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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

Election date

Graeme Edgeler (Spinoff): The confidence conundrum: Why the election date drama is more political than constitutional

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Decision day looms for Jacinda Ardern as Winston Peters threatens retaliation if election not delayed

Richard Harman: Peters hints at constitutional challenge to PM

Jane Patterson (RNZ): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to announce decision on election date today

Claire Trevett (Herald): Return of Covid-19 tilts election playing field on its end (paywalled)

Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Parliament a possum in the headlights as Ardern mulls election date

Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Will the 2020 election be delayed, and if so till when?

Newstalk ZB: Collins: It would be ‘completely outrageous’ to keep election on current date

Claudia Geiringer (Spinoff): No, National, the caretaker convention doesn’t apply now – and neither should it

Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Peters pushes for election to be postponed

Amelia Wade (Herald): Pressure mounts on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as NZ First pleads to delay the election

1News: Winston Peters calls for election to be delayed until November

Scott Palmer and Caley Callahan (Newshub): New Zealand First leader Winston Peters calls for election delay after COVID-19 outbreak

NZ Herald: Editorial: Election date becoming a tricky dilemma to resolve

Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Peters calls for election delay over Covid-19 outbreak

Dan Satherley (Newshub):‘No right time’ for election amid ongoing pandemic – Chris Hipkins

1News: Q+A: Election could run safely at Alert Level 2 over ‘several weeks’, Health Minister says

Simon Wilson (Herald): Here’s why we need the election now (paywalled)

Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Postponing the election? Careful what you wish for

Mike Houlahan (ODT): Our most unconventional election

Mai Chen (BusinessDesk): Legal advice to the PM on moving the election

Julie Iles (NBR): Delaying the election: a procedure-intensive undertaking (paywalled)

Brent Edwards (NBR): Covid-19, the election and Jacinda Ardern’s pedestal (paywalled)

David Farrar: Five reasons why the election should be delayed

David Farrar: Countries that have delayed elections due to Covid-19

Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): The real reason we must move the election date to November

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern will announce election decision Monday morning

Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Election date decision Monday morning (paywalled)

Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to announce any election delay on Monday

Peter Wilson (RNZ): The Week in Politics: Should the election be delayed?

1News: Inside Parliament: How will the election campaign be affected by latest Covid-19 restrictions

Benedict Brook ( Jacinda Ardern: Huge decision NZ PM has to make on August 17


Border staff testing, safety measures

Derek Cheng (Herald): Government failure to safeguard border astonishing (paywalled)

1News: Health Minister ‘frustrated’ at staff testing blunder

Michael Morrah (Newshub): Health Minister confirms lack of testing for border officials and isolation staff

Jason Walls (Herald): Health Minister Chris Hipkins faces increasing pressure over another major testing blunder

Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Covid-19 testing for border workers ‘ramped up’ after Government pulled ‘big lever’ to make it compulsory – Chris Hipkins

Thomas Manch (Stuff): Testing of isolation facilities a ‘gap’ in NZ’s Covid-19 defence

Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Megan Woods says testing ‘only one tool in the toolbox’ after revelations nearly two-thirds of Auckland border staff hadn’t been tested for COVID-19 a week ago

RNZ:  Lack of testing of staff at border ‘extraordinary’ – Skegg

RNZ: Border worker appalled at lack of testing and safety measures

1News: Q+A: National to announce border policy – ‘we would make sure it would work’

Dan Satherley (Newshub Nation): Collins promises border staff will be tested for COVID-19 under National, calls existing efforts ‘pie-in-the-sky’


Winston Peters’ quarantine breach claims

Herald: Winston Peters maintains border breach led to NZ outbreak

1News: Jacinda Ardern not expecting apology from Winston Peters after quarantine breach claims

Dan Satherley (Newshub): No evidence for Winston Peters’ claim new outbreak caused by quarantine breach – Health Minister Chris Hipkins


NZ’s coronavirus response

Shaun Hendy (Stuff): The difference between L3 and L4 may be luck

Cherie Howie (Herald): Professor of public health Nick Wilson takes Government to task over response

Matt Drake (Spiked-online): Jacinda is no saint

RNZ: How New Zealand can avoid lockdowns in the future

Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Jacinda Ardern is the master of spin – but the Government dropped the ball (paywalled)

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): No alternative to Covid-19 lockdown strategy, says Health Minister Chris Hipkins

Kirsty Johnston and Virginia Fallon (Stuff): False positive: How the coronavirus crept back

Caitlin Ellis (Newshub): Australian health official labels NZ’s COVID-19 response as ‘very dangerous’

John Weekes (Stuff): Elimination of Covid-19 still best strategy for NZ, experts say

Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Coronavirus alert level yo-yo: More lockdowns shouldn’t be necessary – expert

Herald: Academics praise PM Jacinda Ardern’s messaging during NZ’s lockdown

Amelia Wade (Herald): Mandatory masks? Health Minister Chris Hipkins not ruling it out

Siouxsie Wiles & Toby Morris: Why we’re adding masks to our Covid-19 toolkit

Alison Mau (Stuff): Time to mask-up, New Zealand

Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): On the extended lockdown – will we comply?

Kate Hawkesby (Herald): Combating Covid 19 coronavirus requires competence

Damien Cave and Serena Solomon (New York Times): New Zealand beat the virus once. Can it do it again? (paywalled)

Newshub: Jacinda Ardern gives heartfelt message to Kiwis over COVID-19 resurgence

Derek Cheng (Herald): Jacinda Ardern’s consistent, safe approach – with wriggle room (paywalled)

Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): A sigh of relief as NZ seems to dodge the worst

Henry Cooke (Stuff): NZ stays split as Covid-19 outbreak forces 12 more days of lockdown

1News: ‘Together, we have got rid of Covid before’ – Jacinda Ardern’s rallying cry to NZ

1News: Jetstar halts all domestic NZ flights until end of Level 3 Lockdown

Tanisha Jowsey (Spinoff): A new epoch: How the pandemic is messing with our sense of time

Nicole Bremner (1News): Pakuranga College principal slams Health Ministry over mistakenly linking school with Covid cluster

Dan Satherley (Newshub): Chris Hipkins explains how Pakuranga College got wrongly named in Friday’s COVID-19 briefing

Dan Satherley (Newshub): British politician sparks ‘police state’ fears with false claims about NZ’s quarantine

AAP: Ruby Princess outbreak: ‘Inexcusable’ errors made by NSW authorities allowing passengers ashore

Tracy Neal (RNZ): Emirates Team NZ: America’s Cup will continue under Covid-19 alert levels 3, 4


Conspiracy theories, rumours, Opposition

Andrea Vance (Stuff): The truth is out there, but National’s looking in the wrong places

Dan Satherley (Newshub Nation): Health officials trying to stamp out rumours as well as COVID-19 – Chris Hipkins

ODT: Editorial – Opposition tactics

Dominic Harris (Stuff): Gerry Brownlee admits getting into a ‘bad spot’ over Covid conspiracy theories

Ben Leahy (Herald): Gerry Brownlee on questioning the Govt and conspiracy theories

Hayden Donnell (RNZ): Confronting the deluge of conspiracies over the latest lockdown

Stuff Editorial: Truth is the first casualty of the second wave

Mihingarangi Forbes (The Hui): Block or engage? How to deal with whānau caught up in conspiracies

John Minto (Daily Blog): Don’t condemn Covid conspiracy theorists – show some respect!

Fiona Connor (Newshub): ‘No link’: MBIE shuts down rumour blaming Auckland’s COVID-19 outbreak on girl breaching quarantine to visit man deported from Australia

1News: Minister of Health blasts false Covid-19 family rumour as ‘totally and utterly wrong’

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Chris Hipkins and Ashley Bloomfield slam spreading of ‘vile’ rumours about latest Covid-19 cluster



Rachel Sadler and Lydia Lewis (Newshub): Auckland mother, children potentially exposed to community cluster asked to pay for test

1News: Health Minister warns of potential Covid-19 processing delay amid high testing volumes

Emma Turton and Lucy Warhurst (Newshub): Nurses working 19 hour days to meet COVID-19 testing demands

Laura James (1News): GPs feeling frustrated with issues around community Covid-19 testing

1News: ‘Completely unacceptable’ – Healthcare workers verbally abused, attacked at Covid-19 testing stations

Emma Cropper (Newshub): All 12,000 Auckland, Tauranga port workers unlikely to be tested by Ministry of Health’s deadline

Matthew Littlewood (Timaru Herald): Covid-19 testing to take place at all ports in New Zealand

1News: Up to 6000 people require mandatory testing for Covid-19 at Ports of Tauranga

Dan Satherley and Miriam Harris (Newshub): Staff in Auckland and Tauranga ports ordered to undergo testing for COVID-19

Patrick Gower (Newshub): Government cracks down on ports of Auckland COVID-19 testing amid outbreak


Pacific communities, Cook Islands

Barbara Dreaver (1News): Opinion: Should we identify the first Covid family as Pasifika? Yes, and here’s why

1News: Pacific leaders increasingly worried about Covid-19 misinformation speading online

1News: ‘Complacency is not an option’ – Pasifika leaders mobilise to help Samoan church community with Covid-19 case

1News: Cook Islands flight from Auckland cancelled due to possible New Zealand Covid-19 link

1News: NZ Government steps in over Rarotonga flight after prominent Cook Islands doctor gets Covid-19 in Auckland

Sally Murphy (RNZ): Cook Island community seeks guidance from New Zealand Governmentc


Quarantining positive cases in hotels

1News: Quarantining Covid-19-positive cases prevents spread within households – Dr Ashley Bloomfield

Carmen Parahi (Stuff): Quarantine policy shift is ‘racist’, critics say


Aged care

RNZ: Push for aged care staff to be tested on site

Kaysha Brownlie (Newshub): Rest homes say they’re still not getting enough PPE


Rural areas and vulnerable communities

RNZ: Tokoroa Covid-19 cases spark unease in vulnerable rural areas

Janine Rankin (Stuff): Ruapehu iwi call for regional lockdown after Covid-19 case visited skifield

Scott Palmer (Newshub): Iwi calls for immediate regional lockdown around Ruapehu

1News: Tourists asked to steer clear of Ruapehu as iwi call for lockdown

Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Māori Party wants to move to Covid-19 alert level 4

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Māori Party urges immediate move to Level 4, border closure and delayed election

Donna-Lee Biddle (Stuff): Iwi band together for Covid-19 response, checkpoints to continue



1News: Waiheke Island locals annoyed at Aucklanders taking day-trips for lockdown escape – ‘It makes a mockery of it’

Tess Marshall (Newshub): Hundreds of Aucklanders flock to beaches, parks, breaking level 3 rules

1News: Police turn around 605 vehicles for non-essential travel at Auckland checkpoints



Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Here’s why lockdowns are the best economic solution, too

Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Do the health gains of ‘lockdown 2.0’ outweigh economic pain?

Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): ‘Little lasting impact’ if lockdown short, below level 4: Westpac (paywalled)

Damian Grant (Stuff): The price of our vain belief in Covid-19 exceptionalism

John Roughan (Herald): Lockdown not a sustainable response to pandemic (paywalled)

Liam Dann (Herald): Don’t panic, this will not sink our economy (paywalled)



Caitlin Ellis (Newshub): Health Minister Chris Hipkins asks Kiwis to report COVID-19 price gouging

1News: Phil Goff warns Auckland businesses to play fair amid reports of Lockdown price gouging

Rob Stock (Stuff): Remembering the lessons of lockdown as Auckland returns to alert level 3

1News: New Zealanders encouraged to ‘continue to spend’ following extension of Covid lockdown

Crystal Wu and Perry Wilton (Newshub): Butchers urge the Government to allow them to open during alert level 3 lockdown

Rob Stock (Stuff): Poll puts Labour as the preferred party for business owners for first time


Wage subsidy

Tom Pullar-Strecker, Rob Stock and Susan Edmunds (Stuff): More wage subsidies coming after level 3 alert extended in Auckland

RNZ: Cabinet extends wage subsidy for third time as second lockdown continues

Zane Small and Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Wage subsidy to be extended nationwide as COVID-19 alert levels stretched out for 12 days

Herald: Wage subsidy extended as businesses brace for ‘extraordinary’ lockdown disruption

RNZ: Hospitality and retail welcome wage subsidy extension, but call for targeted support


Welfare, hardship

Susan Edmunds (Stuff): More than 70,000 New Zealanders have signed up for benefits since March

Justin Latif (Spinoff): South Auckland’s food banks brace for a surge in demand



Moh Abdul Hakim and Sarah Choi (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern’s star power comes with risks

Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Could Labour gets its way on tax without an election mandate?

Matt McCarten (E-Tangata): Old friends but new foes

Cecilia Robinson (Herald): Key election questions Labour and National must answer (paywalled)

Khylee Quince (Stuff): Māori voters need to stand up to be counted


Cannabis and euthanasia referendums

Newshub: Cannabis referendum: Most voters ‘not prepared’ to vote according to evidence – expert

Deena Coster (Stuff): How will Taranaki candidates vote in the cannabis, end of life referendums?

Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): Protesters in Christchurch march against euthanasia referendum


National Party

Luke Malpass (Stuff): Where to for the National Party as the coronavirus looms?

Tova O’Brien (Newshub): ‘Merv from Manurewa’ aka Roger Bridge resigns from National Party board

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Roger Bridge, ‘Merv from Manurewa’, quits National Party board

RNZ: Roger Bridge resigns as National Party board member

1News: National’s Dr Shane Reti offers to help Government with Covid-19 response

Henry Cooke (Stuff): National Party local official urges party to oppose lockdowns as ‘breach of human rights’

Andrew Gunn (Stuff): Something here just doesn’t add up



Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): ACT slams Government after coronavirus lockdown extension, National stays silent

Zane Small (Newshub): ACT leader David Seymour wants New Zealand to ‘accept new reality’ that COVID-19 is ‘here to stay’



Ian Powell (Democracy Project)l: Centralised authoritarian culture behind Canterbury health crisis

RNZ: Canterbury District Health Board faces fifth high level resignation since last month

Florence Kerr (Stuff): Cancer testing appears to be struggling to make up ground lost during Covid-19 lockdown

Oliver Lewis and Joanne Carroll (Stuff): Canterbury’s plan to ‘pool’ non-urgent patients labelled ‘unacceptable’

Felix Desmarais (RNZ): Testing, quarantine resources under pressure at Lakes DHB

Stephen Forbes (RNZ): Counties Manukau DHB could delay some non-urgent surgery

Luke Kirkeby (Stuff): Māori GP strives for equity through national medical group appointment



Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Canterbury Uni orders review into publication by China expert Anne-Marie Brady

RNZ: Fewer than 50,000 foreign students remain in New Zealand

Newstalk ZB: Auckland Grammar headmaster unhappy with lockdown extension

1News: Home learning resumes on TVNZ Duke



Colin Peacock (RNZ): Mediawatch: Covid’s comeback sparks calls for more transparency

Mediawatch: Merv’s moment & Paula’s callers – politicos on talk radio (audio)

Hayden Donnell (Spinoff): Merv endings: A deep dive into the world of phony political talkback calls



Rob Stock (Stuff): State helps nearly 45,000 retirees struggling to pay their rent

Tony Alexander (Stuff): Here’s why the housing market may shrug off another lockdown

1News: How Auckland’s Alert Level 3 rules will impact renters

Mandy Te (Stuff): Public and experts talk about Wellington’s plans to house 80,000 people over online platform Zoom



Esther Taunton (Stuff): Time to get real about who we’re letting into NZ

Bess Manson (Stuff): Ready or not – expats fly back to the nest

Keith Woodford (Interest): A resource-based perspective on immigration



Phil Pennington (RNZ):  Former NZTA employee claims leaked report breaches his privacy

Phil Pennington (RNZ): ‘A culture of leaking’: Inquiry fails to find NZTA culprit

John Weekes (Stuff): ‘She made our lives hell’: Transport Ministry fraudster Joanne Harrison’s former in-law says exposure long overdue


Local government

Rob Mitchell (Stuff): Local government parties on, but is it the ratepayers left with the hangover?

Marty Sharpe (Stuff): ‘Don’t blame us, we don’t decide what we’re paid’ – the catchcry of mayors and councillors everywhere

Kevin Moratti (Taranaki Daily News): Democracy and the petition on New Plymouth’s Māori ward



Olivia Wannan (Stuff): From age 13 to 88, climate ambassadors call for action

Chris Trotter: Hi-Viz Vests Among The Trees



Michelle Langstone (Spinoff): Gotta be human: Peter Boshier, chief ombudsman

Herald: Auckland-based Belarusian says New Zealand must speak out against post-election violence

Edward Gay (Stuff): Calls for languishing Mount Eden Prison to become a crime museum

Gavin Evans (BusinessDesk): Greenpeace and the pursuit of Big Charity (paywalled)

RNZ: Family care payments bungled but government won’t back pay them

Brad Flahive (Stuff): Judge slams Oranga Tamariki over vulnerable children living in hotels for a year

John Boynton (The Hui): East Coast’s forestry slash problem not going away

Rob Stock (Stuff): ‘Fair’ finance law should have banks and insurers asking: ‘Why only us?’

Aaron Fox (Stuff): Do we really want a smelter with no guarantee of raw material supply or access to markets?

Crystal Wu (Newshub): Wellington police apologise for notice telling public to stop giving food and money to the homeless

Andre Chumko (Stuff): Te Papa defrauded of $120,000 over more than a year

RNZ: The Detail: The harmful machines that work for public good

Zara Beauchamp (Spinoff): Why does Jacinda Ardern keep popping up on Tinder?

Zane Small (Newshub): The reason House Speaker Trevor Mallard wouldn’t want to spend COVID-19 lockdown with Chris Hipkins



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