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

National Party response to lockdown extension, Simon Bridges’ leadership
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Simon Bridges fends off leadership coup rumours, says focus is on COVID-19
RNZ: Morning Report: Bridges defends criticism of lockdown extension
Claire Trevett (Herald): Covid 19 was bad for Simon Bridges, he just made it worse (paywalled)
Alan Kenyon (1News): Bridges defends his stance on alert levels after being ‘obliterated’ in online post that has 23,000 comments
Zane Small (Newshub): National supporters threaten to abandon Simon Bridges after Facebook post criticising COVID-19 lockdown extension
Stuff: Simon Bridges receives huge backlash to Facebook post criticising lockdown extension
Herald: Simon Bridges’ Facebook post criticising lockdown extension slammed
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Simon Bridges horrifically misreads the mood of the Nation

Lockdown extension
Gordon Campbell: On living with the extension, and with Edward Hopper
Jane Patterson (RNZ): A war footing from Ardern and misstep from Bridges
RNZ: Health inequalities among Māori, Pasifika factor in lockdown extension – PM
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern: region-specific lockdowns challenging but not ruled out
1News: ‘It’s an ongoing effort’ – Dr Ashley Bloomfield urges Kiwis to stay vigilant as NZ shifts from Level 4 to 3
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Keeping New Zealand from returning to lockdown task for all Kiwis – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Dr Siouxsie Wiles asks Kiwis not to expand bubbles unless it’s necessary
Leigh-Marama McLachlan (RNZ): Māori leaders back extension of level 4 lockdown
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): North Island iwi urges whānau to stick to level 4
RNZ: Far North iwi want region to stay at alert level 4
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): NZ cannot afford to wait for Covid-19 vaccine, scientists say
1News: Lockdown extension hopefully better in long run for businesses, says former Business NZ exec
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Doctors and nurses relieved at govt’s cautious approach
RNZ: Epidemic Response Committee question ministers over lockdown extension
Zane Small (Newshub): Small Business Minister criticised for lacking impact analysis of COVID-19 lockdown on ‘sacrificial lamb’ small businesses
Julie Iles (NBR): Ministers accused of making small businesses ‘sacrificial lambs’ (paywalled)
Anna Whyte (1News): Wage subsidy ‘doesn’t cut it’ for struggling small businesses – Simon Bridges

Bryce Edwards (Democracy Project): Political Roundup: How healthy is our democracy under the Coronavirus crisis?
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Kiwi patriotism, trust in institutions rise amid pandemic, major study finds
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): We need to learn to be critical of Ashley Bloomfield
Steve Maharey (Pundit): Churchill Beat Hitler, But Attlee Won The Election: Election Strategies In A Post-Crisis World
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Government piles pressure on crown chairs to cut pay (paywalled)
New York Times: New Zealand’s Lockdown Contained Coronavirus. Now Comes the Hard Part
Nick Perry (AP): How New Zealand could pull off bold goal of eliminating Covid-19
Morgan Godfery (Guardian): A strict Covid-19 lockdown gave New Zealand a key ingredient to recover – solidarity
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Government extends New Zealand’s state of national emergency for fourth time
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern answers your COVID-19 questions
1News: Watch: Shane Jones and family keep busy in lockdown with planter box building
Golriz Ghahraman (Newsroom): In lockdown with Golriz Ghahraman (& cat)

Henry Cooke (Stuff): Parliament returning next week, but will likely have drastically reduced numbers
Jane Patterson (RNZ)): Parliament to resume: ‘Zoom ain’t gonna cut it’
Zane Small (Newshub): Leader of the House Chris Hipkins reveals when Parliament will return in New Zealand

Contact tracing, asymptomatic transmission
RNZ: ‘Digital solution’ still missing in contact tracing efforts – expert
RNZ: Scientists need ‘to do better’ to find ways to trace contacts
1News: Covid-19 contact tracing needs to be ‘totally ready’ before move to Alert Level 2, infectious diseases expert warns
Michael Dally (Stuff): Asymptomatic Covid-19 cases ring alarm bells overseas but is it a problem in New Zealand?

Auditor General to review PPE
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Top-level investigation into Health Ministry launched as health workers say they still don’t have enough PPE
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Auditor-General launches review into distribution of PPE amid Covid-19 pandemic
1News: Auditor-General to look into New Zealand’s PPE supply and distribution amid pandemic
RNZ: Government PPE management to be reviewed by Auditor-General

Health system
Sarah Dalton (Newsroom): NZ’s dirty public health secret out of the bag
Melissa NIghtingale (Herald): Former WHO worker hopes pandemic response will bring more healthcare workers to New Zealand
1News: Over 50 at-risk staff working for Canterbury DHB speak out after being forced to take leave – ‘People die from it’
Katarina Williams & Georgia-May Gilbertson (Stuff): Hutt Valley DHB backs down after weeks, giving 93yo coronavirus test against government advice
Michael Hayward (Stuff): 11 testing centres in Canterbury among almost 140 across NZ
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Rates of flu-like illness drop to ‘almost zero’ during lockdown
Ira Lee (1News): Some success with messages urging public to seek necessary medical help during Covid-19 pandemic
Amelia Wade (Herald): GPs have funding pulled just as they’re bracing for the ‘tsunami’ after the lockdown
RNZ: GPs say promised government funding not received
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): GPs fighting Government to deliver on $22 million they believe was promised
Anna Bracewelll-Worrall (Newshub): ‘Baffled’ midwives pulling extra hours for same pay plea for help

Lockdown compliance
Jamie Ensor and Lydia Lewis (Newshub): Four weeks into lockdown, leading expert couldn’t be prouder of Kiwis
Kate Newton (RNZ): Traffic data shows New Zealanders staying put
Emma Cropper (Newshub): More than 2000 Kiwis caught flouting lockdown rules as alert level 3 draws closer

Newstalk ZB/Herald: Keep kids at home at alert level 3, professor says
Simon Collins (Herald): Reopening schools and daycare ‘a calculated risk’ – expert
Simon Collins (Herald): Govt ‘won’t be heavy-handed’ if daycares refuse to reopen
Simon Collins (Herald): Childcare centres refuse to reopen on April 29
Simon Collins (Herald): New report shows reasoning behind opening schools
Derek Cheng (Herald): Jacinda Ardern’s former school Morrinsville College warns parents to keep kids at home
Ben Leahy (Herald): Early learning centres face a minefield of challenges to reopen
Carmen Parahi (Stuff): Māori educators to determine their own fate in Level 3
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Government reassures teachers, parents over school reopening
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Distance learning to continue ‘at least another three weeks’ – Education Minister Chris Hipkins
Anna Whyte (1News): Petition urging schools and ECEs to remain closed at Level 3 reaches 35,000
John Gerritsen (RNZ): ECE services wary of level 3 reopening
Hannah Martin (Stuff): What will a return to school under alert level 3 look like?
1News: Playgrounds in schools, ECEs ‘out of bounds’ during Covid-19 Alert Level 3
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Education Minister ‘encourages’ working parents to ask aunties and uncles to help teach kids at home
Hannah Kronast and Tom McRae (Newshub): Parents pressured to keep kids away from school during alert level 3
Katy Jones (Stuff): Parents weigh up need to send children back to school
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Special needs children advised to stay home under alert level 3 – Ministry of Education
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Teachers need to accept schools are re-opening
Luke Kirkness (Herald): Decision to reopen should lie with school leaders, Teaching Council says
1News: Teachers ‘up for the challenge’ with schools set to reopen under Level 3 restrictions – Principals’ Federation
Amelia Wade (Herald): Ashley Bloomfield and the Secretary of Education answer Facebook Live questions
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Lessons for children to learn from Covid-19 lockdown

Rest, care homes
James Fyfe and Ella Prendergast (Newshub): Human Rights Commission advice on aged care facilities criticised for coming ‘too late’
1News: Nine residents from Auckland rest home transferred to hospital due to staff shortage brought on by Covid-19
Jordan Oppert (1News): Dunedin rest home staff who moved in during lockdown to stay on when NZ moves to Alert Level 3
1News: Meet the loving Auckland care home workers helping those who don’t understand the Covid-19 lockdown

Brian Easton (Pundit): How Much Unemployment?
Infometrics: Government can’t afford a go-slow on recovery
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Business and Government will need to join hands to steer clear of ‘dark places’
Roger Partridge (Herald): Getting out of this mess will need more than good intentions (paywalled)
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): New Zealand families ‘need cash payouts’ to force economy back to life
Tadhg Ryan-Charleton (RNZ): Wealth of opportunities for NZ entrepreneurs after lockdown
1News: Banks lend more than $6.3 billion to businesses to help them survive lockdown

Wage subsidy
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Wage subsidy biggest money scramble NZ has seen
1News: MBIE receives more than 1000 complaints about employers’ potential wage subsidy breaches
Emily van Velthooven (1News): Employees won’t need to give back wage subsidy if employer goes into liquidation
Jason Walls (Herald): The Government has approved 80 per cent of all wage subsidy applications

Employment, migrant workers
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): SkyCity worker feels ‘dumped’ after staff invited to donate salary
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): New Zealand migrant worker market may face tough new policies – academic
RNZ: Migrant workers in Queenstown without jobs, food
Peter Cullen (Stuff): Can flouting lockdown cost you your job?
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Waikato’s Matangi Berry Farm and director fined $120k for breaching labour law

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Council pay cuts – who’s taking them, who’s not
Felix Desmarais: Nationwide rates freezes, deferrals petition launched by councillor
Felix Desmarais: Rotorua councillor wants ‘reinstatement of local democracy’
Christina Persico (Taranaki Daily News): New Plymouth district councillors approve rates relief plan
Dominic Harris (Stuff): Selwyn considers rates freeze amid efforts to reduce Covid-19 fallout
Lois Williams: Buller gets ‘creative’ over public feedback on annual plan
Marcus Anselm: Masterton Town Hall debate moves online
Marcus Anselm: Covid-19 rent cuts on the cards for Masterton trust
Harry Lock (RNZ): Wellington hospitality sector looks to rev back into gear
1News: Hamilton City Council opens applications for extended rates rebate as part of Covid-19 support package

Community roadblocks
Steven Walton (Stuff): Illegal checkpoints being dealt with, but ones with support OK – minister
Jason Walls (Herald): ‘Ratbags and renegades:’ Police Minister Stuart Nash slams Mongrel Mob’s illegal roadblocks
Anna Whyte (1News): Police will deal with ‘ratbags and renegades’ setting up roadblocks and checks
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): ‘Certainly not appropriate’: Police Minister Stuart Nash addresses lockdown community roadblocks

Sarah Robson (RNZ):‘It’s Christmas on steroids’ – foodbanks in huge demand across NZ
RNZ: Checkpoint: Foodbanks running dry under Covid-19 lockdown

Joel MacManus (Stuff): Why climate scientists will study Covid-19 lockdown for years
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Councils tackling sea-level rise want central government direction
University of Otago: Wellington flooding a Covid recovery reminder
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Department of Conservation budget set to take a hit from coronavirus

RNZ: Checkpooint: Air NZ silent about Covid-19 cases as staff fears grow over quarantine exemption
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Lockdown announcement gives Air New Zealand a bookings bounce
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland Transport readies more buses and roadworks for Alert Level 3

Reserve Bank to remove LVR restrictions
David Hargreaves (Interest): Removal of LVRs – it’s a bombshell and may be a very bad call
Ashley Church (Herald): The best thing to happen to NZ housing market in 7 years
Tom Pullar-Strecker and Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Reserve Bank prepares to axe loan-to-value restrictions for home-buyer
Bernard Hickey (Newsroom): Reserve Bank to remove LVR rule
RNZ: Reserve Bank may relax banks’ limits on mortgage lending
1News: Reserve Bank considering removing mortgage LVR restrictions to help boost economy
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Reserve Bank proposes to axe loan-to-value ratios

Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): NZ First mulls Covid clampdown on banks
Rebecca Fairbrother (Newsroom): Paywave fees waived, but for how long?

Primary industries
RNZ: Forestry contractors urged to make worker safety their priority
1News: Moving Day for dairy farmers given green light

Garth Bray (1News): Government could lose $250 million in taxes as fuel sales plummet
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Falling oil prices could be a tonic for motorists and industry alike
Jamie Gray (Herald): Why negative oil prices will not mean cheaper petrol at NZ pumps (paywalled)
1News: Z Energy selling fuel back to world market

Amber-Leigh Woolf (Stuff): 1600 New Zealanders in India could fly home this week
RNZ: More repatriation flights on the way

Peter Thompson (Newsroom): Should the public subsidise media companies?
Chris Keall (Herald): Sky Network Television boss Martin Stewart’s half-million dollar haircut (paywalled)

Foreign affairs and trade
Don McKinnon (Herald): A time to reveal our nation’s spirit (paywalled)
Liam Schwarz (Newsroom): NZ facing a smaller, disjointed world post Covid-19

Winston Peters’ privacy breach
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Winston Peters’ trustee the subject of SFO raid
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): SFO decision over NZ First Foundation will come before election
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): SFO will complete NZ First Foundation investigation before election
1News: Winston Peters urged to reimburse taxpayers the $1.2 million spent on his legal fees for failed privacy lawsuit
Jo Moir (RNZ): Paula Bennett ‘vindicated’ by Winston Peters’ privacy court case failure
Derek Cheng (Herald): Paula Bennett says Winston Peters should stump up for Crown’s legal costs over failed court action

Ellen O’Dwyer and Kirsty Lawrence (Stuff):‘He was a son that taught us so much’ – parents mourn Kiwi who died in Peru
1News: New Zealand man dies in Peru from Covid-19
1News: Covid-19 prompts talk of bringing back Ministry of Works, which was scrapped in the 1980s
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Shane Jones promises new jobs, economic activity in regions within 100 days
Cat MacLennan (Newsroom): Covid-19 an opportunity to tackle our housing crisis
Andrea Black (Newsroom): We still need a fair income tax system
Marta Steeman (Stuff): Government tells landlords to step up with rent relief for commercial property tenants
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Inland Revenue changes wording on website after uproar over student loans, tax refunds
Chris Keall (Herald): Govt introduces stop-gap measure for wills, power of attorney (paywalled)
Daniela Maoate-Cox (RNZ): Final days for submissions on prisoner voting
Blair Ensor (Stuff): Cafe at Police National Headquarters can re-open after misunderstanding
1News: Watch: Meet the dancing supermarket security guard bringing joy during coronavirus lockdown
RNZ: Decision on Mataura hazardous waste due next week
Fiona Connor (Newshub): Mark Lundy’s lawyer on NZ justice system and why even the guilty need good defence
RNZ: Confidence logistics and supply chains to operate smoothly during level 3
David Williams (Newsroom): Royal Commission gets another extension
Holly Carran (Newshub): Building and construction industry planning for return to work
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Desperate moteliers house the homeless to avoid losing their businesses