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

Government, lockdown legality
Branko Marcetic (Democracy Project): The prime minister should listen to her own mantra: “Be kind”
RNZ: Was Covid-19 lockdown legal? Professor Claudia Geiringer explains
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Legal challenge over coronavirus lockdown
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Epidemic Response Committee to summons Solicitor-General to reveal legal advice for lockdown
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Parliament’s COVID-19 committee summonses Solicitor-General to reveal lockdown legal advice
Amelia Wade (Herald): Solicitor-General summonsed to reveal legal basis for lockdown
Donal Curtin: Restricted Budget ‘lock up’ not good enough
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Government’s lockdown ‘success’ fast fading
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Global experts say NZ Government best in world at COVID-19 communication
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): New Zealand’s Covid-19 response most impressive, US the worst
Paul Buchanan: Between push and shove
Kate Roger (Newshub): Temuera Morrison says Taika Waititi should put Jacinda Ardern in Star Wars

Wage subsidy controversies
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Not everyone will be happy: Govt shouldn’t prop rich corporates or students
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Bell Gully becomes the third major law firm in a day to say it will repay the wage subsidy
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Law firms repay millions of dollars in unneeded wage subsidies
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): MinterEllisonRuddWatts joins Simpson Grierson in repaying millions in wage subsidies
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Big law firms repay millions of dollars in wage subsidies
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Simpson Grierson repays $2.3m subsidy
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): Simpson Grierson pays back wage subsidy (paywalled)
John Anthony (Stuff): US billionaire’s companies claim nearly $1.3m in wage subsidies to pay luxury resorts and winery staff
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Multimillion-dollar subsidy for childcare centres slammed
Jamie Gray (Herald): Manuka honey is booming, so why are companies tapping into wage subsidies? (paywalled)
Herald Editorial: Covid 19 coronavirus – will the wage subsidy turn out to be a costly free lunch? (paywalled)

Health strategy, decisions
Simon Wilson (Herald): Being old in a Covid world (paywalled)
Jamie Morton (Herald): Big Read: Experts explain how NZ can get level 2 right
Nikki Macdonald (Stuff):  What is elimination, and what could defeat it?
Nikki Macdonald (Stuff): Antibody testing ‘overdue’ to better understand silent spread
Siouxsie Wiles & Toby Morris (Spinoff): Why our run of low Covid-19 numbers does not mean jump now
1News: New Zealand won’t be able to cope with vaccine roll out, says expert
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Covid-19 vaccine our ‘only clear exit strategy’, so where is it?
Tom McRae (Newshub): Epidemiologist urges Government to make wearing masks in public compulsory at alert level 2
Richard Harman: Do we stay or do we go?
Claire Trevett (Herald): Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges and the ‘luxury’ of Opposition (paywalled)
Anna Whyte (1News):‘I will not roll the dice’ – PM pushes back as Simon Bridges continues lockdown criticism in Parliament
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government to unveil Covid-19 alert level 2 rules today
Jason Walls (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to unveil new level 2 details today
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern hints at alert level 2 rules tweak, predicts level 1 will last until vaccine
Richard Prebble (NBR): Lift the lockdown now (paywalled)
RNZ: Nine to Noon: Policing under level 2: Andrew Coster
1News: Government allocates $25m for ‘cutting-edge products’ to fight Covid-19
Zac Fleming (Newshub): New Zealand fails to join global COVID-19 vaccine fundraiser

Bridges v Bloomfield
Stuff Editorial: Impatience in the public waiting room
Anna Whyte (1News): In fiery exchange, Simon Bridges accuses Dr Bloomfield of holding back info
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Ashley Bloomfield pushed by Simon Bridges on why NZ isn’t in level 2 yet

Trans Tasman bubble
Chris Keall (Herald): Transtasman bubble puts NZ in a contact-tracing bind (paywalled)
James Fyfe (Newshub): Trans-Tasman bubble viewed as a ‘favour’ to New Zealand by some Australians
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Why I’d rather be in NZ than Australia right now

Foreign affairs, WHO
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Are We In A “New Security Environment”, Or Just The Same Old Anti-Chinese One?
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): World Health Organization let down by United Nations during pandemic – Helen Clark

Tracing app, testing
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): No voluntary Covid-19 tests for Matamata cluster – Waikato DHB
RNZ: Covid-19 screening expanded for rest home residents
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Health workers, Maori tested
John Lewis (ODT): Queenstown testing centre may be able to close
Michael Daly (Stuff): Kiwis a trusting lot when it comes to downloading Covid-19 tracing app
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Majority of New Zealand’s smartphone owners willing to download COVID-19 contact tracing app
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Tracing apps at cafe doors as Government-backed tech looks unlikely

Business and economy
Kate MacNamara (Stuff): Corona utopia or Kiwi myopia?
Geoff Simmons (Stuff): A universal basic income would help us put economy back together
Liam Dann (Herald): Govt freezes Customs fee hikes to help exporters and importers
Rob Stock (Stuff): Economy will still be almost 9% under power during level 2, Reserve Bank says
Madison Reidy (Newshub): COVID-19 lockdown wipes billions from New Zealand’s economy
RNZ: Pandemic disruption creates economic opportunity, KPMG leader says
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Worksafe issues 11 notices after 80 surprise fast food checks in three days
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Notices sent to fast food companies over level three breaches
Mike O’Donnell (Stuff): Supermarkets may regret their penny-pinching
Lana Andelane (Newshub): New Zealand’s small businesses divided over likelihood of survival during COVID-19 response
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Small businesses drowning in Covid-19 lockdown debt
Leigh-Marama McLachlan (RNZ): Doing business in a post-lockdown world

Tourism
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Our Hometown
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): 98 per cent of Queenstown hotel rooms empty in April
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Ngāi Tahu Tourism lays off 300 staff
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Ngāi Tahu Tourism confirms plans to cut hundreds of jobs, workforce slashed from 348 to 39
Matthew Mckew (ODT): Massive job cuts at Shotover Jet confirmed
Matthew Mckew (ODT): Millbrook, Nomad announce lay-offs
Lorna Thornber (Stuff): New Zealand’s immediate focus should be on domestic tourism before we look at a trans-Tasman bubble
Matthew Mckew (ODT): Operators say booking agents should go

Employment, job losses
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Unemployment rate jumps to 4.2 percent
Caroline Williams (Stuff): 12,400 job losses in Auckland CBD, report predicts
Matthew Theunissen (RNZ): Job losses in Auckland could be three times worse than GFC – report
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Redundancy payment will leave cleaner ‘worse off’
RNZ: Smiths City to restructure and likely to cut jobs
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): TAB consults on plan to cut 30 per cent of jobs
Emily Brookes (Stuff): 15 jobs go as top winery restaurant at Pegasus Bay shuts
Jacob McSweeny (ODT): Farra forced to shed 15 staff in ‘time of crisis’
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): New Zealand Office Supplies placed into voluntary administration

Immigration
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Immigration NZ in ‘disarray’ over remote working as new law offers ‘unbridled power’
RNZ: Immigration processes causing delays need updating – Ian Lees-Galloway

Microsoft
Chris Keall (Herald): PM lauds Microsoft plan for NZ data centre, but details sketchy
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern attributes Microsoft’s big New Zealand data centre venture to ‘safe haven advantage’
Katie Kenny (Stuff): Microsoft’s “significant investment” shows faith in NZ’s digital future
RNZ: Microsoft seeks new datacenter region in New Zealand
1News: PM welcomes Microsoft’s plan to invest in New Zealand

Māori voice at Epidemic Response Committee
Newshub: Māori Council holding own meeting following ignored proposals for Māori representation at Epidemic Response Committee
Heta Gardiner (Māori TV): “Mark my words, I’ll ensure that happens” – Bridges vows more Māori voice at Epidemic Response Committee
Tema Hemi (Māori TV): Māori Party claims ERC exclusion is deliberate

Epidemic Response Committee
Anna Whyte (1News): Cancer diagnoses have plummeted 30% during NZ’s coronavirus lockdown
Newstalk ZB: Cancer Society: Health system ‘must catch up’ or lives will be lost
RNZ: Epidemic Response Committee discusses palliative care
Newshub: Epidemic Response Committee hears about funerals, cancer treatment disrupted by COVID-19
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Government promises to do better in face of heartbreaking COVID-19 lockdown experiences
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern admits ‘expectations have not been met’ as COVID-19 lockdown testimonies shock MPs
RNZ: No support person allowed as wife told of miscarriage
RNZ: New mum recalls trauma of birth during lockdown to Epidemic Response
Zane Small (Newshub): Strict COVID-19 lockdown birthing rules separating partners left new mum feeling like ‘an animal’
Anna Whyte (1News): Call for minute’s silence to commemorate deaths without funerals during lockdown

Local government
Catrin Owen and Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland Council contract cleaners paid under minimum wage due to Covid-19 pay cut
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland drought: Council likely to impose water restrictions from next week
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Locked out: Wellington City Council media flip-flop
RNZ: Appointments announced as council looks to hear Māori voice
Mike Fallow ( Stuff): South’s councils can’t provide cut-rate infrastructure
ODT: Invercargill City council keeps paying even idle staff 100%
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Upper Hutt drops rates below inflation level in response to Covid-19 crisis

Education
RNZ: Efforts needed to help children avoid mental health consequences of lockdown
Mandy Te (Stuff): Victoria University of Wellington’s vice-chancellor Grant Guilford and senior leadership team take pay cuts
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Victoria University remains hopeful of expansion plans despite redundancy warnings
Erin Gourley (Critic): Vice-Chancellor’s “Frustrating” Response to Exam Timetable Complaint
1News: Early childhood centres call for relaxation of Covid-19 spacing rules at Alert Level 2

Health system
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Surgeries on the line as private hospitals war with DHBs
Tova O’Brien and Wilhelmina Shrimpton (Newshub): Kiwi in quarantine granted exemption to see dying mother
Michael Hayward and Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): Campervan quarantine camps killed off after costing Government $2 million
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Southern District Health Board looks to needs of future
Andrew MacFarlane (1News): NZ’s coronavirus lockdown has created ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to squash HIV, too – health advocates

Community roadblocks
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Iwi ponders continued use of checkpoint during alert level 2
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Local iwi’s ‘travel permits’ at Bay of Plenty community roadblocks mean nothing, police say

Environment
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): New Zealand will miss climate deadline by more than a year
RNZ: Auckland Council secures overseas market to restart some recycling

RMA, infrastructure
Hamish Rennie (Spinoff): The sprint to shovel-ready must not ignore the marathon
Bronson Perich (Māori TV): The Crown needs to work with all Māori to amend RMA – Linda Te Aho
Steve Forbes: Plans to change RMA offer chance to complete $1.4b busway project earlier – Goff

Transport and roading
Matt Lowrie (Greater Auckland): Time’s up for PPPs
No Right Turn: A death-knell for PPPs?
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Transmission Gully project a ‘circus’, sections to be re-laid
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Former Civil Aviation Authority director told colleague to ‘have a joint’ to relax

Pacific
Teuila Fuatai (Newsroom): Is Samoa using Covid-19 to push constitutional changes?
RNZ: Samoa PM hits out at NZ Law Society
RNZ: NZ Law Society offers support to Samoa Law Society
RNZ: Samoa union concerned about contract termination processes
RNZ: China, US feature in Pacific perceptions of Covid19
RNZ: NZ govt urged to apply more scrutiny in West Papua
RNZ: Fiji media “victims of govt intimidation”- RSF

Tiwai Point and Rio Tinto
Rachael Kelly (Southland Times): Rio Tinto remains committed to Southland premix removal
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Tanking aluminium prices don’t bode well for Tiwai smelter (paywalled)
RNZ: Call to pressure Rio Tinto over destruction in Bougainville

Sport
RNZ: $25 million sport relief package announced
Stephen Foote (Newshub): Sports NZ announce further relief funding for community sports
1News: Sport New Zealand announces $25m package for clubs and regional organisations
Sharon Brettkelly (RNZ): Covid-19 sails off with NZ’s America’s Cup income

Primary industries
Robin Martin  (RNZ): Drought relief ‘too little too late’ – Hawkes Bay farmer
Maja Burry (RNZ): Half-million dollar fund to help farmers recover from drought

Other
Guyon Espiner and Kate Newton (RNZ): Foundation donations not named on NZ First electoral return
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): 5 months until the 2020 NZ election – where are we at?
Andre Chumko (Stuff): Former New Zealand Nurses Organisation presidents call for dissolution of board
Lynn Bower and Deborah Stevens (Stuff): Better to decriminalise cannabis rather than legalise it – bill opponents
Alison Maui (Stuff): Demand for emergency lockdown food service doubles
Briar O’Connor (Newsroom): What lockdown revealed about child abuse reporting
Lynn Freeman (RNZ): Uncertain futures of museums and galleries
Ben Strang (RNZ): Gang numbers on the rise, but a slight drop in gang crime comes with a warning
Rob Stock (Stuff): ‘Stupid law’ prevents man from buying his first home with KiwiSaver
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Cash Converters sent client to debt collectors despite her attempts to work out payment scheme
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland’s City Rail Link boring machine to be named after land rights campaigner Dame Whina Cooper
Steve Kilgallon (Stuff): Events industry asks Govt for $80m Covid-19 rescue package
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Fletcher construction ordered to pay $7.5 million to utilities contractor over Christchurch justice precinct project
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Wildlife organisations ask public for money to keep animals fed as revenue plummets
Eleisha Foon (RNZ): Petition to ban all freedom camping when borders reopen

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