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.

John Armstrong (1News): Despite lead in polls, National should be worried by Jacinda Ardern’s recent ‘double whammy’
1News: What the country thinks of the Government’s performance so far
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour screws up a good week with arrogance and carelessness
Richard Griffin (Stuff): Making hay and mending fences crucial as competency issues plague the Government
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): Let’s have some Xmas cheer from the Government (paywalled)

Kris Faafoi immigration controversy
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Hey Bro, Luckily I’m Not On It Because If I Had Been, I’d Have Been Sacked
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Labour can afford to lose some ministers – Kris Faafoi isn’t one of them
Duncan Garner (Stuff): Kris Faafoi’s a nice and talented guy, but he should have said no
Duncan Garner (Newshub): Kris Faafoi doesn’t deserve to be sacked, his country needs him
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Kris Faafoi is yet another example of the Government’s weakness
Newshub: Jacinda Ardern won’t fire Kris Faafoi because it’s Christmas and she ‘can’t be bothered ‘ – Simon Bridges
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Winston Peters blasts the National Party in another social media video, says Simon Bridges ‘must have amnesia’
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Minister Kris Faafoi apologises for promising to ‘speed things up’ for Opshop singer
Zane Small and Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Kris Faafoi apologises to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over immigration case involving Jason Kerrison
Craig McCullough (RNZ): Kris Faafoi apologises to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, but keeps his job
Anna Whyte (1News): Kris Faafoi apologises to Jacinda Ardern over ‘messy’ visa interactions with Opshop singer
Isaac Davison (Herald):‘I said some dumb things’: Kris Faafoi apologises over immigration matter, no resignation offer
Herald: Kris Faafoi apologises over immigration allegations linked to friend Jason Kerrison

Parliament, week in politics
Audrey Young (Herald): Why election 2020 is going to be an ugly affair (paywalled)
Peter Wilson (RNZ): The Week in Politics: The cannabis conflict has just begun
Daniela Maoate-Cox and Phil Smith (RNZ): The House: Normal service resumes: An amicable surge of member’s bills
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Electorate jigsaw a tricky one to work out

Environment and conservation
Eloise Gibson (Newsroom): Sequins in our seafood: NZ’s plastic problem revealed
Amber-Leigh Woolf (Stuff):Plastic use in NZ by 2030: Ecotourism, reusables and refunds for plastic
RNZ: Reducing single use plastic needs consistent, national approach – WasteMINZ
Jason Walls (Herald):‘There is more to do’ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals next steps in fight against plastics
Newstalk ZB: PM says end of single-use plastics a ‘personal priority’
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government moves to ban plastic fruit stickers, cutlery, and cotton bud
Henry Cooke and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Prime Minister aims new plastics ban at meat trays and takeaway cups
1New: Government waves goodbye to more single-use plastics including polystyrene containers
RNZ: Government targets polystyrene meat trays, takeaway containers in bid to cut waste
Herald: Polystyrene food containers next targets in the war on plastic
Rachel Sadler and Delphine Herbert (Newshub): Government to phase out more single-use plastics in favour of recyclable materials
Catherine McGregor (Spinoff): Cheat Sheet: A chance for NZ to lead the world in cutting back on plastic
RNZ: Sharp fall in satisfaction with environment among Waikato residents
RNZ: Marlborough’s at-risk catchment secures restoration funds
Laura Mills (ODT):Iwi concerned about potential land grab
Laura Smith (ODT): Saving the New Zealand sea lion
RNZ: Probe in 1080 cattle deaths points to DOC breach
Lois Williams (RNZ): Massive high-tech pest control operation in Perth Valley declared a success

Climate change
Dan Satherley (Newshub): World doomed to 3C temperature rise if everyone copied New Zealand – report
James Fyfe and Emily O’Connell (Newshub): Otago University study highlights risk of Antarctic ice sheet melting
Rod Oram (Newsroom): ACC must get its act together on climate
Damian Rowe (Southland Times): Rising seas levels may benefit Waituna lagoon, Ngāi Tahu elder says
RNZ: Sopoaga raises doubts about Australia’s Pacific commitment
BBC: Climate change: Oceans running out of oxygen as temperatures rise

Poverty, inequality, welfare
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Child Poverty Monitor shows 148,000 children are living in material hardship
Dan Satherley (Newshub): More Kiwi kids living in low-income households, suffering hardship – report
1News: Charity urges people to donate gifts to ‘forgotten’ teens this Christmas
Helen Robinson (Newsroom): Christmas is about food and family – but not for all
Kate Green (Stuff): Night shelter volunteers take to the streets for Christmas appeal
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Poverty and rangatahi major concerns in Tairāwhiti
Pip Colgan (Spinoff): Fighting poverty at the coalface: The diary of a WINZ advocate
1News: Beneficiaries being delivered My Food Bag meals as part of Government trial

Southland Island flooding
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Government may provide support to areas impacted by severe weather
RNZ: Weather chaos: tourists stranded on West Coast for days
Dominic Harris, Matthew Littlewood and Joanne Holden (Stuff): Tourism hotspots ‘face devastation’ after weekend of storms, floods and slips
Dominic Harris, Matthew Littlewood and Joanne Holden (Stuff): Heavy rain, slips and floodwaters close key roads and cut South Island in half
Cate Broughton (Press): Massive slip blocking West Coast road could take six weeks to fix

Chris Hipkins (Stuff): Our kids are achieving less than 20 years ago: Why?
1News: Crackdown on dodgy education providers leads to fewer international students
Liam Hehir (Spinoff): Integrated schools have leaky roofs too
Peter de Graaf (Northern Advocate): Ministry rules out mandatory school bus warning lights despite coroner’s call (paywalled)
Cleo Fraser (Newshub): National wants to force all school kids to exercise 15 minutes a day
Katy Jones (Stuff): Primary school children vaping backs need for action, principals say
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Manurewa High School tackles truancy and bad behaviour with alternative education
ODT Editorial: Solution welcomed, review needed
Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Report into Canterbury student’s death a violation for no gain, stepfather says

Dan Satherley and Delphine Herbert (Newshub): DHB revamp a step forward, but more needs to be done – expert
Jason Walls (Herald): Former Finance Minister Michael Cullen among significant ‘changing of the guard’ at DHBs
Oliver Lewis (Stuff): Minister appoints 13 new health board chairs in ‘changing of the guard’
RNZ: Health Minister appoints 13 new DHB chairs in ‘changing of the guard’
1News: Health Minister appoints 13 new DHB chairs in leadership overhaul
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Long-standing DHB chair ‘surprised and disappointed’ with Minister’s decision
Doug Laing (Hawkes Bay Today): Wise heads battle over Napier absence from Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (paywalled)
David Fisher (Herald): St John to Government – give us more funding or we’ll cut ambulance services (paywalled)
Jason Walls (Herald): ‘My whole life has been put on hold’ – elective surgery numbers drop by 6000 on last year (paywalled)
Dan Satherley and Heather McCarron (Newshub): Fewer Kiwis getting elective surgeries
RNZ: Chief Coroner opens inquiry into deaths linked to anti-epileptic medication
1News: Chief Coroner opens joint inquiry into deaths linked to anti-epileptic medication
Nicholas Jones (Herald): Acute mental health patients discharged from Auckland DHB’s Te Whetu Tawera hospital unit too quickly, documents reveal (paywalled)
Janine Rankin (Manawatū Standard): Site selected for Palmerston North’s new mental health facility
Nikki Macdonald (Stuff): The Northland town where parents refuse immunisation, despite kids dying
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Medical community divided over prescription-only recommendation for codeine
1News: Over half of Ōpōtiki residents sign petition against closure of community birth centre
Liu Chen (RNZ): Maternity unit closure leaves birthing plans up in air
Mitchell Alexander (Newshub): Lumsden Maternity Centre: Mum rushed at 120km/h to give birth due to no pain relief
Elizabeth White (Newshub): Funding to combat eating disorders stalls despite alarming increase
Zane Small (Newshub): The rural demographic that’s shown a sharp drop in suicides
Denise Piper (Stuff): The top 10 bad foods that claim to be healthy but aren’t, according to Consumer NZ
ODT Editorial: Whistleblowers are needed
1News: Otago University dental students give $70,000 worth of free treatments to people with low incomes
Matt Rilkoff (Taranaki Daily News): Technology is killing us with convenience
Katy Jones (Stuff): New Nelson meth programme reflects high need

Fuel industry
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Petrol margins may come down, but not thanks to competition watchdog
David Farrar: Bad Nat Stat
RNZ: AA warns motorists not to expect major drop in petrol prices
1News: Cheaper fuel could be as early as six months away, MTA says

Samoa measles epidemic
Florence Kerr (Stuff): Samoa measles outbreak: Millions needed to fix Samoan health system
Mariné Lourens (Stuff): Samoan communities in NZ ‘deeply affected’ by measles outbreak
Kim Baker Wilson (1News): Anxious Samoan community in Auckland rallying to help those affected by measles epidemic
Logan Church and Alex Perrottet (RZ): Checkpoint: Samoa measles epidemic: Inside the hospitals
RNZ: Samoa’s measles crisis: A photoessay
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Two parents share their grief after losing their children in Samoan measles epidemic
Miriam Berger (Washington Post): Samoan children are dying of measles. So New Zealanders are sending child-size coffins
1News: Givealittle page set up by rugby stars like SBW for families affected by Samoa measles epidemic reaches $58,000
Stuff: Sonny Bill Williams and other rugby greats pledge $30,000 to victims of Samoa’s measles outbreak
RNZ: Hawai’i leader says Samoa’s mass lock-down has saved lives
RNZ: Measles death toll rises to 68 in Samoa

Colin Peacock (RNZ): Undecided and uninterested undermine poll conclusions
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Cartoon controversy rocks the ODT
Dominic Godery (RNZ): Dunedin’s Samoan community leaders meet with editor over measles cartoon
Amanda Saxton (Stuff): Artist Michel Mulipola portrays hope in Samoa’s measles crisis
Lydia Batham and Indira Stewart (RNZ): First Up: Louise Nicholas calls for ODT and Tremain apology over 2004 rape case cartoon
Jeremy Rose (RNZ): Algorithmically turbo-charged journalism

Dan Satherley (Newshub): Cannabis referendum: National’s Paul Goldsmith says let Canada experiment, not NZ
Zane Small (Newshub): ‘It’s like having a cocktail’: Sean Plunket, Chlöe Swarbrick find common ground on weed
Brent Melville (ODT): Medicinal cannabis players countdown

Phil Pennington (RNZ): Faulty quake design exposes consent failures – Christchurch quake survivor
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Developer declined Rockwell group responsible for substandard building in Christchurch
Jody O’Callaghan (Press): Quake refugee to be evicted from temporary housing village with nowhere to go
Kamala Hayman (Press): The race of the two Christchurch cathedrals
1News: New Catholic cathedral for Christchurch to be built in city centre
RNZ: New Catholic cathedral part of $500m Christchurch development
1News: New Catholic cathedral for Christchurch to be built in city centre
Lauren Paddy and Dan Satherley (Newshub): New cathedral and hotel for Christchurch

Primary industries
Gen Toop (Stuff): Agriculture’s role in getting to Zero Carbon
RNZ: Sustainable farming advice programme wins gov investment
Luisa Girao (ODT): $9m for farm environmental sustainability
Luisa Girao (ODT): New project to help farmers shift towards sustainability
Shamubeel Eaqub (Stuff): Fonterra’s slow road to redemption after a terrible year

Local government
Todd Niall (Stuff): The vanishing roundabout and why to beware the promise of future infrastructure
Douglas Fairgray (Herald): Is the Unitary Plan working for Auckland?
1News: New e-scooter curfews for parts of central Auckland revealed
1News: Kerbside food waste collection scheme brings Auckland ‘up to date’ with overseas models
Delphine Herbert and Dan Satherley (Newshub): Dogs on Auckland trains: The days you can do it
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Big dogs on Auckland trains: What the rules are
Luke Kirkeby and Ben Bathgate (Stuff): Waikato council and iwi to pay out patched Head Hunters gangster in property stoush
RNZ:Sale of troubled subdivision expected to offset cost to ratepayers
Aaron van Delden (RNZ): Mahia ratepayers seek stronger voice at council
Nicholas Boyack (Stuff): No timetable but mayor wants new Naenae Pool as soon as possible
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Kids campaign leads to proposed 40kmh speed limit outside school
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Ratepayers campaigning to leave Kaikōura consider options
Tina Law (Press): Council considers regulating Airbnb-style operators in Christchurch
Simon Henderson (ODT): Decision on closing arthquake-prone buildings – Central Otago

Ports of Auckland move
Brent Edwards (NBR): Jones sees $250m dry dock replacement plan linked with port move (paywalled)
Wayne Brown (Stuff): Port move – Auckland don’t blow your one shot
John Roughan (Herald): Leaked report means port of Auckland going nowhere fast (paywalled)
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): Progress, or any port in a storm

Amanda Saxton ((Stuff): Auckland bus driver strike: 70,000 passengers to be affected on Monday
RNZ: Last minute meeting to try and solve Auckland bus drivers’ dispute
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Auckland bus strike: 100 drivers suspended with no pay until Christmas Eve
Jamie Ensor and Alice Wilkins (Newshub): NZ Bus suspends Auckland services, potentially for weeks, as industrial action continues
1News: Auckland set for more commuter chaos as bus driver pay dispute rolls on
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Cheat sheet: Auckland bus hell with mass cancellation till Christmas
RNZ: NZ bus services in Auckland to be cancelled from tomorrow
Jamie Ensor andd Alice Wilkins (Newshub): NZ Bus suspends Auckland services, potentially for weeks, as industrial action continues
1News: NZ Bus cancels services on major Auckland routes temporarily amid escalating strike action
1News:Auckland offers free public transport on December 20 to prevent drink-driving
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Plan to speed up Wellington buses’ travel times to be considered

George Block (Stuff): Police facial recognition: Privacy commissioner not consulted on new system
Sam Hurley (Herald): Corrupt Auckland cop revealed as informant for criminal underworld within NZ Police
1News: Former Auckland police officer sentenced to prison after selling information to gangs
Laura Tupou (Newshub): Jerrim Toms shooting: Family of bipolar man slain by police blame cops
Sam Farrell (Newshub): Wellington police line holding cells with art by prisoners, students

Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Insurance industry up next as Reserve Bank deals to banks
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Adrian Orr’s vow of silence speaks volumes (paywalled)
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Three economists put themselves in Adrian Orr’s shoes
Gareth Vaughan (Interest):Governor Adrian Orr tells the RBNZ’s capital increases should make the banking sector more competitive
RNZ: Tougher bank finance rules could force up mortgage interest rates – Goldsmith
Richard Meadows (Stuff): The true story of LVR restrictions
Herald Editorial: It’s time more Kiwis shared some bank profits (paywalled)
Eric Crampton (Stuff): Central banking: hitting two policy birds with one stone risks missing them both
David Chaston (Interest): The rough edge of banking incentives
Jacob McSweeny (ODT): Small bank thrives among elephants

Justice, law and order
Jarrod Gilbert (Herald): Simon Bridges’ problem with getting tough on gangs (paywalled)
Steve Elers (Stuff): Family Court madness highlighted by absurd child abduction ruling

Hinemihi o te Ao Tawhito
Taroi Black (Māori TV): “I don’t trust Pouhere Taonga” on the return of Hinemihi whare
John Boynton (RNZ): Te Wharekaniwha descendents ‘kept in dark’ over return of carvings
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Historic meeting house closer to home journey after 127 years in United Kingdom
Leah Tebbutt (Herald): Hinemihi wharenui one step further to coming home to Rotorua (paywalled)

Gun protest
Will Trafford and Jason Walls (Herald): Jacinda Ardern confronted by gun owners at school opening
John Weekes (Stuff): Disgusting’ gun protest outside primary school fires up former PM Helen Clark

Te reo Māori 
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Why all New Zealanders should speak Māori and how to get them to, according to young people
Michael Neilson (Herald): Can Pākehā pēpeha? Thousands learning te reo but concerns over ‘recolonising’ the language

Quote of the Year, 2019 Heroes
1News: Moving words from Christchurch terrorist attack dominate Quote of the Year nominations
Herald: From Egg Boy to Ihumātao: Cast your vote for the Herald’s Our Heroes 2019

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): ‘Unprecedented’ Breach of Constitution
Alison Mau (Stuff): KFC, Pizza Hut forced to apologise over handling of staff rape and harassment cases
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): New terrorism bill could breach press freedom
Thomas Manch (Stuff):A 6000-strong army and cuts to emissions: Defence Force maps out its response to climate change
David Williams (Newsroom): Five frustrating years and eight awful months
Tom Dillane (Herald): CCTV nation: New Zealand’s rapidly expanding camera network explained (paywalled)
Will Harvie (Stuff): National role for acclaimed Canterbury advocate for disabled athletes and kids
Māori TV: Crown awaiting new mandate proposals from Ngāpuhi
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): Provincial Growth Fund costing $484k per full-time job
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): ‘Inappropriate’ religious billboard appears near busy overpass in Christchurch
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Review underway after two guards left responsible for 800 prisoners in Waikato
Steve Maharey (Pundit): Policies For The Twelve Days Of Christmas – Third Way Style. Blog #8
RNZ: Surf Life Saving says it would ban inflatable toys from beaches
Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): Migrant worker changes ‘heavy’ burden for employers
Stuff: Jacinda Ardern’s daughter Neve ‘doesn’t need me’, PM 
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Billionaire Alexander Abramov’s record under review after claims of links to tax haven companies
1News: Kiwi teen uses AI analysis of social media chatter to capture mood of the nation
Jen Margaret (E-Tangata): Becoming ‘really Pākehā’
Simone Kaho (E-Tangata): Getting past white defensiveness
Jono Edwards (ODT): Emergency services compromised by network outage
Jonathan Barrett (Newsroom): Respect human dignity ahead of politicking
RNZ: RNZAF delivering Xmas cheer in north Pacific
1News: First female Commodore makes NZ naval history
Jordan Oppert (1News): SPCAs across NZ inundated with flood of neglected, unwanted cats and kittens
Dan Brunskill (NBR): Regulation urged for faster invoice payments (paywalled)
John Tookey (Stuff): The boom and bust of a runaway construction industry likely to continue into 2020
Chris Chen Stuff): The Crusaders rebrand is not business as usual