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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
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Trevor Mallard should never have been appointed as Speaker
Barry Soper (Herald): Why House Speaker Trevor Mallard should resign
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): How can Labour preach kindness, yet support Trevor Mallard?
Amelia Wade (Herald): Rules quietly changed so taxpayer coughs up for cost of MPs’ court settlements
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): National wants to question Parliament’s Speaker over costly legal dispute
Alison Mau (Stuff): Parliament must not take eyes off the prize, whatever happens to Trevor
Anna Whyte (1News): Speaker does not intend to resign after $333k spent on defamation case
Newstalk ZB: David Seymour condemns Trevor Mallard for wrongly calling staff member a rapist
Herald: Former MP Chris Finlayson says Trevor Mallard no-confidence vote is ‘ritualistic rubbish’
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): National’s Judith Collins urges Speaker Trevor Mallard to resign over $300,000 legal dispute settlement
Kerre McIvor (Herald): Trevor Mallard’s defamation debacle stinks to high heaven (paywalled)
Claire Trevett (Herald): Beehive Diaries: Speaker Trevor Mallard, the legal bills and the H word (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: ‘He needs to go’ – Judith Collins on under-fire Trevor Mallard
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Trevor Mallard’s legal dispute cost more than $330,000, National reveals
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Parliament’s Speaker Trevor Mallard costs taxpayer $333,000 after rape allegation
1News: Judith Collins says Speaker Trevor Mallard’s legal wrangle after false rape claim cost taxpayers $333,000
Zane Small (Newshub): National loses confidence in Speaker Trevor Mallard over $333,000 bill to settle legal battle over ‘rape’ comments
Newstalk ZB: Trevor Mallard accused of hypocrisy over NDA stance
David Farrar: $333,000 cost of Mallard’s defamation case
Newstalk ZB: Bryce Edwards: Trevor Mallard doesn’t have the right attributes for Speaker role
Newstalk ZB: Week in Politics: Parliament’s referee at risk of losing his whistle
Newstalk ZB: Will PM’s kindness get in the way of punishing Mallard?

Emile Donovan (Newsroom): How did entering the property market get so difficult?
Tim Hazledine (BusinessDesk): Home truths about house prices
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Adrian Orr says new agency needed to fix housing crisis
Zane Small (Newshub): Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr recommends new housing agency to coordinate response to rising house prices
Jason Walls (Herald): Reserve Bank’s Adrian Orr on Grant Robertson’s house prices suggestion
Stuff: Editorial – No easy solution in housing crisis blame game
RNZ: Reserve Bank rejects request for help fixing the housing crisis
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Government to wait until next year to act on housing crisis, despite skyrocketing prices
Anna Gibson (Herald): Property prices: Highest number of house sales in a month since March 2007
RNZ: Housing market prices hit new record high
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): House prices skyrocket to new high, most properties sold since 2007 – REINZ
Hannah Kronast and Alexa Cook (Newshub): Record house prices leave sellers in tears as buyers fight to win
Martyn Bradbury: The Housing crisis will spark a revolution for the Māori Party
Hayden Donnell (RNZ): Please, no more stories about young people buying houses
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Landlords the ‘unsung heroes’ of the pandemic – business leader
Catherine Masters (One Roof): The big Auckland land grab: ‘Staggering’ amounts of cash being paid
Rebecca Howard (Business Desk): Hot housing about financial stability not monetary policy: RBNZ (paywalled)
Rebecca Howard (Business Desk): Hot housing market to fuel interest in Fletcher, retirement villages (paywalled)
Brent Melville (Business Desk): The high cost of house prices (paywalled)
Jenny Ling (Herald): Our Hidden Homeless: Donations pour in to help furnish Northlanders’ new portacoms
Ben Leahy (NZ Herald): Fletcher plans huge new housing development in Kumeu, West Auckland, but residents up in arms

Royal Commission into terrorist attack; hate speech laws
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Unprepared: How the spies and cops entirely missed the terrorist
Aliya Danzeisen (Guardian): After Christchurch, New Zealand’s Muslim women shouldn’t have to rebuild on their own
John Battersby (Stuff): The question behind the royal commission – can terrorism be conclusively eliminated?
Gordon Campbell: On the Royal Commission’s report into the Christchurch mosque shootings
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Intelligence agencies’ failures highlighted but no accountability sought
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Christchurch gunman’s racist views traced to when he was 12 – report
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): Mosque terror attack report highlights grotesque blindspot
Shomi Yoon (ISO): Solidarity to fight Islamophobia, not more spies
Katie Kenny (Stuff): Policing hate: What are the proposed changes and will they make a difference?
Daphna Whitmore (Redline): Hate speech laws are attacks on democracy, free speech
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): If NZ passes religious hate speech laws, I’m afraid I have no choice but to immediately break that law for the sake of our democracy
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Why don’t we call this push for Gender Identity Hate Speech for what it really is?

Labour Government
Matt McCarten (E-Tangata): Jacinda’s choice: Transformative or timid?
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Jacinda Ardern: ‘Everyone worries’
John Minto (The Daily Blog): Jacinda Ardern is in her happy place
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): IRD faces huge financial shortfall after delay in transformation programme
David Farrar: Failure gets worse

National Party
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Character and tsunamis: Judith Collins reflects on a tough year
Amelia Wade (NZ Herald): National Party leader Judith Collins has regrets from 2020 but ‘I’m not a quitter’
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): ‘Positive pixie’ Judith Collins hopes to thrill in 2021
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Judith Collins reflects on ‘really weird’ 2020 and looks to the future
James Elliot (Newsroom): Yesterdaze: The struggle to the popularity summit

Parliament, and review of politics in 2020
Martyn Bradbury (The Daily Blog): The infamous TDB 2020 Media Awards
Luke Malpass (Stuff): The big challenges facing political parties in 2021
Audrey Young (Herald): My Politician of the Year is… (paywalled)
Peter Wilson (RNZ): The Week in Politics: Government ends the year on a high
Brent Edwards (NBR): Fact or Fiction: Tragedy, housing and climate emergency (paywalled)
Mike Houlahan (ODT): One chapter ends, several begin
David Hargreaves (Interest): After the travails of 2020 next year had better be better
RNZ: Votes for Quote of the Year 2020 now open
Herald: New Zealand’s Quote of the Year finalists announced after rocky 2020
Liam Dann (Herald): Booze, books and business – the best of 2020 (paywalled)
Cherie Howie (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: New Zealand Herald Our Heroes Award 2020 winner: The Whānau of 5 Million (paywalled)

Economy and work
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Cash-rich firms need to find their ‘moral compass’ and pay wage subsidy back, accounting professor says
Katrina Shanks (Stuff): There are 150,000 unemployed, so why are we short of workers?
Liam Dann (NZ Herald): GDP preview – Making sense of New Zealand’s big rebound (paywalled)
John Anthony (Stuff): Government has no plans to issue vouchers for domestic travel, tourism minister says
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Merchant service fee regulation – why the Government should go harder
Emma Jones (RNZ): How New Zealand’s film industry boomed during the pandemic
Brent Edwards (NBR): The government’s agenda to lift small businesses performance
Aimee Shaw (NZ Herald): Our Business Heroes: Small Business, for powering through pandemic disruption
Newshub: David Clark congratulates gaming sector for defying COVID-19 odds and growing exports 60 percent
Herald: Government looking at making debit and credit card bank fees fairer
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Giant Aussie predator AustralianSuper should be sent packing (paywalled)
Te Ao Māori News: Pacific trade agreement gets green light

Poverty and inequality
Rob Stock (Stuff): The story of intergenerational wealth told through my ancestors
Bryan Bruce (Daily Blog): 10 years since the Child Poverty documentary, what’s changed?
Vicki Anderson (Stuff): Hector Matthews: ‘Our country’s greatest scourge is deprivation’
The Standard: How can NZ incomes be lifted to match housing costs?

Marty Sharpe (Stuff): New Zealand’s Covid-19 vaccine order far lower than many countries
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Why is the ‘urgent’ Covid-19 border testing review still under wraps?
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Coronavirus: New Zealand sides with US, Australia and pharma giants in battle for ‘people’s vaccine’
Mahmoud Elkhodr (Stuff): An Australia–NZ travel bubble needs a unified Covid contact-tracing app. We’re not there.
Jack Tame (Herald): Why it’s time for a transtasman bubble
Dan Lake (Newshub): Queensland opens its borders to New Zealanders
Steven Joyce (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Steven Joyce: Government’s reasons for Oz bubble delay don’t wash (paywalled)
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern explains trans-Tasman bubble hold-up as David Seymour slams her ‘can’t do’ attitude
John Anthony (Stuff): Travel industry says kia orana to Cook Islands, ‘now let’s get the trans-Tasman bubble going’
Australian Associated Press: New Zealand and Cook Islands to launch quarantine-free travel bubble
Jason Walls (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Government launches new summer ad campaign
RNZ: Travel operator seeks firmer timeline for Cook Islands bubble
Francesca Rudkin (Newstalk ZB): Government needs to make trans-Tasman bubble a priority
Tracy Neal (RNZ): Covid showing little impact in Kiwi summer holiday plans
1News: ‘Unstoppable summer’ – Hipkins launches campaign to keep Covid-19 at bay over the holidays
1News: Stephen Colbert lavishes praise on New Zealand’s Covid-19 pandemic response

Climate change and environment
Richard Harman: Ardern and climate change; the gap between ambition and reality
Bronwyn Hayward (The Spinoff): Five years after Paris, young people are putting the the world’s adults to shame
Otago Daily Times: Editorial – New Zealanders back climate change
Eric Crampton (Stuff): Canada offers New Zealand a lesson in how to manage carbon
Alexa Cook (Newshub): New Zealand absent from Climate Ambition Summit 2020
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): New Zealand to watch international climate leaders summit from the sidelines
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Why the Climate Emergency Declaration is such a hollow virtue signal
Christine Rovoi (RNZ): Pacific Islands Forum leaders urged to target worst greenhouse gas emitters for climate action
Rob Stock (Stuff): How long is it financially safe to own a low-lying coastal home?

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington Regional Council mulls 13% rates rise; climate change, transport culprits
Christina Persico (Stuff): The six-figure salaries available at Taranaki councils
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill City Council’s $1500 per day external observers to be appointed
Mike Mather (Stuff): Hamilton City Council to present residents with 8.9 per cent rates rise
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Shelly Bay: Mau Whenua ‘not done’ after court case funding pulled
Helen Harvey (Stuff): Māori ward opponents criticised over leaflet sent to 30,000 New Plymouth homes
Susan Botting (RNZ): Hundreds show support for Māori seats in Northland

Brian Easton (Pundit): Redisorganising The Health System – Yet Again
Nicholas Jones (Herald): Caesareans scrutinised at Auckland Hospital; new private obstetricians blocked (paywalled)
Liu Chen (RNZ): Hospital bills of ineligible patients should be funded nationally – doctor

RNZ: Stuff in 2020: ‘We are really holding ourselves to account’
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): NZ Initiative director ‘gobsmacked’ by far-right blog
RNZ: New Zealand Initiative to investigate content after staffer’s resignation over extreme views
Liz Gordon (The Daily Blog): NZ Initiative runs faster than the speed of light from its Chief Editor
Herald: NZME recruits digital heavyweight James Butcher to advance online audio strategy

Jamie Morton (Herald): 71 Massey professors hit out over controversial science shake-up
Peter Griffin (Stuff): Don’t panic about poor Kiwi science test results
Tess Woolcock (Newshub): How Ministry of Education’s new food rules will change what you can put in kids’ lunchboxes
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): University of Canterbury academic Anne-Marie Brady cleared after complaints

Imprisonment and crime
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Deportees waiting more than 200 days behind bars due to Covid-19 travel disruption
Meg de Ronde (Spinoff): Freedom from torture is a non-negotiable human right
Sam Hurley (Herald): Ministry of Justice worker dealing meth was arrested in Whangārei carpark (paywalled)
Lane Nichols (Herald): Auckland gun violence: Mayor Phil Goff wants a police crackdown on drug trafficking

Jim Flynn dies
Jo Mckenzie-Mclean and Jonny Edwards (Stuff): World-renowned Otago professor and ‘giant amongst scholars’ Jim Flynn dies
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Otago academic ‘giant’ Jim Flynn dies
Jasmin Bull (Newshub): World-renowned Kiwi scientist Jim Flynn dies aged 86
David Farrar: RIP Jim Flynn

Jane Patterson (RNZ): Ihumātao land dispute: Initial deal expected to go to Cabinet today
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Accountability for terrible events: Are we too soft?
Mike Smith (The Standard): Blind-sided by Five Eyes
Eugene Bingham, Felippe Rodrigues and Chris Mckeen (Stuff): Unwarranted: The little-known, but widely-used police tactic
John Roughan (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has failed over Whakaari/White Island (paywalled)
Adam Hollingworth (Newshub): Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom Wāhine Toa lodges first-ever all-female gang claim with Waitangi Tribunal
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): Why Chris Trotter is so wrong – It’s time for working people who are white to stop identifying with our enemies
Sherry Zhang (Spinoff): The many problems with Auckland University’s racist coffee
Khylee Quince (Stuff): Saying sorry to Māori is a good start, but it’s not an end in itself
Dale Husband (E-Tangata): Claire Charters: Working towards a true partnership
Tainui Stephens (E-Tangata): The big beats of history
William Ray (RNZ): Māoriland: New Zealand’s forgotten name
Georgina Campbell (NZ Herald): Transmission Gully legal costs mount while Wellingtonians wait for road
Maria Slade (NBR): Minister happy with beleaguered govt agency (paywalled)
Monique Poirier (Kiwiblog): Why I describe myself as a conservative
RNZ: Tiwai Point smelter closure: Power firms explore green hydrogen options
RNZ: Tiwai Point smelter deal facing hurdles, ministers tell mayors
1News: Māori and Pasifika can become ‘soul’ of NZ’s technology sector, young scholarship winner says
Mataroria Lyndon (NZ Herald): Alcohol-awash Aotearoa, we have a drinking problem (paywalled)
Muriel Newman (NZCPR): The Big Lie
RNZ: NZ’s ‘documentary heritage’ to be housed in new Levin facility
Stewart Sowman-Lund (Spinoff): All our questions about Clarke Gayford’s haunting new Instagram influencer ad



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