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

Sue Bradford (Pundit): Labour betrays Its traditions – and the most vulnerable – with two-tier welfare payments
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Former Green Party leader Metiria Turei puts Government on blast over new payment scheme
Eamonn Marra (Spinoff): The deserving and the undeserving: The two-tier benefits as seen by a beneficiary
CPAG: Let’s Not Divide NZers With An Unfair Two-tier Benefit System
Stuff Editorial: Question marks over new relief package
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government defends unemployment payments, says it’s considering ‘social insurance’
RNZ: Welfare advocates not happy with Covid-19 umemployment benefit
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Covid-19 unemployment pay ‘real kick in the gut’, beneficiaries say
Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): National, Greens decry Labour’s ‘unfair’ new jobseeker benefit
Madison Reidy (Newshub): Unemployed people urge Government to refund tax from redundancy payouts
RNZ: Ministry of Social Development to open call centre in Hastings

National Party
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Does Todd Muller’s economic pitch stack up?
Audrey Young (Herald): Todd Muller’s first day at Parliament as leader was a howler (paywalled)
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): National MPs already leaking as new leadership team of Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye suffers disastrous first sitting day
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Todd Muller needs to talk economic recovery ASAP to avoid being branded the MAGA hat guy leading a divided white party
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV) National signals plans for Māori, leader has more to learn about Māori Development says Joanne Hayes
Waatea News: Māori pushed down National list – Jo Hayes
Herald: Shane Jones ordered to apologise in Parliament after yelling ‘Ngāti Epsom’ at National MP Paul Goldsmith
Alan Kenyon (1News): Shane Jones admonished for yelling out ‘ahh Ngāti Epsom’ in Parliament as Paul Goldsmith stands up to speak
Zane Small (Newshub): Shane Jones scolded for yelling ‘Ngāti Epsom’ at National MP Paul Goldsmith in Parliament
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): ‘I am not Māori’: New Zealand MP corrects party deputy leader amid diversity criticism
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Nikki Kaye wrongly describes Paul Goldsmith as Māori as pressure over National’s diversity grows
Zane Small (Newshub): Nikki Kaye incorrectly describes Paul Goldsmith as Māori defending diversity of National’s Shadow Cabinet
Jo Moir and Jane Patterson (RNZ): National Party MPs contradict each other over diversity in front bench
1News: National’s new deputy leader incorrectly describes Paul Goldsmith as Māori
Amelia Wade and Audrey Young (Herald): National leader Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye’s blooper over Paul Goldsmith
Dominic O’Sullivan (The Conversation): Why Trump’s Make America Great Again hat makes a dangerous souvenir for foreign politicians
Audrey Young (Herald): National leader Todd Muller backtracks on ‘Make America Great Again’ hat – won’t display it in office
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Todd Muller won’t be bringing Trump hat to new office
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): MAGA backdown: Todd Muller won’t display controversial hat in office
Anna Whyte (1News): National leader Todd Muller makes u-turn over his controversial Trump MAGA cap
Derek Cheng (Herald): Deposed National deputy Paula Bennett opens up: ‘Friday was a pretty brutal day’
Kiri Gillespie (Herald): ‘Once a peacock, now a feather duster’: Ousted National leader Simon Bridges reveals plans and disappointment
1News: National’s Amy Adams insists she’s sticking with politics over Covid-19 crisis, not because Simon Bridges is out
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Amy Adams explains COVID-19 Recovery role, looking at new ways to support vulnerable Kiwis
RNZ: National has a ‘fresh start’ and will run the ruler over all policies, Willis says
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): National Party MPs react to their new spokesperson roles on social media
Dubby Henry (Herald): National leader Todd Muller slams three Labour MPs for ‘abject failure’ in government
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Todd Muller’s clever move

Commission for Financial Capability survey, economy
Rob Stock (Stuff): Majority of households either in financial crisis, or on the brink
Nikki Preston (Herald): Lockdown was a ‘dark time’ for many: Retirement commissioner
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Survey reveals Kiwis living in financial difficulty, many missing rent payments during lockdown
1News: Survey on how Kiwis coped in Level 4 finds NZ’s preparedness for financial hardship lacking
Keith Rankin (Evening Report): Analysis: Government and Money during a Major Economic Downturn
Michael Littlewood (Stuff): We should use NZ Super Fund billions to help pay for Covid-19 recovery
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Government should pause contributions to NZ Super Fund

Business, employment job losses
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Government considers extending deadline for low-interest loans as claims approach $1b
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Small businesses in New Zealand apply for nearly $1 billion in interest-free loan scheme
1News: Millennium & Copthorne Hotels slashing more than 900 jobs due to Covid-19 crunch
RNZ: Millennium & Copthorne Hotels cuts hundreds of jobs during Covid-19 pandemic
John McKenzie (1News); Nearly 200 jobs on the line as southern retail giants proposes store closures
Grant Miller (ODT): Southerners saddened by H&J Smith proposal
RNZ: TAB confirms 230 job losses
Jacob McSweeny (ODT): Pay reduction to end;some roles gone
RNZ: Tourism Holdings cuts 140 jobs at Kiwi Experience and Waitomo Group
1News: Company behind Waitomo glowworm cave tours, Kiwi Experience anticipates 140 job cuts
Matthew Mckew (ODT): Jobs numbers to plummet at AJ Hackett
Jacob McSweeny (ODT): Engineering firm poised to announce ‘right-sizing’ measures
1News: Employers encouraged to be generous with sick leave this winter as NZ remains on edge over Covid-19
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Staff can’t demand to work from home in post-Covid world
Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): Wellington CBD may remain a ghost town for months as civil servants stay home
Joel Maxwell, Matthew Tso and Piers Fuller (Stuff): Retailers in the regions benefit as more work from home

Border restrictions, secret exemptions
Amelia Wade (Herald): Access Hollywood: Hundreds of foreigners slip through border as Avatar production resumes
AAP: Secret NZ border exemptions for key players behind Avatar sequel revealed
Alan Kenyon (1News): PM plays movie guessing game when reporter forgets Avatar 2 title – ‘I was guessing Smurfs but that’s OK’
Keith Woodford (Interest): Emerging evidence on Covid-19 informs economic recovery strategies, but getting it wrong at the border risks everything
Simon Collins (Herald): Auckland Council, universities want Government to loosen border to ‘reopen Auckland’
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern, Scott Morrison discussed trans-Tasman bubble, say travel could occur at alert level 2
Gill Bonnett (RNZ):New Zealand border closure leaves immigrants ‘living like nomads’ overseas
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Todd Muller calls for ‘innovative’ plan to reopen New Zealand’s borders post-COVID-19

NZ’s coronavirus response, public health measures
1News: Kiwis overwhelmingly agree Government responded appropriately to Covid-19 – 1 NEWS poll
Collette Devlin (Stuff): ACT calls for Royal Commission to investigate Government response to Covid-19
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Dr Ashley Bloomfield urges New Zealand to have some perspective as impatience grows about alert level restrictions
1News: Dr Ashley Bloomfield ‘very confident’ NZ won’t see community transmission as Covid-19 restrictions ease
Richard McKnight (ODT): Time for return to normality
RNZ: Contact tracing for groups of 100 possible in two days – Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Minister welcomes ‘robust feedback’ on app from sight impaired
Tom PUllar-Strecker (Stuff): Why the NZ Covid Tracer app may not be working for you
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Widespread failure to comply with level two hospitality rules, survey finds
Herald: Passengers pile into Auckland Transport train during after-school rush
Matthew Theunissen (RNZ): New 100 limit for gatherings: ‘Everybody’s been waiting’
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): What we know about Alert Level 1 so far 
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Dr Ashley Bloomfield makes dire comparison between New Zealand and UK’s deaths
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Dr Bloomfield reveals biggest challenges, what he’s most proud of during fight against COVID-19
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Kiwis in Govt-funded quarantine hotels living in ‘filthy’ clothes

RNZ: Checkpoint: Covid-19 vaccine two years away, and could be NZ-made – research leader
1News: Expert has tough prediction on time frame for Covid-19 vaccine and end to travel restrictions
Derek Cheng (Herald): A game-changer’: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on the hunt for a Covid-19 vaccine
Jamie Morton (Herald): Call for NZ clinical trials after Govt’s $37m vaccine spend
1News: Government to spend $37 million as New Zealand joins global search for Covid-19 vaccine
RNZ: NZ Covid-19 vaccine strategy: Government provides $37m for development, distribution
Imogen Wells (1News): Kiwi scientist says New Zealand could be one of the first to find Covid-19 vaccine
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Vaccine research backed

NZ First
Guyon Espiner and Kate Newton (RNZ): NZF Foundation spent $130k on company run by Winston Peters’ lawyer
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters slams ‘mythical, idiotic, stupid’ polls

Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern v Todd Muller: Muted showing at first Question Time outing
Jason Walls (Herald): New National leader Todd Muller squares off against Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the first time
Anna Whyte (1News): Todd Muller’s first question to PM as Opposition leader focuses on Government’s support for small businesses

RNZ: New Zealand 2020 election timeline: What happens and when this election year
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Former Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown running for Green Party in Wairarapa

Environment and conservation
Richard Harman (Politik): NZ First forces Parker backdown over freshwater cleanup
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): No post-Covid green ‘nirvana’
David Williams (Newsroom): Save fragile site, Minister urged
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): US lawsuit filed over Māui dolphins
RNZ: Recreational fishers dispute effectiveness of new blue cod rules
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Kiwis happy with government action but keen for more
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): Why Climate Change Minister James Shaw made a podcast
Sarah McLaren (Stuff): Climate Explained: Why countries don’t count emissions from goods they import
Denise Piper (Stuff): Fears Northland toxic chemical stockpile could cause fire, environmental damage
Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): He leaked poison into a creek, killing 1700 fish. He’s stuck with the $97k fine
Te Aniwa Hurihanganu (RNZ): Covid-19 lockdown hindered Dome Valley landfill submissions – opponents

Transport, roading
Amelia Wade and Jason Walls (Herald): Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters railroads Transport Minister Phil Twyford’s light rail timeline
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Transport Minister Phil Twyford says light rail on the way, but Winston Peters disagrees
1News: Air New Zealand projecting financial loss for 2020 despite cutting 4000 jobs
RNZ: Air NZ forecasts loss after little revenue during lockdown
David Hargreaves (Interest): Air NZ says too much uncertainty to forecast earnings, but it hasn’t needed to draw on the $900m taxpayer loan yet
Jamie Gray (Herald): Air New Zealand facing the most pessimistic of ‘black swan’ events
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Almost 100 redundancies proposed at Transmission Gully
Joel Maxwell (Dominion Post): Potential redundancies on billion-dollar Transmission Gully project
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Delayed Transmission Gully restart plans expected
James Baker (Stuff): Residents ‘sidelined’ by Pukekohe Expressway options
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): InterCity buses resume service – but only at a third of capacity
Molly Houseman (ODT): Dunedin may follow Queenstown’s flat bus fare structure
Joel MacManus (Dominion Post): Number of e-bike imports hits record high, could soon overtake new cars

1News: Government accused of dropping the ball in efforts to wipe out rheumatic fever
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Bill banning smoking in cars with children inside passes
RNZ: Pasifika still struggling with smoking and nutrition – health advisor
Natalie Akoorie (Herald): Surgical mesh victim launches petition for right to appeal complaint decisions

RNZ: Cannabis crop could contribute $490m a year to government coffers
Thomas Manch (Stuff): National leader Todd Muller signals cannabis legislation will have his support if New Zealand votes ‘yes’
Russell Brown: Lately in cannabis

ODT Editorial: Stuff and things
Karl du Fresne: Welcome home, Stuff
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Stuff has ‘really good relationship’ with NZME despite its failed bid to buy the company – Sinead Boucher
Alex Braae (Spinoff): Sold for a buck: Why Stuff and other huge businesses change hands for $1
Derek Cheng (Herald): Proposed overhaul: Social media giants could face fines for failing to take down illegal content
Gavin Ellis (The Big Q): Are Google and Facebook taking New Zealand for a ride? A trans-Tasman divide on social media

Katy Jones (Stuff): Is dyslexia going ‘unnoticed’ in schools?
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): ‘Our pay is the lowest of the low’: ECE teachers call for pay to match kindergarten sector
RNZ: Children and teachers taking time to adjust to school again

Liz McDonald (Press): EQC accidentally leaks details of 8000 claims
RNZ: EQC error leads to information on thousands of claims leaked

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): $200m problem: Why is Wellington’s central library closed?
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington’s Covid-19 recovery fund at risk of ‘throwing money into a vacuum’, councillor says
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Queenstown rates decrease ‘not good enough’
John Lewis (ODT): Dunedin Harbour projects ‘delayed’
Stuff: ‘This is a delay, not a death knell’: Dunedin mayor on waterfront project
Daniel Birchfield (ODT): Tourism Waitaki to slash two-thirds of workforce

Primary industries
1News: Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts reach two year milestone
James Fyfe (Newshub): ‘Going hard and early’ pays off in fight against Mycoplasma bovis – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Brent Edwards (NBR): Lessons learned from mycoplasma bovis helped in Covid-19 fight (paywalled)
Maja Burry (RNZ): Hauraki Plains farmers: ‘We just want some help’
Robin Martin (RNZ): Farmers in drought say rain offers little relief
RNZ: Government announces $500,000 drought relief for Northland, north Waikato
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Kiwis more positive about farming after Covid-19 lockdown
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Farmers feeling less ‘undue’ pressure from banks, public liking them more (pyawalled)
Rob Hewett (ODT): Town-country split needs fixing
RNZ: Foreign potato dumping ban urged as cheap spuds threaten jobs
Eric Frykberg (RNZ): Forestry reform bill ‘cumbersome and unworkable’ – industry

Housing, property development
David Hargreaves (Interest): ASB says confidence in the housing market outlook has fallen to a near eight-year low, with expectations for this to fall further
RNZ: Housing confidence falls to 8-year low, ASB survey shows
Anne Gibson and Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Funding for property development and subdivisions dries up (paywalled)

1News: NZ Police knew Armed Response Team trials were flawed from the beginning
Andrei Alexander Lux (The Conversation): Open, honest and effective: what makes Jacinda Ardern an authentic leader
Max Rashbrooke: Budget openness survey has mixed news for NZ
RNZ: The Detail: Tip-toeing around China
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Auckland drought: Water restrictions breached 459 times, usage up 24m litres
Michael Neilson (Herald): Auckland water crisis: Usage falls as restrictions enter second week but further cuts needed to avoid major crisis
Tagata Pasifika: South Auckland head girl’s Instagram post sparks conversation over lockdown inequalities
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Auckland shops ‘deceived’ into handing out Scientology booklets, mistaking them for official COVID-19 pamphlets
Catherine Harris (RNZ): Still not enough progress on keeping families out of court – independent panel
Te Aniwa Hurihanganu (RNZ): Kaimoana distributed to iwi through collaboration with Sealord, Moana
RNZ: Firewood for whānau plan clears wood left from lockdown
Dan Lake (Newshub): Research reveals millions of Australians may be about to change their holiday destination to New Zealand