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

National Party leadership vote
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Pharaoh Bridges Swamped By Pestilence And Poor Polls
Richard Harman (Politik): D-day for Bridges
Matthew Hooton (Herald): National’s only leadership choice is Muller (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): It’s a tough race when you are Mr 29 per cent – Simon Bridges faces extraordinary pressure
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): National’s next leader may win the battle but lose the war
Audrey Young (Herald): Damage and risks in National’s leadership contest (paywalled)
Jason Walls (Herald): National MPs arrive at Parliament ahead of leadership vote between Simon Bridges and Todd Muller
Andy Fyers (Stuff): Simon Bridges v Todd Muller: Is any change better than no change for National?
Bob McCroskie: Simon Bridges v Todd Muller – voting record on family & moral issues
Bryce Edwards (Democracy Project): Political Roundup: Todd Muller has the momentum to become National’s leader
Jane Patterson (RNZ): National’s leadership vote to set the party’s course for the election
Simon Wilson (Herald): What Simon Bridges really got wrong (paywalled)
Damien Grant (Stuff): Todd Muller: The uninteresting middle manager lacking charm and zing
Liam Hehir (Spinoff): National needs the leadership challenge to be a clean kill. It won’t be one
Gordon Campbell: On National’s day of reckoning
Brent Edwards (NBR): Will changing National’s leader really make a difference? (paywalled)
Stuff Editorial: National caucus faces a big decision
Neale Jones (Herald): What Simon Bridges could learn from Andrew Little
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Who has the numbers in the National Party?
ODT Editorial: All-in bet exposes party divisions
Herald Editorial: Simon Bridges a victim of enduring stardust
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Simon Bridges is doomed, even if he wins National vote
Tim Dower (Newstalk ZB): National Party leadership battle ‘isn’t a done deal’
Heather Roy: Even Jesus Couldn’t Have Beaten Ardern’s Popularity
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): MPs expenses appear to show Todd Muller has been campaigning for months to roll Simon Bridges
Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Big jump in National MP Todd Muller’s travel spend in past three months
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Todd Muller’s expenses show he is spending like a leader
Jason Walls (Herald): National leadership coup: Todd Muller lapping at the heels of Simon Bridges in MP expenses
Henry Cooke and Collette Devlin (Stuff): Simon Bridges v Todd Muller: National Party leadership to be decided at noon
Claire Trevett (Herald): National Party showtime: Simon Bridges and Todd Muller prepare for leadership battle
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Judith Collins rules out run for leadership, but won’t rule out visit from Todd Muller offering deputy role
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Dark arts’: Is Judith Collins plotting a post-election coup?
AAP: Who is Todd Muller? A look at the MP challenging for the National Party leadership
Herald: ‘OK boomer’: National Party leader candidate Todd Muller the man who copped insult from Chlöe Swarbrick
Jo Moir (RNZ): Sprint for National Party leadership to end tomorrow
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘At least he’s not putting off voters’: How Todd Muller’s anonymity could help National
Newstalk ZB: Limited options for National after poor poll result – Ben Thomas
RNZ: Simon Bridges’ tactics likely to lose him the leadership challenge – Matthew Hooton
Newstalk ZB: Matthew Hooton: Simon Bridges brought leadership challenge upon himself
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): National leader Simon Bridges ‘must take responsibility’ for poor polling – Matthew Hooton
Claire Trevett (Herald): National leadership coup: Simon Bridges confident ahead of new poll, Todd Muller challenge
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Paula Bennett ‘really confident’ she and Simon Bridges will survive leadership challenge
1News: Paula Bennett ‘confident’ her leadership role is safe ahead of National’s emergency caucus vote
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Todd Muller arrives in Wellington on eve of attempt to oust Simon Bridges
George Block (Stuff): Nikki Kaye ‘very busy’ as she heads to Wellington with challenge vote looming
Herald: National leadership coup: Simon Bridges, Todd Muller in Wellington ahead of Friday showdown
Matt Shand and Kirsty Lawrence (Stuff): Muller v Bridges – it’s ‘meh’ among their hometown voters
1News: Simon Bridges’ leadership foe Todd Muller battling for face recognition – ‘Chris whatever his name is’

1News Colmar Brunton Poll
1News: Pressure mounts as National falls to 29%, Labour skyrockets in 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll
1News: Jacinda Ardern soars in preferred PM ratings in 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll
1New: Jessica Mutch McKay: 2020 will see ‘election like no other’ after latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll
1News: Prominent National MPs in the firing line as support for party plummets in new 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll
1News: National Party to hold leadership vote today
1News: Mark Mitchell may contest National Party leadership, 1 NEWS understands
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Labour at 59% – Winners/Losers & what every journalist & punter is missing
Newshub: Second political poll spells trouble for Simon Bridges as Jacinda Ardern’s popularity skyrockets
RNZ: New poll: National at 29 percent, Labour has best result ever
Claire Trevett (Herald): New political poll: National drops to 29%, Labour up to 59

Economy, budget
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Jacinda Ardern on the road to recovery
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Covid-19, crisis and transformation: an interview with Jacinda Ardern
Vanessa Cole, Nathalie Jaques, Murdoch Stephens and Shannon Walsh (ESRA): Budget 2020 Report
Kirsty Johnston (Herald): Government’s economic response slammed for favouring men
Jennifer Curtin (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern’s global renown is great, but she must do more for women
RNZ: Checkoint: Call for A-grade taskforce to keep pace with Australia’s Covid-19 economic recovery
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern’s Business Advisory Council says Australia is handling impacts of COVID-19 better than NZ
Brent Edwards (NBR): Act leader: relaxing rules within level 2 sends wrong signal (paywalled)
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Government’s ‘shovel-ready’ projects won’t save construction industry, expert says
RNZ: ‘We’ve got to get going’ – Union leader calls for faster start on infrastructure projects
Richard Prebble (NBR): Heaven help us – it is funny money (paywalled)
Heather Roy: A Letter to My Children: About Your Inheritance

Four day week, employment, job losses
Van Badham (Guardian): ‘Snap back’? Jacinda Ardern snaps forward with a four-day week: no wonder she’s popular
Esther Taunton (Stuff): How could a four-day week work for Kiwis?
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern ‘encourages’ employers to think about four-day week
RNZ: Employers divided on concept of four-day working week
Brian Fallow (Herald): Wishful thinking won’t save tourism jobs (paywalled)
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Fletcher Building workers coming to grips with proposed 1000 job cut
Stuff: No, Inland Revenue won’t pay $15 a week for work-from-home expenses
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Who’s responsible for health and safety of Kiwis working from home?
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Workers anxious about return to work in level 2 where there was once a confirmed case

Government spending on contractors and consultants, public service
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Government spent $914 million on contractors and consultants last year
Bronson Perich (Māori TV): The real power lies in the bureaucrats – Dion Tuuta

Election
Zane Small (Newsroom): National MP Nick Smith questions Electoral Commission’s ‘political neutrality’ in stand-off
1News: Clean pens and more voting stations: How Election Day will look under Alert Level 2

Contact tracing
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Government’s contact tracing app ‘insufficient for businesses’ – developer
RNZ: The Detail: Our contact tracing app – how effective will it be?
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Contact tracing a ‘very significant challenge’ for Auckland
Rizwan Asghar (Newsroom): Covid-19 and the privacy trade-off
OASIS: The NZ COVID-19 Tracer App
Luke Appleby (1News): Man films himself giving Nelson pet shop worker a hard time after being asked to sign contact tracing register
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Outrage after man rants at Animates employee that COVID-19 contract tracing ‘breaches’ his privacy

Religious gatherings at Level 2
Maiki Sherman (1News): Police give green-light to large church services, contradicting PM’s stance
RNZ: Epidemic Response Committee meets with religious leaders ahead of gatherings decision

Health
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Board chair says DHB was forced to choose cheaper building option
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Elective surgery catch-up could take years
Emma Russell (Herald): Five actions to improve the health of all New Zealanders
RNZ: Primary care nurses reject ‘insufficient’ pay offer
1News: Youthline launches public appeal for help amid surge in demand for services
Steve Forbes (RNZ): SFO drops Counties Manukau DHB case after year-long investigation
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Covid-19 adds to Mary Potter’s ‘unsustainable’ deficits
Kristin Hall (1News): Period poverty campaigners delighted over $2.2 million Government Budget allocation
RNZ: Family wants answers after suicide attempt: ‘He never should’ve been released’

Cannabis
Brendon Egan (Stuff): Cannabis study provides glimpse into how New Zealand may vote in referendum
1News: New study finds middle-aged Kiwis are more likely to oppose cannabis law change
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): More middle-aged Kiwis opposed to legalisation than in favour – survey
Emma Russell (Herald): New Zealanders reluctant to talk to their doctor about medicinal cannabis, study finds
Ananish Chaudhuri (Newsroom): Changing your mind on cannabis

Media
Gavin Ellis (Herald): There are no benefits to foreign ownership of media
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): NZME shares slip as Stuff sale appears to enter home straight
Reweti Kohere (NBR): Nine’s more favourable bid comes at NZME’s cost (paywalled)
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Unnamed buyer vying to purchase Stuff, NZME pushed out of negotiation
Edward Gay (Stuff): NZME court action declined to enable third party bid to buy Stuff
Herald: Risk of Stuff closure outweighed NZME’s bid for more time with Nine, High Court rules
Hayden Donnell (RNZ): Another possible Stuff buyer emerges
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): New buyer emerges for Stuff
Damien Venuto (Herald): Fate of New Zealand’s magazine industry days away (paywalled)

Housing
Isaac Davison (Herald): Rough sleeping all but eliminated in New Zealand as pandemic crisis frees up motels and housing
Rob Stock (Stuff): Households already coming off home loan ‘holidays’, banks say
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): On a six-month loan holiday? Expect contact from your bank soon (paywalled)
Lana Andelane (Newshub): New Zealand’s housing bubble on the brink of bursting – global economist

Welfare
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): WINZ begins to back pay people wrongly denied benefits
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Demand for food parcels levels off, but could return, Sallies says

Civil Aviation Authority
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Major report finds ‘culture of fear’ in Civil Aviation Authority
RNZ: Civil Aviation Authority apologises for ‘pockets of poor culture’
Andrew Bevin(NBR): Ministerial review finds CAA bullying result of poor leadership (paywalled)

Air New Zealand
Calida Stuart-Menteath (NBR): Air NZ defends redundancy process after criticism (paywalled)
Calida Stuart-Menteath (NBR): Airways ploughs ahead, axes air traffic control towers (paywalled)
John Anthony (Stuff): Call for Air New Zealand to extend airfare refunds to all customers affected by Covid-19 cancellations

Transport, roading
Joel MacMTanus (Stuff): Covid-19 could change Wellington’s transport forever
ODT: Southland council not interested in toll road to West Coast
Richard Davison (ODT): ‘Inland port’ at Milburn gets backing

Environment
RNZ: Māori Land Court rules in favour of activists in fight over polluted Lake Horowhenua
Amanda Thomas (Spinoff): Under cover of Covid, community input into RMA decisions is under threat
Matt Burrows (Newshub): The jaw-dropping impact New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown had on carbon dioxide emissions

Local government
Susan Botting: Northland councillors could take pay cuts now new legislation has passed
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington City councillors agree to reduce e-scooter speed limit to make area safer for pedestrians
RNZ: All systems go for capital’s e-scooters
No Right Turn: Microcopter money in Palmerston?
RNZ: Chlorine investigation costs Napier ratepayers $240k
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Solid progress: thousands of titles checked before red zone land handed over
Hamish MacLean (ODT): QLDC wants more staff to deal with crisis
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Case made for pedestrian-centric approach

Education
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland seeks early return of international students
Andrew Body (Herald): Open New Zealand’s doors to international students (paywalled)
Sereana Naepi & Tara McAllister (Spinoff): As universities restructure, Māori and Pacific researchers are being put at risk

Defence
John Gibb (ODT): Cancers rife for veterans
Eleisha Foon (RNZ): Calls for Mururoa veterans and descendants registry
Jonathan Mitchell (RNZ): Government approves $206 million spend on Ōhakea Air Base
Bronson Perich (Māori TV): Kiwis don’t understand what the military does – Veterans Affairs

Covid-19 conspiracy theories
John Weekes (Stuff): Attacks on 5G cellphone towers show ‘idiotic’ social media conspiracy theories growing threat to NZ, analyst says
Ana Stojanov (Newsroom): The psychology of Covid-19 conspiracies

Other
David Fisher (Herald): Analysis: Pressure on new spy watchdog after five years of unrelenting oversight (paywalled)
Amber-Leigh Woolf (Stuff): Post Covid-19, it’ll be life but not as we know it
Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes (Māori TV): What should the future of NZ look like beyond COVID-19?
Keith Locke (Evening Report): Covid-19 coronavirus helps us reshape NZ foreign policy
1News: Chinese embassy in Auckland vandalised amid increasing tensions
Jan Jordan (Stuff): The shocking truth about our sexual violence statistics
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Homicide, sexual assault charges plummet during lockdown
Dita De Boni (NBR): Why Act is a better right-wing political rival than National
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Here’s how banks decide what interest rate you’ll pay
Megan Harvey (Herald): Stranded work visa holders’ heartbreaking plea to return to New Zealand
John Weekes (Stuff): Sophia Malthus, paralysed in horse riding accident, has reparations slashed more than $100,000
Jessica Tyson (Māori Tv): Calls for the Govt to better integrate the Treaty into decision-making process
Herald: Why Audible advert featuring Clarke Gayford was banned from TV
1News: ‘They’re dreadful numbers’ – John Campbell questions Shane Jones’ confidence in NZ First following poll
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Most Kiwis ‘satisfied with life’ during COVID-19 lockdown, Ministry of Health survey reveals
1News: ‘Kiwi spirit’ has NZers feeling more hopeful than Australians amid Covid-19 pandemic, survey shows
Samantha Worthington (1News): Glenbrook Vintage Railway launches crowdfunding campaign to survive Covid-19
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Backlogged NZ Post parcels will start to be sent this week after COVID-19 lockdown delays
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Kaikōura youth programme: ‘We can focus on actually doing the mahi’
Zoe Samios (Stuff): Australian radio host Alan Jones breached rules in Jacinda Ardern ‘sock down her throat’ broadcast

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