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

PM’s levels announcement, govt management of coronavirus
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Ardern plays it safe with Covid levels extension
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern faces little opposition to alert level extension
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): A nervous week ahead for a suddenly vulnerable government (paywalled)
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Keeping Us Listening
Richard Harman (Politik): Covid “here for some time” say Ardern and Collins
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Experts welcome COVID-19 lockdown extension but warn it may need to be extended again
Science Media Centre: Alert level update and mandatory masks on public transport – Expert Reaction
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Covid levels will loosen but more lockdowns are in our future 
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Lockdowns are not a long-term solution for pandemic
Liam Dann (Herald): Extended lockdown not what business wanted to hear, but right call (paywalled)
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Ardern misses opportunity to put business up there with epidemiology
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): We must have a better strategy than continuous lockdowns
ODT Editorial: A waiting game
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Keeping New Zealand at alert level 2 ‘overly cautious’
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): No wage subsidy extension will mean job losses, the Government can and should do more
RNZ: Alert level extension ‘disappointing’ – Auckland mayor Phil Goff
1News: ‘Disappointing for all of us’ – Auckland Mayor addresses city’s Alert Level 3 extension
Madison Reidy (Newshub):Auckland businesses devastated stores can’t reopen at weekend due to alert level extension
Herald: Another blow’ – Business reacts to level extension
RNZ: Auckland businesses hit hard by lockdown extension
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Impact of Auckland’s COVID-19 alert level extension being felt by tourism operators across the country
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Zane Small (Newshub): Covid-19 alert level decision: Auckland to remain at level 3 until 11:59pm on Sunday, August 30
Anna Whyte (1News): Auckland to remain under Level 3 lockdown restrictions until Sunday evening, rest of NZ stays at Level 2
1News: Jacinda Ardern praises NZ’s efforts against Covid-19 resurgence despite ‘frankly terrible’ year
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern says 2020 has been ‘frankly terrible’ as Auckland lockdown extended
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Amelia Wade (Herald): ‘Our species is under attack’: Opposition parties react to alert level announcement
Zane Small (Newshub): Auckland’s COVID-19 outbreak ‘should never have been allowed to happen’ – Judith Collins
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins would seek public feedback on COVID-19 lockdown levels if elected Prime Minister
Anna Whyte (1News): Auckland’s Alert Level 3 extension a ‘bitter pill for a lot of people’ – Judith Collins
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1News: Covid-19 modeller warns ‘more time needed’ at Level 3 as lockdown decision looms
Dan Satherley and Ella Prendergast (Newshub): Auckland cluster would have been smaller if Kiwis hadn’t got ‘relaxed’ under level 1 – expert

Debates over NZ’s coronavirus strategy
Simon Wilson (Herald): NZ, Sweden and the key to the election (paywalled)
Neal Curtis (Newsroom): A message for our scientists
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): Why Covid elimination remains the best game-plan for NZ
John Roughan (Hearld): A nation at war (paywalled)
Herald: Columnist blasts NZ’s elimination strategy, claims Kiwis ready to rebel

Media scrutiny of public health measures
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): Thank you Michael Morrah – the state is not our friend
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Unfashionable government criticism must continue
David Farrar: Morrah defends himself

Testing, masks, contact tracing
George Block (Stuff): Managed isolation workers wait 10 days, still no test results
Mike Yardley (Press): If you have symptoms, the test is free, even at your GP\
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Nikki Preston (Herald): Masks should be mandatory in all public indoor places – Public health expert
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Experts praise mask mandate but say it will be a ‘challenge’ for Kiwis to adapt
Jo Moir (RNZ): Mandated masks may help stop yo-yoing alert levels, Bloomfield says
1News: ‘Wear a mask, save the economy’ – Economist urges Kiwis to do their bit to prevent future lockdowns
Nikki Preston (Herald): Masks mandatory on public transport from level 2 and higher
RNZ: Masks mandatory in high alert levels
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern announces face mask mandate for public transport, Ubers
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Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Contact tracing no longer required under Level 2
RNZ: Rydges worker’s case: CovidCard could’ve helped solve mystery sooner – academic
1News: New Zealanders who suffered from Covid-19 say nation has become ‘complacent’

Pacific communities, Māori and Covid-19
RNZ: Cautious optimism ‘triumph of community’ can beat Covid-19
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Coalition’s border control failure led to Covid-19 infecting Pasifika whānau – expert
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Mandatory isolation for positive Covid-19 cases ‘shocking, paternalistic and racist’
Stephen Forbes (RNZ): South Auckland foodbank struggles to keep up with demand

Election
Jason Walls (Herald): Deputy PM Winston Peters provided consular assistance to ‘Bad Boy of Brexit’
Zane Small (Newshub): Ashley Bloomfield on public servants featuring in Labour Party video: Staff were ‘thrilled’ to see Jacinda Ardern
Jason Walls (Herald): Advance NZ receives year’s second-biggest political donation
1News: Interference in NZ’s election from foreign forces possible, politics professor warns
Robert G. Patman (The Conversation): Populism from the Brexit and Trump playbooks enters the New Zealand election campaign – but it’s a risky strategy
Paul Spoonley (Guardian): New Zealand election will show how much we have learned from Christchurch
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Ex-Gloriavale members say community told as collective who to vote for
Siobhan Downes (Stuff): Best and worst election merchandise from New Zealand’s political parties

National Party
Chris Trotter (Interest): What will the political future hold for National’s Shane Reti beyond the October 17 election
Derek Cheng (Herald): National’s message to offshore Kiwis wanting to come home (paywalled)
1News: National pledging $200 million to fix state highway labelled a ‘death trap’
RNZ: National proposes to spend $300m fixing Hawke’s Bay roads if elected
Youth Wings: Finding a second family in the Young Nats

Māori Party
Thomas Manch (Stuff): John Tamihere on why 2020 isn’t the Māori Party’s year
Herald: Billboard racism: Maori Party co-leader has moko kauae defaced on hoardings
Matt Burrows and Ashleigh McCaull (Newshub): Vandals target Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer’s billboards with racist slurs, paint over moko kauae
Māori TV: Another accusation of racism from the Māori Party (video)

Chlöe Swarbrick
Steve Braunias (Herald): Ping-pong politics – KO, Boomer (paywalled)
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): From stand-up comedy to challenging the system: the ambitious Chlöe Swarbrick

Voting age
Dan Satherley and Ella Prendergast (Newshub): Teens hope court will declare 18+ voting age ‘inconsistent’ with human rights
Stuff: Campaign for voting at 16 and 17, claims age discrimination
Jonathan Mitchell (RNZ): Teens ask court to lower voting age to 16

Cannabis referendum, alcohol harm
Doug Sellman and Tony Farrell (ODT): A chance to change our approach to alcohol harm
Mark Hotu (Stuff): This is about recreational use, not medicinal treatment
Russell Brown: An unhelpful column about cannabis

Christchurch mosque shooter sentencing
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): It was a calm and merciless slaughter. But Christchurch mosque shooting victims showed humanity
David Williams (Newsroom): Tributes and defiance in courtroom 12
Tom Brown (RNZ): Further victims to face Christchurch mosque gunman
Tim Brown (RNZ): Christchurch mosque shooter appears moved as victim’s mother offers forgiveness
David Clarkson (Newshub): Terrorist appears shaken as victim tells her she forgives him
Thomas Mead (1News): Mother of March 15 victim says she forgives man who killed her son
Tim Brown (RNZ): Christchurch mosque attack victims address gunman: ‘We did not deserve your actions’
Thomas Mead (1News): March 15 survivor bravely faces killer in court – ‘We are not broken’
David Clarkson (Newshub): ‘You have brought the world community closer with your evil actions’, Al Noor Imam tells terrorist
Rob Kidd (ODT): A mother’s loss: ‘my heart breaks millions of times’
Blair Ensor and Sam Sherwood (Stuff): How the Christchurch terrorist planned his attack
Marine Lourens (Press): Mosque gunman killed worshippers as they pleaded for their lives 
Annabelle Tukia (Newsroom): Christchurch mosque shooting: Court hears of moments before attack
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): Christchurch gunman planned to burn mosques down, New Zealand police say
Steven Walton (Stuff): Why heightened police presence needed during mosque shooter’s sentencing
RNZ: Tight security at court as mosque attacker’s sentencing hearing begins
Jody O’Callaghan and Blair Ensor (Stuff) Security tight as March 15 survivors prepare to face mosque gunman
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Court takes stringent approach to mosque gunman’s sentencing
Conan Young (RNZ): Sentencing finally offers victims a chance to look mass killer in the eyes
Tim Brown (RNZ): ‘A loner with a lot of money’ – A look into the Christchurch mosque gunman’s past
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): ‘Some people will never recover from what happened’ – former Islamic Association president
Kelley Tantau (Stuff): Anjum Rahman: ‘Victims will have a voice’ at sentencing for Christchurch mosque attacks

Canterbury District Health Board
Phil Bagshaw, Dr Gary Nicholls & Dr Stuart Gowland (Stuff): Canterbury health board – here we go again
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Unravelling truths in Canterbury District Health Board leadership meltdown scandal
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Canterbury DHB crown monitor criticises management’s financial performance
RNZ: DHB resignations: ‘There’s a kind of resistance to a different point of view’

Health
Natalie Akoorie (Herald): Health system review cost taxpayers $7.8m, consultants paid $2.7m (paywalled)
Jenny Carryer (Stuff): Can we manage hospital deficits without putting patients at risk?
Alice Wilkins (Newshub): Over 200 medical professionals launch petition calling for better medication for bowel disease
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Breast cancer sufferer and treatment campaigner dies
Sela Jane Hopgood (RNZ): Tongan man’s family appeals for help to cover leukaemia costs

Local government
Evan Harding (Southland Times): Department of Internal Affairs wants answers from squabbling Invercargill City Council
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Department seeks assurances from ICC
ODT: Letter raises spectre of Govt intervention in Invercargill council
RNZ: Invercargill City Council internal tensions: Government investigates
Matt Shand (Stuff): Council culture likened to ‘backyard scrag’ as review team called in
Samantha Motion (Herald): Tauranga City Council conflict: MP Simon Bridges says mayor Tenby Powell should stay (paywalled)
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Ratepayers cough up in confidential settlement of 8-year ‘rusty apartments’ case
Denise Piper (Stuff): Northland toxic chemical stockpile to be cleared at ratepayer, taxpayer expense
Grant Miller (ODT): DCC’s bypassing of tender process cleared
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Queenstown Airport boss ‘competely absent’ during Covid-19 restructuring
Matt Shand (Stuff): ‘Managed retreat’ of heavy industry near Tauranga marae investigated

Business, economy
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): How bad has lockdown 2.0 really been for business?
1News: Some hospitality businesses are abusing wage subsidy, says employee advocate
Bernard HIckey (Newsroom): Ready for a 1.5% mortgage rate?
RNZ: Travel industry meets with ministers to discuss support options
1News: Record fall in New Zealand’s retail sales ‘not unexpected’
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): Biggest drop in spending on record during lockdown, Stats NZ says
RNZ:‘Unprecedented fall’ in retail sales in June quarter
John Anthony (Stuff): Comvita makes 90 staff redundant, posts $9.7 million full year loss
Loren Heaphy (Stuff): Tourism can support Māori women but at this time of crisis there’s been a devastating impact
Rob Stock (Stuff): ‘Smiley face’ in insurer’s internal emails about declining claim upset widow
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei distributes $1.5 million to 3000 people

Education, child welfare
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Auckland reports to Oranga Tamariki halve under alert level 3
Luke Kirkness (Herald): All schools in Auckland to reopen from Monday under alert level 2
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Low-level tertiary courses put Māori in debt with no earning gain – study
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Otago university medical students fight proposal to limit Māori entry pathway
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Early childhood teachers taking out loans to live, new study finds

Justice
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Children’s commissioner calls for age of criminal responsibility to be raised to prevent life of crime
RNZ: Children’s Commissioner wants age of criminal responsibility raised to 14
Oliver Hartwich (Stuff): The vexing issue of Damien Grant’s ‘career-ending’ convictions

Media
Gavin Ellis: All we want are the facts
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): No help for struggling news media as relief package kicked for touch

Environment
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): More than 100 wastewater treatment plants breaching consent
Emma Dangerfield (Stuff): Waste Management ditches plans for toxic waste plant in Canterbury
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Pomahaka planting given $3.7m boost

Housing
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Hastings houses for homeless delayed as wait list rises
Aaron Leaman (Waikato Times): Rules governing housing density in Hamilton ‘outdated’
Sam Stubbs (Stuff): Will house prices rise and mortgage rates fall?

Transport
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): State competition might have got us a quicker Gully
Robin Martin (RNZ): Mt Messenger roading project opponents protest outside High Court

Tiwai Point 
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): No subsidies for Tiwai Point smelter, finance minister confirms
Luisa Girao (ODT): Govt’s Tiwai stance unchanged
RNZ: Tiwai Point aluminium smelter closure: calls for managed transition

Retirement savings, KiwiSaver
Rob Stock (Stuff): Kiwis are clueless, careless and deluded about money and retirement saving
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Are you getting value for money from KiwiSaver?
RNZ: Some KiwiSaver services fall short on service for cost

Other
Brian Easton (Pundit): Government As An Unconnected Pronoun
Steve O’Connor (Spinoff): Consumers and the environment are paying for our broken electricity market
RNZ: Higgins Contracting fined $270k over death of three workers in Bay of Plenty
Wilhelmina Shrimpton (Newshub): Higgins ordered to pay $500,000 following three Bay of Plenty workers’ deaths
Graeme MacCormick (Stuff): Why the wealthy need to step up now
Joel MacManus (Dominion Post): Redundancies for passport staff labelled ‘slap in the face
RNZ: Boost for young Kiwis missing out on sport
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): The week in memes: Why is Donald Trump so obsessed with us?
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Lack of foreign workers a ‘disaster’ for agriculture, farmers say
Cas Carter (Stuff): Fur-real? Mittens the cat nominated for New Zealander of the year

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