Today in politics: Saturday, April 13

Last updated 05:00 13/04/2013

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Politics

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 Justice Minister Amy Adams rejects calls for abortion reform Millions put in to Kaikoura, Marlborough mental health services in wake of earthquake

Sell capital as business city, English urges leaders

Finance Minister Bill English had some advice for the capital's movers and shakers after his pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce.

The city needed to do a better job selling itself as a business city and at times sounded like "it doesn't want that grubby business stuff". When he was overseas he told investors an advantage of locating in Wellington was that their staff could go mountain-biking at lunchtime.

Housing NZ settles earthquake insurance

Housing New Zealand has settled the biggest single insurance payout in New Zealand history of $320 million for earthquake damage to 5559 Christchurch properties. Housing Minister Nick Smith said the negotiated amount, lower than the $430m originally sought, meant repairs could be done in three years instead of five.

More one and two-bedroom units would be built instead of three-bedroom homes and state housing would be less concentrated.

Is Maori spelling of SIS a secret even to itself?

We all know now that the Security Intelligence Service has been getting a little help, possibly illegally, from its brother agency the Government Communications Security Bureau. But it might also like to get a te reo expert in to help with things closer to home. Its website misspells its Maori moniker as Te Pa Whkamarumaru.

"Leading edge intelligence for a safe and thriving New Zealand" maybe, but not much chop on the spell check.

Brownlee to represent NZ at Thatcher funeral

Gerry Brownlee will represent the Government at former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral. The 2000 guests include all of Britain's former prime ministers and representatives from about 200 states and organisations.

The Brits will just have to hope Mr Brownlee, who ruffled feathers in Christchurch over the protection of heritage buildings, doesn't detect any earthquake damage in St Paul's Cathedral.

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- The Dominion Post

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