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

Parliament, and end of year reviews
Claire Robinson (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern should make Speaker Trevor Mallard pay the price for his costly ‘mistake’
Tova O’Brien (Guardian): It’s been an ugly year for New Zealand politics but there are grounds for optimism in 2021
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Green Party co-leaders keen to stay on through next election
Stuff: The best and the rest: Stuff’s 2020 political awards
Steve Braunias (Herald): Steve Braunias: Secret diary of … Christmas Carols (paywalled)
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): The 2020 Interesties, our 10th annual awards
Alex Braae (Spinoff): How wrong we were: Rating The Spinoff’s 2020 political predictions a year on
Mike Houlahan (ODT): What a wild ride the year has been
ODT: The one word Jacinda Ardern used to summarise 2020
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Jacinda Ardern on 2020, what pundits get wrong, and the great Fruju debate
Matt Burrows (Newshub): ‘A middle finger to 2020’: Jacinda Ardern’s New Year’s Eve prediction for New Zealand
Herald: ‘Middle finger to 2020’: Jacinda Ardern’s message to Kiwis this Christmas
Jack Tame (Newstalk ZB): My biggest takeaway from Covid-19
Amelia Wade (Herald): NZ First president and secretary resign while party reviews election campaign
Stuff: President and secretary general resign from NZ First
Claire Trevett (Herald): Revealed: PM and MPs will have their pay frozen for next three years
RNZ: Prime minister and MP salaries capped for three years
Kerre McIvor (Herald): Goodbye to 2020, a shocker of a year
RNZ: No charges against former National MP Andrew Falloon over unsolicited images
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Former National MP Andrew Falloon won’t be charged over unsolicited images
Christian Fuller (Herald): Pirate flag-flying MP Stuart Nash: ‘I’m not planning any coups’

Report on Ministry of Health Covid response
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Government dumps damning health report on last day of the year
Dan Satherley and Michael Morrah (Newshub): Coronavirus: Govt releases Simpson-Roche report into COVID-19 response, funds another 18 months of MIQ
Claire Trevett (Herald): Covid 19: Ministry of Health criticised for Covid-19 handling
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Ministry of Health criticised over Covid-19 testing failures at the border
Thomas Coughlan and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Extra $3b for Covid response after review slams Health Ministry response
Newstalk ZB: Peter Dunne: Last minute release of Covid report suggests we don’t have things under control

Ihumātao deal
Stuff: The Ihumātao dispute ends with a tidy solution
ODT: Editorial – Pragmatic Ihumatao responses?
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): Ihumātao decision only the beginning (paywalled)
Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Spinoff): The truth about Ihumātao: All the false claims and misinformation, corrected
Newstalk ZB: Māori Council backs Ihumātao deal, doubts it will set a precedent
Newstalk ZB: Robertson insists Ihumātao deal means there will be housing
Tim Dower (Newstalk ZB): Ihumātao deal shows what a weak, unprincipled government we have
Mike Yardley (Newstalk ZB): Govt’s Xmas gift for the taxpayer? Ihumātao

Economy and work
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): GDP bounce: It’s not time for a post-Covid party yet
Tony Alexander (Stuff): Hey big spenders: More people willing to splash the cash
Jane Phare (Herald): Briscoes boss Rod Duke: Why he likes making millions more than spending it
Peter Bale (Business Desk): Where the wild things are – why the super rich are buying expedition superyachts (paywalled)
Katharine Murphy (Guardian): Scott Morrison’s economic humblebrag disproved by New Zealand comeback
The Standard: Must New Zealand Pay Back All This Public Debt?
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Govt loan schemes for businesses broadened and extended
Esther Taunton (Stuff): MediaWorks to repay staff who took voluntary pay cuts during Covid-19 crisis
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Let’s back NZ to win this battle for Infratil (paywalled)
Evan Harding (Stuff): Smelter rehabilitation costs may not be known for at least a year
RNZ: New Zealand companies need to keep up with global peers on sustainability disclosure – report
BusinessDesk: Business confidence highest in more than three years (paywalled)
No Right Turn: Billionaires aren’t essential
Christoph Schumacher (Interest): GDP 2020: predictions and reality

Covid, vaccine, and border
Damien Grant (Stuff): Overwhelming evidence shows I was the worst prognosticator on the impact of Covid
Gordon Campbell: On the mixed outlook for our Covid vaccine supplies
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Virus response not ‘fit for purpose’ in the long-term
RNZ: Covid-19: Epidemiologist calls for stand alone public health agency
Liam Dann (Herald): Content or complacent? New Zealand’s happiness dilemma (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: Epidemiologist on what Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak means for NZ
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): I’m thankful to be spending this summer in New Zealand
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): NSW cluster could decide future of our travel bubble
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): What you need to know about NZ’s big vaccine play

Housing
Jenny Nicholls (Stuff): Housing crisis isn’t unsolvable – if we truly want to solve it
Kate Newton, John Harford and Kathryn George (Stuff): Stuff launches new measure for first home affordability
Michelle Duff (Stuff): Seasonal workers and holidaymakers to displace homeless
Piers Fuller (Stuff): The Wairarapa towns with no state housing and the struggle for a place to live
Tangata Whenua: The Housing Dashboard (HUD)
Dan Satherley and Heather McCarron (Newshub): Homeless have little contact with health system, die extremely young – study

Health
Stephen Forbes (RNZ): Under-pressure EDs prove need for health reform – Minister Andrew Little
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Coronavirus: Chris Hipkins full of praise for ex-Health Minister David Clark, says ‘history will treat him more kindly’
Ian Powell: Simpson restructuring could stifle potential to address inequitable Māori cancer care
Libby Wilson (Stuff): The doctor changing a ‘messed-up system’ from the inside
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Former health minister takes SDHB reins
ODT: Hodgson named as new head of SDHB

Local government
Samantha Motion (Herald): ‘Gutted’: Tauranga city councillors react after learning they will be fired
RNZ: Nanaia Mahuta confirms commission appointment to Tauranga City Council
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Bill to fix ailing water infrastructure could hit $50 billion over 30 years
RNZ: Rates owed in Christchurch after Covid-19 deferral over $1 million
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): In a climate emergency, Kāpiti mayor wants to save airport
Eloise Pollard (Stuff): The Pākehā connection to racism in New Zealand
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Iwi group scraps High Court proceedings over Shelly Bay
RNZ: Shelly Bay opponents Mau Whenua pin hopes on Māori Land Court
Andre Chumko (Stuff): Shelly Bay: Group discontinues High Court bid, ‘not ruling out’ other options

Poverty and inequality
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Caravan Christmas for many as housing crisis continues
Deborah Manning (Stuff): One in five families could go hungry this Christmas – you can help
Herald: Christmas hope for Aotearoa: Message from NZ church leaders

Other
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Oranga Tamariki boss Grainne Moss under fire – but for what exactly?
Qian Feng (Global Times): Wellington in no position to mediate Beijing-Canberra talks
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): China state media takes aim at Nanaia Mahuta’s suggestion New Zealand could ‘mediate Beijing-Canberra talks’
Jim Rolfe (Politik): The Christchurch Royal Commission – a contrary view
Mary Varnham: Tribute to Jim Flynn, philosopher, author, genius
Catherine Harris, Laura Wiltshire and Bridie Witton (Stuff): Govt stretches fee-free funding to other training courses
Simon Collins (Herald): Students face emotional challenge confronting NZ history, study warns (paywalled)
Caley Callahan (Newshub): Threshold for police to pursue fleeing drivers cleared up
RNZ: Rise in pyramid schemes targetting Māori and Pasifika sparks warning
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): 250 000 children abused – The Horror of the NZ State
RNZ: 2020 hindsight – media in the year of Covid-19
John Weekes (Herald): New Zealand spies, agents monitoring huge cyberattack as US government, companies hit
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Government orders review of WorkSafe over Whakaari White Island tours
No Right Turn: Good Riddance

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