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.

Today’s content

Government, NZ moves to Level 2
Graham Adams (Democracy Project): The Perils of Premature Congratulation
Natasha Hamilton-Hart (Stuff): NZ’s toolkit for the Covid-19 response limited by our institutions
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Back to business for NZ – politicians included
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Jacinda Ardern rolls dice on jobs, lives and re-election (paywalled)
Danyl Mclauchlan (Spinoff): A modest defence of the coronavirus contrarians
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern’s dive into level 2 a vindication (paywalled)
Gordon Campbell: On Level Two, and Little Richard
Keith Woodford (Interest): Covid-19 is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability
Gavin Evans (BusinessDesk): Covid-19 and the cost of govt by slogan (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): New Zealand deserves level 2, with all of its confusing weirdness
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Covid-19 alert level 2 details: What you need to know
Herald: Alert level 2 at a glance – all you need to know
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Move to Alert Level 2 receives mixed reactions from experts
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Ardern thanks ‘team of 5 million’ as New Zealand reopens schools and offices
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Thank goodness for level 2 – but the damage has been done
Anna Whyte (1News): Simon Bridges welcomes move to Level 2 on Thursday, says focus turns to jobs
Todd Niall (Stuff): Libraries, leisure centres, see staged comeback under alert level 2
Georgia-May Gilbertson (Stuff):What will public transport look like in alert level 2?
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Funeral directors blast rules on funerals and tangi as ‘cruel and without compassion
Cheree Kinnear (Herald): What alert level 2 means for club and school sports leagues
Anne Gibson (Herald): Thousands of office workers to return with restrictions, how lives will change
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Bigger cities more at risk of Covid-19 flare-up at alert level 2 – data modeller
1News: Epidemiologist warns against ‘complacency’ during Level 2, says personal responsibility is crucial
Nick Wilson, Sophie Febery, Ling Chang, Amanda Kvalsvig, Michael Baker (Public Health Expert): The Strong Case for Mask Requirements in Public Transportation and Border Control Settings in NZ’s Current COVID-19 Pandemic Context
Jamie Morton (Herald): Experts double down on ‘mass-masking’ call
Tom McRae (Newshub): Public health experts urge compulsory public face masks in alert level 2

Government coronavirus document dump
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Explainer: Why the Government’s coronavirus document dump matters
Newstalk ZB: Peter Dunne criticises Government over ‘grubby’ gag order email
1News: Gag order on Ministers after Covid-19 document dump was ‘arrogant’ move by Government, commentator says
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Document dump: Govt ‘blinded’ by its ‘awesomeness’ and ‘hubris’, critics say
Newstalk ZB: Jason Walls: Government’s gag order smacks of arrogance
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Government’s arrogance has been laid bare
1News: ‘Not language I would have used’ – Ardern responds to email directive for Ministers not to do interviews on Covid-19 documents

Lockdown legality
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Government set to urgently pass new law for Alert Level 2
No Right Turn: The COVID-19 Bill
Graeme Edgeler: Parliamentary Privilege, and the summonsing of Crown legal advice
Dean R Knight and Geoff McLay (UK Constitutional Law): Is New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown lawful? – an alternative view
Jelena Gligorijević  (UK Constitutional Law) : Government Accountability for the Lawfulness of Lockdown: New Zealand Parliamentary Scrutiny and Privileged Legal Advice

Budget, economy
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): The Crowd That Booed
1News: Tax increases ‘inevitable’ to pay for Covid-19 bill, with net debt expected to rise to $170 billion – economist
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Five things to watch for (paywalled)
Simon Wilson (Herald): 10-point Budget checklist (paywalled)
Ian Ball (Newsroom): Budget must plan to restore its buffer
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Sacred cows’ up for slaughter in this year’s Budget – economist
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘We hope to be proven wrong’ – Poverty advocates push for tax reform amid pandemic
1News: Strong economy needed for better healthcare, economist argues as alert level decision looms
1News: National ‘not going to rule anything out’ over potential tax change promises
Jason Walls (Herald): What’s been announced so far and what people want to see
Simon Collins (Herald): Big pay hike for beginning early childhood teachers
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Large pay bump for early childhood teachers in pre-budget announcement
RNZ: $151 million funding boost for early learning services
Zane Small (Newshub): Early learning services get $320m boost including pay increase for teachers
Anna Whyte (1News): Early learning to get $321m in Budget including a pay increase for some ECE teachers
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Government funding boost for Pharmac announced, but it doesn’t go far enough for some cancer sufferers
RNZ: Lung cancer victims miss out in drug funding boost – advocates
RNZ: Women’s Refuge welcomes extra funding for family and sexual violence services
RNZ: Family violence funding: Māori NGO warns systemic overhaul needed

Martyn Bradbury (Daily News): Does NZME’s last gasp for newspaper monopoly spell doom for Stuff?
Pattrick Smellie (Herald): Has Nine told the government that Stuff is on borrowed time?
Colin Peacock (RNZ): NZME forces media merger issue
NBR Editorial: NZME is not the only buyer for Stuff (paywalled)
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): StuffMe becomes RebuffMe
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): NZME and Stuff’s merger saga just reached a bizarre new peak
Pattrick Smellie (Herald): NZME threatens govt with Bauer Mark 2 (paywalled)
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Nine Network says talks with NZME over Stuff acquisition were ‘terminated’ last week
Lana Andelane (Newshub): NZME seeks urgent Government help to buy Stuff for $1
Damien Venuto (Herald): Analysis: Pressure mounts on Faafoi as NZME and Stuff narratives diverge (paywalled)
Melanie Carroll Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): NZX Regulation contacted NZME over Stuff takeover statement
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): NZME sticks to its guns in bid to buy Stuff for $1 (paywalled)
David Farrar: Stuff worth just $1?
RNZ: NZME makes offer to buy rival Stuff for $1
Herald: NZME seeks urgent approval, help to buy Stuff for $1 ‘to help save jobs, newspapers’
Jason Walls (Herald): Act leader David Seymour says the Government should allow NZME and Stuff to merge
Gavin Ellis: New respect for ‘the local rag’

Foreign affairs
Chris Trotter (Interest): Is Winston Peters provoking Beijing accidentally or intentionally?
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Taiwan’s WHO claims a test of Peters’ diplomatic nous
RNZ: China berates New Zealand over support for Taiwan at WHO
Herald: China criticises New Zealand over support for Taiwan at World Health Organisation
Mackenzie Smith (RNZ): Concern as veteran leader pushes for poll on Tokelau independence
RNZ: NZ Aid to pivot in the age of coronavirus

Covid-19 cases, health system
Michael Morrah (RNZ): Two Waitakere Hospital nurses testing positive for COVID-19 ‘not acceptable’ – nurses union
Melanie Reid and Bonnie Sumner (Newsroom): Waitakere: A cluster waiting to happen
Farah Hancock (Suff): Ministry of Health’s elusive numbers
Kirsty Johnston (Herald): Country’s largest public health service unable to find basic information
1News: Funding boost for nurses, disability workers impacted by Covid-19
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Accommodation fund announced for health care workers living away from home during the pandemic
George Block (Stuff): Woman jailed for refusing Covid-19 medical examination, tests positive after release from Auckland prison
RNZ: Covid positive traveller jailed after refusing medical examination
1News: Proportion of Covid-19 hospitalisations lower in NZ than in other countries
Rawiri Taonui (Waatea News): Māori Update 11 May | Level 2 the certainty of new cases and an outbreak
Shilo Kino (Guardian): Dying too young: coronavirus, my Māori family and me
1News: Fixing health system’s Covid-19 backlog requires extra $1 billion funding and cross-party cooperation
Michael Neilson (Herald): Medical experts ready to ramp up health system to clear surgery backlog
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Nurses added to proposed law which imposes minimum prison sentences for assaults against healthcare workers

Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Ministry of Social Development investigating after Work and Income benefit bungle
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Costly legal action may await over mishandling of redundancy issue
Indira Stewart (RNZ): Checkpoint: Social services urge govt to boost benefits as poverty rises
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Inside the Auckland City Mission during the Covid-19 crisis

Air New Zealand, Airways NZ
Calida Stuart-Menteath (NBR): Two classes of Air NZ crew causes strife (paywalled)
RNZ: Checkpoint: Air NZ internal documents reveal long, slow recovery
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Air New Zealand launches more flights in Covid-19 level 2
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Air NZ’s frequent flyer points safe – for now
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Airways NZ lands wage subsidy, still plans to cut regional air control (paywalled)

Local government
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): Kāpiti mayor accuses councillor of neo-colonialism in spending stoush
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Wellington sewage pipe repairs mean turd taxi trucks’ end

1News: Physical distancing not expected for early learning and schools upon return
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Schools under level 2: Teaching changes and a lot more hand washing
ODT: University commits to releasing exam schedule

Susan Edmunds (Stuff): First-home buyers hoping for chance to get into property market
Eva Corlett (RNZ): ‘It’s transformative’ – Health and job benefits from plan to fix damp homes
Jason Quinn (Stuff): Address climate change through better housing 

SkyCity lay offs
RNZ: SkyCity proposal to cut 20 percent of staff ‘incredibly tough’
Herald: SkyCity plans to shed another 700 staff
1News: SkyCity to axe 700 more jobs amid Covid-19 economic turmoil

Tamsyn Parker (Herald): The fishhooks in the govt’s ‘interest free’ small business loans
Katie Kenny (Stuff): Retail spending falls by 50 per cent during lockdown
RNZ: Business confidence perks up but pessimism lingers

Michael Hayward (Stuff): KFC staff left ‘twiddling thumbs’ in level 3, or pay docked
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Takeaways are back – and so is the waste caused by disposable packaging

Justice corrections
Alice Mills (Newsroom): From locked up to locked down
Arthur Taylor: What the hell is going on in Auckland Women’s Prison?
Nessa Lynch & Yvette Tinsley (Spinoff): How the pandemic is delaying justice in criminal cases

Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): MP and Labour Party face court fight over Manurewa
Zane Small (Newshub) Simon Bridges says Labour ‘sought to politicise’ COVID-19 committee over lack of Māori voices
Richard Harman (Politik): ACT is back with more members, more money and a bold new plan
Ximena Smith (RNZ): Fake news’ and Covid-19: Why does it spread?
Mike McRoberts (Newshub): Auckland woman ‘creeped out’ after restaurant worker uses her contact tracing details to hit on her
Ruth Hill (RNZ): Vodafone disconnects elderly customer during lockdown
Andrea Fox (Herald): NZ still winning the Mycoplasma bovis disease battle despite lockdown: MPI (paywalled)
Eric Frykberg (RNZ): Covid-19 could revive single-use plastics – agribusiness head
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Could pandemic insurance become part of the future? (paywalled)
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): NZ Post receiving 200 parcels per minute, five-day delivery delays
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Abuse survivors worried they lack a voice at inquiry
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Māori Party Te Tai Tonga candidate: ‘Me tipu te whakapono’
Michael J Armstrong (Stuff): Cannabis legislation: Good, but room for improvement
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Lime to operate e-scooters again in Auckland after deal with rival Jump
John Roughan (Herald): Book extract: Ex-Finance Minister Bill Birch on working with Winston Peters (paywalled)