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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
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Thank goodness this empty election is almost over
Richard Shaw, Bronwyn Hayward, Grant Duncan, Jennifer Curtin, Rawiri Taonui (The Conversation): The final debate and the campaign’s winners and losers ahead of the big decision
Luke Malpass (Stuff): This seemingly eternal campaign is now all over bar the shouting
Ben Thomas (Spinoff): The empty political calories of the campaign’s final days
Richard Harman (Politik): Tomorrow: Jacinda rules
Claire Trevett (Herald): The Covid 19 coronavirus campaign that sometimes went off-piste (paywalled)
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Election Campaign 2020 – Political Winners & Losers 
Tim Watkin (RNZ): Caucus: Wealth, weight, winners and the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Are we there yet? (paywalled)
Steven Cowan: Never has so little been promised to so many
John Minto (Daily Blog): Newsflash! – Saturday’s election result is out! – Another victory for neo-liberalism!
AAP: Election campaign into final 48 hours, with the focus surprisingly on a Greens policy
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): The world is watching New Zealand’s Covid-19 election unfold
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): Ignoring the economic elephant in the election room
Karl du Fresne: What no one’s talked about during this election campaign
Rawiri Taonui (Waatea News): The Battle for the Māori Electorates
RNZ: ‘Maybe if we had another week I’d be emphatically positive and confident’ – Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Judith Collins is right – the media’s coverage of her is unfair
Mark Jennings (Newsroom): Who to watch on election night
Tom O’Connor (Stuff): Let’s not revist the debates next election
Stuff Editorial: Time someone rocked the boat
ODT Editorial: Time for some answers
Herald Editorial: Election 2020 is here, at long last
Suze Wilson (The Conversation): Why gender stereotypes still affect perceptions of Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins as leaders
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Where to next for New Zealand’s ex-politicians?
Chris McIntyre and Stella Blake-Kelly (Spinoff): The most liked policy of them all, based on 400,000 New Zealanders’ choices
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Toby Manhire (Spinoff): What time will we know the NZ election result – and what about the referendums?
1News: Early voter turnout in Māori seats up incredible 99%, new figures show
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Over 1.5 million people have already cast their vote ahead of election day 
Katie Doyle (RNZ): Youth vote: Nearly 5% more 18 to 29 year olds enrolled than in 2017
Brittney Keogh (Stuff): How people are voting from the most far-flung parts of NZ
David Farrar: NZ Electoral Map

1News Colmar Brunton poll, Roy Mogan poll
Anna Whyte (1News): 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll: Labour maintains strong lead over National, Greens climb
1News: 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll: Ardern’s popularity continues to soar as Collins lags behind
1News: Latest poll shows tightening of results for cannabis, euthanasia referendums
David Farrar: Latest poll
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Nats face a thrashing; will Labour need the Greens? (paywalled)
Claire Trevett (Herald): Poll shows Judith Collins’ biggest risk is apathy, but could it save Winston Peters? (paywalled)
Derek Cheng (Herald): Labour, National slip, minor parties Greens, NZ First up – 1 News Colmar Brunton poll
RNZ: Poll: Labour on 46%, National 31%, while Greens and ACT both on 8%
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Labour needs Greens to govern, National slips in latest poll
Thomas Manch and Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Labour still ahead but can’t govern without Greens in latest poll
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Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Roy Morgan Poll – Labour 47.5% National 28.5%

TVNZ leaders debate
Steve Braunias (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern saves best for last in New Zealand election TV debate
Herald: The Verdict – Who won the final leaders’ debate? Our experts have their say (paywalled)
Spinoff: Final leaders debate: The verdicts
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Election debate verdict: Jacinda Ardern edges out Judith Collins with warmth and anger in final clash
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): The low stakes final leaders’ debate
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): A moment of lightness at the end of a heavy campaign
Mike Houlahan (ODT): No ground gained in mainly lacklustre event
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Leaders make last pitch in fait accompli election
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern prevails in final debate before New Zealand election
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1News: Jacinda Ardern says she won’t stay on as Labour leader if she loses election
Katie Kenny (Stuff): A statistical stalemate on child poverty
1News: ‘That’s factually incorrect’ – Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins trade blows over child poverty
Anna Whyte (1News): Debate overview: Ardern and Collins clash over wealth tax, poverty and share compliments
1News: After hostile exchanges, Collins and Ardern praise each other as final leaders’ debate ends
1News: ‘I’m going to call you out on this’ – Ardern loses patience with Collins calling her ‘a liar’
1News: Ardern, Collins answer question on religion and politics
Jason Walls (Herald): Leaders’ debate a calmer affair as NZ enters final day of campaign
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Highlights from Jacinda Ardern, Judith Collins’ final leaders debate
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins face off in final debate
1News: Full video: Final Leaders’ Debate – Jacinda Ardern v Judith Collins

Taxes
Josie Pagani (Herald): A call I never expected a Labour leader to make (paywalled)
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Newshub-Reid Research poll shows nearly half of Kiwis think wealthy should be taxed more
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Greens say Kiwis are confusing income and wealth when it comes to tax
Natalie Akoorie (Herald): National MP promises ‘lover taxes’ for voters

Labour
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Jacinda Will Keep Us Moving – To The Same Place
Verity Johnsen (Stuff): I’m a young leftie woman – why am I underwhelmed by Labour?
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): The major ministerial questions for a Labour govt
1News: Jacinda Ardern says ‘real change comes one step at a time’, in pitch to voters
1News: Ardern maintains Labour has targets for policies as she hits out at ‘desperate’ National tactics
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): ‘I can think of many worse’: Jacinda Ardern responds to Mary Poppins comparison

National
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Matthew Hooton: National set for third defeat in 2023 (paywalled)
RNZ: Nine to Noon interview: Judith Collins on why National should form the next government
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins reveals how National dropped ‘down to the 20s’ and why she won’t step down
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Judith Collins defends giving more tax cuts to higher earners, saying they ‘can’t’ go to everyone
Sandeep Singh (RNZ): Has Judith Collins been served well by National’s key tacticians and strategists?
1News: National’s Simeon Brown defends Judith Collins over obesity debate – ‘It’s about personal responsibility’
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Collins’ obesity backlash show how soft we’ve become
Heath Moore (Herald): Auckland man’s powerful response to Judith Collins’ obesity comments
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Judith Collins defends National’s campaigning, says she’s not going to walk around malls like a ‘crazy person’
AAP (Guardian): ‘Poor cousin’: New Zealand opposition leader insults Tasmania in off-script remarks
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Judith Collins called out for ‘trolling’ Aussie journalist with comments about Tasmania

NZ First
Eugene Bingham and Adam Dudding (Stuff): The end of Winston Peters? Be careful what you wish for
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): Shane Jones told not to do interviews the day after election as Winston Peters insists NZ First will make comeback
1News: Winston Peters a ‘reservoir of knowledge’, Ardern says as she refuses to write NZ First’s obituary
RNZ: Winston Peters claims ‘huge surge’ in support with campaign nearing end
Toby Morris (Spinoff): The Side Eye: How to draw Winston Peters

NZ First Foundation case
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Exclusive: The secret case of the NZ First Foundation
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Bid to lift name suppression in NZ First Foundation case fails
Sam Hurley (Newshub): Court of Appeal turns away media companies seeking to overturn suppression ruling
Catrin Owen (Stuff): NZ First Foundations scandal: Court of Appeal decline media leave to appeal decision

Greens
Zane Small (Newshub): Next Deputy PM? Marama Davidson dismisses Judith Collins’ ‘desperate’ attack as Jacinda Ardern stands by Kelvin Davis
Dan Satherley (Newshub): James Shaw speechless after being accused of sounding like Winston Peters

ACT
RNZ: ACT Party candidate profiles: Who might join David Seymour in Parliament?
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): Meeting the new ACT voters
Lana Andelane (Newshub): ACT’s David Seymour praises ‘stunning, flattering’ portrait bearing his likeness

Advance NZ
1News: Advance NZ claims election interference after Facebook takes down party’s page, citing ‘misinformation’
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Facebook removes Advance NZ page for ‘repeated’ misinformation about COVID-19
RNZ: Advance NZ Party’s Facebook account closed after breaches
Stuff: Facebook removes Advance NZ page for repeatedly sharing misinformation
Herald: Advance NZ party’s Facebook page removed for breaching misinformation policies
Stewart Sowman-Lund (Spinoff): Advance NZ Facebook page shut down for ‘repeatedly’ spreading Covid-19 misinformation
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Facebook takes down Advance New Zealand’s page
Dan Satherley and Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Complaint against ‘irresponsible’ Advance NZ advertisement claiming ‘mandatory’ COVID-19 vaccines upheld
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Advance NZ targets Facebook ads to users interested in US President Donald Trump
No Right Turn: A flaw in our electoral transparency regime II

Cannabis referendum
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): New poll shows increased support for ‘no’ vote in cannabis referendum
Shannon Redstall (Newshub): Justice Minister says prohibition has failed as new report reveals scale of use in New Zealand
Matt Burrows (Newshub): How weed legalisation has gone overseas, and its lessons for New Zealand
Ben Strang (RNZ): More than 100 doctors back legalising recreational use
Nina Hindmarsh (Stuff): Government has ‘no intention’ of wiping criminal records if legalisation goes ahead
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Teens overwhelmingly support legalising cannabis – but what could it mean for them?
Suresh Muthukumaraswamy (Spinoff): Cannabis and psychosis: a referendum red herring
AJ Herrington (High Times): New Zealand To Vote On Cannabis Legalization Saturday

Euthanasia referendum
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Poll shows majority of Māori voters support assisted dying
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Māori roll voters split over End of Life Choice Bill – poll
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Who is lobbying for and against the End of Life Choice Act?
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand euthanasia vote: polls point to ‘yes’ amid campaign of fear and doubt
1News: Chloe Swarbrick and Simeon Brown offer different views on upcoming referendums
Rachel Wiseman (Stuff): Let’s change the way we think about death, before we change the law
Rosemary McLeod (Stuff): The rich don’t have to worry about how long they can afford to live

Referendums
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): Church-going south Auckland voters could help sway referendums
Andrew Shepherd (ODT): Neoliberal ‘choice’ not grounded in humanity

Report: Our Atmosphere and Climate 2020, environment
Jamie Morton (Herald): Climate Change: How warming world has already transformed New Zealand
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): ‘We need to act now’ — Major NZ climate report shows worse fire risk, warmer winters already here
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Climate change already having ‘profound impact’ as fire risk rises – report
Vita Molyneux (Newshub):New Zealand could see 70 percent increase in ‘extreme’ fire danger due to climate change – report
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Will taxpayers need to buy carbon credits to meet our 2030 climate goal?
Herald: Environment: The big issues green groups want action on next term
Louise Delany (Public Health Expert): Covid-19: A planetary disease
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): The Last Lake: ‘The food baskets of the region have been degraded’
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Brewing company and wineries among those to breach pollutant limits
1News: Napier sawmill charged over alleged discharge into Ahuriri estuary waterway

Housing
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Just 4092 Kāinga Ora houses meet Healthy Homes standards ahead of mid-2023 goal
Damian George (Stuff): Social housing tenants shocked their Wellington homes are being put up for sale
David Hargreaves (Interest): Stimulating a housing bubble
David Hargreaves (Interest): ‘Surging house prices amplifying inequality issues in NZ’
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): What problem is the Reserve Bank addressing? (paywalled)
1News: Average asking price for houses in NZ reaches record high of $717,600, Trade Me index shows
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): A day on the campaign trail: Jacinda Ardern sees silver lining of regional house price growth; Judith Collins rubbishes underwriting property development

Economy
Brian Fallow (Herald): Govt debt? Worry about something else (paywalled)
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): The Govt valued your life at $4.53m – until Covid
David Williams (AAP Factcheck): Did Labour turn a $6bn surplus into a $1bn deficit?
RNZ: Double-dip recession next year, but housing rolls on

Business, wage subsidy, employment
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Jobseeker benefit figures up more than 40 percent on past year
Liam Dann (Herald): What business wants from the next government – and what it expects (paywalled)
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Online sales soar but The Warehouse says wage subsidies still needed
RNZ: The Warehouse defends wage subsidy, redundancy criticism
Rebecca Stevenson (BusinessDesk): Cost-cutting consultants cash in at The Warehouse (paywalled)

Tourism
Liam Dann (Herald): Tourism industry’s lifeline hopes from next government
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Queenstown tourism wars: Operator calls on travellers to support those who ‘missed out on the big Govt cheque’

Coronavirus
Dan Satherley (Newshub): New Zealand’s ‘go hard and go early’ COVID-19 response ‘unprecedented internationally’ – study
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): The Covid-19 responses in two minutes
Herald: Take off: Kiwis get airborne in first transtasman bubble flight

Managed isolation
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Auckland MIQ facility staff do their own COVID-19 health checks amid ‘severe’ nurse shortage
Katie Todd (RNZ): Returnees say ‘excessive’ waste from meals in managed isolation is ‘unacceptable’

Education and training
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Biggest drop in reported NCEA credits in Northland, Auckland and Tasman
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Northland school lost a third of its students, now it must cut teachers
Alwyn Poole: Labour Government Failures – Education
RNZ: Checkpoint: Auditor-General asks Auckland University about $5m house purchase for vice chancellor
Daniel Meech (Spinoff): University of Auckland secretly tracked students’ social media activity for months
Rob Kidd (ODT): University complainant speaks out
Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): Father who took University of Otago medical school to court has ‘no regrets’
John Lewis and Hamish MacLean (ODT): Polytech offered no guarantees on staffing
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Young flock to the trades, amid government spend up on infrastructure

Abuse in state care inquiry
Aaron Smale (Newsroom): Abuse in state care: Taking on the Crown
Alison Mau and Edward Gay (Stuff): Royal Commission of abuse mistakenly leaked rape survivor’s private details

Justice, corrections
Caleb Fotheringham (RNZ): Police investigate claims of drug use at Rimutaka unit
Catherine Hutton and Harry Lock (RNZ): Former prisoner says staff turning a blind eye to drug use at Rimutaka
Veronica Schmidt (RNZ): Spy camera case: Ex-govt worker applies to keep name secret and criminal record clear

Police
1News: Police car chase in Christchurch before death of innocent man not justified, watchdog finds
RNZ: Police pursuit that led to death of Christchurch man should not have been started – IPCA
Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Crash victim’s husband: Police ‘just doing their job’ by pursuing speeding teen

Health
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Canterbury District Health Board’s fill-in boss passes baton
Dominic Godfery (RNZ): Call for health boost to Pacific community from next government
Alice Angeloni (RNZ): Two decades of battling to get quality oral hygiene service for East Coast teens

Local government
Luisa Girao (ODT): Perception of Sir Tim changing, councillor believes
Debbie Porteous and Vaughan Elder (ODT): Chamber damns council
RNZ: Auckland road upgrade a step forward in fast airport connection – Goff
Felix Desmarais (RNZ): ‘Te Pūtake o Tawa’ – Whakarewarewa Forest Hub 2 now open to the public
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Papanui residents upset with boarding house plan

Consumer finance
Rob Stock (Stuff): Elderly woman paid $14,500 for $5000 debt, still owed $1500
RNZ: NZers resilient over finances despite underlying worries – survey
RNZ: New consumer-related legislation will make lending harder to get – law firm

Media
Luke Appleby (1News): Labour promises $75 million in contestable NZ On Air funding for newsrooms
John Anthony (Stuff): Former Air NZ executive Cam Wallace named as new MediaWorks boss
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Cam Wallace announced as MediaWorks’ new Chief Executive Officer
Herald: Cam Wallace named new MediaWorks boss

Other
Paul Hunt (Stuff): How to resist those who roll their eyes at mention of human rights
Katie Kenny (Stuff): Oranga Tamariki: How far has it come and where does it need to go from here
RNZ: Facial recognition deal too weak to protect Māori data sovereignty – specialists
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): Government needs to stop the madness of “business as usual” in state and council bodies planning layoffs
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Grieving British family seeking options for yacht sale in NZ
RNZ: The Detail: Coming home
RNZ: More than 400 foreign fishers head to NZ for deep sea trawlers
Herald: Cannabis start-up raising funds without mentioning expired licence (paywalled)
Robin Martin (RNZ): Energy watchdog wins court battle for safety buffer zones
Craig Stephen (RNZ): How an All Blacks tour was blocked – peacefully

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