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

Election
Andrea Vance (Stuff): When these are the options, this is why I don’t vote
Claire Robinson (Guardian): It feels like no one can be bothered with the New Zealand election any more
Claire Trevett (Herald): Behind the leaders – the National and Labour campaign players and tricks (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Labour lines up ducks to win big
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): Labour’s policies sink other parties (paywalled)
Josh Van Veen (Democracy Project): Can we trust the polls?
Ben Thomas (Herald): Move to the political centre masked by fiddling with the fringe (paywalled)
Gordon Campbell: On campaign politicking
Francesca Rudkin (Newstalk ZB): Labour and National seem afraid to rock the boat
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Week in Politics: Ardern’s Matariki masterstroke
Brent Edwards (NBR): Fact or Fiction: Holidays, tax and spending and those televised debates (paywalled)
David Williams (Newsroom): Campaigning hits credibility gap on climate
1News: Campaign battle underway for politicians vying for Māori electorate seats
1News: Jacinda Ardern twice as likely to evoke feelings of hope than Judith Collins among adults – survey
Caitlin Ellis (Newshub): Survey: Jacinda Ardern makes voters feel more ‘hopeful’ than Judith Collins
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): ‘Don’t stuff the country’ – minor leaders make their pitch (paywalled)
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Four leaders and a phone-in
1News: Ping pong and tractors: Hitting the campaign trail with NZ’s politicians
Steven Cowan: Andrea Vance: Rejecting lesser evil politics
Herald Editorial: Lowering the voting age – the case for and against (paywalled)
Bernard Orsman (Herald): The employment lawyer and pragmatist hoping to win Auckland Central for Labour
Joel MacManus (Dominion Post): MP Paul Eagle rules out Wellington mayoral run as Rongotai candidates clash over commitment
Josie Adams (Spinoff): Muller and Bridges square up again in the Tauranga double-feature debate
Paul Mitchell (Manawatū Standard): Theft of campaign hoardings costly distraction for Rangitīkei candidates
Vita Molyneux and Emma Stanford (Newshub): Police investigating after New Conservative member ‘slashed’ with knife in west Auckland
Indian Newslink: Researchers tell us how politicians use social media
José Barbosa (Spinoff): Politicians are the best video influencers
Paul Brislen (Herald): Show us your tech policies
Felix Desmarais (RNZ): Stakes are high in rainbow policy debate
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Governor-General signs writ, triggering next step on road to election

Election ads
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Judith Collins releases National’s first TV ad to combat Labour’s
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Judith Collins fronts National’s first TV ad
1News: National Party releases first TV advertisement ahead of next month’s election
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Jason Walls (Herald): Labour Party’s new TV ad features a lot of Jacinda Ardern and not much else
Thomas Couglan (Stuff): Spotlight on Jacinda Ardern in Labour’s first big election ad
1News: Labour releases first TV ad ahead of election
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern, COVID-19 fight at centre of Labour’s first television ad

Labour
John Armstrong (1News): Labour’s tax policy is just tinkering around the edges
Jack Tame (Herald): We need bravery from our PM
1News: Q+A: Labour’s tax promise ‘politically timid’ – Fran O’Sullivan
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): ‘Soft, soft’ approach to increasing taxes – Economist Shamubeel Eaqub on Labour’s tax policy
Dan Satherley (Newshub Nation): Labour rules out free dental care for adults, citing ‘current economic environment’
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Vote for someone else’ if you don’t like our tax policy – Labour MP David Parker
Mike Houlahan (ODT): ‘I am anything but complacent’: Ardern
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Labour’s 2030 ‘100 per cent renewables’ goal is realistic if Lake Onslow scheme stacks up
Newstalk ZB: Greenpeace unimpressed by Labour’s renewable energy policy
Newstalk  ZB: New Zealand Initiative criticises Labour’s renewable energy policy
CPAG: Labour’s welfare policies welcome but silence on children disappointing
Amelia Wade (Herald): Labour unveils $1b plan for the welfare system
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Beneficiaries to keep more income under $1b Labour welfare overhaul
1News: Labour policy would see beneficiaries keeping more income from part-time work
Ben Leahy (Herald): Solo mums welcome $1b govt support for uni studies and work
RNZ: Labour welfare plan would reinstate training incentive allowance
Crystal Wu and Dan Satherley (Newshub): Labour promises to bring back Training Incentive Allowance
Amelia Wade (Herald): Labour promises living wage for government’s cleaners, caterers and security guards
1News: Labour promises Living Wages to more low-paid public service workers
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Labour promises living wage for all public service contractors
Thomas Coughlan and Caroline Williams (Stuff): Labour promises living wage to all government contractors
RNZ: Labour Party’s economic plan promises Living Wage to government contractors
AAP: Analysis: Ardern shuts down talk of Jacindamania 2.0, but devoted fans follow
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern starts on the election trail with mum and dad making breakfast, babysitting
BusinessDesk: My Net Worth – Grant Robertson, MP

National
RNZ: The Elevator Pitch: ‘We believe in people’ – Judith Collins
Victoria Young (BusinessDesk): National candidate’s questionable exit from tech firm (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Feebates vanish but Labour still has the more ambitious policy on car emissions
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): National wants electric cars in bus lanes as part of push to electrify fleets 
Anna Whyte (1News): National to allow EVs in bus lanes, no road user charges for two years if elected
Zane Small and Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): National would free electric vehicles of road user charges until 2023, let them use bus lanes
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Pledge to support rail link
Māori TV: National repeats claim transparency on Ihumātao dispute a must before election

Greens
Audrey Young (Herald): James Shaw sends wrong message about Greens to potential saviours (paywalled)
Catherine Delahunty (E-Tangata): The soul of the Green Party is at stake
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Did the Greens just count themselves out?
Newstalk ZB: James Shaw: Greens set to play hardball after the election
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Greens want to clean up agriculture with $300m fund for farms – but there’s a catch
RNZ: Growers relish in Green Party’s agriculture policy, but National opposes
Anna Whyte (1News): Greens pledge $297m for sustainable farming, promise to tackle nitrogen pollution
RNZ: Greens promise $300M for climate friendly farming
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Greens call for sustainable agriculture
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick gets COVID-19 test after developing ‘sniffle’
Mikaela Wilkes (Stuff): The most expensive thing Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick owns is her couch

NZ First
1News: New Zealand First again commits to fully funding St John Ambulance, if elected
Dan Satherley (Newshub): NZ First promises to fully fund ambulance charity St John
Amelia Wade (Herald): NZ First leader Winston Peters promises to increase ambulance funding
Rahul Bhattarai (Stuff): Winston ‘Regions’ Peters tells Marlborough to vote in a ‘decent’ Housing Minister
Steve Braunias (Herald): The secret diary of … Winston Peters (ft. Jack ‘James’ Tame) (paywalled)

Māori Party
Michael Neilson (Herald): Māori Party launch mokopuna policy, take care of Māori babies away
Denise Piper (Stuff): Māori Party wants new entity to stop uplift of Māori children
RNZ: Māori Party announces plan for entity to take over responsibility for Māori children in state care
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Māori Party proposes new independent child agency, says Oranga Tamariki staff ‘do not care’ about Māori babies
Māori TV: ‘Mokopuna Māori are our greatest taonga’, Māori Party announces new policy

Advance NZ
David Fisher (Herald): Comment: A night with Billy TK – and his conspiracy theories (paywalled)
David Farrier: The red-pilling of Billy TK Jnr

Alert levels
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): New Zealand not ready for COVID-19 alert level drop – modelling expert Shaun Hendy
RNZ: Auckland alert level: ‘Run of zero days’ needed for change, expert says
RNZ: Should Auckland stay at alert level 2.5?
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Ready or too soon? Aucklanders divided on moving levels
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): A cautious Jacinda Ardern will make alert level decision today, as campaign resumes for another week
Derek Cheng (Herald): Why gym classes and ongoing uncertainty are stifling chances of level 1 freedom (paywalled)
Derek Cheng (Herald): Health case doesn’t mean level 3 again for Auckland — but neither is level 1 any closer for rest of NZ
Derek Cheng (Herald): Time for South Island to go to level 1, Winston Peters says

NZ’s coronavirus response
Ian Powell: Perspective Is Critical: Assessing And Improving NZ’s Covid-19 Performance
Geoffrey Miller (1News): Government was ‘way too slow’ in using NZDF to assist with Covid-19, ex-Defence Minister says
Herald: We were discriminated against says Mt Roskill church leader
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): NZ covid policy better for small businesses after initial shock
Kate MacNamara (Herald):Can we put a cost on a human life? (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Labour MP David Parker expects COVID-19 vaccine by June
Dan Satherley (Newshub Nation): National backs not putting all the eggs in one COVID-19 vaccine basket
Bridie Witton (Stuff): High risk’ Covid-19 hotels should be ditched, replaced with purpose-built facilities – experts
1News: Megan Woods confident of ‘robust systems’ after quarantine nurse confirmed as Covid-19 case
Katie Todd (RNZ): Police right to not stop anti-lockdown protesters – science denial expert
RNZ: Advance Party and crowd rallies against Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns
1News: Tightly packed crowds of people descend on Auckland CBD for anti-lockdown protest
1News: Woman jailed for isolation hotel escape to join Advance NZ lead
Melanie Earley (Stuff): More than a thousand turn out for anti-lockdown rally in Auckland

Border policies, immigration
Keith Woodford (Interest): New Zealand’s current coronavirus border policies fail to reflect the Northern Hemisphere surge in cases and consequent enhanced risks to NZ
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Immigration changes: Landscape shifts for workers, visitors and employers
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Borders creaking open after seven-month shut-down as Labour plans to woo overseas investors
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): New Zealand edging the door open for workers and immigrants
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Labour will relax COVID-19 border rules to allow more skilled workers in if re-elected
Anna Whyte (1News): Labour promise to set aside 10 per cent of managed isolation spots for critical overseas workers
Herald: Labour would allocate 10 per cent of MIQ spots to foreigners
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Labour promises 10 per cent quota at border facilities for critical workers
RNZ: Border exception change comes into place
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins thinks Labour was ‘cynical and political’ to say National wanted borders opened
RNZ: Fears for harvest as seasonal workers locked out due to Covid-19
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): ‘This just cannot happen’: $9.5 billion at risk as horticulture sector struggles to fill $25-an-hour jobs
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Govt to help stranded immigrants fly home
1News: Immigration NZ to help migrants in extreme hardship fly home
Tracy Neal (RNZ): German backpacker upset petition has fallen on deaf ears
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Auckland woman with disability wins years-long immigration battle
1News: Covid-19 ‘brain gain’ sees more than 50,000 Kiwis return home amid pandemic
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Lachlan Waugh (Herald): Sanzaar and NZR bosses respond to Jacinda Ardern’s claims of politics in Rugby Championship decision
1News: Jacinda Ardern: ‘SANZAAR politics’ to blame if Australia hosts Rugby Championship
RNZ: NZ quarantine rules ‘critical’ to losing Rugby Championship bid
RNZ: Queenstown needed business from missed Rugby Championship, mayor says
Richard Knowles (Stuff): Aussies get last laugh as NZ Rugby denied chance to host Rugby Championship
Gregor Paul (Herald): How self-destructive Government cost NZ Rugby Championship (paywalled)
Paul Lewis (Herald): New Zealand Government miss badly in Rugby Championship bungle (paywalled)
Herald: Wallabies coach Dave Rennie slams New Zealand Government’s quarantine rules for Bledisloe Cup

Economy
Luke Malpass (Stuff): PREFU doesn’t matter if all the parties agree anyway
Liam Dann (Herald): First recession in 11 years a reminder of the opportunity wasted (paywalled)
Bernard Hickey (Newsroom): Hey… Govt borrowing costs just went negative
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): What would’ve happened to the bond market had the RBNZ not done QE?
Cameron Bagrie (BusinessDesk): Govt accounts will up ante on tax debate (paywalled)
Rod Oram (Newsroom): Stock markets skip reality

Business
RNZ: Checkpoint: Mowbray slams big profitable companies taking wage subsidy
Anuja Nadkarni and John Weekes (Stuff): Ardern: Govt borrowing has ‘cushioned the blow’ for economy
Zane Small (Newshub): Accusation of ‘mind-blowing stupidness’ as political parties pitch their economic visions
Dita De Boni (NBR): Political leaders try to woo business audience (paywalled)
Michael Andrew (Spinoff): Can they fix it? Five party leaders pitch their plans for the economy
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): It is all about seizing opportunity (paywalled)
Dominic Harris (Stuff): New Government must save economy and enable growth, businesses leaders say
RNZ: Businesses seek ‘economic resilience’ in government’s Covid-19 response
Maxine Jacobs (Manawatū Standard): Manawatū environmental volunteers concerned their region will miss out on Covid recovery scheme
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): The Warehouse workers rally for one final push against restructure plans
RNZ: Auckland, Southland report sharp falls in manufacturing activity
Jacob McSweeny (ODT): PMI hit by Covid restraints

Tourism
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Lifeline or lottery? Questions of fairness over $400m tourism rescue scheme
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Unions feel excluded from railways agenda
RNZ: Travellers out of pocket after Airbnb refuses full refund

Unemployment
Harry Lock (RNZ): Benefit rate ‘far too low’ as more people expected to apply for jobseeker support
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Four weeks, 6000 job losses: Those on Covid-19 payment face ‘second shock’

Cannabis and euthanasia referendums
Damien Grant (Stuff): Why you don’t have the moral right to prevent an adult from smoking cannabis
1News: Māori more supportive of cannabis ‘yes’ vote than general public, new poll shows
Stuff Editorial: The legal toke and the tax take
Dominic Harris (Stuff): Criminals ‘may target children’ if cannabis is legalised – National candidate
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Business case for legal cannabis not cut and dried (paywalled)
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Legalisation could make NZ a cannabis tourism destination
Andrew Bevin (NBR): Fishing quota seen as model for cannabis market structure (paywalled)
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1News: Q+A debate: David Seymour and Alfred Ngaro on legalising assisted dying
Ben Gray (Public Health Expert): Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?
1News: GP sets out practicalities of End of Life Choice Act, if voted for in referendum
1News: Terminally ill New Zealanders set out their view on assisted dying
1News: Sir Michael Cullen’s cancer responding well to chemo as he backs assisted dying bill
Libby Smales (Stuff): ‘Limits’ to palliative care part of case for assisted dying option

Health
Bryce Edwards (Democracy Project): Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
Rhys Jones (E-Tangata): Inequity is not a bug in the system — it’s a feature
Vanessa Selak, Rod Jackson and Matire Harwood (E-Tangata): Racism in the academic editorial process
Oliver Lewis (Newsroom): DHBs’ $885 million deficit
Alice Wilkin (Newshub): Pharmac petition calling for better bowel disease medication reaches over 25k signatures
Christine Rovoi (RNZ): Pasifika frontliners ‘risking life and limb’ on the job
Teresa Wasilewska (ODT): Those forming the fence at the top of the cliff deserve fairness
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Kiwis losing trust in safety of vaccines, less educated more likely to not have shots – study
RNZ: Countdown to limit sales of paracetamol after coroner’s report

Education
Liz Gordon (Daily Blog): Welfare and Education
David Pomeroy, Kay-Lee Jones, Mahdis Azarmandi, Sara Tolbert (The Conversation): Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should be
RNZ: Teachers want answers on $11.7M private Green School fund
Matt Nippert (Herald): Revealed: New Zealand’s top 10 richest private schools (paywalled)
Matt Nippert (Herald): Caught up in the Caymans: Diocesan School for Girls’ $1m at risk
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Govt can’t afford to stop funding private schools – yet
Pania Te Maro and Brian Tweed (Stuff): Coronavirus and education: what the lockdown taught us
Crystal Wu (Newshub): Māori doctors urge Otago Uni to protect the Māori Entry Pathway to med school
Alice Webb-Liddall (Spinoff): Why Waikato University is being accused of structural racism
Julia Gabel (Herald): Thousands use Twitter hashtag to show impact of indigenous scholar
Anne Salmond (Newsroom): Knowledge is a blessing on your mind

Live exports, Gulf Livestock 1
RNZ: MPI launches independent review into livestock shipments after Gulf Livestock 1 tragedy
RNZ: Lifestock ship tragedy was bound to happen – mariner
RNZ: Gulf Livestock 1: New Zealand looks to join search for ship’s black box
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Gulf Livestock 1: New Zealand investigating viability of searching for missing ship’s black box
RNZ: Gulf Livestock 1: Family says expanded search should be top priority
Molly Houseman (ODT): Window for rescue still open: family

Environment
Lois Williams (RNZ): Freshwater rules not fixed and final, O’Connor says
Bruce Munro (ODT): Loads of rubbish
RNZ: DOC to introduce new fines for those who break conservation rules

Housing
Stephanie Arthur-Worsop (Rotorua Daily Post): Revealed: How much Government paid Tauranga motels for emergency housing during lockdown (paywalled)
Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): Government rental rules leaves cash-strapped Wellington City Council with $18m bill
Harry Lock (RNZ): Heritage or habitabilty: Wellington’s proposed building regulation changes spur debate
Diana Clement (Interest): Landlord v tenant: how our new laws will play out
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): How much do you really want that heat pump?
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Housing market since lockdown ‘astonishing’: Eight regions have record prices
Dan Satherley and Lisette Reymer (Newshub): ‘Like it never happened’: House prices ignore economic crisis, post biggest gains in years
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Building on the rise in Christchurch as almost $1 billion of new homes approved

Child welfare
RNZ: Sunday Morning: Hungry kids at the top of Kiwis’ list of concerns, survey shows
Irra Lee (1News): ‘Six promises for 6000’ – Youth-led petition calls on MPs to increase quality of state care

Foreign affairs and trade
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealand must be ‘proactive, not provocative’ in face of ‘delicate, dangerous’ situation with China – Simon Bridges
Simon Draper (Stuff): Warnings of China using trade as a weapon ring hollow

Local government
Mandy Te and Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): Calls for pause ahead of crucial vote on Shelly Bay development, with councillor claiming information had been withheld
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City Council paying millions in rent after buildings close
RNZ: Local government income drops amid Covid-19
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Sleepyhead development might run ‘out of options’ if rezoning not granted

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 
1News: Te Wiki o te Reo Māori kicks off today, with nationwide event at midday
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Mōrena Aotearoa: Ko te Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Boom or bust? No hard numbers, but lots of new-old students for te reo Māori
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Shane Jones calls for sackings after controversial video receives public funding

National Library
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): ‘I literally weep’: anguish as New Zealand’s National Library culls 600,000 books
Eva Corlett (RNZ): National Library in middle of first major cull of international books

Media
RNZ: Mediawatch: A closer look at a ‘good news’ survey
Hayden Donnell (RNZ): A call for less news

Primary and extractive industries
RNZ: OceanaGold’s Macraes Mine extended for seven years
Robin Martin (RNZ): Plant opponents kick up stink over hearing charge
RNZ: NZ Dairy Industry awards review complete

Public holidays
Chris Trotter: Matariki: A Time To Begin Again
Lana Hart (Stuff): Let’s rearrange the holidays we’ve got to modernise our calendar
Alister Browne (Stuff): If we’re to have a new public holiday, why not mark our history?

Other
Sam Stubbs (Stuff): We’d all be better off if ‘open banking’ wasn’t stymied by the banks
John Anthony (Stuff): Air NZ’s cash crunch: Shane Jones accuses airline board of delaying raising funds
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Should Peter Ellis appeal be heard from beyond his grave? (paywalled)
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): House demolished, borrower homeless but lender chasing loan
Rob Stock (Stuff): Depressed man wins $173,000 battle with insurer AIA
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Consumer NZ lays complaint with Commerce Commission over supermarket discounts
RNZ: Auckland water rethink, despite low levels in storage
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): ‘We’ve been kind to racists for far too long’: Khylee Quince
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Ban on sex workers advertising on Trade Me, Seek ‘perpetuates shame’
Joel MacManus (Stuff): ‘So, so thrilled’: Bus drivers celebrate milestone pay deal
RNZ: ‘Insidious’ threat: ‘Organised criminal groups gaining greater access’
1News: Number of firearms seized by police has risen steadily over last decade
Lana Andelane (Newshub): New Zealand gangs: Seizing assets crucial to removing gang appeal – Police Minister Stuart Nash
Laura O’Connell Rapira (Spinoff): Aotearoa 2040 and the future of tino rangatiratanga
RNZ: Former Cook Islands PM hailed as a hero at state memorial
Māori TV: Marine transport facility halfway between Tauranga and Gisborne receives government backing
1News: Funding of $45 million allocated for new shipping facility near East Cape
RNZ: Rio Tinto CEO, execs quit over blasting of Aboriginal sites
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): ‘Massive legacy’: Māori Battalion veteran Epineha Ratapu dies aged 98

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