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

Green private school grant row
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Green co-leader James Shaw refused to sign-off on $3bn of infrastructure projects unless Green School was included
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Treasury opposed Green School grant over lack of approvals
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): James Shaw has a bigger problem than the Green School saga
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Shaw’s sorrow crystal clear as Greens face heat over private school
Luke Malpass (Stuff): James Shaw fesses up, but put all future Covid projects at risk
Jane Patterson (RNZ): James Shaw may get some reprieve if Green School funding treated as ‘loan’
Richard Harman (Politik): The Greens’ “ideological tantrums”
No Right Turn: If only he had fought this hard for actual Green policy
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): James Shaw attempted to claw back $11.7m Green School funding
Stephanie Ockhuysen (Taranaki Daily News): James Shaw says he warned Green School and New Plymouth mayor against going to Crown for money
Newstalk ZB: ‘Disgusting’: New Plymouth principal wants Green School to give the money back
1News: PM defends James Shaw over Green School controversy, but Winston Peters lashes out at coalition partner
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): James Shaw calls Green School funding ‘an error of judgment’ as he searches for a solution
Zane Small (Newshub): Green co-leader James Shaw apologises for ‘error of judgement’ over Green School funding
1News: James Shaw says approving $11.7 million Green School grant was ‘an error of judgement’
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): National Party leader Judith Collins says the Government should tear up its agreement to give the Green School funding
RNZ: Taranaki school dependent on pokie funds – Judith Collins
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins relays ‘absolute anger’ from New Plymouth schools over Green School funding
David Farrar: Shaw greenmailed Government to get private school funded
Robin Martin (RNZ): Green School at centre of $12m funding debacle struggling with backlash

NZ’s Covid response
Vaughan Elder and Hugh Collins (ODT): Professor Michael Baker backs Auckland travel ban
Vaughan Elder and Hugh Collins (ODT): Organiser stands by Queenstown conference with Auckland guests
Simon Wilson (Herald): The truth about that lockdown survey (paywalled)
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Coronavirus: Google data show how seriously Aucklanders took level 3 lockdown
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Second round of border worker testing off to bad start with just 200 tested at ports
Derek Cheng (Herald): What’s next for quarantining travellers in managed isolation?
RNZ: No quarantine or managed isolation staff have tested positive – Woods
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters claims officials ‘covering their butts’ over Auckland COVID-19 outbreak
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): The week that changed everything, again
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Do no harm: Dr Shane Reti on leading National’s changed Covid-19 response
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National still keen to let international students self-isolate in dorms once it is ‘safe’, says Collins
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Alert level 1 possible without finding source of cluster – Health Minister
RNZ: Chris Hipkins: ‘No good reason not to send kids back to school’
1News: Hipkins assures Auckland parents it’s safe for students to return to school amid community Covid-19 cases
1News: Jacinda Ardern, Judith Collins butt heads in Parliament over Covid-19 accountability
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): ‘Alternative’ Covid-19 facility could be used in southern New Zealand
Gordon Campbell: On the challenges we face in securing Covid-19 vaccines
Stewart Sowman-Lund (Spinoff): Confusion over what ‘alert level 2.5’ means for Auckland rest homes

Inequality, welfare
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand lockdown led to biggest spike in welfare claims in modern history
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Winter Energy Payment ending despite record levels of hardship
Shane Te Pou (Newsroom): This bipartisan failure is not OK
Herald Editorial: Covid 19 coronavirus wreaks a recession for the poor (paywalled)
1News: More elderly needing help as ‘true face of homelessness’ revealed by pandemic
Delphine Herbert and Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): 71 percent of Queenstown social sector organisations at capacity as COVID-19 increases demand – report

CovidCard
RNZ: Checkpoint: Bureaucracy hampering CovidCard development – innovator Ian Taylor
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Sam Morgan gives up on CovidCard in frustration with Ministry of Health
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Sam Morgan pulls the plug on CovidCard, claims Ministry of Health isn’t taking it seriously
RNZ: CovidCard trials to go ahead despite original backer Sam Morgan pulling out
Chris Keall (Herald): Frustrated Sam Morgan stands down CovidCard team (paywalled)
RNZ: National sees place for CovidCard in border protection policy

National Party Covid testing ad
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): ‘Misleading’ National Party ad left online by MP Simeon Brown despite assurances to Speaker Trevor Mallard it was deleted
Jason Walls (Herald): Judith Collins apologises over ‘misleading’ ad after Speaker forces National to take it down
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins apologises over National Party ad Chris Hipkins complained was misleading

Advance NZ vaccination video
Derek Cheng (Herald): Advance NZ vaccination video a ‘blatant doctoring’ and ‘misleading’
RNZ: Parliament’s Privileges Committee unanimous on agreement MP Jami-Lee Ross broke rules

Election
Eugene Bingham and Adam Dudding (Stuff): Tick. Tick podcast: The subtle and not-so-subtle ways politicians are wooing you
Matt Burrows (Newshub): John Tamihere hits back after Don Brash said he wants Māori Party to ‘die’
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Youth enrolment numbers lag behind older voters
Charlotte Jones (RNZ): Waiariki candidates offer dynamic debate
Hugh Collins (ODT): Southland candidates pitch their policies
Deena Coster (Taranaki Daily News): Longtime campaigner wants better spotlight on economy

Cannabis referendum, Euthanasia referendum
Andrew Bevin (NBR): Ministry of Justice withholds information ahead of cannabis referendum (paywalled)
Luke Malpass and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Cannabis referendum: New poll shows dead heat in legalise dope vote
George Driver (AAP): Would legalised cannabis mean more drugged drivers?
Rebecca Reider (Spinoff): How to convince your grumpy uncle to vote yes in the cannabis referendum
Luke Appleby (1News): ‘I’m voting yes’ – Tiki Taane calls out anti-cannabis lobby group for ‘twisting my words’
Monika Barton (Newshub): Tiki Taane hits back at Say Nope To Dope for using his drug history in ‘clickbait’ Facebook post
—————
Eva Corlett (RNZ): Widow says assisted death would have been a kinder option

Employment
RNZ: Sick leave petition ‘fertile ground for Parliament to consider’ – Andrew Little
RNZ: Thousands back petition seeking more sick leave
Michael Hayward (Stuff): Frontline nurses across the country will strike on Thursday
Stephanie Ockhuysen (Taranaki Daily News): Private lab workers say planned strike is all about fair pay
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Wairarapa bacon factory workers stand up for living wage

Cyber attacks
Chris Keall (Herald): The year of the hacker: Why now, and is NZ a soft touch? (paywalled)
Juha Saarinen (Herald):The return of the DDoS threat (paywalled)
Stuff Editorial: Victim-blaming plays into DDOS attackers’ hands
Thomas Manch (Stuff): National security crisis apparatus gathered for NZX cyberattacks, GCSB targetted
John Anthony (Stuff): Concerns cybercriminals will stalk jobseekers, target Government payouts
Herald: MetService latest NZ organisation to be hit by targeted cyber attack, TSB experiences tech issues
RNZ: NZX attacks embarrassing and unusual, head of TUANZ says
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand stock exchange hacks: who is behind them and why now? Explainer
Jamie Ensor and Delphine Herbert (Newshub): More New Zealand businesses likely to be targeted by new, complex ‘strain’ of cyber attack, expert predicts

Health
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Health boss’ parting shot: If our hospital was built on time, we’d be in the black
Oliver Lewis (Newsroom): Top health boss quits abruptly amid DHB tension
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): DHB data shows scale of staffing shortages in mental health services
Lucy Warhurst (Newshub): Covid-19 lockdowns and vaccinations driving flu deaths down

EQC
RNZ: Checkpoint: EQC not equipped for future quake repair oversight – CEO
ODT Editorial: EQC law must fix fault lines

Mataura dross storage
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Government backs dross action
1New: Residents of Southland town anxious after third incident with toxic material warehouse in six month

Education
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Victoria University spends $270,000 to cover students’ lockdown rent to hall’s private owners
Simon Collins (Herald): Auckland private training schools may miss out on new fund
Newstalk ZB: Construction expert praises National’s plan to invest in school buildings
Zac Fleming (Newshub): Auckland principal says students need to make up for lost time during lockdown

Judith Collins’ husband’s social media
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Judith Collins not worried about racist abuse hurled at husband
Derek Cheng (Herald): Judith Collins says husband David Wong-Tung makes his own social media choices

Christchurch mosque shootings
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern says she will talk to victims’ families about possibility to deporting mosque terrorist
RNZ: Some want Australia to pay for incarcerating Christchurch mosque gunman
Jason Walls (Herald): Gunman joins Isis and IRA on NZ’s terrorist entity list
Steven Walton and Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Mosque terrorist designated a ‘terrorist entity’ by Jacinda Ardern
1News: Man responsible for Christchurch mosque attacks designated a terrorist entity by Prime Minister
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern designates Brenton Tarrant as ‘terrorist entity’

Local government
Luisa Girao (ODT): ‘Significant conflict’ Invercargill council releases report from closed meeting
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt says ‘factional mentality’ needs to stop
Bridie Witton (Dominion Post): Experts mixed on future of Wellington library
Jane Matthews (Taranaki Daily News): Kaumātua repeatedly criticises Taranaki regional councillors at meeting over previous decision on Māori seat
Damian George and Joel MacManus (Stuff): First-term councillor Tamatha Paul considering run for Wellington mayoralty
Kelley Tantau (Stuff): Thames-Coromandel council’s no to climate change declaration hits High Court

Fire service
Imogen Wells (1News): Head of firefighter union under investigation over sexual assault, harassment allegations
Clare Sziranyi (RNZ): Firefighters’ union ceo investigated over sexual harassment and bullying complaints

Housing
Liu Chen (RNZ): Rotorua man rents motels to house homeless during pandemic
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Rotorua Mayor promises to fight ‘dumping ground’ as crime rises around homeless motels in the city
RNZ: The Detail: Could boxes from China solve our housing problems?

Media
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): YouTube rises to top of the pile, and nine other findings on NZ media audiences
RNZ: YouTube overtakes TVNZ 1 for most views in NZ
Stuff: NBR appeals against finding it defamed Steven Joyce

Tahr
Erica Wilkinson (Spinoff): Tahr are magnificent creatures – but they’re destroying the landscapes we love
1News: Department of Conservation backs down over tahr control plan, but hunting group still unhappy
Al Williams (Timaru Herald): DOC releases reconsidered Tahr Operational Plan

Other
Philip Matthews (Stuff): Munted: ‘There was no dialogue, no transparency’
Loading Docs 2020: OK Chlöe – What politics is really like for Aotearoa’s youngest MP
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Dental conference, Womad among events sharing $10m government lifeline
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Immigration bungle means stars told to apply for wrong New Zealand visa
Herald: Cook Islands reopens borders to New Zealand – but only to returning residents
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Returning Kiwis will keep coming ‘as long as other countries mismanage COVID-19’ – sociologist
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): China’s ‘coercive diplomacy’ sharply escalating, New Zealand targeted – report
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Consumer NZ says New World price labels ‘misleading’
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Violence against prison guards appears to be worsening as population decreases
Newstalk ZB: Concerns about facial recognition system being set up by police
Denise Piper (Stuff): Waitangi Day event funding dependent on alert level planning
Denise Piper (Stuff): Historic NZ War site in Northland gets $8.5m funding for restoration
Lisette Reymer (Newshub): Rural Waikato residents furious at ongoing plastic waste fire
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland rail disruption: Poor state of city rail network will cost $200m to fix
RNZ: Kiwibank profit down $51 million from last year
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Kiwibank profit down 47pc to $57 million

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