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
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Ardern v Collins: What to expect from the first leader debate of election 2020
José Barbosa (Spinoff): How to win an election debate: A simple 20-step guide
1News: Jacinda Ardern, Judith Collins to face off as first party leaders debate airs tonight on TVNZ
Irra Lee (1News): Expert’s guide on what to look for in first TVNZ leaders’ debate
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins to go head-to-head in first leaders’ debate
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): The First TVNZ Leaders Debate: Why it’s important and why Judith will be dangerous
1News: How does the 1 NEWS-Colmar Brunton poll work?
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Alex Braae (Spinoff): What the conspiracy theorist parties believe, and why it matters
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Two more weeks of Covid-19 level 2 is a long time for Auckland voters
Chris Farrelly (Spinoff): My challenge to Aotearoa: this election, what kind of future will you choose?
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Gaining traction in crowded political marketplace
Andrew MacFarlane (1News): Vote Compass: Which minor party leader beats Judith Collins on likeability?
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Electorate polls shows MMP is done after 20 years
Liz Gordon (Daily Blog): Governing alone in the MMP environment
Mike Yardley (Press): Snoozing our way to a crucial election
Brent Edwards (NBR): TOP leader calls housing market ‘madness’ (paywalled)
RNZ: Māori Party promises new health funding authority if elected
Patrick O’Sullivan (Herald): Local Focus: Wairarapa candidates on NZ prison numbers
Samantha Motion (Herald): Why we should ditch the boring hoardings
Sharnae Hope (Stuff): Election vandalism rife in Hamilton with tyres and signs sliced
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RNZ: Postal voting registration extended to next Monday

National
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): National’s $4 billion fiscal hole has gotten even bigger
Gordon Campbell: On that $4 billion hit to National’s economic cred
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): National’s budget blunder does them no favours
Herald: The Front Bench – National’s ‘small’ mistake proves costly
RNZ: Judith Collins downplays National’s fiscal error, defends Paul Goldsmith
Newstalk ZB: $4 billion hole: National’s Paul Goldsmith plays down ‘irritating mistake’
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): National’s $4b stuff-up is major – but at least its policy
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Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): National’s technology plan gets ‘7 out of 10’ from Technology Users Association
Chris Keall (Herald): Industry pundits rate National’s tech policy
Jason Walls (Herald): National’s $1.29 billion plan to double NZ tech sector, create 100,000 jobs
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): National promises $1.29b boost for tech sector, with scholarships and charter school
1News: National promises to create 100k high-paying jobs while doubling NZ’s tech sector, if elected
RNZ: National unveils $1.3b plan for expanded tech sector
Zane Small (Newshub): National reveals plan to create at least 100,000 tech jobs
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Shane Te Pou (Herald): Back to the drawing board for National (paywalled)
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): National to revive Rotorua rescue helicopter if elected to form Government
1News: Simon Bridges distributes piles of flyers with his name spelled wrong

Labour
Chris Trotter: The Looming Fight
Liam Hehir (Newsroom): The flaws in Labour’s fiscal plan

Greens
1News: Labour needs Greens to be a truly ‘transformative’ Government, Marama Davidson argues
RNZ: Fishers in two minds over Green Party fishing policy

ACT
RNZ: ACT tourism policy ‘bold’ but operators question uptake
RNZ: ACT tourism policy: GST cut, privately run isolation, minimum wage cap
Stuff: Seymour takes aim at tourism fund, promises tax cuts for operators
Amelia Wade (Herald): Act would repeal the Zero Carbon Act if it was in power
1News: ACT pledges to ‘respect’ farmers by repealing Zero Carbon Act, if elected
Stuff: ACT promises to scrap subsidies for forestry investment, let regional councils set freshwater rules
RNZ: ACT pledges to repeal Zero Carbon Act if elected
Al Williams (RNZ): Being an island nation in a pandemic world presents opportunities, ACT Party leader says

Cannabis referendum
Nina Hindmarsh (Stuff): Medicinal cannabis bosses divided over legalisation
Riley Kennedy (RNZ): Primary sector wary of health and safety if cannabis legalised
Ben Strang (RNZ): Roadside drug testing needed before any cannabis legalisation, say AA and expert
Newshub: Disproportionate cannabis-related arrests, prosecutions ‘a form of racism’ for Māori – Patrick Gower
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Dairy owner shocked to find business used in anti-cannabis campaign

Coronavirus
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Documents reveal Treasury’s risk appetite rising (paywalled)
Alex James and Shaun Hendy (The Conversation): New Zealand relaxes COVID-19 restrictions, except for Auckland. How much longer will the city have to wait?
Amelia Wade (Herald): Government ‘missed an opportunity’ to move to alert level 1.5, says epidemiologist
Jamie Morton (Herald): Do level 1 more carefully this time, expert says
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): What alert level 2 means for Auckland, level 1 for rest of New Zealand
RNZ: Covid-19 alert level move: What you need to know
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Breanna Barraclough (1News): Your Vote 2020: Kiwis’ changing moods around border control remains a ‘hot topic’ for voters – researcher
Derek Cheng (Herald): Election 2020: What’s the plan to keep NZ safe from Covid? Policies compared (paywalled)
Derek Cheng (Herald): National eyes greater role for private sector and more open borders (paywalled)
RNZ: Slow alert level changes show strategy unsustainable – National, ACT
Mitch McCann (Newshub): Returnees could be subject to post-managed isolation COVID-19 test
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Ministry targets hospitality, tourism and transport workers for Covid testing
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Jason Walls (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern admits she ‘made a mistake’ with group photo
Henry Cook (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern admits close-quarters selfie was a ‘mistake’
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern apologises for breaking social distancing rules
1News: Jacinda Ardern’s group selfie at Massey University frustrates Covid-19 expert
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Dan Lake (Newshub): Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran says COVID-19 elimination strategy ‘not sustainable’

Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Canterbury doctor praised by NZ Public Party found to have spread ‘misleading’ information about COVID-19
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Experts slam Christchurch GP’s claims Covid-19 tests are unreliable
1News: New Zealand enters legal agreement to allow purchase of Covid-19 vaccine

Housing
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): Plan to charge for emergency housing back on
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Public housing wait list nears 20,000 applicants

Health and disability
Amber Allott (Herald): CDHB slammed for rescheduling hundreds of cancer appointments
Katarina Williams (Stuff): Mike King blasts Ministry of Health for ‘burying’ ‘1000 Letters’ suicide report
Catherine Hutton (RNZ): Laura Fergusson Trust a labour of love that could be saved – forensic accountant
Catherine Hutton (RNZ): Laura Fergusson Trust: Questions raised over payments and board tenures

Economy
Brian Easton (Pundit): Notes About The 2020 Second Quarter GDP Figure
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Negative OCR: Here’s what could go wrong

Business, wage subsidy
1News: Small business owner who paid back wage subsidy implores big business to follow his lead
RNZ: Small businesses cautiously optimistic amid recession

Education
Sherry Zhang (Spinoff): What every NZ university has planned for the rest of this Covid-disrupted year
Papaarangi Reid (E-Tangata): When our excellence constrains their privilege
Deena Coster (Taranaki Daily News): Taranaki polytech’s shovel-ready application shunned for second time

Abuse in State Care inquiry
Andrew McRae (RNZ): State processes for investigating abuse in care ‘broken’ – lawyer
Edward Gay (Stuff): Survivor of abuse in state care believes his abuser had offended before

Weta Digital, employment
1News: Weta Digital staff hopeful about investigation by top lawyer into alleged workplace misconduct
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Unions could have played a starring role in Weta Digital saga
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Wellington bus drivers claim they were underpaid during lockdown, could strike

Local government
Tina Law (Press): Aspiring MP Catherine Chu defends city council briefing attendance record
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Napier council hopeful for $500k government grant
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): Auckland Council agrees to tighter controls over park and ride development proposal
Rachel Moore (Stuff): Push to use Levin’s Māori name stalled two years on

Auckland Harbour Bridge
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Green Party calls for temporary bus lane on Harbour Bridge to ease congestion
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says ‘temporary fix’ to Auckland Harbour Bridge coming this week to ease traffic woes
1News: Two extra lanes on damaged Auckland Harbour Bridge could re-open later this week

Rocket Lab
George Block (Stuff): Rocket Lab’s new hire has roots in the CIA, laser weapons and space militarisation
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Sooooo, When will we talk about how Rocket Lab has made NZ a legitimate military target? 

Other
Liam Hehir (Democracy Project): Our obsession with American politics
Louise Delany (Spinoff): Keeping the tax river clear of dams
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Future of aluminium smelter may stay on simmer until after election
Robin Martin (RNZ): Zombie towns or paradise? Regional centres defy predictions
David Williams (Newsroom): What became of PM’s $140m pledge
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): Fixing broken infrastructure promises
Nicholas Pointon (RNZ): Next government urged to rethink rules for shovel ready projects
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): $500,000 for Rainbow’s End from Govt fund to save tourism businesses
Polly Gillespie (Stuff): We have become lab rats in an age of surveillance capitalism
Logan Savory (Southland Times): Southland Federated Farmers: ‘Farmer morale at all-time low’
Mike Dinsdale (Northern Advocate): Ex-Northland Regional Council chairman Bill Shepherd breached dairy effluent rules (paywalled)
Gavin Ellis: NZ journalists as ‘useful idiots’?
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Soldier sentenced over assaults still in army, despite saying he would leave
Ogonna Nweke (The Big Q): Does the Black Lives Matter movement reflect experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand?

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