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.

Today’s content

Public health strategy
Derek Cheng (Herald): Lockdown ‘not enough’, top professor tells Govt video conference
Derek Cheng (Herald): Just when you thought the Opposition had become irrelevant (paywalled)
James Fyfe (Newshub): Sir David Skegg urges Government to show clear plan to eliminate COVID-19
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealand still faces ‘major challenge to avoid tens of thousands of deaths’ – Health Minister
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Health Minister David Clark says there’s no evidence community transmission figures being underestimated
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Newshub: Broadening COVID-19 testing criteria applauded by public health expert
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Doctor says the expansion of COVID-19 testing criteria should have happened weeks ago
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Calls to allow front-line health workers to test patients themselves
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM: ‘We need more testing’ Government orders a big boost in testing
Oliver Lewis (Stuff): Government expands testing criteria, PM says test numbers need to increase
1News: ‘I want more tests’ – Jacinda Ardern says coronavirus test criteria being broadened
Michael Hall (RNZ): Northland woman calls for mobile testing units after Covid-19 runaround
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1News: Government using domestic charter flights to move Kiwis arriving from overseas to self-isolation location

Modelling
Jamie Morton (Herald): Big Read: What you need to know about scary virus projections
Anna Whyte (1News): New modelling shows thousands could die if Covid-19 eradication plan fails
1News: New Zealand could see 8000-14,000 coronavirus deaths if lockdown strategy fails, expert warns
RNZ: Morning Report: 14,000 could die in NZ if control efforts fail
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): New modelling shows scale of Covid-19 threat
Siouxsie Wiles & Toby Morris (Spinoff): Why those bubbles are so important
Herald Editorial: Covid 19 coronavirus modelling is another wake up call

Enforcing the lockdown, government messaging, civil liberties
Grant Morris (Democracy Project): Liberty and Lockdown: Talking about Covid-19
Brad Flahive (Stuff): Why the PM’s repeated ‘stay at home’ message appears to be working
Chris Trotter (Democracy Project): Who does tomorrow belong to?
Annemarie Jutel (Stuff): We need solidarity right now, not judgment
Vera Alves (Herald): Why we should be mindful of dobbing in our neighbours
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): NZ’s becoming a nation of narks – and I welcome it
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): Our PM is the finals MVP we need right now
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): ‘We are in a pretty stringent environment as it is’ – PM Ardern on lockdown curfew
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Police Association’s Chris Cahill calls for curfew to ease pressure on officers during lockdown
1News: Police Commissioner urges all Kiwis to follow coronavirus lockdown rules ‘to really make a difference’
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush to bow out at Covid-19 select committee
Amelia Wade (Herald): State of national emergency extended
RNZ: State of Emergency extended by 7 days
Juha Saarinen (Herald): New Medtech – Iron fist in a latex glove? (paywalled)
RNZ: Nearly 10,000 reports of suspected lockdown breaches made
1News: ‘Always blow on the pie’ cop returns with new message to stop spread of coronavirus
David Farrar: Government defines “local areas”

Economy, business
Colin James (Spinoff): The Covid aftershocks will upend the global power structure for years to come
Bryan Gould (Herald): Lessons from a global pandemic (paywalled)
Peter Lyons (ODT): Wartime footing requires people sticking together
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Coronavirus crash won’t be pleasant, but every crisis is also an opportunity to change
Matt Burrows (Newshub): New Zealand can turn economy around fast, be ‘wealthier than ever before’ – Winston Peters
Michael Reddell: The old world won’t snap back and we shouldn’t make policy assuming it will
Anne Gibson (Herald): Sir John Key on why ‘it’s harder to get out’ than into a lockdown
Rob Stock and Dominic Harris (Stuff): Major projects up for huge cash boost to reverse lockdown downturn
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): A Ministry of Works for post-Covid NZ
Richard Harman (Politik): Construction companies on the brink
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Construction sector calls for its own coronavirus alert levels to keep sector afloat
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Unemployment won’t fall back to 5pc for four years: BNZ
1News: Severe recession guaranteed in wake of coronavirus pandemic, economists say
David Farrar: The debt problem
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Time For Grant Robertson To Reveal Package #2?
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Business confidence sinks but ANZ warns the worst may be yet to come
David Hargreaves (Interest): ANZ Business Outlook for March makes for ‘dreadful reading’
BusinessDesk: Pandemic decimates business confidence
RNZ: Business confidence at record lows – ANZ survey
Jamie Gray (Herald): NZ banks should be able to absorb credit losses – S&P (paywalled)
RNZ: Submit tax returns even if unable to meet payments, businsesses told
Damian George (Stuff): Dozens of Wellington businesses granted rent suspension

Government finances
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Grant Robertson, from fiscal prudence to $1 billion a week (paywalled)
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Strong NZ govt balance sheet about to blow out (paywalled)
Anna Whyte (1News): Government had $1.4 billion surplus prior to Covid-19 pandemic
RNZ: Government books in surplus before Covid-19

Workers, wage subsidy scheme
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Employers unilaterally cutting pay during coronavirus lockdown are acting illegally
1News: Employers urged to act in good faith, support employees affected by coronavirus lockdown
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Wage subsidy and workers’ rights: Your Covid-19 questions answered
Eva Corlett (RNZ): Delays and confusion surround wage subsidy scheme
John Anthony (Stuff): Employers encountering obstacles accessing Covid-19 wage subsidy
1News: New Zealand’s minimum wage set to increase today to $18.90 an hour
Amelia Wade (Herald): Renewed calls to defer tomorrow’s $1.20 minimum wage increase
RNZ: Businesses want minimum wage increase postponed
John Anthony (Stuff) :$1.20 minimum wage increase to hit already struggling employers, manufacturing association says
1News: Tomorrow’s minimum wage rise is ‘irresponsible’ amid Covid-19, Simon Bridges says

Supermarkets
Geoff Simmons (Stuff): Give Commerce Commission power to investigate supermarkets
RNZ: Checkpoint: Supermarket staff describe abuse, stress of restocking shelves in Covid-19 lockdown
Anna Whyte (1News): Supermarkets to stay open Easter Sunday, but close Easter Friday to give workers a ‘well-earned break’
Amelia Wade (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says supermarkets to open on Easter Sunday
1News: Countdown to offer rent relief for tenants, hour of morning shop for essential service workers

Essential services and businesses
Anna Campbell (ODT): Time to reassess our entire food chains to find better ways
Kim Moodie (Herald): The NZ stores selling essential items online during lockdown
ODT Editorial: To be essentially exceptional
Nina Hindmarsh (Stuff): Confusion for vege shops and growers with some open and others forced to shut
Jo McKenzie-McLean (Stuff): Queenstown milkman gives away 1000 bottles of milk rather than let it spoil
Robin Martin (RNZ): Millions of dollars worth of meat headed to landfill due to trading ban
Kristin Hall (1News): Some Kiwi Muslims go vegetarian as lockdown rules see halal butchers close
Henry Oliver (Metro): You can’t always get what you want: An argument about what’s essential during lockdown

Hospitals
Nicholas Jones (Herald): NZ software to help decide who gets intensive care beds
Kim Moodie (Herald): Over 30 ICU beds fast-tracked at Christchurch Hospital
1News: Ministry of Health reveals current number of ventilators available in NZ
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): 533 ventilators available in the New Zealand public health system
Anna Nicol-Williams (1News): Essential health workers happy with new PPE distribution announcement
Emma Russell (Herald): Thousands of doctors and nurses rally for more effective protective gear
RNZ: Getting local companies to help make Covid-19 personal protective equipment
1News: Over 70 staff at Queenstown hospital in isolation after two nurses contract coronavirus
ASMS: Personal fears and frustrations on PPE for hospital healthcare workers – a doctor’s spouse speaks out

Health system
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Flu vaccine not available for at-risk groups due to supply issues
Garth Bray (1News): Some GPs out of flu jabs after coronvirus triggers early start to immunisation campaign
David Fisher (Herald): Cancer and rare disorder patients ‘will die’ if Pharmac doesn’t spend money on medicines (paywalled)
1News: GPs will be able to prescribe more cancer drugs amid coronavirus lockdown
1News: GPs could be forced to close over financial struggles amid coronavirus pandemic
1News: GPs call for urgent financial help from Government as patient numbers drop
Himali McInnes (Newsroom): The doctor will see you now
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Covid-19 shows we were not prepared for a pandemic
Hamish McLean (ODT): Outside delivery service blow for pharmacy

Iwi checkpoints, border lockdowns
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Green Party supports iwi checkpoints to ‘ensure protected communities’
Donna-Lee Biddle (Stuff): Iwi enforce ‘level 5 lockdown’ to stop spread of coronavirus in community
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Prime Minister refuses to send personnel and resources to Tairawhiti

Environment and conservation
Jackson Thomas (Stuff): Auckland air quality improves by up to 90 per cent in lockdown
Herald: Dramatic improvement in Auckland air quality
No Right Turn: Saving lives
Brent Edwards (NBR): Green economy should centre on Covid-19 rebuild, Shaw says
Eloise Gibson and Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Emitters offered extra time to report footprints
David Hall (Stuff): Stimulating the economic recovery with climate-friendly projects

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Covid-19 Campaign leaves Wellington City Councillors embarrassed
Susan Botting (RNZ): Transparency a challenge for Northland during lockdown
RNZ: Gisborne District Council boss gets right to spend $1m at-a-time
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Covid-19: $1.2m boost could cushion blow for galleries, theatres
Charlotte Jones (RNZ): Whakatāne mobilises pandemic, civil defence teams
Cherie Sivignon and Skara Bohny (Stuff): Nelson and Tasman councils intend to hold virtual meetings

Transport
Daniel Laufer (Herald): Air New Zealand’s response to the Covid-19 crisis (paywalled)
Grant Bradley (Herald): Air New Zealand unions plea over job cuts
1News: Air New Zealand to apply for wage subsidy for its staff amid Covid-19 turmoil
James Fyfe (Newshub): NZTA contractors to get advance payment while work halted during lockdown

Media
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Government rolls back COVID-19 rules for local papers
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Restrictions on previously ‘non-essential’ media eased just a fraction
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Remote community newspapers now considered an essential service
Jarrod Gilbert (Herald): High-quality information has never been more important (paywalled)
Hayden Donnell (RNZ): NZME staff told job losses are coming
Steve Hepburn (ODT): Future for Radio Sport uncertain
Veronica Schmidt (RNZ): How we’re running RNZ from home

NZ-Australia relations
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern gets blood out of a stone from Australia – this time (paywalled)
AAP: Jacinda Ardern to keep pressure on Aussie Government with Kiwis now eligible for wage subsidy scheme there

Housing
RNZ: Property firm apologies for ‘inartful’ advice to avoid rent holidays
Greg Ninness (Interest): QV delivers a grim assessment of the property market after the lockdown ends

Inequality, hardship
Georgina Campbell (Herald): New self-contained units for Wellington’s homeless
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): Heroes of the Frontline: Wellington’s soup kitchen
Nick Truebridge (Stuff): South Auckland food bank demand more than doubles
Rob Stock (Stuff): KiwiSaver providers told to be ‘sensible and practical’ on hardship withdrawals applications

Tourists stranded in NZ and overseas, repatriation
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern says repatriation of foreign nationals will take a while under lockdown
Stuff: UK man stranded in New Zealand laments local TV: ‘It’s like a sixth form experiment’
Lincoln Tan (Stuff): Stranded families running out of money for food and accommodation
Sandra Conchie (Herald): Waihi Beach couple stranded in New Delhi hotel room after lockdown (paywalled)
1News: Kiwi whose elderly parents are stuck in Delhi pleads for Government help

Primary industries
Guy Trafford (Interest): The grass is greener here
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Fonterra seeing demand spike for some products
1News: Concerns for welfare of surplus pigs as butchers around NZ ordered to close

Alcohol, drugs
Louise Delany and George Thomson (Newsroom): Restrict alcohol to help our hospitals
Southland Times Editorial: Our locked-down problems don’t form orderly queues
Vita Molyneux (Stuff): Cannabis users encouraged to take a break over lockdown period due to COVID-19 health risks
1News: People addicted to drugs or alcohol should ‘maintain their current usage’ during lockdown

Other
Chris McDowall (Spinoff): Every New Zealand case, mapped and charted, March 31
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Parole hearings held over phone for first time during coronavirus lockdown
Kim Moodie (Herald): Ministry of Health error names virus clusters after families
Spinoff: Watch: Auckland in lockdown, from above
RNZ: Figures show dramatic spending drop in first days of Covid-19 lockdown
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Rio Tinto to close one of four potlines at Tiwai Point aluminium smelter
Matthew Mckew (ODT): Hotels in Queenstown could close until end of year