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

New Zealand Parliament Buildings, Wellington, New Zealand.

Today’s content by Dr Bryce Edwards.

Local government
Andrew McRae (RNZ): Counting on democracy: Local elections turn-out too early to tell
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland Council election: Bumper mailbag lifts turnout
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Local body election vote on rise with four days left before ballots close
Todd Niall (Stuff): Local body elections: Prime minister wants online voting in 2022
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Local election voter turnout heading for record low
Katy Jones (Stuff): Paper system a deterrent to voting in local body elections
Katarina Williams and Amber-Leigh Woolf (Stuff): Local elections 2019: Wellington’s dwindling voter turnout for local body elections
Christina Persico (Taranaki Daily News): Taranaki voting paper returns are low, with just days to go
Matthew Littlewood and Alice Gear (Timaru Herald): Last minute urge to get South Canterbury people to vote in local body elections
Brian Rudman (Herald): Why voters ignore local body elections (paywalled)
Bernard Hickey (Newsroom): Let’s vote to re-engineer our cities
Christina Persico (Taranaki Daily News): Local government is part of your life every day and voting is the way you acknowledge that
Joyce Wylie (Stuff): It’s a privilege and a responsibility to respect and be part of democracy
Denise Piper (Stuff): Local body elections: Hatred part of everyday life for transgender candidate
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland household rates to rise on average $320 over Phil Goff’s term
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Auckland Mayoral election: John Tamihere, Phil Goff fight over e-scooters in fiery The AM Show debate
Hayden Donnell (Spinoff): Not great: Auckland’s ‘one stop shops’ have been running out of voting papers
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Youth politicians accuse Auckland Council of ‘ageism’, push for pay rise
1News: Auckland CBD street where pedestrians outnumber cars by 14-1 to get ‘people friendly’ redesign
Danielle Clent and Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Auckland local body elections: Muppets billboard put up in West Auckland
1News: West Auckland ‘muppet’ billboard garners attention with jab at local elections
Nikki Preston (Herald): Police involved following complaint made by Waikato District councillor over rival candidate (paywalled)
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Mayoral candidate fuming over election ‘typos’
Josie Adams (Spinoff): Race briefing: Palmerston North, the election that’s so thrilling it’s a crime
George Heagney (Manawatū Standard): Manawatū mayoral candidates want Government to pay for new water scheme
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Accusations of vote-tampering plague decision over Carterton clock tower’s paint job
RNZ: Confusion adds more colour to clock tower makeover vote
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Wellington mayoral race struggles to bring out voters
Damian George (Dominion Post): Regional council’s annual report shows 12 out of 14 public transport targets not met
RNZ: Wellington council turns down liquor store application for Khandallah
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): How to vote from an isolated Marlborough Sounds island
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Mayoral candidate illegally home schools children over climate change, LGBTQ+ beliefs
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Nelson council reveals its more unusual information requests
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Businessmen rally around embattled councillor after leaks to media
Press: Community issues simmer in Christchurch suburbs
Kim Nutbrown and Pattie Pegler (Spinoff): The young candidates trying to take the reins in two of our palest, stalest councils
Hamish McLean (ODT): Heritage designation criteria narrowed
Daisy Hudson (ODT): ‘Fulfilling decade’ comes to end for Cull
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Council apologises to candidate

Govt surplus
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Hefty surplus piles pressure on Robertson for action
Hamish Rutherford (Herald):Grant Robertson’s surplus question: What will he spend it on? (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Grant Robertson has money, a wish list and an election to win – what’s he waiting for?
No Right Turn: “Surplus” again
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): GST cuts ‘certainly not something’ on Government’s agenda – Grant Robertson
1News: ‘If you’ve got a $7.5 billion surplus you are over-taxing’ – Bridges calls out Government after opening of books
Julie Iles (NBR): National comes out swinging at government surplus (paywalled)
Anna Whyte (1News): As Government surplus climbs to $7.5b, PM declines to say if tax cut will be considered
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Massive $7.5 billion surplus shows room for tax cuts and spending
Jason Walls (Herald): Crown accounts: Government’s $7.5b surplus is the biggest since 2008 GFC
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Govt books continue to improve: assets up, debt down
Zane Small (Newshub): Surplus swells to $7.5 billion as Government collects more in tax on wages
RNZ: Govt surplus increases to $7.5 billion
Julie Iles (NBR): Government’s accounts report $7.5b surplus (paywalled)

NZ First
Bryce Edwards (Herald): Political Roundup: The pressure of survival shows for NZ First (paywalled)
Henry Cooke and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Major leak of NZ First membership database exposes personal details, Winston Peters refers to police
Derek Cheng (Herald):Winston Peters refers breach of party members’ information to police, Privacy Commissioner
1News: Winston Peters goes to police over ‘malicious misappropriation’ of party members’ data
Derek Cheng (Herald): New NZ First leaks: Complaint over candidate selection and request for board apology (paywalled)
RNZ: NZ First reports leak of members’ data to police

Climate Change 
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): New Climate Change Commissioner Rod Carr could vastly reshape industry
Henry Cooke and Nick Truebridge (Stuff): Emotional Dr Rod Carr says family pushed him to take top climate role
Eloise Gibson (Newsroom): Shaw names captain of his climate ‘fantasy football team’
RNZ: Rod Carr appointed as chair of new Climate Change Commission
Julie Iles (NBR): Rod Carr to chair Climate Change Commission
David Hall (Stuff): Climate Explained: Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
Steven Cowan: James Shaw: A very understanding guy
Tommy Livingston (Stuff): Police happy with behaviour after Extinction Rebellion protests in capital
Todd Niall (Stuff): PM Jacinda Ardern critical of Extinction Rebellion climate change protest disruption
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Judith Collins slams Extinction Rebellion protestors
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa vandalises statue outside Parliament to protest colonisation, climate change
Emme McKay (Herald): Business as usual during Wellington Extinction Rebellion protest
RNZ: Pacific bearing brunt of ‘climate crime’, protesters say
Martin Haoricka (Stuff): When will we finally admit that electric vehicles aren’t the solution?

Mining company application to buy Waihi land approved
1News: Labour’s reversal on Eugenie Sage’s Waihi mine decision shows Green Party’s lack of ministerial power – Greenpeace
Richard Harman (Politik): Ministers reject Greens environmental argument and approve gold mine expansion
Derek Cheng (Herald): PM says Eugenie Sage’s ministerial Land Information portfolio is safe
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Mining company OceanaGold approved for land purchase in Waihi
1News: Waihi mine set for expansion as Government approves 180 hectare land sale
Gerard Piddock (Stuff): OceanaGold gets approval to buy land for tailings ponds near Waihi gold mine
Andrew Bevin (NBR): Industry reacts to Waihi gold mine extension (paywalled)
RNZ: OceanaGold gets approval to buy land to expand gold mine
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB) Green Party are fiscal nutters who risk digging a big hole for NZ’s economy

Nicholas Jones (Herald): Exclusive: Crackdown on junk food, drink to ‘turn tide’ on diabetes: Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare (paywalled)
Phil Pennington and Karen Brown (RNZ): DHBs owe health workers up to $650m for Holidays Act errors
1News: Government to pay up to $650m to fix long-running holiday pay deficit for DHB workers
Jason Walls (Herald): Govt points finger at National over ‘eye-watering’ DHB deficit
Zane Small (Newshub):DHB deficits ‘balloon’ as staff promised half a billion dollars in underpayments
Mike Houlahan (ODT): SDHB deficit balloons to $85.8 million
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Health hack: Admin rights may have been compromised
Taroi Black (Māori TV):2025 smokefree goals ‘a long way off’
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Clinicians fear for services
Sam Farrell (Newshub): Call to fund smartphone app that reads diabetics blood-glucose levels
1New: Samoan-Niuean siblings encourage others in their community to become doctors

Tuia 250 – James Cook commemorations
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Civic leaders look to future as Cook flotilla entered inner harbour
Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes (Māori TV): Tuia 250 facilitates critical discussion of NZ history
Lisette Reymer (Newshub): Endeavour’s return to Gisborne met with welcome and fiery protest
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand wrestles with 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival
1News: Tuia 250 commemorations underway as replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavour docks in Gisborne
1News: ‘I don’t see James Cook as relevant to me’ – Tuia 250 protest organiser
Herald:Tuia 250: When replica ship HMB Endeavour comes in
Michael Reddell: A day for celebration

Press Editorial: A lower threshold for those already here?
Sandeep Singh (RNZ): Labour adds insult to injury with parent visa scheme
RNZ: The Detail: When fear dictates policy

Primary industries
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Why don’t New Zealand farmers want to look after their golden goose?
Chris Tobin (ODT): Minister backs conditional livestock export prohibition
Sally Rae (ODT): Anger at slow compensation process
RNZ: Freshwater proposals wouldn’t increase veg prices – minister
Rachael Kelly (Southland Times): Gore boss critical of freshwater reforms
Herald Editorial: Time to get serious about protein technology (paywalled)

Environment and conservation
Guyon Espiner and Kate Newton (RNZ): Green Rush: Will pines really save the planet?
Harry Lock (RNZ): Peatland’s environmental significance disputed in reports
RNZ: Vehicles on Langs Beach to be banned
Kaitlin Ruddock (1News): Concerned bird lovers say freedom campers oblivious to threat they pose to Golden Bay shorebirds

Commerce Commission burglary
1News: Computer equipment containing ‘sensitive’ Commerce Commission info stolen
Herald: Security breach: Computer with confidential Commerce Commission meeting and interview transcripts stolen
RNZ: Commerce Commission info could be on stolen computer
John Anthony (Stuff): Computer equipment with 200 Commerce Commission interview transcripts stolen in burglary

Gordon Campbell: On a superb new book on the leaky homes scandal
RNZ: Imperial Homes charged buyers $52k more than affordable housing limit

Child welfare
Donna-Lee Biddle (Stuff): Judge encourages survivors of state and faith-based abuse to come forward
Harrison Christian (Stuff): State care sex abuse complainants get $60,000 payout and apology from Oranga Tamariki

Harry Lock (RNZ): New fund may leave school out of pocket – principal
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Defects left Cashmere High School’s fire protection compromised
James Kierstead, Vinayak Dev, Michael Johnsto,n Jamin Halberstadt, Maryanne Garry, Andy Vonasch (Stuff): Refusal to publish NZ academic’s book is a worrying blow for free speech
Magic Talk: There are some men who are lost in the 21st century – Chris Trotter
Joel McManus (Stuff):Scarfies, couch fires and keg parties: Otago student drinking culture in the spotlight after student death

Jarrod Gilbert (Herald): Patch on jacket about brand protection
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Government considers new police powers to deal with suited and booted gang kingpins
Anna Whyte (1News): Waikato Mongrel Mob invites Simon Bridges to meet
Jamie Ensor ((Newshub): Simon Bridges, Mongrel Mob boss clash over gangs
Leighton Keith (Taranaki Daily News): Ex-cops urge political parties to work together to combat rising gang membership
Rachael Kelly (Southland Times): Sixty per cent increase in gang members in Southern district
Tim Newman (Nelson Mail): Gang members and meth on rise in Tasman region

Herald: Jacinda Ardern chides Mike Hosking on soft on drugs claim: ‘Do you know how ridiculous you sound right now?’
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern defends Government’s drug stance, saying soft on drugs label ‘ridiculous’
1News: South Island, rural isolated towns an expanding market for meth, research finds
John Weekes and Kendall Hutt (Stuff): Party drug, LSD prices remain flat in contrast to meth mayhem
1News: Mongrel Mob member fighting meth epidemic says prevention’s the only way to stop people getting hooked

Tamsyn Parker (Herald): No new Retirement Commissioner nearly a year after Diane Maxwell’s marching orders (paywalled)
Karyn Scherer (NBR): Tax wealthy baby boomers, report says (paywalled)

Dutch PM visits NZ
1News: Netherlands PM touts benefits of cannabis legalisation during press conference with Jacinda Ardern
Ryan Anderson (Stuff): Climate change, trade and cannabis reform at top of talks between NZ and Dutch PMs
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): Let’s join forces on climate change, says visiting Dutch PM

RNZ: Police wrong to ignore instructions to abandon chase, IPCA finds
1News: Watchdog says Auckland cops shouldn’t have chased after teens in stolen car driven wrong-way on motorway
RNZ: Police pay compensation over woman’s unlawful arrest

Matthew Rosenberg (Stuff): Abortion bill: Emotions run high at select committee hearing in Auckland
1News: Range of strong views heard by politicians considering abortion law change

Katie Fitzgerald (Newshub): Simon Bridges shows off singing skills in duet with Duncan Garner
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): This coalition cardigan beginning to look threadbare
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Sweeping changes proposed to help curb Wellington’s skyrocketing insurance premiums
Nick Truebridge (Stuff): Auckland City Rail Link: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s comments branded ‘misleading’
Zane Small (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Time’s ‘favourites to win 2019 Nobel Peace Prize’
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern supports festival drug testing, New Zealand First support not ruled out
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Shane Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund quietly made tax-exempt
Cira Olivier (Rotorua Daily Post): Bay of Plenty’s family harm problem worst in the country (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Don’t be afraid of foreign investment, it’s exactly what we need
Jason Walls (Herald): Government no longer to fund the Clinton Foundations’ flagship aid programme
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Paula Bennett snapped with big bud baggie
Jamie Morton (Herald): National would overhaul law governing gene editing
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): Chorus blacklists sub-contracting companies after scathing report into migrant exploitation
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Reading online causes New Zealanders to be less engaged
Phil Taylor (Herald): Erebus memorial taken off fast track: Decision delayed until after local body elections
Siobhan Downes (Stuff): Rainbow Tick takes MediaWorks to task over Sean Plunket’s ‘woke’ comments
Jane Matthews (Taranaki Daily News):Ninety-day Airbnb, Bookabach cap not welcomed by New Plymouth users
Emma Dangerfield (Press): Freedom camping bylaw being created at expense of Kiwis and surfers, critics say