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
Audrey Young (Herald): Act’s job is to destroy NZ First vote says National’s Judith Collins
Ben Leahy (Herald): Wealth tax ‘a bottom line’ for a Greens-Labour Government: Genter
Claire Trevett (Herald): Why Jacinda Ardern has more to fear from a poll she won than a debate she lost (paywalled)
Charlotte Graham-McLay (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern’s Covid success gives National little room to move on policy
Jamie Smyth (Financial Times): Judith Collins struggles to contain Jacinda-mania (paywalled)
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): The election race isn’t over yet
1News: What issues are minor parties campaigning on for 2020 election?
Breanna Barraclough (1News): How Facebook is cracking down ahead of the NZ election 2020
Jane Matthews (Taranaki Daily News): Anti-Māori representation dominates discussions at New Plymouth New Conservative event
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Labour MP Meka Whaitiri defends larger benefit payments for workers unemployed during COVID-19
The Hui: Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contenders face off in The Hui debate
The Hui: Three wāhine competing for the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): ASB Finance Debate – why David Seymour could win ACT double figures
Nikki Mandow (Newsroom): The finance guys have all the fun
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Wellington wonks turn out in force for electorate debate on sewerage, quakes and public transport
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): The immigration ‘policy hole’
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Christchurch candidate’s secret fluoridation claims ‘ludicrous’
Aaron Leaman and James Baker (Stuff): Ardern eyes Hamilton’s seats, Collins stamps her mark
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Candidates under 30 on why they’re running, what they stand for
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): A rematch over housing in Whanganui
Gavin Ogden (Herald): Local Focus: Workers vs employers – who’s more important to Waiariki candidates?
Gavin Ogden (Herald): Local Focus: Who is Todd Muller, National Candidate for Bay of Plenty?
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Cannabis question smokes out Kaikōura candidates

TVNZ leaders debate
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Going High, Not Low: An Assessment of the First Leaders’ Debate
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): We love leaders’ debates for the argy bargy
Southland Times Editorial: Leaders’ debate less a bloodbath than a tepid bath
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): John Campbell missed the mark in first leaders’ debate
Damien Venuto (Herald): How many Kiwis watched the first leaders’ debate?
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Google data reveals who, what Kiwis searched for during election debate
Gordon Campbell: On last night’s leaders debate
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Crusher Collins returned and gave National voters hope
1News: ‘Outlier’ political analyst praises Ardern as ‘relaxed and confident’ in leaders’ debate
Pete Burdon: Collins beats Ardern but room for improvement
Dita De Boni (NBR): If scoffs and buts were candies and nuts (paywalled)
RNZ: Analysing the leaders’ debate: How did Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins fare?
Andrew MacFarlane (1News): Vote Compass: Who took out last night’s debate? Viewers have their say
Newstalk ZB: Political advisor says Ardern handed Collins the debate victory
Amelia Wade (Herald): Judith Collins calls Jacinda Ardern a ‘poor wee thing’ in post-match spar
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Judith Collins tells Jacinda Ardern to ‘go home’ if she can’t handle ‘bloodsport’
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Judith Collins blasted for ‘weaponising’ husband’s ethnicity during leaders debate
RNZ: First leaders debate: Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins reveal how they think they performed
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern felt ‘pretty invigorated’ during TV debate, Judith Collins aims to ‘do better every time’
Seven Sharp: The highlights and hilarity from TVNZ’s first leaders’ debate
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Leonie Hayden (Spinoff): Māori don’t exist, according to our political leaders so… talofa
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Leaders’ debate absent of Māori issues, Ardern and Collins forced to explain
Jogai Bhatt (RNZ): First leaders’ debate failed to take on Māori issues
Steve Walton (Stuff): Labour won’t promise to excuse CDHB’s $180m debt, but National says ‘we may have to’
1News: Ardern, Collins showed little understanding of Covid-19 impact on struggling students – head girl
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Advocacy group cristices Jacinda Ardern’s voting age comments
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins denies claims she dropped f-bomb in TV debate as Jacinda Ardern talked up housing ambitions
—————
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National MPs are twisting Jacinda Ardern’s words on social media
Mike Houlahan (ODT): National out of context with quote
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Being ‘picked on’ not in the past for farmers: Claim PM ‘out of touch’

Labour
Hayden Donnell (Spinoff): The courage to make life better
Thomas Manch and James Baker (Stuff): Labour promises $50m for farm planning to cut costs
1News: Labour announces new policy to reduce costs for farmers and growers, if elected
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern, Labour Party promise to help farmers with compliance costs and environmental transition
David Farrar: Labour’s Failures Part 1 – Kiwibuild

National
Richard Harman (Politik): National changes tack; the “Crusher” is back
Newstalk ZB: National Party insider reveals Collins, Muller tried to roll Bridges in April 2019
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Grant Robertson tells Paul Goldsmith to ‘rip up’ National’s economic plan and start again
Jason Walls (Herald): Homecoming – National leader tours Collins country after ‘crushing’ debate
Jason Walls (Herald): National leader Judith Collins fronts press on home turf in Matamata
Anna Whyte (1News): Judith Collins holds back tears talking about rural mental health to Matamata crowd
Anna Whyte (1News): Woman with the golden gun: Judith Collins meets Waikato man who got tattoo of National leader
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Judith Collins meets a tattooed superfan in Matamata
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Judith Collins tells fan how much is on the line for her this election
RNZ: Making her mark: tattooed man meets his Muse, Judith Collins
Dan Satherley (Newshub): National to require tourists to have COVID-19 vaccine before entering NZ

ACT
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): The rise of ACT: David Seymour’s one man political band looks set to multiply exponentially
Stewart Sowman-Lund (Spinoff): With Act polling at 7%, who is on course to join David Seymour in parliament?

NZ First
David Cormack (Herald): With NZ First polling so low it’s scary gap that fringe-right can fill (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: Winston Peters: NZ First still has rural voters’ backs
1News: ‘Boring, laughable, ridiculous’ – Winston Peters goes on attack after another poll puts NZ First out of Parliament

Housing
Michael Reddell: House prices
Michel Andrew (Spinoff): What recession? Our unstoppable housing market marches on
Newstalk ZB: Political parties urged to release more policies on home ownership
Marta Steeman (Stuff): KiwiBuild apartment sales help support Auckland apartment market
David Farrar: Emergency housing should be charged for

Economy
Liam Dann (Herald): Strong house prices look like RBNZ’s primary economic lever (paywalled)
Brent Edwards (NBR): RBNZ pessimistic about economy, ready to use more monetary stimulus (paywalled)
Gyles Beckford (RNZ): Reserve Bank keeps OCR at 0.25%
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): RBNZ hints at introducing Funding for Lending programme ahead of OCR cut to provide more stimulus sooner
David Hargreaves (Interest): The money trail: Kiwis’ spending and saving habits during the pandemic

Wage subsidy, business
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Big profits on back of big wage subsidies: Call for businesses to return Govt money
Harry Lock (Stuff): Government urged to clear up ambiguities around wage subsidy rules
Harry Lock (Stuff): Hospitality sector braces for end of wage subsidy
RNZ: Māori businesses focusing more on profits in pandemic – survey
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Government drip feeding money to businesses is almost cruel
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington region gets spending boost but central city hurting

Education
John Gerritsen (RNZ): NCEA credits reported to Qualifications Authority drop 20%
Simon Collins (Herald): Hundreds of teachers’ jobs at risk as foreign students dwindle
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Schools fear knock-on effect of foreign student loss
Sharnae Hope (Stuff): Waikato University prepares for more job cuts as $20 million loss looms
Herald: Dilworth School abuse occurred as early as 1950s: former student
Eleisha Foon (RNZ): Grieving family still feeling let down by hall of residence operator
Daisy Hudson and Rob Kidd (ODT): Damages sought from Uni
RNZ: Pacific staff, students back Māori amid alleged racism at university
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Prospective Māori students question if uni is a safe space in wake of calls for review into racism at all universities

Coronavirus
John Anthony (Stuff): Foreign air crews must stay in Government managed isolation hotels during stopovers
RNZ: GPs say DHBs not providing PPE in lower alert levels
1News: Ashley Bloomfield reveals battle with anxiety, self-doubt during Covid-19 peak

Mental health
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Wellington Hospital mental health unit unsafe for staff, patients – union
Katarina Williams (Stuff): Wellington Hospital mental health staffers hold crisis meeting over ‘dangerous and exhausting’ condition, DHB inaction
ODT Editorial: Wellbeing the word of the week
Bay of Plenty TImes: Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller opens up on journey for Mental Health Awareness Week

Health
Ian Powell (Democracy Project): Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
Emma Russell (Herald): Hospital backlog: Half a million Kiwis with unmet hospital needs (paywalled)

Cannabis referendum
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Unfair law that brands teen growers as ‘criminals’ must change
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Chlöe Swarbrick responds to most common criticisms of legalising weed in New Zealand
Farah Hancock (Newsroom): Why cannabis use doesn’t equal impairment
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Liberal drugs laws will reduce demand for ‘zombie’ drug AMB-FUBINACA – expert
Robyn Hunt (Spinoff): Why are we considering assisted dying in a pandemic?

Medicinal cannabis
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Medicinal cannabis still not favoured by doctors
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Marlborough medical cannabis company Puro rocked by fraudsters targeting potential investors (paywalled)

Local government
Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): Mayor vows to join Kāpiti Airport occupation if necessary
Damian George (Stuff): Let’s Get Wellington Moving called ‘a bit of a joke’ after external consultants called in for review
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Porirua’s mayor pulls back from Facebook due to abuse
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Ageing and underfunded: $1.3 billion needed to future-proof Lower Hutt’s water infrastructure
Janine Rankin (Manawatū Standard): Council ‘turkeys don’t vote for Christmas’; voters won’t be asked if they want slash numbers
RNZ: Repair to Napier pipe seeping sewage into ocean faces delays
Tina Law (Press): Holiday accommodation shortage fears in Akaroa if ‘Airbnb crackdown’ passes

Other
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): SIS left girl to be sexually abused – former spy
Andrew McRae (RNZ): Man Abuse in care inquiry: man says placements became a training ground for jail
Anna Leask and Chelsea Boyle (Herald): The Govt manager and the spy cam – appeal against discharge without conviction, suppression heard
Veronica Schmidt (RNZ): Spy camera case: Police appeal suppression of former government employee
Evan Harding (Southland Times): No Tiwai Point aluminium smelter decision before election, Rio Tinto indicates
RNZ: The Detail: Blurred lines – the police and facial recognition technology
Laura Smith (1News): Sign language in the spotlight in Aotearoa more than ever this year
RNZ: Checkpoint: Cruise ship company wants to offer ‘bubble’ trips around NZ
RNZ: Still not enough RSE workers with immigration changes – fruit picking industry
1News: Greg Murphy fed up with some Kiwis paying ‘so much more than others’ for petrol
Gavin Evans (BusinessDesk): Two-month delay in Tui decommissioning (paywalled)
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Kiwi criminals listed in a Chinese govt-linked database
Pat Baskett (Newsroom): Why hydrogen is not a cure for emissions
Herald: Kiwi UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya: ‘I didn’t really realise me being black was a problem, until I got to New Zealand’
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): Risk of trade war Trump temper tantrum if NZ taxes tech giants
Catherine Harris (Stuff): All female leadership line-up at country’s largest union

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