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, Simon Bridges’ leadership
Ben Thomas (Spinoff): One giant misstep: Simon Bridges’ flailing attack was too far, too soon
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): National MPs concerned about leader Simon Bridges’ ‘tone’ on COVID-19, ‘membership is not happy
Richard Harman (Politik): Those who could depose Bridges
Simon Wilson (Herald): Pandemic diary: Please Mr Bridges, that’s enough (paywalled)
Anna Rawhiti-Connell (Newsroom): Read the room, Simon
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Why it’s easy to believe the National coup story
Duncan Garner (Newshub): Alleged National Party coup has ‘classic hallmarks’ of previous leadership spills
Martin van Beynen (Press): Bridges had a point on unpreparedness
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB):It’s absurd to suggest Simon Bridges’ lockdown criticism is politicking
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Political commentators predict Simon Bridges will remain leader until election
Stuff: Simon Bridges quashes claim of a National Party coup attempt
Newstalk ZB: Simon Bridges denies claims of impending National Party coup
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Rumours Simon Bridges will be rolled ‘just nonsense’ – Paul Goldsmith
RNZ: Simon Bridges defends stance after backlash from post criticising government
1News: Simon Bridges defends controversial Facebook post criticising Govt after Level 4 extension
Herald: Simon Bridges denies claims of impending National Party coup, defends Facebook post
Jason Walls (Herald): Finance Minister says Simon Bridges is ‘politicising’ the level 4 lockdown extension
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): John Key describes what Chris Luxon would be like as prime minister
Herald: Former PM John Key praises Christopher Luxon as National leader Simon Bridges faces backlash

Health system
John McClure (Stuff): Should we go just as hard on other killer diseases?
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Pharmac back-tracks on plan to fund lung cancer drug Keytruda
Amelia Wade (Herald): ‘Decades of neglect’ of the health system have caused Covid-19 breakdown issues
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Health workers threatened with disciplinary action for speaking out over PPE issues
Katie Todd (RNZ): ‘PPE breach’ blamed for Christchurch healthcare workers catching Covid-19
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Thousands more masks found with crumbling elastic
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern disagrees with frontline health workers saying there’s an issue with flu vaccine supplies
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Medical Association warns not to make flu mistakes with a Covid-19 vaccine
RNZ: Reusable masks to add extra layer of protection for workers
Natalie Akoorie (Herald): Health watchdog warns ordinary patients slipping through Covid-19 cracks
Sean Hogan (1News): Patients not turning up to hospitals for heart attacks as DHBs look to clear growing backlogs
RNZ: Nine to Noon: Covid and cancer, treatment & diagnosis
Sae Strang (Newshub): Lack of test results in the health sector causes anxiety for high-risk patient
Tina Law and MIchael Hayward (Stuff): Elective surgeries may increase as Covid-19 alert level drops
1News: Clashes over rest home testing, flu vaccinations at Epidemic Response hearing
Herald: Health Minister can’t confirm when payment to GPs will be made; we contact trace only 185 cases a day
Amelia Wade (Herald): GPs have funding pulled just as they’re bracing for the ‘tsunami’ after the lockdown
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Doctors say Government not coughing up ‘promised’ Covid-19 funding
Anna Whyte (1News): Medical Association warns many GP clinics will not survive after lockdown
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Will pharmacies, GPs and dentists survive Covid-19?
RNZ: GPs fear for jobs, midwives feel ignored from government support
RNZ: Epidemic Response Committee challenges government’s health response
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): Frontline health workers’ blunt warning to government the sector is facing financial collapse
Herald: Dental association warns Epidemic Response Committee of looming crisis
1News: Dentists warn of major problems as Covid-19 lockdown continues
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Dentists issue dire industry warning
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): COVID-19 lockdown triggers ‘huge’ increase in mental health issues
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): SDHB ready for second wave of coronavirus cases

Contact tracing, surveillance
Matt Bartlett (Newsroom): Covid-19 mass surveillance terrifying for the future
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Contact tracing system blamed for New Zealand remaining in Covid-19 lockdown
RNZ: Businesses say they’re in the dark about contact tracing

Covid-19 strategy
Derek Cheng (Herald): The brink of elimination? Number of higher risk cases down to two
AP: The world looks on as NZ aims to pull off bold goal of eliminating Covid-19
Oliver Lewis (Stuff): New Zealand wants to ‘crush Covid-19 completely’ says infectious diseases doctor
Jame Baker (Stuff): Health expert says second Covid-19 wave possible
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Health Ministry cautious over reports of re-infection
Scott Palmer (Newshub): New report shows how New Zealand’s alert system could help rest of the world
Rawiri Taonui (Waatea News): COVID Update for Māori 22 April 2020 –  Lower new cases for Māori and Pacific
Rawiri Taonui (Waatea News): COVID-19 Update for Māori 20 April 2020

Government, parliament
Herald: ‘I disagree’: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at odds with a number of people during press conference
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): Leaving lockdown politically harder than going in
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): General Election date should be moved – political commentator
Peter Gluckman (Stuff): Democratic innovation provides platform for public trust in midst of crisis
David Farrar: 7 months to get an OIA response from PMs Office

Economy, government spending, trade
Brian Fallow (Interest): How the Government is funding its massive increase in spending
Toby Moore (Stuff): Fixation on public debt comes with tradeoff
Kate MacNamara (Stuff): China trade in the age of Covid-19
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): ‘Truly enormous’ economic hit will push jobless to 11%, house prices down 15%: ANZ
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): The economic pain of pandemic still ahead of us

Business, employment
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): KiwiRail is latest state-owned business to discuss help
Andrew Barnes (Stuff): Why working less could get us back to ‘normality’ sooner
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern rejects Labour MP’s doubt about strength of small businesses pre-lockdown
RNZ: PM rejects comments by MPs on small business
David Farrar: Zero income is beyond pretty bad
Richard Harman (Politik): Avoiding the depression
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): What on earth was Deborah Russell thinking?
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): MP Deborah Russell says businesses struggling in lockdown must have had a lack of financial strength
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Labour MP Deborah Russell blames businesses for struggling during Covid-19 lockdown
Zane Small (Newshub): Labour MP Deborah Russell facing backlash over ‘tone-deaf’, ‘offensive’ remarks on small businesses
RNZ: Bank support of loans scheme for SMEs too slow – Robertson
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Orr tells banks to boost SME spend

Education
Kim Moodie (Herald): ‘I don’t want an epidemic in my community’ – Morrinsville College Principal
Herald: Jacinda Ardern hits back at Morrinsville College principal’s stance over school openings
Simon Collins (Herald): Auckland school principals agree to ‘do our bit for the recovery’
Glen McConnell (Stuff): Teachers are essential workers. Despite petition, they’re needed in class
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): How early childhood centres will work, and keep children safe, when they reopen
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Parents criticise private school for charging same fees while taking wage subsidy
1News: Student-led petition calls on Govt to reduce NCEA credits for this year
Daisy Hudson (ODT): University gives rebate to students who have moved home from halls
Herald: University of Auckland tops global sustainability impact second year in a row

Queenstown, migrant workers, overseas visitors
Jo McKenzie-McLean (Stuff): Call for jobless, income-less migrant workers to get jobseeker benefits
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Queenstown renters struggling to survive in lockdown
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Migrants stranded in Queenstown as New Zealand lockdown sparks ‘refugee crisis
Guy Williams (ODT):$30m support funding welcomed
Guy Williams (ODT): 30% jobless rate foreseen in Queenstown
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Up to 160,000 overseas visitors still here, welfare concerns grow

Checkpoints
Kereama Wright (Māori TV): Maketu checkpoint operators refute politician claims
Heta Gardiner (Māori TV): PM declares support for community-collaborative checkpoints (video)
RNZ: National wants clarity on checkpoint legality
Karl du Fresne: At last, some pushback – albeit half-hearted – against Harawira’s vigilantes

Essential workers
1News: ‘Thank you for keeping us safe’ – PM acknowledges cleaners for their work during Covid-19 pandemic
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern thanks Kiwi cleaners during lockdown
Belinda Feek (Herald): Essential worker left in tears after being pulled over for speeding

Lockdown compliance, breaches
1News: Nearly 60 per cent of adults want to stay in isolation after Level 4 restrictions lifted – survey
RNZ: Bubble-bound: Data shows most people obeying rules
Harriet Robinson (RNZ): Almost 4000 people breached Covid-19 lockdown – police
1News: Dr Lance O’Sullivan admits own lockdown breach, after scorning others for breaking lockdown
Matt Burrows (Newshub): ‘I’ve been a dick’: Dr Lance O’Sullivan admits coronavirus lockdown breach hypocrisy
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Dr Lance O’Sullivan admits breaching level 4 Covid-19 lockdown
Herald: Dr Lance O’Sullivan admits lockdown breach

Housing
RNZ: Forty percent of Pasifika people in crowded housing
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Renters call for nationwide strike amid COVID-19 pandemic
RNZ: Economist predicts house prices to fall at least 10 percent

Inequality, welfare
1News: Government ramps up spending on welfare, food support for vulnerable Kiwis
RNZ: More money set aside by government to help welfare and food needs
Susan St John (Newsroom): Not too late to change abhorrently wasteful policy

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington’s Convention Centre: The awkward middle child
Damian George with Andre Chumko (Stuff): Wellington’s convention centre could be repurposed if market doesn’t bounce back – mayor
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Councils told to hold off on voluntary pay cuts decisions
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Longterm casual council staff going without pay
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Childhood hardship leads Waikato council boss to donate salary to city school
RNZ: Christchurch City Council boss to take 10 percent pay cut
Marcus Anselm: Mayor: Calls to cut pay and rates ‘irresponsible’
Marcus Anselm: Rates rise proposed at first South Wairarapa District Council online meeting
Luisa Girao (ODT): Southland mayors call for pay freeze for elected positions
Greg Sayers (Herald): Auckland Council needs bold changes after Covid 19 coronavirus (paywalled)
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Should council have completed investigation into Mayor accused of sexual harassment?

Repatriation
Jordan Bond (RNZ): NZ plane to fly out of New Delhi this Friday, but at a cost
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Dearth of details about plane

Environment
Herald: Climate change costs NZ in droughts, floods – Victoria University, NIWA
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): New Zealand’s Paris pledge up for review
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): Trains, traps and pink batts – the govt’s array of climate-friendly spending options
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Climate nutters taking advantage of our hardship

Primary and extractive industries
Andrea Fox (Herald): Dairy industry wage subsidy claims raise questions (paywalled)
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Don’t bank on dairy saving the day
Maja Burry (RNZ): Relief for farmers as Moving Day confirmed to go ahead
RNZ: China’s wild meat clampdown affecting NZ venison exports
Robin Martin (RNZ): Seabed mining bid goes to Supreme Court

Transport
1News: Air New Zealand reveals number of employees who have tested positive for Covid-19
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Air New Zealand reveals 30 staff members infected with COVID-19
RNZ: Air New Zealand releases new domestic schedule for alert level 3
Samantha Gee (Stuff): Air New Zealand proposal to close Nelson heavy maintenance facility ‘devastating’
1News: Regional airline facing crash landing if it can’t qualify for aviation support package
Joel MacManus (Dominion Post): Full Metlink bus schedule will return for Alert Level 3, rides stay free

Takeaway food
Joel MacManus and Emily Brookes (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern: Order from local restaurants that don’t use Uber Eats
Lee Kenny (Stuff): Businesses back PM’s call to skip Uber Eats and order directly from local takeaways
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Uber Eats’ ‘crippling’ commission rates need to be capped by NZ Government – Restaurant Association
1News: Uber Eats, Covid-19 hit restaurants owners in the pocket as Level 3 looms
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Food delivery services on offer under Covid-19 level 3 lockdown

Pacific
RNZ: WHO urges caution over lifting Covid-19 restrictions
RNZ: Fiji NGO says Covid-19 no excuse for human rights violations
Jamie Tahana (RNZ): Former Fiji PM Qarase remembered as a passionate, yet controversial, figure

Tourism
RNZ: Zero international arrivals marks low point for tourism
Patrick Gower (Newshub): Let’s create an ‘ANZAC bubble’ and get tourism going between NZ and Australia when it’s safe

SkyCity fire
Anne Gibson (Herald): SkyCity fire: Fire and Emergency NZ rejects calls by waterproofing subcontractor to withdraw report
Anne Gibson (Herald): Cause of SkyCity fire – gas torch left cardboard smouldering for 38 minutes
George Block (Stuff): SkyCity convention centre fire started accidentally by workers fitting roof – report
RNZ: SkyCity International Convention Centre fire was accidental – report

Other
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Concerns prisons will turn into Covid-19 ‘quarantine facilities’
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Trust ‘high’ in news in New Zealand
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Board of Crown-backed venture capital fund confirms investigation (paywalled)
Michael Bott (Stuff): All frontline police should wear body cameras that record all use of force interaction
Sarah Robson (RNZ): The NZ doctor aboard the cruise ship with more than 100 Covid-19 cases
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Les Mills’ ‘audacious’ call for payments through lockdown
Herald: Les Mills asks members to restart payments despite still being closed
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): Level 3 won’t be the magic tonic for retailers struggling under Covid-19 restrictions
Tony Wall (Stuff): Cinema owners are desperate for more Government cash so they can survive the Covid-19 pandemic
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Whānau relying on hunting for food should have exemption – leaders
Matt Burrows (Newshub): PM Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand ‘very open’ to joining inquiry into China’s handling of COVID-19
Zoë George (Stuff): New Zealand Rugby unlikely to meet board diversity quota, risking funding
Holly Carran (Newshub): Orana Park receives $300k in donations from Kiwis to help support zoo through lockdown
Lana Andelane  (Newshub): Brian Tamaki’s followers post death threats against Jacinda Ardern on public Facebook post
Lana Andelane  (Newshub): Hopes that COVID-19 level 3 will ease up ‘upsetting’ lockdown restrictions for funerals
RNZ: Mosque terror attack inquiry findings delayed two more months
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Lockdown a chance to live off the land, whānau say

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