Today in politics: Wednesday, February 13

Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013

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Motorcades and high level security are the perks of travelling with the PM: Brendon McCullum US Secretary of State tipped for NZ visit Methamphetamine contamination guidelines 'misused' to evict tenants Mental health workers clock up big hours PM Paula Bennett? What the Westie warrior could do while she's in the hot seat New Zealand's as close as it's ever got to a free trade deal with India - John Key Prime Minister John Key would have attended Helen Kelly's memorial service if he could John Key officially welcomed in New Delhi ahead of meeting with Indian counterpart Former GNS Science chief executive was highest-earning CRI boss on $800,000 India cranks up security a notch for Prime Minister John Key's visit

Statistician gets promotion to deputy of Reserve Bank

Government statistician Geoff Bascand has been appointed deputy governor and head of operations at the Reserve Bank. He has been the Statistics New Zealand chief executive for almost six years.

Meanwhile, Sir Ralph Norris, Professor Harlene Hayne and Whaimutu Dewes have been appointed non-executive directors to the Treasury board. Sir Ralph was the head of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ASB Bank.

Spying investigation held up by 'legal issues'

Crown Law had to address "legal issues" before police were able to access information needed for their investigation into the Government Communications Security Bureau.

The investigation follows Green Party co-leader Russel Norman's complaint about unlawful spying on Kim Dotcom and his associate. Detective Superintendent Peter Read said the legal issues had now been addressed and police could access the information needed.

Williamson denies any conflict of interest

Prime Minister John Key says Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson's directorship of an air conditioning company, is no more of a conflict than the finance minister being a taxpayer.

Mr Williamson was in little mood to discuss Labour's call for him to stand down from either Holyoake Industries or the portfolio. Heading to the National caucus meeting, Mr Williamson simply snapped he had "declared everything". "It's just not a story."

Key calls pope's resignation 'brave'

Prime Minister John Key says it was brave for Pope Benedict to resign, especially as he is the first pontiff to do so in 600 years. The 1.2 billion Catholics around the world would be shocked and Mr Key said he was too.

"This is a position where people normally carry on for all of their natural life once they have been appointed pope," he said. "So quite a brave call from his perspective."

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- The Dominion Post

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