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
Virginia Fallon and Bridie Whitton (Stuff): Call for return to normal life puts tens of thousands at risk
Derek Cheng (Herald): Cabinet urged not to play ‘Russian roulette’ with New Zealanders’ health by rushing lockdown decision
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Don’t look to Australia for lockdown example, says expert
1News: Government still has work to do to prevent playing ‘Russian roulette’ with Kiwis’ health: epidemiologist
John Gibb (ODT): Lockdown hasty exit a risky gamble that could cost lives
1News: Level 4 lockdown needs to be done once and done right to stamp out Covid-19, expert urges
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): About those cries of ‘over-reaction’ on NZ’s Covid-19 response
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): ‘Contrarian’ academics oppose NZ lockdown
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Academics propose easing restrictions, lockdown no longer needed
Newstalk ZB: Simon Thornley on why he believes lockdown has been an overreaction
Richard Harman (Politik): The pressure goes on
Gordon Campbell: On the argument over whether lives or livelihoods are more important
RNZ: Covid-19 surveillance system needs more attention – epidemiologist
1News: Professor calls for more transparency in reporting of rural Covid-19 statistics
Stuff Editorial: Without clear evidence, this is no time for a hasty retreat from lockdown
Herald Editorial: Next steps crucial to keep support (paywalled)
Zane Small (Newshub): MPs question New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown as Australia’s lighter approach produces similar results
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Have we gone too hard in this lockdown?
Katarina Williams (Stuff): Relying on other countries for vaccine ‘wrong approach’, top scientists say
RNZ: Covid-19 vaccine development programme urged
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Death Cult Capitalism tries to eclipse Egalitarian NZ
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): What does it take to stop a cluster?

Government
Richard Shaw (The Conversation): Trust in government is high in NZ, but will it last until the country’s elections later in the year?
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Boris Johnson’s ‘digi kiwis’ no longer working on NZ Covid-19 response
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): What life after lockdown could look like
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says NZ can’t ‘take our foot off the pedal’ with COVID-19 restrictions
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealanders shouldn’t assume lockdown lifting next week – Jacinda Ardern
1News: Jacinda Ardern wants as few ‘restrictions as possible on New Zealanders’ while trying to eliminate Covid-19
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Government extends New Zealand’s state of national emergency during COVID-19 crisis
1News: State of national emergency extended for another seven days
Stuff: Winston Peters says fishing critics need a ‘sense of humour’
1News: ‘Very lucky to be surrounded by kindness’ – Jacinda Ardern thanks family for help during lockdown

Treasury modelling
Zane Small (Newshub): Treasury’s scenario of up to 26 percent unemployment ‘unacceptable’ – Finance Minister
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Grant Robertson won’t accept worst case scenario of hundreds of thousands additional unemployed
Brian Gaynor (BusinessDesk): Covid-19 is much bigger than the GFC (paywalled)
Jo Moir (RNZ): Unemployment can be kept below 10 percent – Treasury
Bernard Hickey (Newsroom): Should we spend an extra $20b, or $40b?
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): New Zealand jobless rate could hit 13% even if lockdown ends next week, modelling suggests
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Four years to low unemployment possible post-covid: Treasury (paywalled)
Matt Burrows (Newshub): What the Government needs to do to keep unemployment below 10 percent
Anna Whyte (1News): Unemployment could hit 25 per cent in worst case lockdown scenario – Treasury modelling
Michael Reddell: The Treasury’s economic scenarios
Alex Braae (Spinoff): How Covid-19 will damage the economy, according to Treasury

Economy
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): We’ve stopped worst effects – now let’s get ready for the next crisis
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Too-short ‘failed lockdown’ would be worse outcome for economy in long run, bank warns
Chris Trotter (Interest): The lesson of history is ‘liquidate orthodoxy’
James Fyfe (Newshub): Economist warns of ‘very challenging year’ ahead with a ‘lot of pain’ to come for Kiwi businesses
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): New Zealand economy won’t look ‘normal’ for a long time
Priscilla Dickinson (Newshub): Loss of international tourism ‘a game-changer’ – economist
Christine Rose (Daily Blog): Investing in a resilient future a lesson from Covid-19

Business, job losses
Anna White (1News): Nearly $9 billion in wage subsidies paid to 1.4 million workers across New Zealand
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Coronavirus: Government package offers $3.2b worth of tax and business assistance
Liam Dann (Herald): Government launches new $3b business tax package
Jane Patterson (RNZ): $3 billion tax break to help small businesses survive Covid-19 crisis
Herald: SME tax relief, new commercial tenant measures introduced
1News: Raft of new measures announced to provide relief for small, medium-sized businesses
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Business tax changes worth more than $3 billion unveiled
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Appetite for business, mortgage holiday schemes fades (paywalled)
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Rules changed to allow commercial tenants and mortgage holders given more time to sort their affairs before landlords and lenders swoop in
1News: Increase in sustainable business could be more feasible after lockdown, advocate says
1News: Never a better time for employers to integrate flexibility, EMA says
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Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Employers must consult before making staff redundant during Covid-19 pandemic
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Burger King NZ owners in receivership, hopes of sale
RNZ: Owners of fast food chain Burger King go into receivership
Damien Venuto (Herald): Can Burger King find a buyer? Retail expert’s view (paywalled)
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): Burger King operator in receivership, blames coronavirus (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): 2degrees proposes to cut its workforce by 10%
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): 2degrees to lay off 120 staff, slash costs

Environment and conservation
Michael Neilson (Herald): Climate Change Commission warns high emission economic recovery could deepen climate crisis
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): Climate Commission warns high-emissions coronavirus spend-up will spark new crisis
Reweti Kohere (NBR): Climate commission encourages green lens on virus recovery (paywalled)
No Right Turn: Climate Change: The need for a green recovery
Teuila Fuatai (Stuff): Fleeing or living – questions from the frontline of climate change
Raf Manji (Stuff): NZ should lead move to fossil-fuel reduction treaty
Eloise Gibson and Olivia Wannan (Stuff): How to live lightly while in home lockdown
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Will the lockdown combat mindless consumerism?
Katie Doyle (RNZ): NZ’s native birds thrive under Covid-19 lockdown
Lois Williams (Stuff): Conservation minister affirms conservation board’s right to meet – despite iwi boycott
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Funding pushes efforts to eradicate stoats on Rangitoto ki te Tonga / d’Urville Island

Fletchers, construction
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): Nationalise Fletcher Building to ensure we can rebuild NZ
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Fletcher Building receives $66.3m through Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme
Zane Small (Newshub): Grant Robertson hints at construction workforce coming back during alert level 3

Rest homes
Hamish McLean (ODT): Aged-care facilities in focus as New Zealand deaths rise
Newstalk ZB: Aged care review announced as death toll grows
1News: Dr Ashley Bloomfield disputes suggestion Rosewood Rest Home residents were left to die in hospital
David Williams (Newsroom): Rosewood exposes broken elderly care model
RNZ: CHT St Margarets facility identified as Auckland rest home cluster
Katie Todd (RNZ): Man unable to find out if mother-in-law moved from Rosewood Rest Home
RNZ: Checkpoint: Some exceptions for visiting dying relatives at rest homes – Aged Care union boss

Masks and protective gear
Michael Morrah (Newshub): PPE still not available to some nurses at Burwood Hospital, site of six COVID-19 deaths
RNZ: Healthcare provider struggling to get enough PPE
Gary Payinda (Herald): Surgical-type face mask should be safe enough to use on frontline (paywalled)

Essential workers
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): One third of new Covid-19 cases are health workers
Dubby Henry (Herald): Eight healthcare workers in Auckland’s DHBs have Covid-19
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Publicly-funded workers ineligible for subsidy ‘should continue to be paid’ – PM
Rosie Gordon (Newshub): Frontline workers finding alternative accommodation to protect their families from COVID-19
Marlon Drake (Stuff): Our essential workers should all be on a living wage
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Essential worker leave scheme: 70-year-old ‘can’t even sleep at night’

Education
Simon Collins (Herald): Online learning ‘game-changing’ – but many may still miss out
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Term of distance learning begins for teachers and pupils
Zac Fleming (Newshub): Tens of thousands of Kiwi kids lack internet, devices for online learning
Simon Collins (Herald): Māori TV’s educational channel will run for 10 weeks
Imogen Wells (1News): Online safety filter available for kids at home learning remotely
RNZ: Secondary school principal wants NCEA level 1 suspended for 2020
Andrew Patterson (Newsroom): It’s school, but not as you know it
1News: How to cope with kids learning at home during the lockdown
Zac Anderson (Stuff): As a principal, it’s bloody awful not knowing if our kids have eaten today
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No Right Turn:Debt isn’t support
ODT: Government’s student assistance package decried
Sinead Gill (Critic): Students Across New Zealand Are Angry About the Tertiary Student Support Package
Zane Small (Newshub): Course-related costs limit increased as part of COVID-19 tertiary relief package
Collette Devlin & Lee Kenny (Stuff): PM Jacinda Ardern announces tertiary student support package
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Georgia Forrester (Stuff): Childcare centres expected to be ‘flexible’ about fees during lockdown, Education Minister says

Media
David Farrar: Media models are changing
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): A reality TV show where the news media bare all
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Time to let NZME and Stuff merge? (paywalled)
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Big cuts announced by NZME in latest COVID-19 response
RNZ: NZME to cut 200 jobs as advertising revenue plummets
Susan Edmunds and Tom Pullar-Strecke (Stuff): Media company NZME cuts workforce by 15%
1News: NZME cuts ‘200 positions’, asks employees to take 15 per cent pay cut for 12 weeks
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): NZHerald, Newstalk ZB owner NZME cuts more than 200 jobs
Dita De Boni (NBR): NZME slashes 15% of workforce as advertising plummets (paywalled)

Local government
Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): Wellington Water polls residents on dumping city’s sewer in Cook Strait
Adam Dudding and Eugene Bingham (Stuff): Coronavirus NZ podcast: Over-rated? Why councillors are meeting in secret
Susan Botting (RNZ): Northland councils’ rates under spotlight
ODT: Ratepayers asked to pay what they can; DCC to look at options
ODT: Central Otago rates to be invoiced as usual but scope to avoid penalties

Repatriation, ex-pats, migration
1News: ‘I’m grateful to be home’ – Kiwis stranded in South America return to NZ on rescue flight
Liu Chen (RNZ): Family back from Wuhan: ‘Everyone is trying to help us’
Hannah Martin (Stuff): I’m a Kiwi overseas – what happens if I get sick?
RNZ: More Kiwis arriving than leaving for first time

Transport
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Regional flights in doubt after shutdown
Ananish Chaudhuri (Herald): Air New Zealand pilot layoffs – there is a better way (paywalled)
Melanie Carrolll (Stuff): Air New Zealand credits spark complaints to Commerce Commission
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Long term grounding of large planes is 400 hours per aircraft

Pacific
RNZ: Fiji police arrest more Covid-19 restriction breachers, including one of their own
RNZ: Fiji Health Minister warns that Covid-19 screening is compulsory
Dominic Godfrey (RNZ): Many homeless or without electricity in Fiji after Cyclone Harold
RNZ: Cyclone Harold has already cost Fiji millions of dollars
RNZ: Wharves and coastal roads in Tonga need repairing after Cyclone Harold
Koroi Hawkins (RNZ): NGO backs Vanuatu’s disaster officials as it gets OK to distribute aid

Deaths of fisheries observers
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Death on the high seas; the mysterious death of a humble fishing observer
RNZ: Latest death of Pacific fisheries observer highlights protection flaws

Lockdown breaches, enforcing the lockdown
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): Police report 1452 breaches as Kiwis continue to ignore rules
Helen Castles (1News): Former MP Hone Harawira defends travelling to ‘essentially fabulous’ Easter breakfast with sister
Denise Piper (Stuff): Hone Harawira says 600km trip, meal with family in Auckland ‘was safe’
Vaimoana Tapaleao (Herald): Former MP Hone Harawira causes stir after trip to Auckland

Iwi checkpoints
Dean Nathan (Māori TV): Closing gateway to Far North to protect against virus great for community
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Ruatoria checkpoint worker feels let down by police decision

Sport
Steve Hepburn (ODT): Sport must wait: Gerrard
Vinnie Wylie (RNZ): Former All Black Eroni Clarke appointed to NZR Pasifika role
RNZ: Essential turf maintenance can resume at golf courses today

Other
Tapatahi, Tepara Koti (Māori TV): Māori orgs getting homeless into iso-proof accomodation
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): The rise of cultural reports in the New Zealand criminal justice system
Susan St John (Newsroom): Universal basic income: be careful what you wish for
Monique Poirier (Democracy Project): Politicising a crisis
Robert Patman (Newsroom): Is Covid-19 turning the tide against national populism?
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Call to millionaires: Come to ‘Sanctuary NZ’ – for a price (paywalled)
Lois Williams (RNZ): Opening date for Te Nikau Grey Hospital dependent on Covid-19 situation
Newsroom: In lockdown with Paula Bennett
Georgia Forrester and Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Four months on, here’s what we’ve learned about Covid-19 so far
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Christchurch’s $475m convention centre opening pushed back
Lawrence Gullery (Stuff): Lingering drought prompts more calls to rural helpline during Covid-19
Juha Saarinen (Herald): Dangerous anti-5G conspiracy theorists cross the line (paywalled)
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): Funeral directors and families battle with restrictions
1News: Sir John Kirwan urges Kiwis experiencing lockdown mental health issues to utilise new online tools
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Optimism arts sector will bounce back from Covid-19 blues
Tom McKinlay (ODT): An art to profit us all