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.

Labour Party assault inquiry
Alison Mau (Stuff): Labour sexual harassment complainants ‘told PM of suicide risk’ from report’s release
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Labour Party sexual assault investigation: Complainants distressed claims not upheld
Spinoff: ‘Worst nightmare’: Labour staffer complainants respond to Dew report
Martyn Bradbury: The Spinoff witch trial ends in sexual assault inquest that finds serious questions of credibility
Boris Jancic (Herald): Labour Party sexual assault review: Maria Dew’s findings can’t substantiate allegation
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Sexual assault allegations against ex-Labour staffer ‘not established’
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour Party inquiry into sex assault allegation cannot establish allegation
Zane Small (Newshub): Labour Party inquiry: Investigation finds alleged victim’s events not established
Newsroom: Labour: report finds no sexual assaults, harassment

Medicinal cannabis, cannabis legalisation
Damien Venuto (Herald): Revealed: How much businesses will pay to sell cannabis next year
Zane Small and Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): Medicinal cannabis regulations confirmed: Five things you need to know
1News:‘Wider range’ of medicinal cannabis products to be made available for Kiwis
Newstalk ZB:Legislation allows local businesses to manufacture medicinal cannabis
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): Revealed: The medicinal cannabis scheme health officials want
Chris Fowlie (Daily Blog): NZ’s medicinal cannabis scheme just got way better
David Clement (Stuff): What NZ can learn from Canada’s cannabis experiment

Transport, road safety
Ben Strang (RNZ): Road to Zero strategy leak: improved roads, more cameras, lower speeds
Ben Strang (RNZ): Roadside drug driving test to be law by 2021
Jason Walls (Herald): Government to grant police the power to conduct roadside drug testing
1News: Roadside drug testing for drivers to be introduced in New Zealand
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Government announces roadside drug testing in 2021
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): Auckland Transport announces Adrienne Young-Cooper as new chairwoman
RNZ: City Rail Link calls for applications to businesses’ hardship fund

Environment Commissioner’s report on tourism
Jamie Morton (Herald): How tourism is ‘eroding’ NZ’s world-famous environment
Zane Small (Newshub): Tourism in New Zealand: From Māori exploitation to ‘unavoidable’ ecological impacts
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Environment Commissioner warns tourism growth is putting pressure on NZ
RNZ: No plan to tackle environmental degradation by increased tourism – Commissioner
Alex Braae (Spinoff): Cheat sheet: The frightening new environmental report on tourism’s future

Year in review
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): David Seymour, my politician of year (paywalled)
Spinoff: Politics in 2019: How to describe the year in one sentence?
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): 2019 – The year of entropy and walls
David Farrar: 2019 Kiwiblog Awards Nominations
Fran O’Sullivan: Ron Brierley allegation caps off ‘the year of behaving badly’
Vomle Springford (Noted): 10 notable quotes that sum up 2019
Dan Ahwa (Viva): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Reflects On The Unprecedented Year That Was

Simon Bridges
Herald Editorial: The road rises to meet Simon Bridges (paywalled)
1News: Simon Bridges reads out ‘Santa’s naughty and nice list’ for Government MPs in light-hearted address to House
1News: Simon Bridges sends Breakfast hosts ‘slightly awkward and weird’ Christmas gifts

Local government
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Christchurch mayor releases names of donors
John Minto (Daily Blog): Dalziel’s “updated” election expenses fiasco risks a “lame duck” mayor for Christchurch
Damian George and Katarina Williams (Stuff): Ratepayers could be liable for vote recount application
Joel Maxwell (Dominion Post): Porirua council warns it could report tardy candidates to police, including ex-mayor
Nick Truebridge (Stuff): Auckland Council appears powerless to stop fuel tax scrapping
Charlotte Jones (Stuff): Taxpayers’ Union biggest user of official information requests in the Eastern Bay
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Billboard launching early campaign for Dunedin mayoralty gets voted out

Whakaari/White Island
Andrea Fox (Herald): Will adventure tourism regulations change?
RNZ: Tourists should check if operators registered – Iain Lees-Galloway
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Minister urges tourists to check if operators are registered
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Criticising experts in the wake of tragedy
RNZ: Whakaari / White Island: Rāhui on fishing continues to respect victims still missing

Pike River
1News: ‘I hope John Key is watching’ – Mother of Pike River victim celebrates re-entry milestone
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Families of Pike River victims praise ‘satisfying’ progress into mine’s drift

Pattrick Smellie (Herald): Merger talks mean state of media landscape has Govt worried (paywalled)
Emily Brookes (Stuff): Campbell on Breakfast and babies at Three: The major moves in TV news this year
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Media person of the year

Hauraki settlement
Māori TV: Waitangi Tribunal calls for the Crown to delay Hauraki settlement
RNZ: Hauraki Treaty settlement: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei puts Auckland Council on notice
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Waitangi Tribunal’s Hauraki treaty settlement criticisms a step forward – iwi

Rua Kēnana pardon
Alexander Gillespie (The Conversation): Why a pardon for 20th-century Māori leader Rua Kēnana doesn’t go far enough
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Rua Kēnana pardon: 200 descendants gather at Parliament
Māori TV: Tūhoe descendants arrive to Parliament

Primary and extractive industries
Conan Young (RNZ): NZ’s fishing boats largely uncompliant with safety standards, TAIC suggests
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Te Papa makes changes after dyed brown ‘stream’ water angers farmers
1News: Environmentalists outraged over Otago oil and gas exploration permits
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Crown to assess guarantee after watershed meeting for troubled Tamarind (paywalled)

Climate change
RNZ: Climate Change Commission: How it will work and the initial plans
Michael Neilson (Herald): ‘We need to do more’: New Zealand falling short on international climate change greenhouse gas commitments
Robert McLachlan (Stuff): Climate Explained: Which countries are likely to meet their Paris Agreement targets?
Todd Niall (Stuff): Climate Change: 20,000 Aucklanders exposed to flood risk this century
Gwynne Dyer (Herald): Deadlock in Madrid as Australia burns
Michael Hayward (Stuff): Councillors delay decision on old dump at risk from climate change
Nikki Mandow (Newsroom): Why investing in coal mines could (maybe) be ‘responsible investment’
ODT: Year of the activists

Environment and conservation
Jamie Morton (Herald): Xmas plea to PM: Give us rivers clean enough to swim in
Herald: Baby dolphin died ‘horrible death’ entangled in discarded fishing braid
Kendall Hutt (Stuff): Baby dolphin entangled with fishing gear found dead with deep cuts to body
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): Dam delays: Half soon, half later. Maybe.

Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Pharmac brand switch: Man driving through Waterview Tunnel blacked out
Emma Espiner (Newsroom): Time to recognise midwives
Newstalk ZB: Senior doctors call for junk food advertising changes
1News: Vaping ban in Central Otago this summer a step too far for anti-smoking advocates
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Almost $400k available from Gumboot Friday for children’s counselling over Christmas

Measles, vaccination
Amanda Vickers (Stuff): Why mandatory vaccination is unethical and immoral
1News: Shipping containers packed full of supplies depart NZ for Samoa amid measles crisis
RNZ: Samoa’s measles death toll rises to 76
Herald: Measles cases in Colorado were carried on flight from New Zealand

Festival drug testing
1News: Pill testing at festivals to go ahead over summer period
Mandy Te (Stuff): Ministry of Health gives $59,000 for research into drug testing at festivals
Kim Moodie (Stuff): Govt to back research on drug-checking programmes at music festivals

Foreign affairs and trade
Jo Moir (Stuff): ‘I’m surprised she was put there in the first place’: Shipley’s NZ-China Council departure
Brent Edwards (NBR): NZ’s trade deals insurance policies against WTO inaction (paywalled)

Florence Kerr and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Arrested New Zealand soldier with far-right ties was questioned after March 15 attacks
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Soldier’s arrest raises concerns far-right could infiltrate Defence Force
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Soldier believed to have ties to far-right ‘Christian brotherhood’ arrested at Linton Military Camp
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): SFO probes use of non-public funds at NZ Defence Force (paywalled)

Immigration, refugees
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway knew about residency application delays months ago
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): Attack victims’ families ‘should have read fine print’
Anna Whyte 1News): New Zealand urged to act with world’s first Global Refugee Forum underway in Geneva
Greg Ninness (Interest): Net migration gain up almost 11% compared to a year ago

MIgrant workers
1News: Eight construction workers illegally working in New Zealand deported to China
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Chinese men working illegally in New Zealand construction industry deported

Deposit insurance scheme planned
Rob Stock (Stuff): $50,000 bank deposit insurance planned for New Zealand
1News: Insurance scheme coming to ensure Kiwis’ savings are safe if banks collapse
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Grant Robertson confirms deposit insurance for $50k per person per institution
Graham Skellern (NBR): Kiwis’ bank deposits will be protected by insurance (paywalled)
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Govt to insure bank deposits, set up a governance board

1News: ANZ appoints new CEO, six months after predecessor stepped down in cloud of controversy
Anuja Nadkarni and Susan Edmund (Stuff): ANZ appoints Antonia Watson as permanent replacement for David Hisco
RNZ: ANZ names Antonia Watson as new chief executive
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): ANZ New Zealand names Antonia Watson new chief executive
Herald: Westpac confirms class-action lawsuit after Austrac allegations

Minimum wage to increase in April 2020
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): New Zealand’s minimum wage will rise to $18.90 in 2020
RNZ: Minimum wage to be increased to $18.90 an hour
1News: Government announces minimum wage boost, to $18.90 an hour
1News: Government’s minimum wage increase ‘too far, too fast’ says National
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Confirmed: Kiwis on minimum wage get a pay rise
No Right Turn: The one thing the government is delivering on

Ron Brierley
Herald: Sir Ron Brierley charges: New details emerge
Rob Stock and Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Reports Sir Ron Brierley arrested over possession of child exploitation images
Sally Rawsthorne and Michael Evans (Sydney Morning Herald): Sir Ron Brierley allegations: Anonymous tip sparked investigation, reports say
Melanie Carroll and Rob Stock (Stuff): The life and times of Kiwi corporate raider Sir Ron Brierley
RNZ: Sir Ron Brierley charged with possession of child exploitation material – Australia media
NBR: Sir Ron Brierley charged with child exploitation offences
Maria Slade (Spinoff): Cheat sheet: NZ multi-millionaire Sir Ron Brierley arrested in Australia

Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Proposed new law could see existing landowners levied to pay for local infrastructure
Eric Crampton (Newsroom): Councils to have less reason to say ‘no’ to new housing

Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Options to go to Cabinet after report finds Novopay needs fresh investment
Leah Tebbutt (Bay of Plenty Times): Te Puna Manawa o Whakaue childcare teachers had cannabis in their system at work (paywalled)
RNZ: School was warned twice about sexually abusive teacher

Hamish Bidwell (RNZ): New Zealand Rugby fails diversity test
RNZ: Israel Folau saga played a part in Maria’s decision to retire – Taurua

Natalie Akoorie (Herald): Former staff describe Health and Disability Commissioner’s office as ‘toxic’ (paywalled)
Bryce Edwards (Herald): Political Roundup: Is the Government doing enough to address poverty? (paywalled)
Rodney Hide (NBR): Auditor-General betrayed by Parliament (paywalled)
RNZ: Electricity firms accuse hydro-generators of high prices after dumping water
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Think your Christmas food is dear? Spare a thought for prisoners
RNZ: Ministry for Culture and Heritage accepts Tuia 250 privacy breach
No Right Turn: What is Archives New Zealand scared of?
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): For a Green New Deal with People’s Power
Carmen Parahi (Stuff): Iwi gaining back authority across the country, one disaster at a time
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Championing the past: How the battle to get NZ history taught in all schools was won and what it means
Nina Tonga (Spinoff): The Single Object: The wood planks that hid Polynesian students from the police
Edward Gay (Stuff): Cigarette smuggling operation brought 28 million smokes into NZ