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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

Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update, Economy
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): High unemployment, high house prices and a social crisis on the books
Audrey Young (Herald): Leaders make case for wisdom, honesty, balance and discipline (paywalled)
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Red ink as far as the eye can see
Luke Malpass (Stuff): No matter who wins the election, the belt will have to tighten
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Government’s books shows wasteful spending has to stop
RNZ: Prefu: Parties offer dire warnings, optimism and a fiscal bermuda triangle
Henry Cooke (Stuff): The Covid-19 shock to the economy and the Government by the numbers
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Rivers of red as Government warns to brace for long-haul economic shock
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Govt books show NZ’s economy has long slog ahead to shake off Covid, economists say
Jason Walls (Herald): Government books a sea of red as NZ prepares to enter a ‘long and deep’ recession
Jason Walls (Herald): Prefu – Covid-19 impact on NZ economy not as bad as feared but ‘profound uncertainty’ ahead
Gyles Beckford (RNZ): Government books show medium to long-term pain
RNZ: Checkpoint: Finance Minister on plans to reduce debt, maintain services
RNZ: Government spending surged to $108bn
Anna Whyte (1News): Treasury expects unemployment to spike to 7.8 per cent in March 2022
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Government’s opening of the books reveals some surprises
Zane Small (Newshub): Government spent $4 billion less on COVID-19 response, Treasury tips borders to lift in 2022
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Short-term upside but longer pain for NZ economy: Treasury
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Short term looks better but recovery to take longer (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Border stays closed through all of next year (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Robertson defends $11b cost for ‘functional’ banking system (paywalled)
Brent Edwards (NBR): Medium-term economic outlook bleaker than May Budget (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: Grant Robertson: It will take ‘many, many years’ to get debt under control
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Richard Harman (Politik): Has National’s moment come?
Jason Walls (Herald): National says Grant Robertson is ‘sugar coating catastrophic’ Govt books
Anna Whyte (1News): Economic update ‘very dire reading’, Govt have ‘a lot to answer for’ – Judith Collins
Zane Small (Newshub): National fears brain-drain as New Zealand economy shrinks more than Australia from first lockdown
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Judith Collins fears ‘brain drain’ to Australia after Covid-19 economic shock
David Farrar: Prefu lowlights
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Karen McWilliams (Stuff): Here’s why GDP data won’t tell us the full economic story
Herald Editorial: NZ’s biggest fall in GDP won’t tell real story
Newshub: New Zealand’s net debt tipped to increase to 50 percent of GDP – Kiwibank chief economist
Crystal Wu (Newshub): Survey shows 287,000 workers fear losing jobs in the next year
Rob Stock (Stuff): Covid income crunch: Households hang on to health insurance
Rob Stock (Stuff): Reserve Bank tells insurers it would be ‘imprudent’ to pay dividends during Covid crisis

Wage subsidy
Nick Mowbray (Spinoff): Large, profitable companies have abused the spirit of the wage subsidy. It has to stop
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): Good, bad, ugly of Covid response: Did we line rich pockets?
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Wage subsidy ‘completely masked’ true state of labour market, top economist says

Salvation Army State of our Communities report
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): ‘I feel like I have failed’: Covid-19’s impact on Kiwis revealed in new report
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Unemployment, mental health and expensive housing: Report outlines the biggest issues Kiwis face ahead of the election
RNZ: Covid-19 strain increases gaps in housing, poverty and mental health

Tax Policies
Geof Nightingale (Spinoff): Labour’s dead-end tax policy is straight out of last century
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about taxes but were too afraid to ask

Surveillance
Paul Buchanan (Spinoff): China is running furtive surveillance of innocents’ lives online. And so are we
Anneka Smith (RNZ): Zhenhua Data leak may be typical contacts list – tech expert
Laura James (1News): Mixed reaction from Kiwis on list of people being tracked by Chinese intelligence
Mark Quinlivan and Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): New Zealand Security Intelligence Service issues warning over Chinese firm collecting data on politicians
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand spy agency ‘reviewing’ Chinese intelligence database for security concern
Herald: New Zealand SIS reviewing Chinese database for security concerns
RNZ: SIS to review data related to New Zealanders as part of data leak
Mark Quinlivan and Isabella Durant (Newshub): Winston Peters says NZ being naive on China collecting data on politicians
RNZ: Concerns over Chinese data collection on influential NZers

Election
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): Campaign social media spending ramps up
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Do politicians’ social shares give us a glimpse into their lives – or are they just a political ploy?
Christine Rose (Daily Blog): Left wing, Right wing – It’s the same bird
Andrew MacFarlane (1News): Vote Compass: Most Kiwis do not support lowering voting age
RNZ: Voting by phone allowed for people in Covid-19 isolation facilities
1News: Returning Kiwis in Covid-19 isolation facilities to vote by phone this election
Stuff: People in managed isolation will phone in their votes
Emma Cropper (Newshub): Kiwis stuck in managed isolation to be able to vote by telephone
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Education: what the big parties offer
David Cormack (Herald): The biggest thing was the call to delay it a month (paywalled)
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Te Tai Tokerau residents ignoring Covid-19 conspiracy theories
Jared Morgan (ODT): Conspiracy theories collar question time
Gavin Ogden (Herald): Local Focus: Tauranga candidates defend their credibility to lead NZ out of a recession
Gerogie Ormond (Herald): Tax the rich to feed the poor? Whanganui candidates respond
Philip Temple (ODT): Important to understand MMP’s origins
Sela Jane Hopgood (RNZ): Pacific climate activists switch focus to increasing voter engagement
Newstalk ZB: Conversion therapy and intersex surgery: Where parties stand on LGBT policies
Juliet Speedy (Newsroom): Christchurch gelato store makes special flavours for political party leaders
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Vote Jason: The story behind Dunedin’s infamous political billboard
1News: Inside Parliament: Winston visits The Warehouse and Covid squabbles

Hauraki-Waikato
The Hui: Hauraki-Waikato candidates Nanaia Mahuta, Donna Pokere-Phillips go head-to-head in electorate debate
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Hauraki-Waikato candidates differ on removing controversial place names in New Zealand
The Hui: Who will take the Hauraki-Waikato electorate after a decade of Nanaia Mahuta at the helm?
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Hauraki-Waikato candidates quizzed on if Māori flag should always fly on public buildings

Cannabis referendum
Derek Cheng (Herald): Will cannabis legalisation be better or worse for protecting young people? (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): John Tamihere to vote against legalising euthanasia, dubs legislation the ‘Kill the Māori Bill’
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Māori candidates make case for legalisation
Matthew Littlewood (Timaru Herald): Labour MP Jo Luxton against cannabis legalisation
John Bishop (Stuff): Cannabis: the science is still far from set

National
RNZ: National health policy promises $800m in new funding over four years, targeting Pharmac and cancer
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Means-tested GP charges, new border agency, $50m a year for cancer drugs — National’s health election pitch
Anna Whyte (1News): National releases $800m health plan ahead of election, including increased funding for Pharmac
Zane Small (Newshub): NZ Election 2020: National promises to cut elective surgery wait time, boost Pharmac funding by $90 million
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Nats vow to boost maternity care in South
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): National’s promise of $30 million lift for childhood dental services is not enough – Māngere-based charity

NZ First
Jo Moir (RNZ): Winston Peters finds his mojo on the campaign trail
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Winston Peters three word message to a voter: New Zealand First
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Packet of cigarettes ‘should not cost more than $20’, smokers and poor people ‘being screwed’ – Peters
RNZ: NZ First promises to fund marine farms and science

Greens
RNZ: The Elevator Pitch: James Shaw on who he’d fight for
Brianna Mcilraith and Helen Harvey (Stuff): Current state school funding ‘doesn’t even touch the sides’, James Shaw says
Steven Cowan: James Shaw: A Clear and Present Danger

Māori Party
Simon Collins (Herald): Māori Party wants to ban expulsions of students under 16, plus spend 25pc of education budget on Māori delivery
RNZ: Māori Party wants Māori immersion schools to get equal funding to mainstream schools

ACT
Claire Trevett (Herald): David Seymour’s raid on National’s turf (paywalled)
Paul Mitchell (Stuff): ACT leader David Seymour talks freely about the dangers of silence

TOP
Brianna Stewart (Stuff): TOP proposes $2.5b infrastructure funding for local councils in new policy
Georgina Campbell (Herald): TOP promises GST returns for councils to help plug infrastructure deficit

Advance NZ
Samantha Motion (Herald): ‘We said no’: Advance NZ wanted to join NZ First, Winston Peters says
RNZ: Peters says Advance NZ party asked to join NZ First

Labour
Newstalk ZB: Tertiary Education Union on the pros and cons of Labour’s education plans
Jamie Ensor and Melissa Tapper (Newshub): First-term MPs: Deborah Russell on MPs across the aisle, work-life balance, and support networks

Nigel Huirama Te Hiko and Joe Williams
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Dr Bloomfield issues sombre plea on behalf of whānau who lost two brothers to virus
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): ‘Coronavirus is so real ‘- bereaved family issues plea to Kiwis
Rachel Sadler and Lucy Warhurst (Newshub):Family of latest death describe ‘big heart’, ‘immense love’ of victim
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Iwi leader, father figure with loving heart dies of Covid-19
Florence Kerr (Stuff): Whānau lose second person to the coronavirus in two weeks
1News: ‘He held the family together’ – Covid-19 victim was a humble leader, devoted historian
RNZ: Message of thanks from family of late Cooks leader

Coronavirus, Bledisloe quarantine exception, border exemption policies
David Fisher (Herald): Interview: Dr Ashley Bloomfield – no end to the virus in sight, society will be shaped by pandemic (paywalled)
Hayden Donnell (Spinoff): Yes, public health is important. But surely not as important as rugby
RNZ: Wallabies’ relaxed quarantine: If one tests positive, training’s off
Victor Waters (1News): ‘We have moved on’ – NZ Rugby boss says there’s no hard feelings in missing out on Rugby Championship
1News: Superyacht owners should be given exemptions to arrive for America’s Cup, marine industry says

Environment
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Oxfam: NZ’s Paris target inequitable and insufficient
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Is this NZ’s ‘most significant’ climate policy?
Tom Hunt (Stuff):Investigation into landfill accused of sending toxins to Wellington marine sanctuary
RNZ: Protesters turn out before dawn to save 100-year-old native trees
1News: Native tree felling protest kicks off again in Auckland, with police called in
Hannah Kronast and Lisette Reymer (Newshub): Police and protesters standoff over destruction of native trees in Auckland
Alice Angeloni (Stuff): ‘Truck wash’ upstream behind dead eels in Renwick creek

Health
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Human Rights Commission grants case against Pharmac for failing to fund rare muscular disorder drug
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Two critical reports into Ministry of Health’s measles and influenza campaigns
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Measles contact tracing failed and vaccination too slow during 2019 epidemic – review
1News: New reports outline major issues with NZ’s recent vaccination rollouts
Duncan Garner: Cancer is a health crisis and the government should approach is like Covid

Education
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): University of Auckland should know physical distancing, gatherings rules before in-person learning returns – Dr Ashley Bloomfield
1News: Auckland principal asks for empathy from potential employers who see ‘Year 14′ on applicants’ report card
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Trainee teachers lack classroom experience due to Covid-19
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Covid sees classroom experience slashed for 1,000 New Zealand student teachers
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Teachers not to blame for Kiwi kids’ falling literacy skills – principal
Anaru Eketone (ODT): Proposal part of history of curtailing Maori opportunity
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Staff member wants apology over medical education pathways cap
RNZ: Te Wānanga o Raukawa secures $8 million in partial recognition of claim

Local government
Stephen Forbes (RNZ): Funds from asset sales should be reinvested in South Auckland, councillor says
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland drought: Watercare’s chief executive says restrictions could end soon
Tara Shaskey (Taranaki Daily News): Postcard campaign against New Plymouth councillors who were not in favour of a Māori ward
Tina Law (Press): Council proposes fast-tracking plan to prevent flooding in Christchurch’s east

Housing
Katie Todd (RNZ): Experts, home buyers not convinced house prices will fall
Ashley Church (Herald): This is no longer a blip, this is the start of a new property boom
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Landlords will have to hand on home improvement costs to tenants, says property investor
Stuart Smith and Priyanca Radhakrishnan (Stuff): Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry and safe place to call home

Police
RNZ: Chinese company knocked back on bid to set up biometric system for New Zealand police
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Company run by Chinese military made bid to run NZ Police facial recognition

Tourism fund
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Tourism operators who missed out on funding call for review
RNZ: Tourism fund nearly dumped after struggling with accessing applicants

Transport
1News: Air NZ proposes 385 more redundancies as union criticises staff outsourcing
John Anthony (Stuff): 385 cabin crew jobs to go at Air NZ due to ‘significant continual decline’ in passenger numbers
RNZ: Calls for govt to prop up public transport through Covid

Te wiki o te reo Māori
Mere Skerrett (Newsroom): Let’s follow Wales’ lead in language regeneration
1News: Māori studies expert shares ‘inspiring’ history of how Māori Language Week came to be in Aotearoa
ODT Editorial: Ka pai
Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta (Spinoff): Making te reo Māori cool: What language revitalisation can learn from the ‘Korean wave’

Pike River
Joanne Carroll (Stuff): Pike River re-entry crew reaches ‘critical area for forensic examination’
1News: ‘Major milestone’ reached in Pike River Mine recovery operation
Annabelle Tukia (Newshub): Pike River Mine workers reach ‘real milestone’ in recovery operation

Gulf Livestock 1
Vita Molyneux and Lilly Devine (Newshub): Loved ones of Kiwi crew missing from sunken ship plead with Govt for answers as Simon Bridges demands action now
1News: Family of missing New Zealander on ill-fated cattle ship considering mounting private search off Japan
Katie Todd (RNZ): Gulf Livestock 1: Hopes pinned on satellite technology

Sport
Felicity Reid (RNZ): Call for Gymnastics review panel overhaul
Talei Anderson (RNZ): Eligibility rules discouraging Pasifika netball representation

Other
Robin Martin (RNZ): Drilling companies should need guarantee from banks, New Plymouth mayor says
RNZ: Government finalises 10 year plan for transport infrastructure and services
Aaron Cross (Stuff): For too long, we have neglected the welfare of New Zealand’s animals
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Govt to change rules so spending creates jobs for Māori, Pasifika and women
RNZ: Government alters procurement rules to benefit disadvantaged groups
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Police, candlemaker Downlights, and MBIE among winners of diversity awards
1News: Andrew Little ‘committed’ to adoption law reform next term, with support from National likely
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Concerns Sleepyhead development could become a ‘slum’ if houses don’t sell
Stuff: NZ youth picked up by FBI after talking online about carrying out a mass shooting
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Demolition approved for Christchurch’s Catholic cathedral
Chris Keall (Herald): Microsoft gets OIO approval for $100 million+ data centre in Auckland
Jill Herron (Newsroom): The mysterious Central Otago airport no one seems to want
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Commercial media more robust than thought (paywalled)
Kurt Bayer (Herald): FV Jubilee sinking tragedy: Canterbury trawler operators prosecuted under health and safety laws
Audrey Young (Herald): Jacinda Ardern and John Key credit Shinzo Abe with NZ’s closer relations with Japan (paywalled)
Duncan Steel (Stuff): NZ has pivotal position in potential satellite conflicts
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): More female leaders as strides made to close gender pay gap in public sector

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