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
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Why New Zealand needs to change how it thinks about housing
Bernard Hickey (Stuff): How past generations pulled up the property ladder on today’s youth
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): House price drops: Be careful what you wish for?
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): The housing crisis: What’s happening, and where are all the affordable homes?
Kendall Hutt (Stuff): Warning there could be ‘second wave’ of homelessness due to pandemic
RNZ: Salvation Army warns of social housing waiting list increase as property market skyrockets
Jeremy Couchman (Newsroom): Housing prices: where to next?
Tina Morrison (Stuff): House building costs set to rise as labour shortages, supply constraints bite
Peter Southwick (Stuff): How to make land zoning pay for a housing crisis fix
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Public housing waitlist grows by more than a thousand in a month to new record high
David Farrar: Housing waitlist up 266% in Labour’s first term
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): Labour dark on bright-line test to fix house prices (paywalled)
Andy Fyers (Business Desk): How Canterbury built its way to affordable housing (paywalled)
Emma Dangerfield (Stuff): New Kainga Ora complex reflects growing demand for smaller state houses
Greg Ninness (Interest): Westpac’s economists see red hot housing market continuing well into 2021
Tara Ward (Spinoff): The 1999 doco that shows how affordable Auckland home ownership once was
Efeso Collins (Stuff): Home ownership is the key for Ōtara’s young people
Chloe Ranford  (RNZ): Hotel worried about million-dollar guest if social housing project goes ahead
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City Council considers tenancy advocacy service to help renters
Jenny Ling (Herald): Our Hidden Homeless: Reader response to help Northland’s homeless ‘phenomenal’
Nina Hindmarsh (Stuff): ‘Tiny’ housing project’s 100-year plan to build homes that ‘don’t poison the earth’
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Self-improvement through DIY home improvement
Tina Law (Press): Plans to regulate Airbnb-style accommodation ‘overly complex and onerous’, Christchurch Airport says

China; International relations and trade
Audrey Young (Herald): Winston Peters hands over the Foreign Affairs baton to Nanaia Mahuta (paywalled)
Jane Patterson (RNZ): New Zealand, China in ‘a mature relationship’: Jacinda Ardern on row with Australia
Catherine Churchman (Stuff): Why we should stand up for Australia in Chinese trade fallout
Tom Peters (WSWS): New Zealand government denounces China’s condemnation of Australian war crimes
Herald: Chinese media criticises Jacinda Ardern’s support of Australia
Mark Fowler (Herald): Political posturing over China a balancing act (paywalled)
Richard Harman: Green trade agreements will challenge NZ
Thomas Manch (Stuff): US ambassador Scott Brown, Trump’s defender-in-chief, is leaving New Zealand with his own Kiwi dream
RNZ: What Australia can learn from New Zealand: Laura Tingle

Parliament, Government, and election
Damien Grant (Stuff): It is right to consider the merit of our current oaths to the Queen
Steve Braunias (Herald): The secret diary of … Jacinda Ardern (paywalled)
Victor Billot (Newsroom): A poem for Winston Peters
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): New policy platform a point of difference
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Why National’s Andrew Bayly is surprising on the upside
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Who are the legal eagles of the National Party? (paywalled)
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Week in Politics: Labour shows what a majority government can do
Daniela Maoate-Cox (RNZ): Drug testing, income tax and Covid-19 bills passed at speed
Dan Satherley (Newshub): David Seymour can’t find a knife, jokes one of his MPs has it
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Housing, Cannabis, Public Broadcasting – Labour are cowards when it comes to market reform
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): We will need a revolution at the ballot boxes in 2023
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Minister for Party Planning’ Chris Hipkins takes aim at David Seymour, Kelvin Davis in hilarious mock press conference
Byron Clark (Fight Back): Conspiracy theorists big losers in NZ election
Claire Trevett (Herald): Beehive Diaries: National MPs joined at hip, David Seymour takes on Santa (paywalled)
Zane Small (Newshub): National’s Upper Harbour candidate Jake Bezzant under fire for ‘endorsing racism’ about Green MPs Golriz Ghahraman, Ricardo Menendez March
James Elliot (Newsroom): Yesterdaze: A state of great urgency

Māori Party
Stuff: History is still present for the Māori Party
RNZ: Māori Party’s Rawiri Waititi says there’s appetite for transformation
Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Māori Party to be ‘tactical’ with few chances to question government in House
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald: Week in Politics: Māori Party makes a big statement in maiden speeches

2020 in review
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): The infamous TDB Politics Awards 2020
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reflects on the year, plans for the summer
David Hargreaves (Interest): What a year this has been
Mike Hosking (Herald): 2020 in review – ‘Too many of us turned out to be sheep’

Stuff’s apology to Māori
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Why holding ourselves to account matters
Steven Cowan: The Stuff apology: Neoliberal meets liberal guilt
Crosbie Walsh (Asia Pacific Report): Parihaka, a Stuff apology to Māori and seeking truth
Dave Brownz (Daily Blog): A Stuffed History means a Stuffed Future
Grant Shimmin (Stuff): Yes, an apology was necessary
Stuff: Our Truth, Tā Mātou Pono: Stuff’s apology welcome but overdue – Assistant Māori Children’s Commissioner
Tony Smith (Stuff): Our Truth, Tā Mātou Pono: Monocultural sports coverage has marginalised Māori stars
Point Of Order: Stuff and more nonsense – the perturbing case of political adverts being rejected
1News: Stuff’s apology for racist reporting a long time coming — Assistant Māori Children’s Commissioner
Lana Hart (Stuff): Are readers ready for bicultural media?

Media
Wayne Hope (Daily Blog): A Pivotal Moment
Daily Blog: Independent media ownership booms post covid-19 – JMAD
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): Thanks for all the support for Early Edition

Tauranga City Council to be replaced by Government commissioner
Herald: Nanaia Mahuta intends to appoint commission for Tauranga City Council
No Right Turn: Overthrowing democracy in Tauranga
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Nanaia Mahuta to appoint Commission after Tauranga council divisions
Mike Mather (Stuff): Tauranga City Council to be replaced by commissioner
RNZ: Minister to appoint commission to Tauranga City Council
RNZ: Tauranga councillor: Government intervention ‘political move’
Herald: Tauranga city councillors hit back at minister’s intention to replace them with a commission (paywalled)
David Farrar: Tauranga Council to be sacked

Local government
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Council could be forced to close playgrounds and public toilets (paywalled)
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland congestion charge: Parliamentary inquiry to explore what happens next
Tina Law (Stuff): Christchurch politician who survived a leadership coup after supporter uprising
Logan Savory (Stuff): Deputy mayor Nobby Clark found in breach of Invercargill City Council’s Code of Conduct
Herald: Wellington Council may demolish Municipal Office Building after budget blowout
Mike Watson (Stuff): Taranaki iwi representatives gain voting rights on civil defence decisions

Health
Ian Powell (Democracy Project): Health restructuring threatens patient voice
Nicholas Jones (Herald): Insult to injury: The human cost of ‘immoral’ gap between ACC-funded care and the rest (paywalled)
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Hutt Hospital in ‘crisis’ with two in five babies born via caesarean, board member says
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Shortage of hospital beds causes surgeries to be cancelled in Southland
RNZ: Govt should take on board new study on stress and fertility – expert
RNZ: Scholarships hoped to boost Pasifika numbers in health sector

Drugs
RNZ: Pill testing law too late for this summer
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Simon Bridges claims festival drug-testing will result in more deaths – but experts disagree
Brian Easton (Pundit): Sinful Or Harmful?
Peter McKenzie (Spinoff): Drug law reform’s best hope? My grandma
Tom O’Connor (Stuff): Better to test a pill than pick up a body
Maia Hart (Stuff): Country’s biggest medicinal cannabis crop taking shape
Tony Wall (Stuff): Pharmacies accused of over-charging patients for medicinal cannabis

Economy and work
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Let’s focus on lifting the median wage rather than just the minimum
Kirsty Johnston (Stuff): ‘This is urgent’: Fed up employment commissioner launches inquiry in low pay for Pacific workers
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Roll back minimum wage increases, NZ Initiative urges
Annie Newman (BusinessDesk): Go hard and early on sick leave
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Fruit growers ‘doing their best’ to hire suitable NZ workers
Amelia Wade (Herald): $129m spent on Covid Leave Scheme amid calls to relax criteria
Liam Dann (Herald): Are low interest rates good or bad for poor people? (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): ‘Communities will suffer’ as $28b Reserve Bank scheme advantages big banks
Aimee Shaw (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: How FMCG reaped the benefits of lockdowns (paywalled)
Herald: Supermarket giant faces scrutiny amid rising tension with suppliers
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Indian-origin migrants contribute $10b to national economy
Point of Order: As Air NZ is buffeted by turbulence, let’s think about returning it to public ownership
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): NZ Super Fund wants to own more infrastructure, from pipes to Tiwai Pt.
Brent Edwards (NBR): Super Fund favours bigger, more difficult infrastructure projects

Taxation
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): A century of capital gains tax avoidance
John Minto (Daily Blog): Labour’s puny move on tax misses the super-rich altogether
Terry Baucher (Interest): The Week in Tax – how insurance can help when the IRD comes calling

Inequality and poverty
1News: Former Labour MP calls for ‘inequality emergency’ in wake of Government’s climate announcement
Steven Cowan: A ‘Merry’ capitalist Christmas
Phil Duncan (Redline): Reality and the ‘transformational’ Labour government

Productivity Commission report
Nona Pelletie (RNZ): New Zealand’s best firms a ‘long way behind’ in productivity
Reweti Kohere (NBR): Best bet to lift NZ productivity? Look overseas (paywalled)
Geoff Simmons (NBR): Let’s talk about genetic modification (paywalled)
Geoff Simmons (Herald): Getting NZ business to the top step of the podium (paywalled)

Covid
Dick Brass (Herald): Dr Anthony Fauci’s high praise for New Zealand Covid response
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Covid-19: 300 fewer people died during lockdown, despite less access to healthcare – Ministry of Health
Jason Walls (Herald): Covid 19: 32,000 ‘life years’ saved in NZ compared to OECD, new research finds
Otago Daily Times: Covid response saved 2000 NZ lives compared to OECD
Michael Daly (Stuff): Covid-19 vaccines may have arrived quickly, but experts say that’s not a reason to fear them
Jasmin Bull (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern pledges to publicly get COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available in NZ
Guardian: New Zealand Covid minister urges patience in wait for vaccine approval
Jack Tame (Newstalk ZB): Just give me the vaccine
Luke Kirkness (Herald): Exclusive: Darryn Webb to be replaced as head of managed isolation, hits out at escapees (paywalled)
Herald: Call me: Several soldiers reprimanded after MIQ incidents
RNZ: Defence Force staff at Covid facilities investigated for alleged misconduct
George Block (Stuff): Military managed isolation sleaze: soldiers sent packing for inappropriate conduct
Vaimoana Tapaleao (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Cook Islands ‘can’t understand’ why travel bubble hasn’t happened
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Trial of Bluetooth contact tracing cards kicks off at MIQ facility in Wellington
Amelia Wade (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives Santa Christmas border exemption

Climate change
No Right Turn: Climate Change: Reducing transport emissions
Colleen Hawkes (Stuff): Zero-carbon buildings not a pipe-dream; the changes are happening
Nikki Mandow (Newsroom): Banks can no longer ignore climate risk
Shaun Hendy (Stuff): Covid models and role models: Disease and the climate crisis
RNZ: NZ risks being dumping ground for ‘dirty diesels’, carmaker warns
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Toyota warns NZ will become ‘Cuba of South Pacific’ with dumped diesels
Nona Pelletier (RNZ): Call to address lack of fuel efficiency standards
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Student-led Nelson protest demands urgent action on climate change
Finn Blackwell (Stuff): Victoria University leases council land to plant 11 hectare forest

Political donations investigations
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): NZ First Foundation defendants lose right to name suppression
Catrin Owen (Stuff): New Zealand First Foundation case: Duo lose name suppression – but still can’t be named
Sam Hurley (Herald): NZ First Foundation case: Accused pair lose suppression argument against SFO, NZ Herald and other media
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): Serious Fraud Office tight-lipped over probe of Auckland mayor’s election expenses
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Serious Fraud Office silent over Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s election expenses

Royal Commission into terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques 
Emile Donovan (Newsroom): What wasn’t seen before March 15
Sam Sherwood and Jonny Edwards (Stuff): Prime Minister promises accountability ahead of royal inquiry release on Christchurch mosque attacks
Meng Foon (Stuff): Christchurch terror attacks: An ‘all society’ approach is needed to address conditions that led to March 15

Whakaari/White Island disaster prosecutions
RNZ: Scientists alarmed over Worksafe’s GNS Science Whakaari charges
Francesca Rudkin (Newstalk ZB): WorkSafe seems heavy-handed in White Island charges
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Why I’m uncomfortable with the White Island investigation

Education
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Rural schools look to online classes as they struggle to hire teachers
RNZ: Integrated schools take govt to court over property funding
Katie Kenny (Stuff): Screen Time: In pursuit of a pencil and paper education in a digital society
Jess Pasisi and Zoë Henry (E-Tangata): New Zealand universities are lucky to have us
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Primary school principals to look at establishing bespoke representation
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Victoria University staff feel ‘guilt-tripped’ into giving up jobs after not-very-merry Christmas speech
Alwyn Poole (Kiwi Blog): How we are life handicapping kiwi males

Environment
Denise Piper (Stuff): More than 60 per cent of New Zealand rivers unswimmable, in poor condition
Kate Evans (Stuff): The story of New Zealand’s earliest conservation efforts
Lois Williams (RNZ): New environmental rules: ‘Rates increases of 100pc will be unavoidable’
Katy Jones (Stuff): Flood risk worse than council inundation maps suggest, lobbyists say

Other
Nikki Mandow (Newsroom): A push for class actions and litigation funding
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Supermarket plans fast-tracked against advice of council planning experts
Catherine Hutton (RNZ): Who cares? The fight over Funded Family Care
Harry Lock (RNZ): Facial recognition regulations will be reviewed – minister
Libby Wilson (Stuff): Apologies issued, cultural sites vested in ‘long overdue’ $11-million settlement with Bay of Plenty iwi Ngāti Rangitihi
Kerre McIvor (Herald): The bloody truth – New Zealand’s gun control reform law hasn’t worked (paywalled)
Justin Latif (Spinoff): Humour over rumour: How South Auckland is pushing back against 5G conspiracy theories
Debbie Hager (Newsroom): The hierarchies in NZ’s domestic violence problem
Rachel Moore (Stuff): Forty years as a social worker a time of huge change
Andrew McRae (RNZ): Abuse in Care Inquiry: ‘I was ashamed and felt totally trapped’
Dale Husband (E-Tangata): Hirini Kaa: Māori and the church
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): How Auckland museum is unpacking centuries of colonial legacy and indigenising itself
RNZ: Major exhibition ensures Māori art no longer ‘invisible’
RNZ: Nearly half of young gay sportsmen experience homophobia
Mandy Te (Stuff): Third Culture Minds, organisation empowering ethnic youth, fundraises in hopes of expanding services
Justin Latif (Spinoff): The meaning behind Dame Whina Cooper, the boring machine breaking ground in Auckland
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Dads forced to adopt their own children in US to bring them home to New Zealand
Spinoff: 100 x 10: What Wellingtonians think of Wellington. And what they think of Aucklanders
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): The Fold: Turning words into action, with Laura O’Connell Rapira
Herald: Jacinda Ardern and Mike Hosking’s genius Christmas presents for each other

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