Today in Politics: Saturday, 15 February

Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014

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Gerry Brownlee security details differ Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater wins quote of the year $38.7b for roads, public transport - Government Stuff's top videos of 2014 Phillip Smith escape report highlights lack of information sharing between agencies Judge orders handover of Nicky Hager raid documents Police ordered to hand over Nicky Hager search documents Brownlee declares war on defence jargon Flag needs to 'scream NZ': John Key Forum advises clampdown on alcohol ads and sponsorship

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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