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Newsletter: New Zealand Politics Daily – January 29 2019

Editor’s Note: Here below is a list of the main issues currently under discussion in New Zealand and links to media coverage.

The Beehive and Parliament Buildings.
Today’s content

Jason Walls (Herald): Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Govt will relook at its KiwiBuild targets
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Former KiwiBuild boss Stephen Barclay: ‘They’ve gone back to 300, I don’t know how’
Herald: Former Kiwibuild boss Stephen Barclay: complaints ‘came out of the blue’
Herald: Henry Cooke (Stuff): Former KiwiBuild boss Stephen Barclay suing Government over departure, says he was on track to meet first year goal
Jason Walls (Herald): Former KiwiBuild boss Stephen Barclay says he is pursuing a case of constructive dismissal against his former employer
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Head of KiwiBuild pursuing constructive dismissal case against Ministry of Housing
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Former KiwiBuild boss to launch legal action
Jason Walls (Herald): Former KiwiBuild boss Stephen Barclay resigned amid ‘leadership complaints’
1News: Former KiwiBuild chief resigned during employment investigation ‘triggered by complaints’
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Head of KiwiBuild Stephen Barclay’s resignation came after complaints about his behaviour
Deena Coster (Stuff): Construction on 68 KiwiBuild homes in New Plymouth yet to begin
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand housing crisis: just 47 ‘affordable’ homes built in six months
Logan Church (RNZ): Checkpoint: Kaikoura homeless sent 260km away as housing units sit empty
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Smaller Christchurch building companies struggling to find work

Environment and conservation
Mike Joy and Michael Baker (Spinoff): Could New Zealand’s drinking water be causing cancer?
RNZ: Call for robust data on nitrate levels in drinking water
Charlie Mitchell (Stuff): The public relations war over freshwater has re-started
Kate Gudsell (RNZ): West Coast council rejects government climate change bill
Annabelle Tukia (Newsroom): Four of every five Kiwis want stricter water pollution rules – survey
Raf Manji (Stuff): Target production, not consumers when it comes to climate change
Robert McLachlan and Steve Trewick (Stuff): Climate change emergency: Time to slam on the brakes
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): We can kill off petrol cars without relying on the dreaded ‘B’ word
Robin Martin (RNZ): Massive 1.5 million litre sewage spill turns stream white
RNZ: Sewage spill kills dozens of fish in New Plymouth
Mike Watson (Stuff): Dead fish and eels after 1.5m litres of sewage flows into New Plymouth stream
Ruwani Perera (Newshub): Calls for council help as extreme weather erodes sacred Māori burial groundsCalls for council help as extreme weather erodes sacred Māori burial grounds

RNZ: Second junior doctors’ strike begins, thousands walk off job
Stuff: Second of junior doctors three 48-hour strikes getting under way
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): A solution for our phobia about the high cost of dental health
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Expert panel calls for tax on red meat to help save the planet
Karen Brown (RNZ): Obesity, under-nutrition and climate change fuel each other – report
Jamie Morton (Herald): NZ researcher: Time to keep ‘Big Food’ out of govt policy
1News: Obesity trend is harming the environment, global study led by Auckland researcher finds
Jason Walls (Herald): The Ministry of Health is exploring the feasibility of a sugar tax but Govt says it won’t implement one this term
Stuff: Southern District Health Board receives $40 million equity injection
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Tourist demands mean rural practices left without GP for hours
Emma Russell (Herald): Medicinal cannabis gives comfort to toddler with extremely rare ‘lethal condition’

Simon Collins (Herald): Teacher shortage: One in six Auckland schools starting year with vacancies
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Teacher mental health suffers amid crisis
Jessica Long (Stuff): Burnout main reason for primary and secondary teachers leaving profession, union surveys say
Scott Palmer (Newshub): ACT calls for performance pay to combat mass teacher vacancies
Mary Redmayn (Stuff): Screen-centred schools need to be wary of downsides
Katy Jones (Stuff): ‘Horrendous’ cost of school uniforms sparks call for government action
Northern Advocate: Back to school: Costs overwhelming for struggling families
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): National MP Nicola Willis wants 12-week school holidays shortened
1News: ‘Most people are feeling the pressure’ – National MP campaigns for shorter summer school holidays
Adele Redmond (Stuff): Shirley Boys’ and Avonside Girls’ high schools close out-of-zone enrolments
Grant McPherson (Stuff): The long game that is international education

Blue-Green party, TOP-Māori Party alliance mooted
Henry Cooke (Stuff): ‘Teal’ vote within Green Party minuscule, data suggests
Chris Bramwell (RNZ): Is there room for a centrist green party in Parliament?
Press Editorial:Is a blue-green party a real possibility?
Bryan Gould: A Blue-Green party is a nonsense
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Blue-green’ party might get Epsom-style deal from National
1News: Green Party offshoot could be a ‘very compelling’ option for voters, Simon Bridges says
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Waterways might not need tougher pollution rules – potential ‘blue-green’ party leader Vernon Tava
No Right Turn: Fooling no-one
1News: Nats-new Greens, TOP-Māori Party alliances could shake up NZ politics

John Tamihere Auckland mayoralty bid
Bryce Edwards (Herald): Political Roundup: Can John Tamihere become mayor of Auckland?
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): Is it time for Auckland’s first Māori Mayor?

National Party
Logan Savory (Southland Times): Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie will ‘co-operate with any investigation
Logan Savory (Southland Times): Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie back at work, although not fronting media over police investigation
Gia Garrick (RNZ): Sarah Dowie’s electorate office open for business despite police investigation
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Simon Bridges backs Sarah Dowie, despite police investigation into abusive message sent to Jami-Lee Ross
Herald: National leader Simon Bridges refuses to stand down Sarah Dowie over Jami-Lee Ross police inquiry
Whaleoil: We need to talk about Jami-Lee
Derek Cheng (Herald): Meet Parliament’s new MP: Agnes Loheni, National Party list MP

Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Jacinda Ardern’s Government faces much tougher challenge this year
Richard Harman (Politik): How radical is Willie Jackson?

Electoral reform
David Farrar: Five electoral reform ides from Nick Smith
Pete George: Nick Smith suggests electoral reform

International relations
Daily Blog: What an Alternative and Progressive Trade Strategy for New Zealand Should Look Like – Terence O’Brien: Foreign Policy
Audrey Young (Herald): Venezuela crisis: Winston Peters says NZ is not in the habit of making statements to recognise Governments despite many others doing so
Liam Hehir (Pundit): Why is New Zealand silent on Venezuela?

Primary industries
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Calls for ban on live animal exports as Europe moves to tighten rules
Angie Skerrett (Newshub): Marlborough growers urged to conserve water
1News: Crops struggling as Tasman region sees early drought
Gerard Hutching (Stuff): Former Fonterra chairman John Wilson dies
Herald: Former Fonterra chairman John Wilson dies

Migrant exploitation
RNZ: Restaurant owner fined for poor treatment of migrant workers
Hawke’s Bay Today: Owner of Napier restaurant Golden Spring fined $30k for treatment of workers
RNZ: New Zealand slavery, human trafficking charges: Not guilty plea expected

Derek Cheng (Herald): More Māori-based justice solutions being considered to reduce reoffending
Melissa Nightingale (Herald): Why the judge gave journalism lecturer Grant Hannis home detention for sexually abusing elderly woman
Felix Desmarais and Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): Public vilification a factor in Wellington academic Grant Hannis sentencing

Local government
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Council critics of iwi carbon credit deal labelled ‘racist’
Gerald Piddock (Stuff): Waikato Regional Council conference slammed as a waste of ratepayers’ money
Hamish Rutherford (Stuff): Director quits council business blaming ‘unprofessional and disrespectful’ behaviour
RNZ: Local councils consider grouping together to fund water services
John Lewis (ODT): New rating system proposed
Tim Miller (ODT): Council planning to add 41 staff
ODT Editorial: Parking restrictions and charges

Gavin Evans (Herald): South Island tourism drives record NZ guest nights
RNZ: Queenstown remains top South Island destination
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Tourist charged $930 taxi fare for a 5-minute Wellington trip 

Mike Yardley (Stuff): Don’t blame tourists for road toll
Damian George (Stuff): Safety concerns over Wellington’s rainbow crossing almost saw police called in
Emma Cropper (Newshub): ‘We can’t guard against stupidity’: Tauranga Mayor slams train-surfing teens
Emma McKay (Herald): Bid to dissuade tooting in Mt Victoria tunnel
Stuff: Wellington councillor seeks no tooting signs for Mt Victoria tunnel
Damian George and Julie Iles (Stuff): School students stuck for almost two hours at night after police question bus drivers

Kirsty Lawrence (Stuff): Court martial being held for two airmen facing drug charges
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Two airmen face court martial over drugs charges

1News: New Zealand’s tax rates ‘absolutely’ need to change – expert
Point of Order: The taxing issue of capital gains – and the prospect of hostility on the hustings

Fake news, media
Liam Hehir (Stuff): The rise and fall of the ‘fake but accurate’ attitude to news
Paul Buchanan: On the post-truth moment.

Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): This Government’s about to muck up workplace laws
Matthew Greenwood-Nimmo and Timothy Jackson (The Conversation): Too big to fail. The risks to Australian taxpayers from New Zealand banks
Alexa Russell (Newsroom): Planners have a lot to talk about
Gordon Campbell: On why we should care about the US exit from Afghanistan
Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): Anger after firm closes public road
Richard MacManus (Newsroom): Huawei wants to tear down the 5G wall
Tim Dower (Herald): It’s great that KidsCan helps to feed schoolkids – but where are their parents?
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Wellingtonian of the Year apologises over ‘whores’ tweet
David Cormack (Herald): Reefer sadness
Rob Stock (Stuff): New Zealand’s shame: The lack of women on boards
Anna Whyte (1News): More than 1000 ask for sign language to return to Parliament
Chloe-Ann King: One Billion Trees Programme set to become workers rights nightmare
Grant Bradley (Herald): Commerce minister Kris Faafoi still waiting for response from Auckland Airport on price-setting ruling
Māori TV: Tenzing sons visit Aotearoa’s tallest mountain
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Earthquake risks found in Queenstown’s main streets
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Arts Centre of Christchurch restoration is $40m under budget but still faces shortfall