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.


Whakaari/White Island
John Anthony (Stuff): Whakaari/White Island should be bought off private owners, law expert says
1News: Are NZ’s adventure tourism rules fit for purpose? Workplace Safety Minister wants answers
Freya Higgins-Desbiolles and James Higham (The Conversation): Call for clearer risk information for tourists following Whakaari/White Island tragedy
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Exclusive: Former White Island Tours whānau speak
Jo Moir (RNZ): WorkSafe ambiguity ‘really unhelpful’ – Paul Quinn
RNZ: Tour company regularly audited – Minister
Herald: White Island probe must happen: National
Newstalk ZB: Australian Foreign Minister talks about White Island tragedy
James Fyfe (Newshub): Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne gives emotional thanks to rescuers
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Fishing and tour operators struggling with rāhui

Media, political communication
Danyl Mclauchlan (Spinoff): In the attention economy, bullshit wins, and you’re helping shovel it along
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Public media decision hangs in balance after Cabinet call for more detail
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Government plans for RNZ and TVNZ remain up in the air
Jane Patterson (RNZ): National criticises public broadcasting decision delays
Hamish McNeilly and Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Unrepentant cartoonist Garrick Tremain continues to lampoon editor
Teresa Ramsey (Newstalk ZB): Newstalk ZB host Andrew Dickens’ comment ‘how Māori are you?’ deemed offensive, but acceptable
Fiona Rotherham (NBR): Steven Joyce succeeds in defamation case against NBR publisher
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Joyce defamed, NBR and publisher must pay
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): Steven Joyce wins defamation case against National Business Review
Harrison Christian (Stuff): NBR publishers defamed Steven Joyce, High Court rules
Liam Hehir (Pundit): What’s The Most Annoying Type Of Political Person In New Zealand?

Parliament, 2019 in review
Spinoff: New Zealand politics in 2019: we pick the champs and the flops
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): TDB 2019 Politics Awards
David Hargreaves (Spinoff): The year that didn’t quite get started
Terry Baucher (Interest): The big tax stories of 2019 and the decade
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): Biscuit tin democracy: the humble start of New Zealand’s most progressive laws
Zane Small (Newshub): Pool accessories, drum kits and ‘freedom’: MPs reveal Christmas wishes

NZ First
Claire Trevett (Herald): ‘Battle-hardened’ Winston Peters on court cases, donations and 2020 (paywalled)
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Peters plans to buck NZ First’s post-Govt record
Brian Rudman (Herald): How to snatch a port and win a seat (paywalled)
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Minister Ron Mark in scuffle over stolen cowboy hat at Fleetwood Mac tribute concert

Andrea Fox (Herald): Audit of Government books probes $3b provincial fund, assets and liabilities
Bernard Hickey (Newsroom): Govt politically solid but economically vacant

National Party
Richard Harman (Politik): Bishop and Collins; a contrast in political styles
Jason Walls (Herald): National Leader Simon Bridges and TV personality Nigel Latta engage in a war of words

Hauraki settlement
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Scathing report on Treaty of Waitangi settlement for Hauraki iwi
Samantha Motion (Herald): Waitangi Tribunal slams Crown handling of overlapping claims in Pare Hauraki Treaty of Waitangi settlement (paywalled)
SunLive: Tribunal find Hauraki settlement process flawed

Primary and extractive industries
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): EPA grants drilling and discharge consent for Otago coast to oil and gas company OMV
Chris Morris (ODT): OMV wins drilling approval
RNZ: OMV granted oil drilling consent off Otago coast
Gavin Evans (BusinessDesk): OMV cleared for Great South Basin drilling (paywalled)
No Right Turn: Judicially review the OMV decision
John Weekes (Stuff): Mass chicken deaths hit NZ’s reputation, show law enforcement needed, MP says

Climate Change 
Richard Harman (Politik): Climate change’s odd couple almost agree
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Powerful climate commissioners appointed, including Harry Clark and James Renwick
Herald: Revealed: NZ’s new climate change commissioners
Julie Iles (NBR): Climate Change Commission confirms members
Gavin Evans (BusinessDesk): Former Fonterra director joins Climate Change Commission
Michael Neilson (Herald): COP 25: Māori leader calls out global climate change summit for treating indigenous peoples like ‘tokens’

Pike River
Joanne Carroll (Stuff): Pike River Recovery Agency goes beyond mine’s 170m seal
Scott Palmer and Annabelle Tukia  (Newshub): Pike River re-entry team successfully passes 170-metre barrier
Kim Moodie (Herald): Pike River Recovery team breaks through 170m barrier
RNZ: Pike River Recovery Agency team pass mine’s 170m seal
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Pike River mine: recovery team descends deeper in search for miners’ remains

Kate Newton (RNZ): Surveillance fears over plans to put sensors in state houses
Danielle Clent (Stuff): ‘Invasive’ sensors in Kāinga Ora state homes prompts privacy concerns
Chris Keall (Herald): Lobby group objects to sensors in state houses, Kāinga Ora responds
Pam Graham (Stuff): Lobby for social housing in Wairarapa as Labour caucus returns
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Landlord-turned-renter: Time for Govt to step in to tackle ‘greed’
Priscilla Dickinson (Newshub): New Community Finance initiative tackles Kiwi housing crisis

Georgina Campbell (Herald): Interislander ferry terminal kept open despite ‘concerning’ seismic status
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland light rail: Lobby groups want transparency on plans
RNZ: Millions for Gisborne rail link restoration is justified – report
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): New plan to fund rail infrastructure

Campaign finances in local government elections
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Mystery bidders paid ‘thousands’ for wine at Christchurch mayor’s fundraiser
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Andy Foster spent $30,000 to stop a Mayoral recount in close election
RNZ: Sir Peter Jackson behind $30,000 for Wellington mayor’s campaign

Local government
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Time to hold individuals to account for council effluent spills, say unlikely allies
Gerald Piddock (Stuff): Waikato councils pinged 38 times for illegal wastewater discharges over five years
Nick Truebridge (Stuff): Auckland Council appears powerless to stop National’s fuel tax scrapping
SunLive: Dog owner jailed for serious attacks
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): ‘It is time to do the right thing’: Tauranga Council gift land back to tangata whenua
Charlotte James (RNZ): High price of illegal rubbish dumping borne by ratepayers
Pam Graham (RNZ): Councils go it alone to locate water in Ruamahanga catchment
RNZ: The strangest requests to Wellington City Council this year
Skara Bohny (Nelson Mail): Nelson mayor nets surplus donations in election campaign
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Two Marlborough council candidates reported to police over election expenses
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Growing intolerance behind ‘significant’ rise in complaints about air quality
Phil Pennington (RNZ): 230 High Street: Christchurch Council distances its engineer from unstable building

Dave Goosselink (Newshub): Otago University experts call for government-run tobacco market
Newstalk ZB: Researchers calls for Government action on tobacco licensing
Sally Casswell (The Conversation): Why NZ’s cannabis bill needs to stop industry from influencing policy
Zoe Hunter (Stuff): Medicinal cannabis to be grown on Matakana Island
Stephanie Ockhuyse (Taranaki Daily News): Don’t build an ED for 2019, build one for 2038 and beyond – Taranaki Base Hospital senior medical staff
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Dunedin Hospital shape, size decisions delayed
Eloise Gibson (Newsroom): Five died from flu caught in hospital
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Over the Limit: We’ve had sixty years of training in binge drinking, says expert

Eleanor Wiseman (Stuff):New Zealand measles-free status at risk as cases get closer to two-decade high
Charlotte Paul (Newsroom): Epidemics expose public health failures
RNZ: Measles death toll in Samoa rises to 75

Justice, crime, corrections
Jarrod Gilbert (Herald): Finally, a meaningful measure of crime rather than cheap slogans (paywalled)
Mike White (North & South): Jailhouse snitches a blight on NZ’s justice system
Edward Gay (Stuff): Name suppression: How the uniquely Kiwi ‘hush hush policy’ became law and morphed over a century
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Hate crime: A fifth of offending in New Zealand is linked to discrimination
Kamala Hayman (Stuff): Being Kiwi: ‘Racism exists, but it is not welcome here’
Kiri Gillespie (Bay of Plenty Times): Courthouse $100k revamp needed but why just Tauranga (paywalled)
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Is NZ soft on crime, or harsh on punishment?
Tim Dower (Newstalk ZB): Is it wrong to give remorseful teenagers prison time?
RNZ: Grace Millane killer’s name suppression breach: police issue warning

UK elections
Chris Trotter: The Trick Of Winning Power Under Capitalism
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): What the left needs to learn from Jeremy Corbyn’s thrashing
Josie Pagani (Herald): The real reason Jeremy Corbyn lost and what it means for NZ Labour (paywalled)
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): The two New Zealanders behind Boris Johnson’s social media campaign
Harrison Christian (Stuff): Surge in Brits Googling NZ after Boris Johnson’s UK election victory
Steven Cowan: Hurrah for centrism!

John Key
John Anthony (Stuff): Sir John Key to stand down as Air New Zealand director in March
Grant Bradley (Herald): Siir John Key’s future moves after quitting Air NZ board role (paywalled)
RNZ: Sir John Key steps down from Air New Zealand board role
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Ex-PM Key to leave Air NZ board after just 2-½ years (paywalled)
Dan Lake (Newshub): Sir John Key stepping down from position on Air New Zealand board

David Fisher (Herald): Fatal Anzac Day military air crash under fresh review after NZ First promise (paywalled)
RNZ: The Detail: Where in the world is our defence force?
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Soldier with far-right ties in military custody

Financial sector
RNZ: Bank caution boosts finance companies and credit unions
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): ANZ’s chair David Gonski delivers a mea culpa to shareholders

Tuia 250
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): PM delivers heartfelt speech honouring kaumoana of Tuia 250
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): ‘This cannot be the end’ Govt commits to teaching navigational history of Aotearoa
1News: Jacinda Ardern shares story of Clarke Gayford’s proposal in Māhia, while visiting for Tuia 250
Alistair Lynn (Newshub): Controversial Tuia 250 tour comes to an end in Gisborne

John Gerritsen (RNZ): Majority of fees-free students from higher decile schools
George Heagney (Manawatū Standard): Living wage makes ‘huge difference’ for school support staff

Migrant exploitation
Bernard Hickey and Lynn Grieveson (Newsroom): The Dubai of the Sth Pacific in Reporoa
Caroline Fleming (Herald): Reporoa holiday park owner hits back over record $680k exploitation fine

Business and consumer confidence
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Business confidence hits highest level since Labour-led coalition took power
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Business confidence best since October 2017 (paywalled)
RNZ: Consumers and businesses feel the Christmas cheer

Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Space activities should ‘reflect NZ values’, says guideline issued by minister
Grant Bradley (Herald): Government updates rules on what can be sent into space

Bryce Edwards (Herald): Political Roundup: How rotten is New Zealand? (paywalled)
Mitchell Alexander (Newshub): Exclusive: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lobbied by Chief Science Advisor to look at genetic technologies
RNZ: Checkpoint: Behrouz Boochani’s NZ stay ‘a good strategic move’ – human rights lawyer
Peter Lyons (ODT): Free trade not assured path to economic prosperity
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Power companies accused of manipulation as minister prepares renewables push
Robert Ayson (Incline): The All Singing All Dancing National Security Strategy Doesn’t Exist
Charlotte Jones (RNZ): Environment Court pours cold water on bottling plant opposition
Herald: Former prime minister Dame Jenny Shipley out of New Zealand China Council
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Protection for subbies’ payments needs more work: MBIE
Chris Keall (Herald): 5G deal: Māori will be able to onsell spectrum (paywalled)
Rob Stock (Stuff): ‘No door-to-door sales’ signs to be given legal status
1News: With gun buyback period in final days, Police Minister rejects lobbyist’s suggestion it failed
Zane Small (Newshub): Using ‘Aotearoa’ and ‘New Zealand’ together ‘as it should be’ – Jacinda Ardern
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Hannah’s Tamaki’s ‘flair, freedom’ making Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges nervous – Brian
Guy Williams (ODT): Freedom camping club seeks bylaw review
Peter Cullen (Stuff):Striking a balance with transport worker rights
Geoff Simmons (Stuff): Means-testing pension to free up money for young Kiwis should be a no-brainer
Luke Kirkness (Herald): Smile, you could be on camera: The Warehouse trialling safety cameras as part of staff uniform
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Tiki Guarana Energy drink offensive, Māori cultural adviser says
Kelvin McDonald (Māori TV): Matariki Day group confident petition will reach parliament
Richard Meadows (Stuff): Budget Buster: Don’t get me a goat for Christmas