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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

Newshub Reid-Research poll
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern goes stratospheric, Simon Bridges is annihilated
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Politically Simon Bridges is a dead man walking
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Simon Bridges still confident he will lead National into election despite personal poll rating below 5 percent
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Overwhelming number of Kiwis back Government’s lockdown decision
Richard Harman (Politik): Can Bridges survive?
Audrey Young (Herald): Can Simon Bridges tough it out as National Party leader? (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): New poll puts Bridges near the death spiral
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Can Simon Bridges hang on? (paywalled)
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Simon Bridges’ leadership hangs by a thread after ‘mind-blowing’ poll
Jason Walls (Herald): National’s bad poll: Leader Simon Bridges on Newstalk ZB – ‘I’m the leader and I’m staying’
Claire Trevett (Herald): Poll says Labour’s Jacinda Ardern most popular PM in a century; National on the ropes
Jo Moir (RNZ): Jacinda Ardern, Labour soar in new poll
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National plummets to 30.6 per cent in Newshub/Reid Research poll
1News: Labour registers big jump in support amid Covid-19 pandemic, according to new political poll
Jamie Ensor and Miriam Harris (Newshub): National should consider ‘radical’ changes to catch Labour after ‘astonishing’ poll – commentator
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): ‘Panic is a weak man’s game’
David Farrar: Latest poll
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Labour 56.5% Poll – Winners & Losers
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Labour 56.5%! Majority Government possible!
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): If Greens get lower than their appalling 2017 result – will Marama Davidson & James Shaw stand down as leaders?
Cameron Slater: Analysis of the Disastrous Newshub Poll
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): Simon Bridges and National’s bad poll – the problem is he’s invisible
David Farrar: Polls during a crisis

NZ coronavirus response, contact tracing app, pandemic plan
Jamie Morton (Herald): When will we know it’s not out there?
Emma Russell (Herald): New Zealand’s readiness for a second wave in focus
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Why aren’t all new arrivals to New Zealand tested for Covid-19?
Henry Cooke (Stuff): The end of the Ashley and Jacinda coronavirus show: 1pm joint press briefings to cease
John Weekes (Stuff): Authorities prepared to put dead homeless in freezers ‘indefinitely’ if Covid-19 overran NZ
Melanie Reid and Bonnie Sumner (Newsroom): Who knew what when Covid-19 reached Waitakere
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Customs investigating whether Ruby Princess cruise ship committed offences on New Zealand visit
Breanna Barraclough (1News): How Covid-19 is affecting New Zealand’s children
Breanna Barraclough (1News): Chances of Kiwi kids contracting mysterious syndrome linked to Covid-19 ‘very low’, but authorities on the lookout
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Kiwi biotech firm gets funding to develop tests for coronavirus and M. Bovis
Esther Taunton (Stuff): The truth about hand sanitiser at Covid-19 alert level 2
Jamie Ensor and Miriam Harris (Newshub): ‘Digital diary’ contact tracing application useful as Kiwis hold own data – expert
Katie Kenny (Stuff): Government contact tracing app will launch Wednesday, PM says
Dave Goosselink (Newshub): Government to release COVID-19 ‘digital diary’ app to track Kiwis’ movements at alert level 2
Anna Whyte (1News): Digital diary’ app coming for Kiwis to keep track of movements during pandemic
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): ‘Digital diary’ contact tracing app coming
RNZ: Government to release contact tracing ‘digital diary app’ on Wednesday

Budget, economy
Gordon Campbell: On the Govt attempts at poaching the soft centre-right vote
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Conceding Nothing – To The Undemanding Non-Voter
Anna Matheson (Newsroom): We need to get serious about privilege
Norman Gemmell (Newsroom): Emperor Robertson’s new clothes
Geoff Simmons (BusinessDesk): Not a brave Budget (paywalled)
Brent Edwards (NBR): Direct cash payments would kickstart post-Covid economy, TOP says (paywalled)
Dominic Harris (Stuff): Shovel-ready projects to be unveiled ‘within weeks’ – finance minister
Charles Finny: How to export your way out of a financial crisis: A 10 point plan for New Zealand
Raf Manji (Interest): Don’t worry about the debt, worry about what it’s spent on
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Debt for dummies: How the Government borrows money
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): What is a negative interest rate, and what would it mean for you?
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff):ANZ tips Reserve Bank to lift cap on quantitative easing to $90 billion
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Economist suggests selling visas to entrepreneurs to help pay COVID debt
Ben Kepes (Herald): Reinventing feudalism – Is this what we want for NZ?

Business, employment, job losses
Teuila Fuatai (Herald): Wage subsidy arithmetic hurts couriers (paywalled)
Bridie Witton and Katarina Williams (Stuff): Public servants shun central city at alert level 2
1News: Fears up to 30 per cent of NZ manufacturing companies could close
1News: James Hardie to close Auckland factory with loss of 120 jobs
Maria Slade (NBR): SMEs soon have to make life-or-death calls (paywalled)
Dan Brunskill (BusinessDesk): Smiths City sold; more than 100 jobs lost (paywalled)
RNZ: Smiths City sale for $60m offers greatest opportunity for it to endure, chairperson says
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Supermarket workers on how COVID-19 chaos has changed their jobs forever
Rob Stock (Stuff): Dove Hospice lays off 14 of 59 employees after charity store losses

Mandy Te and Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): The future of NZ education uncertain and not necessarily online
ODT Editorial: Lessons learned from schools’ return
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Back to school after lockdown: 80 percent of children return to classes with hygiene rules
Scott Palmer and Zane Small (Newshub): Education Minister Chris Hipkins ‘pleased’ by 80 percent school attendance rate on Monday
1News: Jacinda Ardern assures anxious parents schools wouldn’t be opening again if it wasn’t safe
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Parents get ’emotional’ dropping kids off at school after weeks of learning in lockdown
Simon Collins (Herald): 85 per cent of kids back at school but rumour scares parents away in Whangārei
RNZ: Alert level 2 rules mean challenges around transport to school
1News: Kiwi kids head back to the classroom today after more than seven weeks away from school
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Tech inequities will still impact students despite today’s return
1News: Back to school brings full tummies again for vulnerable kids, thanks to KidsCan
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government announces $278m push to incentivise all early childhood teachers to be qualified
Zane Small (Newshub): $278m boost for early childhood learning centres to bolster qualified workforce
1News: Early childhood education gets $278 million for more qualified teachers
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Couch fires and parties feature as Scarfies return
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Police alerted to Level 2 partying
RNZ: Dunedin police shut down multiple student parties at weekend

Restricted gatherings, Alert Level 2
RNZ: Checkpoint: Cardinal John Dew welcomes review of church gathering rules
Dubby Henry (Herald): 10-person limit to church services likely to lift if virus cases stay low, Ardern says
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): PM says religious services are considered gatherings, despite no specific mention in alert level 2 legislation
1News: Allowing strip clubs to reopen but not churches is unfair and illogical, reverend argues
1News: Significantly less Covid-19 breaches reported to police in Alert Level 2
Matt Burrows (Newshub): 250 mass gatherings reported in New Zealand since alert level 2 shift
RNZ: ‘Contradictory’ government guidelines confused retailers
Jean Teng and Alice Neville (Spinoff): ‘Constant rule changes’ make for a tough start to alert level two for hospitality
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Covid-19 Alert Level 2 special: Bad loans, hotels, cyber-crime, anti-vaxxers & neo-liberalism

Foreign affairs
Newstalk ZB: Anne Marie Brady: New Zealand-China relationship not in danger
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Winston Peters should be sacked over China controversy (paywalled)

Inquiry into Covid-19 outbreak
Henry Cooke (Stuff): NZ among 62 countries calling for independent inquiry into outbreak of Covid-19
Lana Andelane (Newshub): NZ ‘not interested in blame or a witch hunt’ as country joins call for inquiry into COVID-19’s origins – Ardern
RNZ: PM on NZ joining international investigation into Covid-19 outbreak: ‘We’re interested in it for learning’

International bubble, tourism
1News: Ardern: New Zealand-Pacific bubble could be on cards next if trans-Tasman travel goes well
TVNZ1 Q+A: Australia ‘may very well save the NZ tourism industry’ – economist
TVNZ1 Q+A: Change in Covid-19 hit tourism industry will be ‘long-lasting’ – Finance Minister
Stuff Editorial: Tourism operators must find way to help Kiwis see the country
Waatea News: Kelvin Davis: No magic wand in tourism planning
Eric Crampton (Stuff): Economic recovery would be faster if NZ linked to other safe countries

Immigration, refugees
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Law Society says safeguards in new law will protect immigrants
Lee Kenny (Stuff): Author Boochani still in Christchurch months after visa expired
Behrouz Boochani (Stuff): As I learn to live in freedom in New Zealand, Australia still torments refugees
Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Government to give Māngere Refugee Resettlement Centre $12m to bolster security

Air New Zealand, aviation
Dan Lake (Newshub): Air New Zealand changes refund policy after Consumer NZ complaint about its practices
RNZ: Air NZ to refund customers transiting through US
Matthew Theunissen (RNZ): Consumer NZ to lodge complaint over Air NZ’s refusal to refund all cancelled US flights
Calida Stuart-Menteath (NBR): Air NZ plans to lay off about 300 engineers (paywalled)
1News: Air New Zealand plans to cut almost 300 more jobs, union says
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Union tells Air New Zealand to bring engineering jobs home amid plans to cut 300
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Traveller resorts to placing classified ad to contact Air NZ
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Nelson airline gives food banks badly needed boost
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Expert predicts international travel could resume as early as 2021

Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Hopes Wellington can avoid becoming a congested transport basket-case again
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Toll planning to cut at least 33 jobs, union says
RNZ: Job losses expected at Toll New Zealand
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Surge in commuters on the roads and a stress test for public transport
Alice Wilkins (Newshub): Rush-hour traffic ‘quieter than in school holidays’ as staff encouraged to work from home

Stuff: Air quality seen during lockdown won’t return for 20 years, experts say
Jamie Morton (Herald): How the lockdown cleared our air
No Right Turn: Failing to protect the environment, again
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): $18m to save 1100 hectares of farmed wetland
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Auckland drought: Water restrictions breached 69 times as dam levels fall further

Primary and extractive industries
Mike Watson (Stuff): OMV receives consent to explore for more oil off Taranaki
Robin Martin (RNZ): Oil tanker off Taranaki poses spill risk that could cost taxpayers
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Greenpeace calls on Government to fund $1 billion shift to regenerative agriculture
1News: ‘We need feed’ – Government’s primary industry boost not what farmers hoped for

Local government
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): Will Govt have to step in to help council projects?
1News: Councils under pressure as rates rises floated amid Covid-19 pandemic
Richard Davison (ODT): Hardship risk data aims to focus help
Lois Williams: Hokitika township needs to retreat from sea, councillor warns
Susan Botting: Mangawhai ratepayer who fought sewerage scheme faces Friday deadline for $115k payment
Richard Thomson (ODT): George St retailers need to do research, experiment, be willing to adapt

Gavin Ellis: No benefits in foreign ownership
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Bauer extends magazine sale process amid suggestions buyers drifting away
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Government plans up to $9m in advertising payments for New Zealand media
Herald: Up to $9m in advertising to be spent by Govt in local media

Glen Scanlon (RNZ): State housing tenants mistakenly told their homes are uninsured
Diane Brand (Newsroom): Were post-pandemic cities best planned 100 years ago?
Colleen Hawkes (Stuff): First-home buyers lose when tenant refuses to budge

Clay Wilson (RNZ): Responsibility needed in spending $265 million
Brian Gaynor (BusinessDesk): Sporting world ambushed by financial tsunamis (paywalled)
Leighton Keith (Stuff): Provincial rugby players need to take pay cuts, TRFU chairman says.
Phillip Rollo (Stuff): ‘Confusion and uncertainty’ as community sports play waiting game

Ben Strang (RNZ): Rates of gun crimes and killings using guns at highest levels in a decade
Matt Burrows (Newshub): $4.4 million seized and 93 arrests: How police used the coronavirus lockdown to tackle New Zealand’s gangs
RNZ: Firearms, drugs, $1m cash seized in police searches during lockdown

Cell phone tower attacks
1News: Tech expert dispels 5G myths after arson attacks on cell phone towers
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Police investigate weekend cell phone tower fires
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Telcos urge people to stop getting 5G ‘information’ from social media
RNZ: Cell phone tower attacks ‘putting lives at risk’

Rhonda Prichard (Spinoff): The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to reform our prisons
George Block (Stuff): The Kiwi corrections officers who helped stop an outbreak of Covid-19

Gender and leadership
1News: Having a good female leader beneficial to employee mental health, study suggests
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Female leaders more beneficial to employees’ wellbeing than male leaders, study suggests
Amanda Taub (New York Times): Coronavirus: Why are women-led nations doing better? (paywalled)

RNZ: Military veteran support scheme survey gauges public opinion
Aroha Mane (Māori TV): A ‘kawenata’ aimed at well-being of military personal – Survey

Cannabis health impact
John Gibb (ODT): Heavy drug users risk life-long damage: study
Michael Neilson (Herald):Smoking cannabis linked to bronchitis and ‘bong lung’ – New Zealand researchers say
1News: ‘Bong lung’ – Cannabis is bad for lungs, but in a different way to tobacco, NZ study finds
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Heavy cannabis smokers can have badly damaged lungs for life – study

1News: ‘Significant event’ – Covid-19 migration pushes NZ’s population past 5 million for first time
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): New Zealand population tops 5 million
Dan Satherley (Newshub): New Zealand’s population hits 5 million
RNZ: New Zealand population hits 5 million

Mackenzie Smith (RNZ): Police ‘stocktake’ surveillance tech after Clearview AI facial recognition trial
Zane Small (Newshub): Simon Bridges accuses Government of wanting to ‘get rid’ of COVID-19 Epidemic Response Committee
Richard Shaw (The Conversation): Experts are back in fashion – now more than evver we need to question them
Fiona Connor (Newshub): Lyttelton Port Company announces independent investigation after culture of bullying exposed by employee’s suicide
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand braces for spike in child abuse reports as Covid-19 lockdown eases
Barbara Dreaver (1News): South Auckland budgeting service charity forced to move out, uncertain of its future
Jono Galuszka (Manawatū Standard): Lake Horowhenua trustees failed to declare conflicts before being paid thousands
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Massive jump in people needing to pay tax bill off in instalments
RNZ: Tax debt balloons off back of Covid-19
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): NZ’s four major banks to cut branch numbers to 50 each by 2030: Tripe (paywalled)
RNZ: ASB to phase out use of cheques
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Building costs might rise – or fall, report says
Waatea News: Willie Jackson: Maori party figures struggle for relevance
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Māori Party announces Mariameno Kapa-Kingi to run for Te Tai Tokerau
RNZ: Waitangi Treaty Grounds trust welcomes first government funding
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): New partnership between Government and advocacy group created to ensure victims of abuse are heard
D’Angelo Martin (Māori TV): Marae encouraged to get digitally-connected
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Family believes Covid move stress involved in retiree’s death
1News: Rest home asked to apologise for failing to properly care for resident who later died in hospital
Kadambari Raghukumar (RNZ): Voices: Linking two worlds during lockdown
1News: Christmas in the Park cancelled for first time in its 26-year history