Today in Politics: Saturday, 15 February

Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014

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Labour: Housing NZ must account for 'financial and human cost' of meth testing flaws Former Horowhenua mayor reflects on 21 years in local politics No concrete plans for Northland bridges Analysis: Was Joseph Parker's heavyweight bout 'political dynamite' for MPs? Paula Bennett's reign as acting Prime Minister ends via text message John Key's time in India was 'short and sweet' but will be chalked up as a success Brendon McCullum called Prime Minister by Indian announcer during John Key visit PM Key tells off Max over 'real men ride women' blurt Motorcades and high level security are the perks of travelling with the PM: Brendon McCullum US Secretary of State tipped for NZ visit

Assistant secretary will lead strategic dialogue

The United States assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Daniel Russel,  will visit New Zealand next weekend. He will meet senior officials in Auckland and Wellington, and lead the fourth  US delegation to the US-NZ strategic dialogue.  The former White House staffer was appointed last July. He helped formulate President Barack Obama’s strategic ‘‘pivot’’ to Asia.

Politicians’ random pocket tweets good for a laugh

Engaging in social media can be a double-edged sword. Yesterday former ACT party  president John Boscawen and Police Minister Anne Tolley fell victim to the curse of the ‘‘pocket tweet’’. Boscawen provoked much mirth when he tweeted simply ‘‘E’’.  It was assumed it was a random character generated from his pocket, rather than a coded reference to amphetamines.  Tolley tweeted ‘‘we’’ before later deleting it.

McCully checking on Fiji’s progress to  democracy

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully travelled to Fiji yesterday to check on progress towards democracy restoring elections. He is  visiting as part of a Pacific Islands Forum delegation. The ministerial contact group will meet a range of government and non-government representatives. The group  is made up of ministers from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

All Black captain would sweep the vote

Prime Minister John Key was clearly enjoying the company of  the country’s sporting elite at the Halberg Awards on Thursday night. Taking to the stage with Sir Peter Leitch (the Mad Butcher),  Key greeted the dignitaries, including ‘‘Prime Minister Richie McCaw’’.  Key  joked that if the All Blacks captain decided to enter politics, the rest of the parties would be lucky to scrape together 5 per cent of the votes between them.

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- The Dominion Post

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