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.

Year, decade in review
Audrey Young (Herald): And my politician of the year is … (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern found new heights of power in 2019 – and hit hard limits
TVNZ: John Armstrong’s none-too-serious Christmas gift suggestions for some of the country’s more prominent MPs
Stuff: The biggest political moments of 2019, from tragedy to farce
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Parting shots of the political year
Duncan Garner (Stuff): School’s out and here is their report card
Richard Griffin (Stuff): Turbulent political year sets up a fascinating photo line finish in 2020
1News: Analysis: White Island tragedy likely to shape Govt policy as much as Christchurch terrorist attack did
RNZ: Focus on Politics: Parliament wraps for 2019 (audio)
Jason Walls (Herald): Politicians’ Christmas plans: Clarke Gayford’s present for Neve and Ardern’s ‘practical’ gift
Rod Oram (Newsroom): 2020 is around the corner and there’s no place to hide
Herald Editorial: Politicians have much to mull over during break (paywalled)
Mike Houlahan (ODT): A mixed year for politicians of the South
Morgan Godfery (Spinoff): The decade in the Māori world: from Taika to Tariana
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Looking back on 2019 – a year of much unhappiness
Newstalk ZB: Shane Te Pou: Wrapping the year in politics (audio)
Newstalk ZB: Paul Spoonley: Reflecting on a decade marked by tragedies (audio)
Steve Braunias (Herald): The secret diary of Christmas carols (paywalled)
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): Oh carol(s), you’ve got us singing the year away
Josie Adams (Spinoff): Decade in review: why we took to the streets

Matthew Brockett  (Bloomberg): Jacinda Ardern’s Global Stardom May Not Help Her Win Re-Election
Alison Rourke (Guardian): Housing, inequality, climate: what the Guardian’s New Zealand readers asked Jacinda Ardern
Steve Cowan: Cover Politics
1News: Jacinda Ardern heading to Australia for family holiday

Election year campaigning
Chris Trotter (Interest): Impending election year social media battle carries a stern warning for the former student politicians of the Labour Party
Jason Walls (Herald): The ‘Digi Kiwis’ behind Tory’s Love Actually parody say the video almost didn’t happen

Labour Party
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Abuse scandal inquiry damaging to all parties involved
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Can a Spinoff conspiracy destroy Jacinda Ardern in 2020 and Andrea Vance’s ‘apology’ has to be read to be believed
Stephanie Ockhuysen (Stuff): Labour Party announces new candidate for New Plymouth electorate

Thomas Manch and Henry Cooke (Stuff): Greens reflect on year of climate change action
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Shaw confident of Green gains after Zero Carbon win to cap 2019

National Party
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Simon Bridges: In charge and off on a cruise
1News: National MP Anne Tolley steps away from East Coast in hopes of being Speaker
Zane Small (Newshub): National’s Anne Tolley not seeking re-election as East Coast MP, wants to be next Speaker
Herald: National MP Anne Tolley wants to be Speaker, won’t run in East Coast electorate
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Anne Tolley to go list only in 2020, citing ambitions to be Speaker

Local government – campaign spending
Press reporters: The mayor, the wine and the Chinese restaurant
Michael Hayward (Press): Authorities to consider Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel’s donor declarations
Felix Desmarais (Stuff): Call for electoral donations big and small to be declared
Hawkes Bay Today: Wairoa’s Craig Little spent $20 on his mayoral campaign, and won (paywalled)
Lois Williams (Stuff): Election campaign returns reveal what West Coast candidates spent

Local government
Susan Botting (RNZ): Far North to claim houses in rates clawback
Susan Botting (RNZ): Call for councils to mark NZ Declaration of Independence
Mike Lee: Group of 10 former Auckland civic leaders slam proposed “expropriation” of publicly-owned port of Auckland
Aaron van Delden (RNZ): Gisborne council stance on climate change disappoints youth
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Calls for councillor’s resignation after ‘racist’ joke at Whanganui meeting
1News: Councillor pleads with Fonterra to reconsider Kāpiti factory closure
Eleanor Wienman (Stuff): Wellington City Council reverses ban on breastfeeding at swimming pools
RNZ: Breastfeeding ban lifted at Wellington pools
Herald: Wellington City Council does about turn on breastfeeding ban in pools
Chris Morris (ODT): City would benefit from govt fund

Inequality and poverty
1News: Budgeting service flooded with desperate families in lead up to Christmas calls for charities’ funding to be performance-based
Herald: Auckland church leaders Christmas message: Christmas in the Rough
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Young homeless mum who lived in car while pregnant now helping others out of poverty
Taroi Black (Māori TV): South Auckland Kuia feeds 1600 whānau
Roger Douglas: A Better Way for New Zealand

David Fisher (Herald): The mystery man leading the bizarre online #turnardern campaign against Jacinda Ardern
Herald:‘Die, boomer’: Man behind bizarre ‘Turn Ardern’ campaign threatened online
RNZ: Man behind #TurnArdern campaign: ‘People want a prime minister not a fashion model’
Liam Hehir (Pundit): Please Remember Not To Talk To Journalists (Not Lightly, Anyway)
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Dear Everyone, 66-year-old Canterbury bricklayer Colin Wilson has every right to his activism – don’t fall for the trap
Steven Cowan: Cult of Personality

Luke Malpass (Stuff): Hop aboard the car and trains election
Damian George and Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): $878,000 to discover all is not good with Wellington’s buses
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Pacific Haulage escapes penalty after logbook and maintenance breached
John Roughan (Herald): Robbing road users to pay rail is going down the wrong track (paywalled)
Libby Wilson (Stuff): Trauma surgeons want e-scooter rules, footpath speed limit considered

Gun buyback scheme
Hera Cook (Guardian): The gun buyback won’t change things overnight, but it will give people hope (paywalled)
Anna Leask (Herald): Gun buy-back, amnesty ends, police now on hunt for illegal firearms
Newstalk ZB: Expert: Police likely to catch up with those holding onto now illegal guns (audio)
Anna Whyte (1News): Gun buy back ends tonight with estimate that 100,000 banned weapons won’t have been turned in to police
Herald: Gun buyback: Over 56,000 guns collected as police release official figures
Caroline Williams and Catrin Owen (Stuff): Firearms buy-back: More than 56,000 firearms handed in
Jamie Ensor and Mitch McCann (Newshub): Gun buyback: 56,000 firearms handed in, $102 million paid out
Sam Farrell (Newshub): Buyback ends: People with banned firearms face fines, five years jail from midnight
1News: Gun buyback draws to a close with 56,250 firearms handed in
Newstalk ZB: Over 50,000 guns collected as buy-back scheme comes to an end (audio)
RNZ: New Zealanders hand over 56,000 illegal guns during amnesty
Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Opposition MPs criticise gun buyback as amnesty ends
Jason Walls (Herald): Act Leader David Seymour ‘mournfully proud’ to be vindicated over gun-buy back
Reuters: Questions raised about New Zealand’s gun buyback scheme as amnesty ends
Dan Satherley and Miriam Harris (Newshub): Gun owners angry World War I rifles destroyed in buyback scheme

Climate change
Jim Rose (Herald): All we need right now is a carbon tax (paywalled)
No Right Turn: Climate Change: Planning for failure again
Eric Crampton: Strengthening the ETS
Boris Jancic (Herald): Government mulls huge changes to emissions prices
Herald: NZ farmers blindsided by proposed changes to ETS
Leith Huffadine (RNZ): A youth perspective on climate talks: Time for indigenous leadership

Primary and extractive industries
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Ministry of Primary Industries is failing animals – SAFE
Kendall Hutt (Stuff): Northland egg farm cleared by MPI after video of dead, de-feathered hens released
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): The man with OMV’s half-billion bit between his teeth (paywalled)
RNZ: Taranaki industry undeterred by Tamarind Taranaki liquidation
No Right Turn: Climate Change: We need this to happen more often

Whakaari/White Island, adventure tourism safety regulation
Rob Stock (Stuff): How adventure tourism safety was made a private affair
Tom O’Connor (Stuff): Opinion:The deadly business of adventure tourism
Andrea Fox (Herald): White Island toll ends tragic year for adventure activity deaths (paywalled)
1News: Middlemore Hospital postpones hundreds of surgeries to focus on White Island victims
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Up to 600 Middlemore surgeries delayed after eruption
Aroha Mane (Māori TV): Rāhui on Whakaari, is anyone really listening?
Māori TV: Whakatōhea hapū upset trust board lifting rāhui for ‘commercial activities’

Ben Strang (RNZ): Police watchdog, the IPCA, says surge in complaints stretching resources
George Block (Stuff): Police facial recognition: US academic says Kiwis deserve answers

Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Fifth death linked to epilepsy brand switch
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Epilepsy NZ says drug-switching must end after five deaths linked to generic medication
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Censure over SDHB’s dealings with MPs
Nicholas Jones (Herald): Exclusive: Helicopter air ambulance changes left transfers unavailable and DHBs fearing for patients (paywalled)
1News: Samoa measles crisis ‘by far the worst’ thing TVNZ’s Barbara Dreaver has covered in her career
RNZ: Pacific migrant workers can now access measles vaccine in New Zealand
RNZ: Death toll from measles in Samoa reaches 79
Stephanie Ockhuysen (Taranaki Daily News): Majority of Taranaki’s vaccination ‘rejecters’ live between Oakura and Okato
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Smaller hospital in works for Dunedin, but price tag remains the same
Samantha Gee (Stuff): Dispute over number of elective surgeries completed in Nelson Marlborough

Behrouz Boochani
Anke Richter (Herald): Manus asylum-seeker Behrouz Boochani on forgiveness – but not for politicians (paywalled)
Rebekah Holt (Newshub): Behrouz Boochani is a journalist and multi-awarding winning writer
Peter Williams (Newshub): Behrouz Boochani is an overstayer and he should leave New Zealand immediately

Immigration, migrant exploitation
Laura James (1News): Brazilian born paraplegic slams NZ immigration rule she says discriminates against disabled
Matt Shand (Stuff): Migrant worker speaks out against exploitation at rural Reporoa holiday park
Nathan Morton (Herald): Local Focus: Worker describes exploitation nightmare in Reporoa

Phil Pennington (RNZ): Safety upgrade for court holding cells four years after death
RNZ: Grace Millane case: Man charged with breaching suppression orders
RNZ: Supreme Court dismisses Mark Lundy’s bid for third trial

Domestic violence
1News: New campaign launched to tackle spike in domestic violence over holiday season
Sahiban Hyde (Hawkes Bay Today): Hastings Women’s Refuge: ‘The ones that catch my breath are when death is imminent’ (paywalled)

Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Here’s how you can find out how your pay compares to others around you
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Merry Christmas, not. Law firms’ bonus schemes come under scrutiny (paywalled)
Jo Cribb (Stuff): These holidays #parttimePM tweeters should consider another hashtag

Privacy Commissioner inquiry into Trade Me
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Inquiry launched into Trade Me privacy changes
RNZ: Trade Me surprised by planned inquiry into its privacy policy update
1News: Privacy Commissioner launches inquiry over Trade Me privacy policy

John Gerritsen (RNZ): Father unhappy with AUT’s  $500 university hostel instalment fee
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Wintec accused of shutting down complaints against top chef Shannon Katipa
Leah Tebbutt (Herald): Religion instruction: How do Tauranga schools fare? (paywalled)

Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Revealed: Treasury wanted to push pause on the RBNZ’s bank capital review
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Govt cracks whip on open banking

Shamubeel Eaqub (Stuff): Will millennials ever own a home in New Zealand?
Greg Ninness (Interest): Strongly rising house prices more than wipe out the benefits of lower interest rates for first home buyers

Rua Kenana pardon
Aroha Mane (Māori TV): Crown clears Rua Kēnana and says sorry for Maungapōhatu invasion
Sam Farrell (Newshub): Rua Kenana officially pardoned 103 years after imprisonment

Environment and conservation
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): No Christmas present for Māui dolphins
Zane Small (Newshub): Almost 400 alleged breaches of plastic bag ban but no prosecutions
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Birds vs drones: Pilots flouting rules, DOC says

ODT Editorial: Measles cartoon complaints upheld
Herald: NZME and Chinese Herald end joint venture

Joel Maxwell (Stuff): They sell $35 packets of noodles, charge $4500 for two phones, and are still rolling
Steve Elers (Stuff): Fuelling hysteria by giving oxygen for those who cry ‘Māori privilege’
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Pipes of despair: Wellington’s woeful and wounded water system
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Treaty settlement group made ‘secret deal’, refused to hold elections and did not disclose accounts
Brian Easton (Pundit): Is The Left Being Left Behind?
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): Fraud office problems need to be taken seriously
Liam Dann (Herald): Cheering up a tiny nation of 600 islands (paywalled)
John Gibb (ODT): Brexit complication, but no ill effects
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): One to watch in 2020 — Sir John Key (paywalled)
Aaron Davy (Herald): Misdirected kindness can hamper aid
Neil Reid (Herald): Spy bosses: ‘Small number’ of male and female Kiwi jihadis offshore
David Barber (Stuff): The last, most shameful chapter of NZ’s involvement in the Vietnam War
Brian Gaynor (Herald): Taking stock of one fantastic journey (paywalled)
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Drug testing in Wellington reveals antipsychotic medication in drug samples
RNZ: National Council of Women appoints first Māori president
Denise Piper (Stuff): Pre-Christmas warning as four Northland stores caught selling alcohol to under-18
Carly Gooch (Stuff): Safe Spaces concept takes off for the LGBTQI+ community
Jordyn Rudd (1News): NZ one of the worst countries in the world for creating Christmas waste – experts
Michael Wright (Stuff): Erebus: Forty years on from disaster, an apology
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Road safety, travel costs tourists’ main worries in New Zealand – survey