Today in politics: Saturday, February 9

Last updated 05:00 09/02/2013

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Politics

Prime Minister John Key has confidence in OIO despite Onetai farm sale 'mistake' Pressure on water bottlers to pay up Heat on Maori Television chief executive Paora Maxwell over staff turnover Ted Cruz supporter 'feels like wind sucked out of our sails' as campaign ends NZ unemployment jumps to 5.7 per cent despite strong job growth Pharmac has been given a $50m total funding boost between Government and DHB funding Has Winston Peters scuppered David Carter's chances of London High Commissioner post? OIO faces 'independent review' following Onetai farm sale Replay: Video chat with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Cruz downloads on 'amoral' Donald Trump as Indiana goes to the polls

PREBBLE TIES THE KNOT ON HIS 65TH BIRTHDAY

Former Labour Party minister and ACT leader Richard Prebble has made his 65th birthday a double celebration, holding a party in Auckland on Thursday after quietly tying the knot at the registry office earlier in the day. The author of I've been thinking and I've been writing and his new wife, Ngahuia Wade, met when he was a politician and she a press gallery journalist for Maori language radio station Ruia Mai. 

DOC'S TOP GUY SAYS IT WITH FLOWERS, OF COURSE

Department of Conservation director-general Al Morrison is a thoughtful guy. He has shelled out $77 on greeting cards, charged to his taxpayer-funded credit card, in the last six months. Another $50 went on ‘‘get well flowers’’. Mr Morrison also provided $1452.62 in hospitality, including 12 breakfast meetings and six lunches. His expenses, made public yesterday along with those of other state bosses, show Mr Morrison did not receive any gifts or hospitality in return.

CARTER TO WALK FASTER IN SMITH'S STATELY FOOTSTEPS

New Speaker David Carter intends to stick with his predecessor’s decision to shift the route of the daily procession into the House away from the back door – where only a handful of staff saw it – to Parliament’s main lobby where the public and media can view the daily pomp and circumstance. It has been derided for its stately pace and as vanity by Lockwood Smith, but Mr Carter says he will keep it ‘‘though, I suspect I will walk a bit faster than he does’’. 

TOP STATE SERVENTS KEEP TIGHT REIN ON PHONE BILLS

The latest release of credit card spending by public service bosses reveals most have continued to adopt a frugal approach. There were a couple of phone bills that grabbed our attention. State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie was among the most cautious with repayments made for personal calls, often up to half the Vodafone monthly bill, while Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment boss David Smol had a consistent $100 bill each month.

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- Fairfax Media

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