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.

Media
Colin Peacock (RNZ): On the brink? The state of our media in 2019
Audrey Young (Herald): Winston Peters takes the driver’s seat on media proposal (paywalled)
ODT Editorial: No future in monopolising news
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Media probe risks and rewards of tourism
Alex Mason (Newstalk ZB): Can Winston Peters save the media? (audio)
David Farrar: It’s a trap!
Susan Nemec (Newsroom): Māori TV changes migrants’ views on Māori

Government
Grant Duncan (ODT): PM’s leftist icon status not quite the reality
Jason Walls (Herald): Jacinda Ardern made waves on the world stage in 2019 but faced issues back home (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wraps up 2019 with Kerre McIvor (audio)

Infrastructure, fiscal policy
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Boiling The Economic Frog: Grant Robertson Astute But Cynical As He Finally Spends On Infrastructure
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): Grant Robertson’s big gamble (paywalled)
Steven Joyce (Stuff): We’re spending more but have nothing to show for it
Innes Asher (Stuff): Government shouldn’t sit on $7.5b surplus while families need help
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): Business leaders quiz finance minister on capacity to spend $12b (paywalled)

Democracy
Grant Duncan (Stuff): Can the seeds of political division and distrust in Britain and US flourish here? (paywalled)
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): A terrible decade for democracy around the world
Oscar Kightley (Stuff): In politics, concepts like integrity and trustworthiness no longer seem to apply
Henry Cooke (Stuff): The Left keeps losing. Winning will take new friends
Lizzie Marvelly (Herald): National catches ugly political virus (paywalled)

UK election
Audrey Young (Herald): Simon Bridges draws lessons from Boris Johnson’s landslide in UK election (paywalled)
David Farrar: How Boris Won
Jason Walls (Herald): Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges congratulate UK PM Boris Johnson on election victory
1News: Ardern offers congratulations as Boris Johnson’s Conservative party secures decisive victory in UK
Nicola Kean (Spinoff): A strange British election looked even stranger to those of used to MMP
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Impact on Māori businesses following UK Election results today
RNZ: Clearcut UK poll result a boost for NZ exporters

Whakaari/White Island
Rob Stock (Stuff): Ngāti Awa paid $9 million for White Island Tours, now it’s worth ‘close to zero’
Matt Shand (Stuff): Gas masks given to Whakaari/White Island tourists ‘little more than props’, says expert
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Vulcanologist warned Whakaari/White Island was a ‘cocktail for tragedy’ in 2012
John Anthony (Stuff): Royal Caribbean ‘exceedingly reckless’ sending passengers
RNZ: Cruise company could face lawsuits – legal expert
Jack Tame (Herald): Criticising White Island rescue efforts misplaced
Bill Ralston (Listener): Why was access to Whakaari/White Island the responsibility of a private company?
1News: A minute’s silence for victims of White Island tragedy to be observed Monday

Cannabis
John Armstrong (1News): Marked shift in favour of retaining status quo as cannabis referendum looms
Hayley Jacobsen and Dan Satherley (Newshub): AUT gets approval to grow high-THC and high-CBD cannabis
Patrick Gower (Newshub): Blair Vining used illegal medical cannabis before his death, wife reveals
David Slack (Stuff): Paula Bennett’s favourite thing: that beloved baggie

Welfare, poverty
Lana Hart (Stuff): Time to make significant inroads into child poverty
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): ‘Pension’ for kids could level income inequality between young and old
Benedict Collins (1News): Green Party condemns My Food Bag for beneficiaries

Primary and extractive industries
Lee Scanlon (Westport News): Reefton going for gold again
RNZ: Environmentalist slams $15m grant for mining ‘dinosaur’
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Council’s failure to monitor forestry company was ‘reprehensible’ – judge
RNZ: Gisborne forestry firm fined, council’s lack of action ‘irresponsible’
Laura Smith (ODT): Emissions profile sparks cow debate
ODT Editorial: Questions remain over Invermay
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Dairy farmer-turned-vegan quit industry after becoming suicidal
Jane Matthews (Taranaki Daily News): Government should stop all financial support to oil and gas industry, Māori Party candidate says

Phosphate
RNZ: ‘Blood phosphate’ imports from Western Sahara may prompt illegal port strikes – union
John Lewis (ODT): Controversial cargo unloaded after checks on wharf

Samoa measles epidemic, vaccination
1News: NZ to send more aid to Samoa to support long-term needs in measles epidemic fight
RNZ: New Zealand to provide $1m for UNICEF, WHO Samoa measles fund
Stuff: New Zealand gives $1m for preventive action in Pacific
Newshub: New Zealand pledges $1 million to help fight Pacific measles crisis
RNZ: Samoa measles state of emergency extended
RNZ: Samoa measles epidemic: More than 5000 cases, 72 deaths
Tom O’Connor (Stuff): Now is the time to make MMR vaccination compulsory
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): Flawed forecasting? Why MMR vaccine ran out

Health
Tony Wall and Hannah Martin (Stuff): Calls to stop using anti-psychotics as ‘chemical restraints’ for people with dementia
Tony Wall and Hannah Martin (Stuff): Some rest homes are rejecting anti-psychotics in favour of person-centred care
Newshub:Institutional racism to blame for lower breast cancer survival rates amongst Māori – researchers
RNZ: Public back ‘overworked and underpaid’ midwives with petition
Jared McCulloch (1News): Declining number of rural doctors in Central Otago prompts new initiative
RNZ: Otago institutions work to create virtual centre for rural health education
Sae Strang (Newshub): Not enough New Zealand doctors know how to insert an IUD – study
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Special Olympics New Zealand trials new way to include kids with disabilities in sport
Sharnae Hope (Waikato Times): Waikato palliative carers push for more funding to provide complex end of life care
Mike Houlahan (ODT): ‘Not yet clear’ where workers to build Dunedin hospital will come from
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Hopes after SDHB racks up $89.3m annual deficit
Bay of Plenty Times: National MP ‘alone and confused’ after birth pushes for better maternity and postnatal care for new mums
Jessie Chiang (RNZ): Big rise in number of Asians seeking mental health help in Auckland

Alcohol harm
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Over the Limit: We need to know more about how, what, where and why we’re drinking
Marty Sharpe and Nikki MacDonald (Stuff): Over the Limit: ‘Nothing good happens after 3am’: Alcohol’s part in assaults
Nikki MacDonald and Tommy Livingston (Stuff): Over the Limit: A helper’s diary of a drunken Saturday night in Wellington
Deborah Morris (Stuff): Over the Limit: Week in, week out, alcohol brings people into our court system
Nikki MacDonald (Stuff): Over the Limit: How alcohol affects our brain and body
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Over the Limit: The horror and hope of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting

Local government
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Council boss reminded about conflicts of interest after showing interest in public boat yard (paywalled)
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Waipareira Trust donated $100,000 to John Tamihere’s mayoral campaign
Todd Niall (Stuff): John Tamihere’s $500k Auckland mayoral campaign part funded by social agency
Stuff: Group opposed to iwi sale of Shelly Bay land for development loses caveat
Tina Law (Press): Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel accused of keeping ‘voters in the dark’ over campaign donors
John Minto: Dalziel’s election expenses return is a sick joke on Christchurch citizens
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Nats approached councillor Catherine Chu for Port Hills candidacy in April
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Council approves Oamaru’s Macallan House demolition
Mark Price (ODT): Parliament will consider bed tax

Ports of Auckland move
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Hands off Auckland’s waterfront assets (paywalled)
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Former Auckland civic leaders say moving the city’s port will cost $30b (paywalled)

Transport
RNZ: KiwiRail investment through Land Transport fund: government proposal ‘historic’ – chief exec
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland councillors show mayor the way on buses, but can they deliver?
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): No ‘specific solution’ for light rail
George Block (Stuff): White supremacist poster is ‘vandalism’, Auckland Transport says
RNZ: Weight loss, easier commuting among e-bike benefits, workers say
RNZ: Government employees to get e-bike discount of up to 50 percent
Shaun Hendy (Spinoff): One big idea to transform travel in New Zealand
Nick Chamberlain (Northern Advocate): Northland forgotten but not lost (paywalled)
Sam Kilmister (Manawatū Standard): Manawatū River Bridge opens to thousands of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists

National’s transport discussion document
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Axing fuel taxes shows National willing to play the long game
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): National proposes axing fuel taxes, increasing funding for transport if it wins in 2020
1News: National Party wants to impose fines on cyclists who refuse to use cycleways
Scott Palmer (Newshub): National wants to fine cyclists who don’t use cycleways

Immigration, refugees, migrant workers
Steve Elers (Stuff): It seems it pays to have mates in high places
Harrison Christian (Stuff): Family of migrant worker who died on the job seeks compensation
1News: Work visa checks for asylum seekers labelled discriminatory by advocates
1News: Timeline of events leading to 2019 scrapping of NZ’s ‘Racist’ refugee policy
Peter Lyons (Herald): We don’t know how lucky we are, mate (paywalled)

Climate Change
Jamie Morton (Herald): Another marine heatwave? NZ’s seas are warming fast
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Former PM Jim Bolger challenges ‘status quo’ approach to climate change
RNZ: COP25: ‘Mixed bag’ compromise ends longest climate talks
Jamie Tahana (RNZ): Australia labelled ‘black sheep’ of Pacific family as COP talks falter
Kalafi Moala (RNZ): Tonga pleased with funding for climate change projects
Peter Griffin (Stuff): Climategate was a misinformation campaign aimed at Copenhagen conference

Environment and conservation
Jamie Morton (Herald): ‘She’s on my hit list’ – DoC staff threatened, abused, over 1080 (paywalled)
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Campaign aims to remind Kiwis about the danger to wildlife from wildfires
1News: DOC albatross webcam gets upgrade, live streams to wider audience
Sally Blundell (Listener): Why you should mow your lawn less often to help the planet

Parliament
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Week in Politics: Billions to be spent and most of it on roads
Phil Smith (RNZ): Turbo-charged MPs get a stocking full of bills
No Right Turn: Drawn
Karyn Scherer (NBR): Business needs to back four-year parliamentary term, says Robertson (paywalled)

Housing, homelessness
Samantha Motion (Bay of Plenty Times):  State housing in Tauranga: The legacy of the 2017 sell-off and the coalition’s $9m spend-up (paywalled)
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Fast-tracked plan change for massive housing project comes under scrutiny
RNZ: Housing First expands homelessness scheme to Nelson, Tasman
John Roughan (Herald): Government should sell houses on leasehold land (paywalled)
Tony Alexander (Stuff): Here are the 12 factors you can blame for higher house prices than your parents paid
Sam Kelway (1News): Tauranga volunteers rally around growing homeless community

MSD
Harrison Christian (Stuff): Government announces paid internships for beneficiaries in film industry
RNZ: Partnership aims to get beneficiaries jobs in screen industry
1News: Partnership aims to get beneficiaries jobs in screen industry

Education
Warwick Rasmussen (Stuff): Dozens of eligible schools say no thanks to millions in Government donation money
John Lewis (ODT): 400-pupil primary school gets the tick
Katie Harris (Newstalk ZB): Teachers could be using your child’s images for social media clicks
Lana Lopesi (Noted): The tension – and honour – of being the first Pacific Island woman Rhodes Scholar

Tuia 250
RNZ: Tuia 250 has created ‘an unstoppable shift’ – Shipley
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Tuia 250 welcomed to Māhia in style with kaimoana, waiata and waka tours
RNZ: Tuia 250 flotilla reaches final stop in Hawke’s Bay
Stuff: Tuia 250 voyage nears end as waka arrive in Māhia for festival

Christmas
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Giving at Christmas: How you can help Auckland’s homeless and others in need
Jessie Chiang (RNZ): Plunket playgroups to take part in Sending Love card initiative
Jessica Wilson (ODT): Christmas can appeal ‘huge success’
Caley Callahan (Newshub): Baking ‘made with love’ by inmates, volunteers for Wellington’s Night Shelter
Amber-Leigh Woolf (Stuff): Binge-shopping, tree emissions, plastic and food waste must change to save the climate

Encryption laws
RNZ: Private information at risk from laws allowing access encrypted data
No Right Turn: Encryption, passwords, and self-incrimination

Crime, justice
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Māori and the poor suffer the most crime – report
Laura O’Connell Rapira (Spinoff): Andrew Little’s justice reform report is just that – another report. It’s time for action
Leigh-Marama McLachlan (RNZ): Government urged to cede power to Māori – justice advocates
Tania Sawicki Mead (Newsroom): Time to invest in a justice system that reflects our values
Alison Mau (Stuff): One woman’s fight to lift a court-ordered gag has helped dozens of others
1News: Four strangulation charges laid each day a year after it was made an official offence

Banks
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Move to make banks safer could result in riskier temptations for savers
Damien Grant (Stuff): The Reserve Bank was right to make banks increase their capital holdings

Gun laws
Heather McCarron and Dan Satherley (Newshub): More than 100,000 illegal weapons not handed in – gun lobby
Evan Harding (Southland Times): Protest in Invercargill against gun law reform

Te Papa
RNZ: Youngest ever CEO plans some TLC for disillusioned Te Papa staff
Jessica Long (Stuff): Te Papa appoints youngest chief executive to head national museum
1News: Te Papa in hot water with farmers, MP over water pollution display

Freedom camping
RNZ: Freedom campers to get visits from locals who want them to clean up their act
Brenda Harwood (ODT): Residents frustrated with freedom campers

Monarchy
Lewis Holden (Pundit): What Hehir Gets Wrong About The Monarchy And A Republic
Rob Rattenbury (Herald): Time to ditch the royal family (paywalled)

Year in review
Kurt Bayer (Herald): ‘The hum that doesn’t go away’: Christchurch’s heroes
Cherie Howie (Herald): Our Heroes: Kiwis in the face of tragedy – from Christchurch to White Island to Southland
The Daily Blog: 7 NZ Heroes of 2019
1News: Semi-finalists for 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year award announced

Peter Snell has died
James McOnie (Spinoff): Obituary: Sir Peter Snell, the inscrutable genius of middle distance running
RNZ: Sir Peter Snell dies: ‘words cannot describe the impact he has had’
RNZ: Olympic middle distance runner Sir Peter Snell dies, age 80
Steve Hepburn (ODT): Snell starred on a magic Dunedin night

Other
Benedict Collins (1News): State Services Commissioner denies conflict of interest in fraud case
Liam Dann (Herald): The bad joke that spoiled a golden decade (paywalled)
Eugene Bingham and Paula Penfold (Stuff): From Afghanistan to New Zealand: how the PM heard grieving mothers’ pleas
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Spark’s 5G roadblock cleared after Government strikes deal with Māori
Ayesha Scott and Aaron Gilbert (ODT): Are KiwiSaver members paying too much in fees
Dan Satherley Simon Bridges no longer a ‘poor’ leader – Willie Jackson
Steve Kilgallon (Stuff): The tipping point: why New Zealand is being flooded with smuggled cigarettes
Maui Solomon (E-Tangata): Moriori: Still setting the record straight
RNZ: Nepalese delegation arrives to gain earthquake recovery insights
Eleisha Foon (RNZ):NZ consumers must be clothing conscious following India garment factory – Tearfund
RNZ: Mike Pohio to take Ngāi Tahu chief executive role
Julie Iles (NBR): Twyford says new urban development bill will supercharge development speeds (paywalled)
RNZ: Credit Contracts bill targeting loan sharks passes third reading
Dominion Post Editorial: Australian immigration policy morally wrong, hurting relationship
Catherine Delahunty (Spinoff): Leading us through loss
1News: Jacinda Ant-dern? New insect species named after NZ prime minister
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Kmart offers same-sex couples better toy representation this Christmas
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Don Brash calls Donald Trump an ‘appalling’ President
RNZ: Crunch day looms for $470m stadium for Christchurch
Kurt Bayer (Herald): White supremacist sent mosque shootings footage to fellow Christchurch extremist Phillip Arps (paywalled)

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