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

Opening of new Parliament
Henry Cooke (Stuff): New Parliament brings old debates as Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern fail to shift dial on first day back
Justin Giovannetti  (Spinoff): Get set, go: Labour plans big sprint of new laws before Christmas
Henry Cooke (Stuff): New Zealand’s first African MP Ibrahim Omer recounts harrowing journey to Parliament as a refugee in maiden speech
Amelia Wade (Herald): How an East African refugee working 80 hours a week cleaning became an MP: Parliamentary maiden speeches begin
Jason Walls (Herald): Jacinda Ardern vs Judith Collins: 53rd Parliament kicks off in a blaze of fiery debate
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Parliament opens to robust exchanges between govt and opposition
Herald: Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern speak to MPs after State Opening of Parliament
1News: From refugee to MP: Labour’s Ibrahim Omer says he’ll fight for low-paid workers in maiden speech
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Opening of Parliament – Governor-General’s Speech from the Throne
TVNZ: Following mum’s advice, Kelvin Davis spared NZ from his singing voice during Parliament waiata, he jokes
Herald: Is it time for Parliament to cut ties with wearing the tie?
RNZ: Should Parliament cut ties with ties? Shaw asks for rule change
1News: Speaker to consider dropping ties from Parliament’s dress code

Māori Party back in Parliament
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Māori Party ensures Parliament returns with a bang
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Māori Party storm out of Parliament’s first session, protest ‘tyranny of our democracy’
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Māori Party MPs walk out of Parliament in protest

Election and new Government
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): The tricky timing of constitutional change
Richard Harman: Shaking up the Nats
Chris Trotter: Spit & polish: A National Party story
Brent Edwards (NBR): Labour sets out its three-year agenda (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: Jacinda Ardern ‘deeply grateful and humbled’ by rural support
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): How dumb do the Greens feel now?
David Farrar: Poll on electoral changes
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): The Second Term (With apologies to William Butler Yeats)

Housing
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Labour won’t let property bubble keep growing (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Build like the Boomers did’: David Seymour says housing taxes ‘zero-sum thinking’
Herald: Editorial: Grant Robertson, the Reserve Bank and the housing crisis (paywalled)
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Robertson: A bright-line test extension wouldn’t be a ‘new tax’
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Orr refuses to be Robertson’s whipping boy
Brian Fallow (Herald): Spare us the finger-wagging over house prices, Grant Robertson (paywalled)
Liam Dann (Herald): Economy Hub: Adrian Orr on the politics of house prices and working with Grant Robertson (paywalled)
David Hargreaves (Interest): The Government, not the Reserve Bank, will have to tackle New Zealand’s many housing-related issues
Brent Edwards (NBR): Taking the politics out of the housing crisis (paywalled)
RNZ: Adrian Orr says Reserve Bank wants to introduce debt to income ratios to NZ
Newstalk ZB: New Zealand Initiative on the housing crisis and how it can be fixed
RNZ: Adrian Orr says Reserve Bank wants to introduce debt to income ratios to NZ
1News: Reserve Bank Governor not hopeful agency could help with housing affordability
1News: Chlöe Swarbrick, David Seymour spar over housing crisis, capital gains taxes
Newstalk ZB: David Seymour frustrated with government’s capital gains tax approach
Newstalk ZB: Will the Government keep its capital gains tax promise?
Zane Small (Newshub): Reserve Bank Governor to discuss tax changes in talks with Grant Robertson over house prices
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Kabuki dancing and the great Yes, Minister tradition (paywalled)
Michael Reddell: Robertson playing distraction
Michael Rehm (Newsroom): NZ’s housing debt dilemma
Rob Stock (Stuff): Reserve Bank raises spectre of wave of ‘managed sales’ of homes in March
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Home sellers racked up $4.4b in profits in Q3
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Rent costs up again in most regions ahead of summer
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Dingy Wellington flat going for $815 per week – and people are queuing to pay
ODT: Housing waiting list continues to grow

Oranga Tamariki
Nicola Atwool (Newsroom): The collateral damage of ideologically-driven uplifts
Bonnie Sumner (Newsroom): Oranga Tamariki ‘all about agendas’
Jo Moir (RNZ): Kelvin Davis, Peeni Henare at odds over Oranga Tamariki comments
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Defence Minister Peeni Henare forced on defensive in scrap with cousin, minister Kelvin Davis
Isaac Davidson (Herald): Kelvin Davis ‘disturbed’ by Oranga Tamariki’s removal of foster children
Sam Sachdeva and Melanie Reid (Newsroom): Kelvin Davis to Oranga Tamariki: please explain
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Oranga Tamariki emails details of suspected teen suicide to reporter
1News: Whānau Ora commissioning chair calls for Oranga Tamariki head to resign over failures towards Māori
Karl du Fresne: The Ferguson method
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): New Oranga Tamariki footage will explode

Climate emergency
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): What is the point of declaring a climate emergency?
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government to declare climate change emergency in Parliament next week
Jason Walls (Stuff): MPs will next week vote on whether or not Parliament should declare climate emergency
Anna Whyte (1News): Jacinda Ardern to declare climate emergency on behalf of New Zealand next week
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern to declare a climate change emergency in Parliament
Steven Cowan: Climate emergency declaration: Greenwashing the status quo
No Right Turn: Climate Change: An emergency
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Labour & Greens cleverly announce meaningless climate emergency to take heat off criticism from Left
David Farrar: Meaningless signalling

Border exemption for horticultural workers
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Government’s seasonal workers move ‘not enough, but a good start’
Bonnie Flaws and Luke Malpass (Stuff): Government annouces first major border exemption with 2000 horticultural workers coming in the new year
Derek Cheng (Herald): Government to let in 2000 fruit pickers from Pacific – but with living wage catch
ODT: Public-private possible fruit-harvesting answer
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Pacific workers to pick fruit in NSW while NZ Govt ‘picks fight with farmers’
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): If Govt wants to fix the skills shortage, they need to let people in

Economy and work
Marta Steeman (Stuff): Critics urge Ryman Healthcare to repay the $14.2m wage subsidy
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Media company Stuff to trial unlimited sick leave for staff
Alexia Russell (Newsroom): Tourism’s Covid reset
Jamie Gray (Herald): Continuous Disclosure: What happens to markets, post Covid? (paywalled)
RNZ: New Zealand records biggest annual trade surplus in 28 years as imports drop
Andy Fyers (Business Desk): A big tax boost for Government coffers (paywalled)
Brent Edwards (NBR): National challenges the government over rising public debt (paywalled)

Covid
Jason Walls (Herald): Covid-19 coronavirus: Kiwis to get free access to vaccine, Governor-General confirms in Speech from the Throne (paywalled)
Anna Whyte (1News): Covid-19 vaccine to be free as soon as ‘available and safe’, Governor-General says on behalf of Ardern
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Coronavirus: Government confirms Covid-19 vaccine will be free in speech setting out goals for next three years
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Government must crack on with Covid vaccine delivery
Julia Gabel (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Second cricket team caught out by CCTV as players test positive
David Farrar: NZ has lowest Covid-19 death rate in OECD
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Coronavirus: Women still leading the pack in Covid card trial

Royal Commission into terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques 
Stuff: Editorial – We must always be vigilant about the terror threat
Steven Walton (Stuff): Mosque shooter’s interview with royal commission won’t be released to the public
Herald: Royal Commission’s findings on Christchurch mosque attacks handed to government
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Royal Commission into terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques finally handing over report
Ella Prendergast, Miriam Harris and Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Christchurch mosque attack: Islamic Women’s Council says Royal Commission report must be released this year

Government’s light rail project
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auditor-General finds fault with Government’s handling of Auckland light rail
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Auditor-General warns Government he’ll be watching light rail closely after ‘unusual’ process
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Watchdog raises red flag on $6b light rail ‘process’ (paywalled)

Local government
Rosemary McLeod (Stuff): I’m searching in vain for a sense of outrage over Wellington Mayor Andy Foster
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): What Tim Shadbolt has in common with Donald Trump
Mike Mather (Stuff): City council’s assumptions exercise ‘just meaningless box-ticking’
Mandy Te (Stuff): Housing woes can’t be addressed by creating ‘Stalinist, gothic monstrosities’ in Wellington’s Khandallah

International relations and trade
Sam Sachdeva  (Newsroom): What the ‘Biden doctrine’ may mean for the world
John Weeks (Herald): Chinese spy sent to NZ to track Taiwanese migrants and then abandoned the mission has visa bid appeal dismissed
Newstalk ZB: Foreign Affairs Minister: No backlash from China over Five Eyes statement

Health
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Lack of specialists adds to burnout and long waiting lists, research shows
Natalie Akoorie  (RNZ): Inequity in cancer care at every turn for Māori
Kristin Hall (1News): Period poverty campaigners disappointed by delay to Government’s rollout of free products for students
Murphy and Susan Strongman (RNZ): High costs, long waits: Trans healthcare barriers across NZ remain

Education
RNZ: Principals struggle with meeting needs, despite teacher aides pay deal
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington High School lockdown: Police speaking with two young people
Sophie Cornish, Tom Hunt and Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Wellington High School locked down after ‘credible threat’ of attack

Other
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Salvation Army report reveals decade-high benefit numbers and fears for the ‘Covid Christmas’
RNZ: Salvation Army report finds social needs increasing in all areas
Chlöe Swarbrick (Stuff): Drug law reform is staying on the political agenda
RNZ: More than half of New Zealand lakes surveyed ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’
Simon Wilson (Herald): The good and bad news about boomers (paywalled)
Laura Walters (Newsroom): A dispassionate response to emotive crimes
No Right Turn: NZDF should not be allowed to handle this in-house
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Espionage arrest secondary to holding SIS & GCSB to account for Australian white supremacy terrorist
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Disagreement means hapū and iwi will not be on trust to run Te Mata peak park
Joseph Mooney (Stuff): Seeking sensible fixes for freshwater rules, staff shortages
Michael Neilson (Herald): Abuse in Care: Catholic Church loses bid to keep names of abusers secret
Andrew Macfarlane (1News): Nearly a third of all ‘serious’ cyber-attacks in NZ targeted public sector, report finds
Herald: NZ Herald audience breaks records in extraordinary news year
Nicola Short (Newsroom): Little regard for Māori heritage
Newstalk ZB/Herald: We’ll discuss it’: Black Caps consider kneeling prior to first T20

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