyer, said it was correct that he was legally trained. Asked if he was on good terms with Mr Peters, he said no-one was on good terms with him.

FINANCE MINISTER TO STAND UP AND ANNOUNCE A DATE

Drum roll please . . . Finance Minister Bill English has a big announcement coming up. On Wednesday he'll reveal details of the date of the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update. The documents contain the latest forecasts for the economy, as well as the Government's fiscal expectations. The big reveal will come as he appears before the finance and expenditure parliamentary select committee. Presumably he'll have more to say than that.

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