Today in politics: Wednesday, February 13

Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013

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Politics

Nats name staffer briefed over WhaleOil papers Winston Peters backs Labour's Kelvin Davis This crazy election campaign Solid Energy gets $103 million lifeline Hone Harawira accuses Maori Party of sabotage Ex-Labourites back NZ First Internet Party post-election kingmaker: Harre Key's days are numbered - Hager Entrepreneurs nervous about election Billboards can stay - this time

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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