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

Housing and Reserve Bank
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Greens co-leader James Shaw lashes out at Labour over rising house prices
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): James Shaw says it’s time to tax capital gains and wealth to take heat of housing market
RNZ: PM Jacinda Ardern on house prices: ‘It just cannot keep increasing at the rate that it is’
Anna Whyte (1News): Ardern says she wants to ensure first home buyers can get into the market, as prices soar
No Right Turn: Empty hand-wringing
RNZ: House price rises could force families into cars
RNZ: Māori home ownership even more difficult with big jump in house prices
Anne Gibson (Herald): Housing market bolts away: Auckland up 16.3% to hit $1m, NZ prices up 19.8%
RNZ: House prices rise nearly 20% in a year to median $725K
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Housing history’: Median Auckland house price now at $1 million – REINZ
NZ Herald: Christchurch house prices up 10.3pc in a year
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Accelerating house prices – where’s the handbrake?
Richard Harman: How Ardern is trying to tame the housing market
David Hargreaves (Interest): Kiwibank economists: Housing ‘circuit breaker’ is needed
Rob Stock (Stuff): Property investors now need 30 per cent deposits at ASB
RNZ: ASB imposes immediate 30% LVR on investors
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Ride ’em, cowboy! Adrian Orr tries to rein in runaway house prices
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Under-fire Reserve Bank needs to show its hunger to check its assumptions
RNZ: ACT Party leader David Seymour takes aim at Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Is Adrian Orr making the right moves?
Kerre McIvor (Newstalk ZB): Nothing new about our expensive houses
RNZ: Housing shortage making Napier flood relief harder – Mayor
Michael Reddell: Not doing their core job
Chris Leitch (Daily Blog): Doing the same, but more of it, won’t fix the housing problem
Skara Bohny (Stuff): Five-year rise in housing unaffordability ‘abject failure’ of councils, government
Greg Ninness (Interest): Current rental yields suggest rising house prices are unlikely to deter investors as long as interest rates remain low

Poverty and inequality
Matthew Hooton (Herald): The left’s message to Jacinda Ardern: It’s time to fix child poverty (paywalled)
Brent Edwards (NBR): Benefit increase dismissal a sign of Ardern’s political conservatism (paywalled)
Stuff: Editorial – No Christmas present from the Govt for New Zealand’s poor
Claire Achmad (Herald): What we expect our new Cabinet to do for children (paywalled)

Covid
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): New Zealand partially shuts central Auckland over mystery Covid case
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Time for a Covid-19 crackdown
Michael Daly (Stuff): Chance of rise in Covid-19 alert level after unlinked community case, experts say
Derek Cheng (Herald): Why Auckland should be ready for level 3 lockdown (paywalled)
Derek Cheng (Herald): Genome-sequencing could be the key to avoid lockdown (paywalled)
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Latest community case of Covid-19 in Auckland reignites calls for more sick leave
Todd Niall (Stuff): Covid-19: A Who’s Who of Auckland and the lure of herd-complacency

National Party
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Judith Collins says National ‘lost the boardroom’ during last term, but her new finance team can fix that
1News: ‘Collectively there is an issue’ – Judith Collins says attitudes are changing within National’s caucus
Peter Dunne: Collins’ reshuffle
RNZ: Judith Collins says reshuffle balanced and based on merit
Newstalk ZB: Judith Collins on her new top team: How dual finance role will work
Richard Pamatatau (Stuff): National’s leader Judith Collins has made her Pacific People portfolio a priority and it’s a strong, welcome message for the community

Labour
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Jacinda 2.0 is “Licenced to Govern” – But not by, or for, us
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour Party appoints long-time staffer Rob Salmond as general secretary
Jo Moir (RNZ): Labour appoints Rob Salmond as new general secretary
Sophie Cornish and Matthew Tso (Stuff): Artwork by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sells for $6700
Zane Small (Newshub): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulates new Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta

Economy and work
Ireland Hendry-Tennent and Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Fletcher Building boss defends taking coronavirus wage subsidy, laying off 1000, then earning $227m revenue
Damien Venuto (Herald): Government pays out final $4m of $50m media company bailout. Where did the money go? (Paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Clever corporate fudge costing Government $150m in tax
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Which New Zealand bank boss earned the most? (paywalled)
Kate MacNamara (Herald): The thorny issues facing New Zealand’s new Trade Minister Damien O’Connor (paywalled)
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Migration continues to dry up in New Zealand
Liam Dann (Herald) Wave of expats coming home – how many are really arriving? (paywalled)
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Labour’s punitive tax plan proves what a poorly paid country we are

Local government
Matt Nippert (Herald): Auckland Council’s bet on interest rates comes a cropper (paywalled)
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): Council’s projected revenue slump could hit south Auckland hard
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill city councillors considers governance review behind closed doors
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Gisborne council votes to install two controversial Endeavour replicas

Wellington’s Shelly Bay decision
Rosie Gordon (Newshub): Shelly Bay development opponents considering Ihumatao-style occupation following council vote to sell, lease land
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Wellington mayor Andy Foster has rocky road ahead after Shelly Bay defeat
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Shelly Bay vote is Wellington Mayor Andy Foster’s biggest failure (paywalled)

Environment and climate change
No Right Turn: Climate Change: The first test
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Govt’s big spend – and low return – on decarbonisation
Simon Wilson (Herald): Big dreams, small goals in Government transport plans (paywalled)

Justice
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Three years waiting in prison without being sentenced for a crime
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Raft of changes announced by chief judge for nation’s district courts
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Chief District Court Judge announces new approach to how district courts operate

Other
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Ashley Bloomfield visits Christchurch Hospital’s ‘third world’ wards
RNZ: The sport saddled with problems
Tom Peters (World socialist website): New Zealand government promises stronger US ties after Biden elected
1News: David Seymour says holding referendum on cannabis legalisation was a ‘tactical mistake’
Joseph Boden (Big Q): The failed war on drugs and cannabis referendum 2020: What reforms are possible in its aftermath?
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Māori social service providers want more funding for Whānau Ora
Jonny Edwards (Stuff): Sixteen voting cards sent to dead voters
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Ministry forecasts end to primary teacher shortage, but problems in secondary schools
Giles Dexter (Newshub): New Zealand’s primary school teacher shortage met following COVID-19 pandemic

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