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

1News Colmar Brunton poll
TVNZ: 1News Colmar Brunton poll: Judith Collins slips further as Labour maintains big election lead
Sam Sachveda (Newsroom): Poll an unpleasant Christmas present for Judith Collins
RNZ: Latest TVNZ poll has Labour up 7 percentage points
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Judith Collins down as Labour holds strong lead in first poll since election
Jason Walls (NewstalkZB): First poll post-election shows Labour ahead of election night support

Royal Commission into terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques 
Martin van Beynen and Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): Royal commission recommends new security agency for NZ following March 15 shootings
Herald: Christchurch mosque shootings: Gunman had previously shot himself
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Christchurch mosque attacks: Royal Commission report out today, Muslim leaders hope it will prevent future attacks
Amber Allott (Stuff): New Government minister will co-ordinate inquiry recommendations into March 15 terror attack
Conan Young (RNZ): Christchurch terror attack findings: Bereaved hope recommendations enforced quickly
Phil Taylor (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern to appoint minister to act on Christchurch shooting report

Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Ardern wants to see small increases in house prices, admitting people ‘expect’ this
Susan St John (Interest): There is a clear answer – but is government brave enough?
David Hargreaves (Interest): Covid is opportunity to ‘finally deal with NZ’s housing shortage’
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Pressure on to build more houses could compromise quality, researchers say
Brent Melville (Business Desk): Build-to-rent, a solution for NZ housing crisis? (paywalled)
Rob Stock (Stuff): Unfair rule hinders retirees sharing their homes
Jenny Ling (Herald): Our Hidden Homeless: Couch-surfing grandmother gets a place to call home

Parliament, Government, and election
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Can Labour serve two masters?
Chris McDowall (The Spinoff): A visual history of the New Zealand parliament – 2020 edition
Shane Te Pou (NZ Herald): High hopes for 2021 after 2020’s Covid, politics and racism (paywalled)
Zane Small (Newshub): National’s Judith Collins opens up about the ‘unhelpful decision’ made when Todd Muller took over
Newstalk ZB: David Seymour: Seeing Peters leave Parliament was one of my goals for 2020
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): Maori Party, Labour & Greens ran the most positive & honest social media election campaigns
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Green ministerial roles get more definition (paywalled)

Stuff’s apology to Māori; Media
Chris Trotter (Interest): ‘Go Woke, Go Broke’
Bob Jones: Stuff stuffed
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Hosking resumes his normal orbit
Jim Sullivan (ODT): Don’t believe all you read — it may just be satire
Dita De Boni (NBR): JMAD report: 600+ journos lose jobs in turbulent media year (paywalled)
Chris Keall (Herald): TVNZ’s latest thinking on paid content (paywalled)

Richard Harman: Even a vaccine may not open the border
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): There’s light, but how long is the covid tunnel?
Jane Clifton (Listener): In this together: Will Covid-19 bring unity for New Zealand and Australia? (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Quarantine-free travel depends on national vaccine cover: Ardern (paywalled)
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Mass vaccination is beginning around the world, but NZ will wait for a Covid jab
Belinda Feek (Herald): Professor Michael Baker responds to Fauci: Isolation isn’t a given for eliminating Covid-19
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Mass vaccination is beginning around the world, but NZ will wait for a Covid jab
Mike Yardley (Newstalk ZB): Government has stalled long enough on taking some brave baby steps

Whakaari/White Island disaster prosecutions
Heather du Plessis-Allan (NewstalkZB): An inquiry is needed into White Island eruption
Neil Reid (NZ Herald): ‘No escape’: White Island tragedy a disaster waiting to happen (paywalled)
Simon Connell (Pundit): The Kafkaesque Nature Of The WorkSafe Charges Against GNS Science
Newstalk ZB: QC says PM’s advice on White Island ‘inadequate if not downright misleading

Inequality and poverty
1News: One in three Kiwi households still on significantly reduced income six months after lockdown — survey
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Ten per cent of New Zealanders earning more now than pre-Covid
1News: Ardern says benefit increases sparked by Covid-19 will help ‘make a difference’ to alleviate child poverty

Pacifica workers pay gap
Vaimoana Tapaleao (Herald): Human Rights Commission launches inquiry into Pasifika workers’ pay gap
1News: Inequality for Pasifika in NZ revealed in report labelled ‘violation of human rights’
RNZ: Human Rights Commission launches inquiry into Pacific pay disparity

Economy and work
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Westpac boss predicts ‘pretty good’ 2021 despite economic fallout from coronavirus
David Hargreaves (Interest): Westpac economists adamant interest rates will go below zero
Herald: Business Insider: Another key Air New Zealand departure, who’s running NZGCP, Ben Cook’s Cavalier deal (paywalled)
Tasmyn Parker (NZ Herald): Shrinking market: Law change cost was too high, says former high cost lender (paywalled)

Climate change
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): NZ jumps up international rankings for climate action
Herald: Editorial: Sounding the alarm on climate part of a significant global shift (paywalled)
Michael Barnett (New Zealand Herald): What NZ really should be doing about climate change (paywalled)
James Renwick (Spinoff): A stake in the ground
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland’s congestion and climate solution is simple: Drive and pollute less
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): How the Govt’s switch to buying EVs could make them cheaper for all of us

Local government
RNZ: Carterton residents pay highest rates in country, Central Otago lowest
Katie Todd (RNZ): Auckland local boards to decide fate of assets: ‘These are tough times’
Andrea Fox (NZ Herald): Sleepyhead estate: Waikato Regional Council under fire for ‘anti-business’ opposition to plan
Nikki Preston (Herald): Demoted councillor facing series of code of conduct complaints
Point Of Order: Mahuta shows what she really thinks about local government democracy and UN treaties

Ian Powell: Little in health systems are what they first appear to be
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern defends Labour’s ‘perfectly reasonable’ decision to veto MP-led Pharmac inquiry
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): Lack of mandatory sunscreen standard ‘not good enough’
Stephen Forbes (RNZ): Pharmac diabetes drugs delay ‘bewildering’, ‘worse than disappointing’ – doctors

Andrew Geddis (Spinoff): The cannabis vote was a disgrace. And the court case to overturn it is doomed
RNZ: Legal bid underway to dismiss cannabis referendum result
Newshub: Legal bid seeks to throw out cannabis referendum results
Alice Webb-Liddall (Spinoff): Why medicinal cannabis suffered after the October cannabis referendum
Alison Mau (Stuff): Festivals just got safer for party people, but there’s more to be done
Tracy Neal (RNZ): New Zealand farmers prepare to export ‘best cannabis in the world’

Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Revealed: SIS failed to report ‘NZ’s Fritzl’ Ronald Van Der Plaat
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Taxpayer grants to Lord of the Rings represent ‘significant fiscal risk’ to Government finances
No Right Turn: Film subsidies are not worthwhile
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Government Launches $108 million te reo in schools plan, calling for $10,000 staff to upskill
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Ghost of Universities Future a hopeful sign
Newsroom: ‘How we halted a reverse uplift by Oranga Tamariki’
Nick Truebridge (RNZ): Ombudsman chides licensing trusts for withholding information
Hamish Rutherford  (Herald): Astoria, part of Wellington’s fabric since before MMP, to close this month
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Police using technology riddled with controversy overseas
Laura O’Connell Rapira (Spinoff): Guns have no place in a peaceful society
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Law Commission class action review a ‘step forward for people seeking justice’
Taroi Black (Te Ao Māori News): ‘We don’t come in at the back end of the consenting process’
Sue Allen (Stuff): A feminist’s gift to men
Michaela Keeble (Newsroom): Good intentions are not enough: Pākehā writing on Māori
Katie Harris (NZ Herald): The number of recorded gang members in the Wellington region has almost doubled



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