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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

Budget, economy
John Armstrong (1News): Jobs, jobs jobs or spend, spend, spend?
Sue Bradford (Stuff): This is not what a post-Covid Budget should look like
Bryce Edwards (Democracy Project): Political Roundup: A homecoming or still adrift – how radical is Labour’s budget?
Audrey Young (Herald): National’s uphill battle on a Budget for a crisis (paywalled)
Peter Dunne: An extraordinary but pedestrian budget
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): It wasn’t the ‘Rebuilding’ Budget, but Grant Robertson has now got the resource consent
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): The lights are on, the economy hasn’t been reset yet – thankfully
Gordon Campbell: On Budget 2020
Damien Grant (Stuff): Economic vandalism destroys important legacy
Joshua Hitchcock (Spinoff): This government is not transformational. Neither was its budget
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Lack of boost for ‘stingy’ benefits shows politicians ‘pretty much’ all the same – economist
Luke Malpass (Stuff): The Covid-19 Budget and the consequences campaign
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Grant Roberston and the Budget of a lifetime
Shamubeel Eaqub (RNZ): A massive spend-up but not transformational
Brad Olsen (Guardian): The budget has given New Zealand an opportunity it can’t afford to squander
John Tamihere (Waatea News): A Generational Opportunity Lost
Rod Oram (Newsroom): If we are going to borrow, let’s buy the best
Simon Chapple (Newsroom): Too weak, too short
Steve Braunias (Herald): The secret diary of Grant Robertson (paywalled)
Roger Douglas (BusinessDesk): Cult of personality trumps covid policy response (paywalled)
Leigh-Marama McLachlan and Māni Dunlop (RNZ): $900m package for Māori ‘unprecedented’, minister says
Heta Gardiner (Māori TV): “I like the budget for Māori” – Former Māori Party leader praises Māori gains in budget
Richard Pamatatau (E-Tangata): The coconut wireless has its benefits
University of Auckland: What the Budget means for women
Alison Mau (Stuff): Are women taking the biggest hit?
Todd Niall (Stuff): Budget may bring overdue investment in Auckland’s poorest
Keith Ng (Herald): See how Budget 2020 shatters previous forecasts
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): How Covid-19 will hit the Government’s books
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Grant Robertson says tax discussion will feature in election
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Pre-election tax debate hinted at, as ANZ says country may escape with ‘regular horrible recession’
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Grant Robertson not ruling out tax hikes further down track
Tamysn Parker (Stuff): Grant Robertson rules out capital gains tax, looks to economic growth to get out of debt hole
Dan Satherley (Newshub):‘Mark my words… there will be new taxes’ – Simon Bridges’ warning over COVID-19 borrowing
Terry Baucher (Interest): The Week in Tax Budget Special: what about Inland Revenue and better not talk about tax
1News: Earmarking $20b for unspecified Covid-19 response is ‘responsible’, Finance Minister tells critics
Jo Moir (Stuff): PM Jacinda Ardern rubbishes National’s ‘campaign bribe’ Budget accusations
Jason Walls (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern slams ‘cynical’ National during first public post-lockdown appearance
1News: Paul Goldsmith concerned about ‘economic disaster’ with $140b debt expected from 2020 Budget
Sam Stubbs (Stuff): Could coronavirus be good for the economy?
RNZ: Applause and dismay echo in reactions

After lockdown – economic and social recovery
Simon Wilson (Herald): 15 things we know now (paywalled)
Liam Dann (Herald): We did it – now comes the shock of ordinary life (paywalled)
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): My Pandemic of Rage
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): Open borders to a small select group (paywalled)
Simon Barber, Vanessa Cole, Jack Foster and Anna-Maria Murtola (ESRA): Future-proofing Aotearoa New Zealand for life after Covid-19 

Wage subsidy, welfare, unemployment
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): NZ Couriers claim drivers’ wage subsidy: ‘They’re rorting everyone’
Nina Hindmarsh (Stuff): Farmers slammed for taking Covid-19 wage subsidies
Vanessa Schouten (Spinoff): The wage subsidy is for those in need. Don’t abuse it
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Prime Minister does not appear keen to extend wage subsidy past September
Zoe George (Stuff): Wage subsidy extension an ‘epic’ boost for SMEs
Jacob McSweeny (ODT): Wage subsidy extension needs focus: critic
Susan St John (Daily Blog): Budget fallout – Child poverty was once at the heart of this government
1News: John Campbell grills Grant Robertson over Budget doing ‘nowhere near enough’ for social welfare
1News: Support groups ‘only as good’ as Government funding they receive, says Trust
Stuff: Keeping NZ unemployment below 10%
Newstalk ZB: Government strives to keep unemployment below 10%
RNZ: ANZ predicting higher unemployment figures for longer
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Ministry of Social Development hiring to manage COVID-19 demand
Henry Cooke (Stuff): 39,000 new people on unemployment benefit are richer than usual intake
Sarah Robson (RNZ): High income earners, returning Kiwis among benefit applicants
Zane Small (Newshub): The surprising demographic who took up the benefit most during COVID-19 lockdown
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): More young, white, middle-class people become beneficiaries, as 2,422 more people received Jobseeker Support last week
Jack Tame (Newstalk ZB): How Covid-19 is changing our views on beneficiaries
Mihingarangi Forbes (The Hui): ‘Burn our balance sheet’: Northern iwi leaders to cushion impact of COVID-19
Dean Nathan (Māori TV): Kai parcels for families affected by job losses
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Extra Whānau Ora money may not cover rise in needy families

MP pay cuts
Graham Adams (Democracy Project): The politics of envy or the politics of fairness?
Zane Small (Newshub): David Seymour wants MP pay cuts made compulsory, citing ‘offensive’ voluntary option
Claire Trevett (Herald): Politicians pass temporary law for own pay cuts

Cat MacLennan (Democracy Project): Thanking essential workers properly
Nicole Bremner (1News): After backlash, Countdown agrees to pay 10% bonus to staff hired during lockdown
ODT: Restaurant chain Good Group makes more than 150 workers redundant
1News: ‘Lack of humanity’ – Queenstown hospitality company lays off half its workforce in Covid-19 crunch
Bronson Perich (Māori TV): He Poutama Rangatahi will get ‘neffs’ off the couch – Willie Jackson
Fiona Connor (Newshub): Lyttelton Port Company workers say ‘rife’ bullying ‘tip of the iceberg’ after staffer’s sudden death

Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Budget 2020: Executives deliver their verdict (paywalled)
NBR: Budget reaction broadly positive (paywalled)
Kirk Hope (Stuff): A good today budget – but where’s the plan for tomorrow?
Julie Iles (NBR): Prime Minister hints at business advisory council reboot (paywalled)
Katarina Williams Damian George (Dominion Post): Our Dominion: Post-Lockdown – Wellington economy a long way from normality
Andre Chumko and Kelly Dennett (Stuff): New Zealand’s future in the hands of tech innovators and screen industry
Anne Gibson (Herald): Landlord Sir Michael Freidlander cuts many Auckland tenants’ rent by 80 per cent

Public Health Response Act, lockdown legality human rights
Chris Finlayson (Stuff): Lockdown was vague and threatening
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Warrantless entry: Be wary of the contagion of stupidity
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): The fishhooks in Govt’s Covid-19 response bill (paywalled)
RNZ: Level 2 enforcement law passed too quickly: Human Rights Commissioner
1New: ‘Once Level 2 is over, they go’ – Jacinda Ardern defends controversial new police powers
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Level 2 enforcement law to be reviewed by select committee
No Right Turn: Some belated scrutiny
ODT Editorial: Limit to powers
Dan Satherley (Newshub): National would be ‘crucified’ if it passed this week’s new laws – Judith Collins
Curwen Ares Rolinson (Daily Blog): On National On Labour On Human Rights In (A) Crisis
Donne-Lee Biddle (Stuff): ‘No rule book’ for dealing with Kiwis in quarantine hotels

Parliament, week in politics
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Week in Politics: It’s going to be the doing that matters
1News: Inside Parliament takes a closer look at the Next Level Budget
1News: National MP Chris Bishop rocks mullet at Parliament after losing bet
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): National MP Chris Bishop sports mullet for charity, jokingly mocked by colleague
Herald: Clarke Gayford dyes ‘partner’s’ hair and gives Neve a haircut
Stuff: Did Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern let her partner dye her hair?

Restricted gatherings under level 2, distancing
Joe Grayland (Democracy Project): Is the Government’s de facto ban on religious services a form of prejudice?
Southland Times Editorial: Govt’s lack of faith in churches is showing
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Simon Bridges pens letter to Jacinda Ardern on behalf of religious groups
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Simon Bridges pens open letter to Jacinda Ardern on behalf of faith communities
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Drive-in service for Auckland’s Destiny Church at alert level 2
1News: Destiny Church performs drive-in service to prove large religious gatherings are safe at Level 2
Newshub: Brian Tamaki says ‘very ignorant’ Kiwis don’t realise their rights have been ‘stolen’
Dan Satherley and Hayley Jacobsen (Newshub): Brian Tamaki says religion getting in the way of Jacinda Ardern’s socialist ‘ambition’
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): Heavenly Father commands no church this weekend
Leigh-Marama McLachlan (RNZ): Māori Council welcomes unity in confronting government during Covid-19
Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters (Newsroom): Māori take lead in tangi limits
Jane Bowron (Stuff): Invite-only funerals could be a new – and welcome – trend
1News: NZ ski resorts announce plans to open after Govt exemption on 100-person limit
Joel MacMaus (Stuff): PM Jacinda Ardern turned away from full cafe before being called back
Herald: Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford turned away from Wellington cafe
1News: ‘She waits like everyone else’ – Jacinda Ardern turned away by Wellington cafe due to Covid-19 restrictions
Lana Andelane (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern turned away from full cafe under alert level 2 protocol

Education and training
John Gerritsen (RNZ): 800,000 children return to school for first time in almost eight weeks
Rosie Gordon (Newshub): Students can expect schools to be different across New Zealand under level 2
1News: Countdown on as Kiwi kids prepare to return to school after lockdown
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): ‘Stay out of my moist breath zone’: Covid-19 anthem takes the drool out of school
Alice Webb-Liddall (Spinoff): Teachers outraged as registration fees more than double
1News: Nasty shock for teachers returning from lockdown as their registration fee more than doubles
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): ‘Incredibly joyful’ – Surge of interest in homeschooling since lockdown
Mandy Te (Stuff): Playcentres may have to cut staff, close centres due to funding following Budget announcement
RNZ: Playcentre movement directs funding ‘outrage’ at PM
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Budget funding increase for kōhanga reo to help retain staff, kaiako says
Liz Gordon (Daily Blog): Adult and Community Education and the end of neoliberalism
Dan Satherly and Delphine Herbert (Newshub): ‘Band-aid’ Budget won’t encourage jobless into education – students
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Medical School: Who gets in and why
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Medical schools boosting Māori and Pasifika numbers
Kristy Lawrence (Stuff): Hamilton wins bid to host new national mega polytech headquarters
RNZ: National calls for international education sector revival to help economy
Stuff: Otago Uni’s message to students – no large parties during Covid-19 level 2
ODT: Students start making their way back
Luke Oldfield (Stuff): Job losses threaten the quality of our universities
Bonnie Flaws and Rob Stock (Stuff): Yes, you can start over with an apprenticeship at 40
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): Retrain, really?

Child welfare
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Kids going back to school hungry as parents lose jobs in lockdown
melia Wade (Stuff): Caregivers to get an extra $25 a week in $210 million Budget boost
1News: Major funding boost in support for caregivers and kids
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Caregivers get $210m Budget boost from Government
RNZ: Researchers to study Covid-19’s impact on children
RNZ: Waitangi Tribunal looks at scope of its Oranga Tamariki inquiry

John Minto (Daily Blog): Labour’s new 8000 State Houses are an illusion
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand budget: housing shortfall puts vulnerable people at risk, say advocates
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): New $40m housing deal between Government and Māori
1News: New $40 million housing deal between Govt, Māori set to fix crisis made by Covid-19
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Housing shortage could soon be over: BNZ
Rob Stock (Stuff): KiwiSaver should become mortgage repayment scheme for homeowners

Environment and conservation
David Hall (The Conversation): New Zealand’s COVID-19 budget delivers on one crisis, but largely leaves climate change for another day
Rosie Gordon (Newshub): Budget 2020 labelled as ‘missed opportunity’ to fight climate change
Mike Joy (Better Futures Forum): New Zealand in one year’s time
RNZ: Coal mine defends plan to expand as enivronmental groups raise concerns
RNZ: EPA grants consent for OMV to drill up to 10 exploration wells
Alice Angeloni (Stuff): Peter Yealands issued infringement notices for alleged riverbed works
RNZ: Government spends up on re-opening Fiordland’s Great Walks
Lana Andelane (Newshub): $13.7m allocated for rebuild of Fiordland conservation, infrastructure

Contact tracing
Bruce Munro (ODT): Tracking and tracing
Katie Kenny (Stuff): Concerns too many tracing apps could do more harm than good, as NZ moves to level 2
RNZ: Level 2 rule ‘flip-flop’ hasn’t helped – Retail NZ

Coronavirus in NZ, government strategy
Matt Nippert (Herald): ‘No time for a trial run’: Inside story of how NZ fought pandemic
Michael Daly (Stuff): Health inequities could put Māori, Pacific communities at more risk of Covid-19 outbreak, model suggests
Dan Satherley (Newshub): How NZ can avoid ending up being the next Singapore
Jamie Morton (Herald): Coronavirus Covid 19: What’s the difference between level 1 and 2
Rawiri Taonui (Waatea News): Covid-19 Māori Update 17 May 2020: Level 2 Positive Numbers and the Second Wave Risk
1News: ‘I wish we had a leader like her’ – Piers Morgan raves over Jacinda Ardern’s Covid-19 response
Oscar Kightley (Stuff): The world’s turned upside down when Piers Morgan praises Jacinda Ardern
Phillipa Yalden (Waikato Times): Study shows Kiwis stressed but resilient in face of Covid-19
Kimberlee Downs (1News): Kiwis volunteer to be deliberately infected with Covid-19 to speed up vaccine research

Colin Peacock (RNZ): NZME’s play for Stuff goes to court – again
Edward Gay (Stuff): Media firm NZME set out to hurt Stuff as buyout bid turned sour – lawyer
Herald: NZME v Stuff owner Nine in High Court, Auckland
Anneke Smith (RNZ): NZME, Nine clash over exclusivity in High Court
1News: NZME seeks injunction against Stuff’s owner Nine Entertainment
Andrea Vance (Stuff): RIP our jobs – and an essential public service
James Hollings (Stuff): A NZ without journalists: The implications of the combustion of our biggest news groups
Hayden Donnell (RNZ): A lonely Māori voice at the Covid-19 briefings
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Freelance job market in for a shake-up as companies rebuild after Covid-19

Foreign affairs
Richard Harman (Politiik): Dr Bloomfield to the rescue
Michael Daly (Stuff): Chinese Embassy disputes Peters’ assertion China didn’t want New Zealand going into lockdown 
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): New Zealand joins calls for investigation into origin of Covid-19 in China

1News: Grant Robertson admits tourism industry ‘will not be the same again, if ever
1News: Kiwis touring their own backyard maybe a lifeline for the tourism industry
1News: Tourism operators don’t know if Government’s $400 million lifeline will be enough to save them
Katarina Williams (Stuff): Unchartered waters: Wellington’s cruise ship plans run aground over Covid-19

Todd Niall (Stuff): Why Auckland’s transport billions might not move the climate change dial
Newstalk ZB: Auckland light rail ‘on pause’ as cash set aside for Cook Strait ferries
RNZ: $400m to be spent on bigger, faster Interislander ferries
1News: National call for halt to latest petrol tax increase
RNZ: National wants government to hold off on 4c petrol tax increase
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): InterCity bus cancellations leave transport options limited
RNZ: E-scooters return to city streets after lockdown

Domestic violence
Lydia Lewis (Newshub): Domestic violence survivor calls on the Govt for more help during pandemic
Donna-Lee Biddle (Stuff): Family violence: Government’s $200m will go a long way to help abused women, refuges say

Tim Hunter (NBR): Taxpayers’ money: the gift that keeps on giving (paywalled)
Mark Geenty (Stuff): Government’s $265 million sporting lifeline, but who is first in the queue?
RNZ: Govt announces $265m sports support package

Steve Kilgallon (Stuff): Ban pokies for good? Salvo’s and Problem Gambling’s bid to Government
Tom O’Connor (Stuff): Govt support for gambling hard to justify

Local government
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington Mayor Andy Foster laments setbacks as election promises remain unfulfilled
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Wellington e-scooter trial wins 72 per cent public support ahead of council vote
Lana Andelane and Hayley Jacobsen (Newshub): Auckland water restrictions: Watercare CEO will ‘apologise to all of Auckland’ if drought-stricken city gets unexpected rainfall
Jim Tucker (Taranaki Daily News): A timely question to ask on council mergers
Aaron van Delden: Gisborne treatment plant a ‘must-have’ despite ballooning cost
Brenda Harwood (ODT): DCC venues deemed unaffordable
ODT Editorial: ‘Emergency’ must be treated as such
Janine Rankin (Manawatū Standard): Palmerston North plans in place for post-Covid recovery

Cell phone tower fires
David Farrier (Spinoff): How 5G and Covid-19 mixed to make a toxic conspiracy cocktail
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Why setting cell phone towers on fire won’t stop coronavirus 
Jordyn Rudd (1News):‘Totally false’ 5G conspiracy theories blamed for series of ‘infuriating’ cell tower arsons across NZ
Dan Satherley and Kethaki Masilamani (Newshub): Another two cellphone towers burned in suspicious blazes linked to COVID-19 conspiracy theories
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Auckland may lose reception as cell tower sabotage continues

Māori Party 
Mihingarangi Forbes (The Hui): Prediction Labour will clean-sweep the Māori electorates thanks to Budget investment
Scott Palmer (Newshub): New Maori Party candidate accuses Government of ‘ethnic cleansing’
Māori TV: Māori Party names Mariameno Kapa-Kingi as Te Tai Tokerau candidate

Mackenzie Smith (RNZ): Police searched for suspects in unapproved trial of facial recognition tech, Clearview AI
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Canterbury District Health Board looks at infection surveillance system options
Steve Elers (Stuff): It’s important to understand what drives the prime minister
Michelle Dickinson (Herald): The danger of misinformation
Barbara Dreaver (1News): Calls for Pacific and NZ Governments to work together to get stranded seasonal workers home
Teuila Fuatai (Newsroom): Baby on board but no boarding call
John Weekes (Stuff): TradeMe sellers warned thousands of times over sanitiser, face mask rip-offs
1News: More refugee families to be reunited in NZ as Government doubles quota
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Golriz Ghahraman joins international call for poor nations’ debts to be wiped
Patrick Thomsen (E-Tangata): Language, identity — and ‘real’ Sāmoans
Reuters: Westpac admits money-laundering breaches
Trevor Richards (E-Tangata): The land of the wrong white crowd: Growing up and living in the shadow of racism
Tom Hunt (Stuff): The great plaque mystery: Cold War Wellington spy case gets murkier
Nigel S Roberts (Stuff): A sad sight and a sorry plight: PMs’ graves in Karori
Grant Miller (ODT): No peace yet over Baxter memorial