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
Chris Trotter (Interest): How the state was reclaimed for the people
Richard Shaw (The Conversation): 2020 hindsight: can New Zealand apply the political lessons of COVID-19 in the year ahead?
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Arise, Sir Handbrake
‘Stuff political reporters’ (Stuff): How good were our political predictions for 2020? Well … we missed Covid-19
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Signs and Portents: Is Middle New Zealand really less racist than it used to be?
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): David Seymour calls Jacinda Ardern a ‘superb leader’ in rare public praise
Shane Te Pou (Herald): Why what Judith Collins said to me matters (paywalled)
RNZ: ‘Doomscrolling’ is word of the year for 2020 – Public Address
Public Address: Public Address Word of the Year 2020: Doomscrolling
Phil Taylor (The Guardian): ‘Doomscrolling’ chosen as New Zealand word of the year for 2020
Eleanor Ainge Roy (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern: I try to turn self-doubt into ‘something more positive’
1News: Dancing with Neve to ‘bad children’s music’ is Jacinda Ardern’s new fitness regime
Point of Order: Mr Speaker wrongly cried “rape”, and then apologised – now let’s see if he becomes Sir Trevor

Economy and work
RNZ: The Warehouse Group to repay $68m wage subsidy
1News: The Warehouse Group to repay $68 million wage subsidy
Sam Stubbs (Stuff): Why a $20 minimum wage is good for business
Charles Waldegrave (Herald): Raising minimum wage way for New Zealand to bring about inclusive growth, productivity (paywalled)
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Tough 2021: Early signs of debt stress creeping up (paywalled)
Victoria Young & Andy Fyers (BusinessDesk): Hanging on: Liquidation figures decline (paywalled)
Donal Curtin (Economics New Zealand): Where is fiscal policy going?
Brent Edwards (NBR): Government buoyed by GDP growth but challenges lie ahead (paywalled)
RNZ: Tiwai Point smelter: Uncertainty for workers, local economy and environment
Michael Reddell: Productivity, Productivity Commission, and all that

Covid, vaccine, and border
Michael Moore-Jones (Newsroom): NZ’s new ‘winners v losers’ nationalism
Cas Carter (Stuff): NZ tops the brand charts for 2020 – but how do we take advantage in a world of Covid?
Otago Daily Times: Editorial – The lucky Covid country
Stuff: New Covid-19 variant hasn’t yet been identified in New Zealand, but expert says likely to get here
RNZ: Epidemiologist Michael Baker: ‘We will be bringing this virus into New Zealand’
Kamahl Santamaria (Spinoff): Has the world grown tired of the Kiwi success story? NZ in 2020, from afar
John Anthony (Stuff): Covid-19: Trans-Tasman bubble unlikely to open as planned due to Sydney outbreak, economist says
Aaron Dahmen (Newstalk ZB): There’s an isolating curse to our Covid freedom
Amelia Wade (Herald): Top epidemiologist warns what Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak means for New Zealand
Rebecca Howard (Business Desk): New waves of covid-19 could pop bubble (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (Business Desk): NZ’s Pacific diplomacy – vaccines, aid and China (paywalled)

Housing
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Addressing the housing crisis: What NZ can learn from other countries
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Residents express hopelessness as houses in poverty-hit Ōtara sell for $1m
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Mortgage advisers say banks are more willing to lend

Health
Susan Strongman (RNZ): Lack of South Auckland abortion services ‘unacceptable’
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Pharmac to fund two new type-2 diabetes medicines, targeting Māori and Pacific patients
Ruth Hill (RNZ): Kiwis going into debt to pay for drugs other countries fund
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Covid-19: ‘Significant’ disruption to primary healthcare caused by coronavirus
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Clinical council advises SDHB to cancel surgeries in Invercargill and Dunedin
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Issues remain with informed consent around hospital procedures

Local government
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Thanks to my state-of-the-art app, there’s an apology in the pipeline
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Ratepayers pay $92,000 for membership of libertarian think-tank
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Dunedin councillor loses legal case over $12 parking ticket fallout
Rob Kidd (ODT): Vandervis fails in legal battle

Climate change and environment
David Williams (Newsroom): Tackle transport emissions, ministers urged
Catherine Groenestein (Stuff): Biogas could help reduce New Zealand’s emissions – study
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): NZ wastes a Tiwai smelter-sized chunk of power each year
Jack Santa Barbara (Newsroom): Is our renewable energy future what we think?
David Williams (Newsroom): Threatened bats found near planned wind farm

Media
Gavin Ellis: Before I was rudely interrupted…
Carol Hirschfeld (Stuff): How Stuff tackled the 2020 election, in the shadow of Covid-19
Stuff: Corrections wins bid to stop Stuff journalist interviewing Phillip John Smith

Other
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Spy partners’ focus dictated lack of Far Right intelligence, GCSB boss says
Keith Locke (The Spinoff): What’s missing from the report into the Christchurch terrorist attack
Isaac Davison (Herald): Auckland City Mission says demand for food parcels and gifts soaring ahead of Christmas
Stuff: Editorial – Not all good outcomes are attained by hot pursuit
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Water reforms come with $46b bill (paywalled)
Katy Jones (Stuff): Iwi teams up with students to ensure ownership within grasp for whānau
No Right Turn: More racism from police
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui and Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Questions raised after police officers stop youths to take their photos

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