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

Labour Party
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Labour’s tax plan framing around Covid-19 both clever and cynical
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Labour’s ultra-cautious tax policy will be a relief to the wealthy
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Labour’s tax policy will cost those earning $200,000 less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day (paywalled)
Audrey Young (Herald): More of a gesture than a tax policy (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Labour’s election recipe: cautious populism (paywalled)
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Raising top income tax rates will push up house prices: Westpac
No Right Turn: If not now, when?
Luke Malpass and Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour softens political risk of tax hike by only socking the rich
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Labour’s tax hike would set New Zealand and Australia on different paths
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Grant Robertson’s tax policy isn’t about tax or debt
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Labour’s tax triangulation
Liam Dann (Herald): Tax change is ‘symbolic’, doesn’t address economic challenge
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Labour taxing the rich – geese ruffled, not plucked (paywalled)
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Labour is nailing this campaign
Liam Hehir (RNZ): Labour’s tax rise: a half-measure with not much payoff
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Winning Joke: Why the Traditional Left will just have to live with Rainy-Day Robertson’s disappointing tax policy
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Labour Party’s no new taxes promise easier said than done
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern explains why most MPs wouldn’t pay new top tax rate
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Wealthy could mostly get around the 39% top tax rate, experts say
Madison Reidy (Newshub): High-income earners say ‘rich will still get richer’ under Labour’s proposed tax policy
Jamie Ensor and Emma Stanford (Newshub): Labour’s tax policy a ‘nudge’, hard choices down the road – economist
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): What Wellingtonians think of the Labour Party’s tax plan
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): NZ taxpayers getting off lightly, OECD data suggests
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Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour rules out Green Party’s wealth tax in any Government it forms
Jason Walls (Herald): Labour’s ‘balanced’ tax plan draws flak from political allies and Rich Lister
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Labour’s proposed top tax bracket not enough for New Zealand First, Greens
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Politicians react to Labour’s 39 percent tax plan for high-income earners
Jason Walls (Herald): Labour’s closest political ally, the Greens, is not happy with the tax policy
Anna Whyte (1News): Labour’s new tax rate proposal faces criticism from multiple parties, allies included
Zane Small (Newshub): NZ Election 2020: Jacinda Ardern hits out at National for spreading ‘misinformation’ about Labour’s tax policy
Zane Small (Newshub): Labour’s promise of no new taxes fails to convince National leader Judith Collins
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Zane Small (Newshub): Labour will introduce new tax rate for Kiwis earning over $180k, rules out further tax changes
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Will Labour’s proposed income tax rate change affect you?
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Labour to bring back top 39 per cent income tax rate
Anna Whyte (1News): Labour to introduce new tax rate if it wins election – will it affect you?
Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Labour pledges to raise tax on earnings over $180k
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Labour pledges to tax income over $180k at 39%
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Brent Edwards (NBR): Transformational government or a modified status quo? (paywalled)
Gordon Campbell: On saving small firms, and disowning Peter Thiel
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Prime Minister greeted with surprise song on visit to Whakatāne

National Party
Richard Harman (Politik): National tries to cheat the debt target
1News: National proposes creating NZ’s ‘largest ever infrastructure programme’ – ‘We have to invest
RNZ: Judith Collins reveals plan to create new bank for infrastructure projects
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): National pitches new bank to fill infrastructure gap
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): National reveals plans for a national infrastructure bank
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Ditch Labour Day for Matariki, Judith Collins says
1News: National Party promises to build more state houses across New Zealand
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): National’s hospital rebuild commitment lacks rigour
RNZ: Judith Collins says Hawke’s Bay Hospital pledge good use of money

Election
RNZ: Checkpoint: Election 2020 Health Debate: Chris Hipkins and Shane Reti
Claire Trevett (Herald): Election 2020 battlegrounds: The showdown in the Māori electorates (paywalled)
Thomas Manch (Stuff): TOP furious as TVNZ includes Advance NZ, Māori Party in debate
John Tamihere: This is an important day for New Zealand democracy and an important day for Māori politics
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Show us the money: Politicians are making big spending promises, but does it all stack up?
Claire Trevett (Herald): Politicians test the 2-metre campaign and Winston Peter’s bottom lines (paywalled)
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern begins New Zealand election tour at parents’ house so they can babysit
Andrew MacFarlane (1News): Vote Compass: Kiwis divided on Government providing free lunches at state schools
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): A quarter of National’s FB ad spend chasing ‘likes’ for Collins
Richard Prebble (NBR): Are the Greens gone? (paywalled)
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): When politicians run loose in the wild
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Water pistols and political hits as Aro Valley debate goes ahead
Eric Crampton: Civic knowledge
Newstalk ZB: Call for schools to teach more New Zealand politics
Eli Matthewson (Spinoff): A guide to the best political party merch for election 2020

New Zealand Public Party, Advance NZ
Edward Gay (Stuff): Billy TK Jr’s New Zealand Public Party investigated over use of party donation
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): New Zealand Public Party under investigation by Electoral Commission over use of donations
RNZ: Electoral Commission looking into NZ Public Party complaint
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): New Zealand election TV debate: fears inclusion of fringe party may ‘legitimise conspiracy theories’

NZ First 
Jo Moir (RNZ): Winston Peters: Tiwai Point a NZ First ‘bottom line’
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): NZ First leader apologises for not paying attention to Tiwai power costs sooner
Zane Small (Newshub): Winston Peters pledges 20-year deal for Tiwai smelter, takes crack at political opponents ‘scrambling’ to find solution
Herald: Winston Peters hits out at anti-smoking ‘Nazis’

Māori Party
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Māori Party wants to raise minimum wage to $25 immediately and double benefit levels
RNZ: Māori Party vows to increase minimum wage to $25 an hour

Coronavirus
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Churches with links to the US being blamed for spreading Covid-19 misinformation
Derek Cheng (Herald): Why the Mt Roskill mini-cluster has pushed back a move to level 1 (paywalled)
Belinda Feek and Kim Moodie (Herald): Police warn Mt Roskill Evangelical church leaders they could face prosecution for further rule breaches
1News: Police step in to help public health authorities with Auckland church sub-cluster
RNZ: Student who tested positive an undisclosed contact, Hipkins says
1News: Ardern says it’s ‘frustrating’ some Covid-19 sufferers aren’t fully disclosing close contacts
George Block (Stuff): Inside the secretive, devout and wealthy Auckland cluster church
Belinda Feek, Ben Leahy and Simon Collins (Herald): Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship – the church at the centre of a storm
Duncan Garner (Newshub):Evangelical Church not secret sect of wealthy elites
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Bridie Witton (Stuff): Expert ‘concerned’ as Covid-19 testing rates fall well short of targets

Border exceptions
1News: Government reveals easing of border restrictions for some resident work visa holders, partners of Kiwis
RNZ: Changes to resident visas, border exceptions for those overseas
Katarina Williams (Stuff): Border exception rule changes will reunite some families split by Covid-19
David Hargreaves (Interest): Govt introduces new border exceptions
ODT: Glenn Turner questions opening borders for international sports teams

Cannabis referendum
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern remains coy on whether she’s backing cannabis legalisation
RNZ: Cannabis reports suggest legalisation could create $1.4b public money, 5000 jobs
Khylee Quince (Spinoff): Why our cannabis laws are racist

Euthanasia referendum
1News: Referendum explainer: What is the End of Life Choice Act?
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Euthanasia referendum: Cruel to offer the option or deny the choice?

Child welfare
Claire Breen (The Conversation): New Zealand is violating the rights of its children. Is it time to change the legal definition of age discrimination?
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Children’s Commissioner says too much focus on the elderly to blame for high rates of child poverty in NZ
1News: Raising tamariki out of poverty should be top focus of political parties, advocates urge
Katie Doyle (RNZ): Child welfare groups campaign for better outcomes for tamariki
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Children’s organisations ask voters to tick for their kids in election 2020

Whaakari/White Island disaster
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern juggles leadership roles meeting White Island first responders as Judith Collins calls for royal inquiry
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Jacinda Ardern speaks after meeting with Whakaari/White Island responders, addresses Labour’s tax policy
Amelia Wade (Herald): National leader Judith Collins wants a Royal Commission of inquiry into Whaakari/White Island disaster
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Judith Collins promises royal commission into Whakaari/White Island disaster

Housing
Jacob McSweeny (ODT): Otago landlords urged to boot bad tenants before law change
Melanie Carroll (Suff): Evict anti-social tenants before law change, Otago landlords advised
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff):It’s time for landlords to stop the penny-pinching
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City Council’s social housing arm at risk of insolvency
Tina Law (Press): Council considers changing Christchurch’s planning rules to prevent over intensification of suburb
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Council lists pensioner’s home of 41 years for sale over unpaid rates (which he says is news to him)
Greg Ninness (Interest):Westpac expects household debt levels to keep increasing but falling interest rates will keep repayments affordable for the time being

Local government
Matthew Tso (Stuff): FPP or STV? Lower Hutt voters to vote on voting in 2022
Stephen Forbes (RNZ):$1.1m cutback hits South Auckland’s regional parks

Health
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Māori disappointed bowel screening age will not be lowered
RNZ: Diabetes group challenges Pharmac’s limits on new drugs
Lucy Warhurst (Newshub): Pharmac considering funding life-changing type 2 diabetes medication

Education
RNZ: School sex ed update tackles consent, inclusion, online porn
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): New Zealand schools urged to use students’ preferred names, genders and pronouns
Michael Neilson (Herald): Top Waikato University Māori astronomer Dr Rangi Matamua ‘seriously considering’ leaving over systemic racism
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Victoria University staff prepped for job losses as $33.5 million loss is forecast in 2021
John Weekes (Stuff): Massey defends links with university connected to Xinjiang paramilitary group

Economy
RNZ: New Zealand economy faring better than expected
Tom Pullar-Strecker (RNZ): Business confidence picking up despite Covid restrictions, says ANZ
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Has Australia actually trumped NZ in virus response?

Live exports
Andrew McRae (RNZ): Calls for improved monitoring or total ban on live exports
Lynn Charlton (Herald): Livestock exports should repulse all New Zealanders (paywalled)

Air NZ
1News: Winston Peters suggests Government should buy back full ownership of Air NZ
John Anthony (Stuff): Government needs to give Air New Zealand ‘timely response’, National Party says
Newstalk ZB: Is the Government eyeing a larger stake in Air New Zealand?

Watercare
1News: Extra 100 million litres of water a day granted to Auckland from Waikato River
RNZ: Watercare granted consent to access extra 100 million litres a day from Waikato River
Kendall Hutt (Stuff): Watercare given consent to take extra 100 million litres a day from Waikato River
Herald: Watercare granted consent to take extra 100m litres a day from Waikato River

Other
Andy Fyers (BusinessDesk): The Chart: The ethnic divide in working from home (paywalled)
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Questions raised about independence of investigation into volunteer firefighters’ association
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Prolonged confinement of prisoners could prompt legal action against Correction
Lois Williams (Stuff): Conservation minister responds to Ngāi Tahu boycott of West Coast Conservation Board
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Descendants of Māori Battalion soldiers ‘overwhelmed’ to learn they never received their war medals
Todd Niall (Stuff): America’s Cup: The bean counters and the world’s top sailing team
Kate Green (Stuff): The real Wellington spy scandal at the heart of a new book
Sophie Cornish (Dominion Post): Māori Wardens to increase patrolling in Wellington amid rise in alcohol-related issue
RNZ: The Detail: How one iwi’s treaty settlement is lifting up its people
Emily Brookes (Stuff): New Zealand Film Commission says Kiwi tax dollars didn’t fund Mulan’s Communist Chinese connections

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