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

Speaker Trevor Mallard’s rape allegations
Jason Walls (Herald): MPs challenge House Speaker Trevor Mallard over timing of his false rape accusation apology
Zane Small (Newshub): Speaker Trevor Mallard comes under fire from National, ACT over ‘rape’ comments
Anna Bracewell-Worrall (Newshub): MPs call for a vote of no confidence in Speaker Trevor Mallard over ‘rape’ allegations
Anna Whyte (1News): National calls for Speaker to be ‘upfront’ over taxpayer money spent on defamation suit
1News: Speaker Trevor Mallard refuses to say how much taxpayer money spent in defamation case after incorrect rape claim
Newstalk ZB: Stuart Nash defends under-fire Trevor Mallard over rape accusations
Stuff: Speaker Trevor Mallard challenged to reveal details behind retraction of rape allegation against staffer

China-NZ relations
Bryce Edwards (Guardian): New Zealand must build bridges with China but show independent foreign policy
Malcolm McKinnon (Democracy Project): NZ human rights diplomacy and East Asia
RNZ: The spy club and international politics
Robert Patman (Newsroom): Aus-China spat a tricky one for NZ
Richard Prebble (Herald): Politicians aren’t asking the big questions on China (paywalled)
Neal Curtis (Newsroom): Refined deepfakes threaten reality
Laura Walters (Newsroom): NZ Uyghur woman’s public appeal to China

Royal Commission into terrorist attack: Commentary and analysis
Alexander Gillespie (The Conversation): The Christchurch commission’s call to improve social cohesion is its hardest — and most important — recommendation
ODT: Editorial – Too soon to assess impact of report
Abbas Nazari (Spinoff): The inquiry may be over, but the fight against white extremism is just beginning
Zane Small (Newshub): Green MP Golriz Ghahraman expresses ‘huge concern’ about NZSIS boss Rebecca Kitteridge over ‘inappropriate’ targeting of Muslims
Donna Miles-Mojab (Stuff): Mosque terror attacks were a massacre by a thousand cuts
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Intelligence agencies to remain intact in national security overhaul
Kris Gledhill (The Conversation): The royal commission report on the Christchurch atrocity is a beginning, not an end
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Need for better detectives than counter-terrorism agency – security expert
Karl du Fresne: Nothing could have been done – so why are we apologising?
Efeso Collins (Daily Blog): Sorry

Royal Commission on terrorist attack: Changes planned by Government
Stuff: Editorial – Freedom, hate and reasonable limits
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Christchurch shooting: Changes in wake of mosque attack inquiry will be made carefully – Andrew Little
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Jacinda Ardern promises to close ‘gaps in hate speech legislation’
Newstalk ZB: Concerns over freedom of speech following mosque attack report
Newstalk ZB: Paul Spoonley: ‘We need to rethink what hate speech is today’
Point of Order: Hate speech: creating a climate in which silence is the best form of defence against heavy-handed Thought Police

Royal Commission into terrorist attack: Police report
Juliet Speedy (Newshub): Christchurch mosque attacks: Victims’ families disagree with ‘rapid and exemplary’ police response
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Police review into Christchurch mosque attacks response revealed
RNZ: Mosque attack response ‘exemplary’ but processes can improve – police review
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Christchurch shooting: Independent review finds where police could improve, overall response ‘exemplary’

Royal Commission into terrorist attack: Responses
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Te Ao Māori): Ngarewa-Packer tells government to stop ‘double standard’ apologies
Mohamed Hassan (Guardian): New Zealand must address past failures to restore Muslims’ sense of safety and belonging
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Christchurch shooting: Opposition Australian MP calls for country to ‘recognise’ Royal Commission of Inquiry
RNZ: ‘It’s not OK’: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel issues call to address racist behaviour
Anna Leask (Herald): Christchurch mosque shootings: An Islamophobic, racist ‘lone actor’ – gunman’s path to murder detailed in report
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Christchurch shooting: No one to blame but the terrorist himself – Judith Collins

Parliament, Government, and election
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins reveals the ‘body blow’ to election campaign that National never recovered from
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Election 2020: Judith Collins says she almost rejected National leadership, says fiscal hole and leaks ruined party’s chances
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Election in review: Judith Collins considered rejecting National leadership
Claire Trevett (Herald): Memo to Judith Collins from Jacinda Ardern (paywalled)
TVNZ: MP Ricardo Menéndez March makes powerful maiden speech in Parliament — ‘The rules weren’t made for us’
David Farrar: The Marxist maligning MP
RNZ: Green MP Teanau Tuiono weaves whakapapa through maiden speech
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): We’ve reached the end of a crazy political year
Christine Rose (Daily Blog): The Māori Party – walking between two worlds
John Tamihere (Stuff): Swearing at the Crown
Herald: ‘Still the pragmatic idealist’: PM denies popularity will move Labour to the centre
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern named among most powerful women in world, ahead of Queen Elizabeth
Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern named ahead of Queen Elizabeth in Forbes 100 most powerful women
Stuff: Jacinda Ardern ranked world’s 32nd most powerful woman by Forbes
Newstalk ZB: Christmas bestseller? Judith Collins to spend her summer writing a thriller
Herald: National Party leader Judith Collins’s next gig: Thriller writer

Economy, inequality, and work
Marta Steeman (Stuff): Businesses stockpiling deposits including wage subsidies while making strong profits
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): Printing money to save the power and wealth of the 1% is just stupid
Emile Donovan (RNZ): Tolerating child poverty as part of an economic strategy
Nona Pelletier (RNZ): Wealth gap between young and old growing – ANZ report
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Reserve Bank tramples MPs in first major meeting since election
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Should we fear the rise of the woke central banker?
Anonymous (Stuff): An open letter to my boss in the New Zealand fruit-picking industry
Stuff: Immigrant workers are more reliable and twice as productive as other workers
Eric Crampton (Newsroom): Cherry picking the RSE evidence
RNZ: Commerce Commission investigating fake money drop event
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Orr defends size of the RBNZ’s QE programme
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Infratil and ACC at odds, again, in $5 billion hostile takeover attempt (paywalled)

Housing
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Grim warnings: Young will pay the bill for Covid and soaring house prices
Ruth Hill (RNZ): Housing market ‘insane’ for buyers, but realtor says ‘job is to get best price’
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): House prices: All is calm, all is bright-line this Christmas
Ashley Church (One Roof): Are rising house prices really a bad thing?
Robert MacCulloch (NBR): Capital taxes will not work in New Zealand (paywalled)
Michael Andrew (Spinoff): New report shows the truly dire state of NZ housing
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Wellington house sales: Buyers ‘getting tired’, survey shows

Covid
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Chris Hipkins holding on to report slamming Health Ministry
Herald: Covid refugees? What legal experts say as INZ receives 14 claims
Jason Walls (Herald): Chris Hipkins: Anti-vaxxers could be significant issue in Covid vaccine rollout next year
RNZ: No privacy issues with new Bluetooth upgrade to Covid Tracer App – Hipkins
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): The ‘Catch 22’ with the new Bluetooth feature in the Covid Tracer app
Dan Satherley and Rosie Gordon (Newshub): COVID Tracer app’s new Bluetooth tracing: Is it a privacy concern?
Dan Lake (Newshub): New data from Statistics New Zealand reveals cost of COVID-19 to local tourism

Whakaari/White Island disaster
1News: Judith Collins says no Royal Commission into White Island tragedy ‘not acceptable’
1News: ‘You forever have a place here,’ Jacinda Ardern tells Whakaari victims from overseas
Phil Taylor (Guardian): White Island volcano anniversary: Ardern leads nation in mourning tourists who died
Newstalk ZB: ‘Defining tragedy’: East Coast MP reflects on White Island tragedy

Local government
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington City councillors propose rainbow advisory group
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Conspiracy group shown the door at Hamilton community centre
Tina Law (Stuff): 21 per cent of Christchurch City Council employees earn more than $100,000
Tina Law and Liz McDonald (Stuff): Call for action as 20pc of central Christchurch sites remain undeveloped
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Relationship between Wellington Water and city council found wanting
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington indoor arena could be shafted for $85m venues upgrade
Georgina Campbell (Herald): A Capital Letter: Earthquake-prone building owners are making a mockery of the rules
Piers Fuller (Stuff): The small district with the highest rates in the country
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Half of Auckland Council’s regional fuel tax has not been spent
Re: News: The 22-year old Wellington City Councillor who’s not trying to change boomers’ minds

Climate change and environment
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Climate crisis won’t take a summer break, say activists
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): Even in a climate emergency, New Zealand risks becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for dirty cars
Troy Baisden (The Conversation): Report shows New Zealand’s ‘fragmented’ environmental research funding doesn’t match most urgent needs
No Right Turn: Climate Change: A warning shot
Guy Trafford (Interest): It is tough trying to be virtuous
Harry Lock (RNZ): Wetlands should be carbon sink under ETS, Wellington Regional council says
Rachel Thomas (RNZ): Environmental research funding ‘fragmented’, government watchdog warns

Human Rights Commission report on prisoner solitary confinement
Mandy Te (Stuff): Human Rights Commission calls on agencies to reduce, if not eliminate altogether, seclusion and restraint in detention facilities
Laura Walters (Newsroom): ‘Despair’ over continued seclusion and restraint
Christine McCarthy (Newsroom): A black mark against a humane society

Health
Luke Kirkness (Herald): Exclusive: Cost of concussion in New Zealand nearly $100 million since 2015 (paywalled)
TVNZ: Ministry of Health says regulation of sunscreen SPF is coming, but has been delayed by Covid-19
Herald: Not enough drug treatment services available during pandemic, says Drug Foundation report
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Mental health patients being secluded despite goal of ending practice by 2020
Mike Yardley (Newstalk ZB): Government’s Smokefree goal has run out of puff

Other
John Bishop (Stuff): Aotearoa or Aotearoa New Zealand: what’s in a name?
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Police and health professionals will soon share more patient information regarding firearms licences
RNZ: NZ students record worst results in maths and science
RNZ: Otago university postpones graduation ceremonies after security threat
Russell Brown: Public Address Word of the Year 2020: Discussion and nomination
Tina Ngata: Dear Stuff
Jess Berentson-Shaw (Newsroom): The power of words to tap into the best of us

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