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

Housing
Dan Satherley and Rosie Gordon (Newshub): Housing crisis: Rents up everywhere, as demand far outstrips supply
Miriam Bell (RNZ): Median rent now 21 per cent higher than in 2015, Trade Me data shows
Marta Steeman (Stuff): Construction sector slump forecast with calls for Government action
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Auckland to build 23,000 fewer homes than pre-pandemic forecast
RNZ: Residential building drop predicted: ‘We are in volatile times’
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): It’s time to start organising Rent Rise Protests in New Zealand
RNZ: Whangārei housing crisis: council pleads for government support
Scott Mason (ODT): Reasons to take a dim view of house sale ‘bright lines’
Andy Fyers (Business Desk): Who are NZ’s biggest house builders? (paywalled)

Parliament, and end of year reviews
Peter Davis (Stuff): Think tanks are leading the way as political parties play it safe
Stuff: Stuff Press Gallery’s political predictions for 2021
Richard Prebble (Herald): Trevor Mallard and MPs’ new license to slander (paywalled)
Denis Welch (RNZ): A covidious year
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern opens up on ‘kind’ leadership style, says pressure to choose aggression over mercy ‘doesn’t sit well’
1News: Jacinda Ardern says she sometimes suffers from ‘imposter syndrome’
Pattrick Smellie (Business Desk): One Monday afternoon in March (paywalled)
1News: ‘These tears are not for you’ — Defiant statement to Christchurch terrorist named Quote of the Year
Craig McCulloch and Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Year in politics
David Farrar: Scoring my predictions for 2020
Pete Burdon: Why David Seymour is my media communicator of the year
RNZ: Quote of the year: Christchurch terror attack victim’s words moves voters
Herald: ‘Only in NZ’: Jacinda Ardern gifts Sol3 Mio’s Pene Pati a cheeseball she made herself
Stuff: Jacinda Ardern hand delivers cheeseball to Sol3 Mio’s Pene Pati
Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s timid uses (so far) of the power that voters have given it

Economy and work
Michael Andrew (Spinoff): A retrospective look at the ‘mind-blowing’ economic experiment of 2020
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Auckland woman ‘horrified’ to learn NZ Post courier could be forced to cover cost of missing $1000 package themself
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): The wage subsidy and retail: Which stores got it and who has paid it back?
Adam Jacobson (RNZ): The Warehouse Group wage subsidy repayment: Taxpayers pleased
Newstalk ZB: The Warehouse Group praised for repaying $68 million wage subsidy
Shannon Johnstone (Herald): Top restaurants are desperate for staff. Kiwis aren’t applying (paywalled)
Brent Edwards (NBR): National would prune spending to return public finances to surplus (paywalled)
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Outgoing Tourism New Zealand boss warns autumn could be dire
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Struggling Queenstown hotel owners shocked visitor levy being considered
Che Baker (Stuff): Government rules out Christmas decision on future of Tiwai Point aluminium smelter

Electricity company regulation
Zac Fleming (Newshub): Green Party, power companies call for reform after lack of competition pushes up electricity prices
Gyles Beckford (RNZ): Electricity consumers paid $70 million more than needed last December – regulator
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Energy Minister Megan Woods to consider regulator’s powers amid calls for structural reform of electricity sector (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Day of reckoning for Meridian on Tuesday as Electricity Authority readies ruling

Covid, vaccine, and border
Lana Andelane (Newshub): The new arrivals now exempt from New Zealand’s two-week managed isolation rule
Eric Crampton (Newsroom): Block the border holes or get ready for another bad report
Conan Young (RNZ): Covid cases: Foreign fishing crews meant to isolate onboard ships
Katie Todd (RNZ): Overseas application queues: Kiwis missing out on seeing dying loved ones
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Covid-19: About 390,000 app users have turned on Bluetooth tracing
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Summer’s back on: Working visa rollover allows motels and restaurants to reopen
Helen Petousis-Harris (Newsroom): What to expect in the vaccine rollout

Health
Stuff: Editorial – Hardly a picture of health
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Auckland DHB nurses say staff shortages putting patients and staff at risk
Amber Allott (Stuff): Face mask type used by DHBs not up to scratch

Justice and policing
Georgia-May Gilbertson (Stuff): Remand prisoners waiting for their day in court will make up majority of the prison population within a decade — chief ombudsman
ODT: Editorial – Prison findings raise concern
Sam Hurley (Herald): Are New Zealand’s suppression laws outdated in wake of Grace Millane murder case? (paywalled)
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Children’s Commissioner probing how widespread police photographing incidents are

Local government
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): Calls for major reform of local government
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Broadcaster Marcus Lush vying for vacant Invercargill council seat
Devon Bolger (Herald): Marcus Lush throws hat in ring for Invercargill City Council seat
Lawrence Gullery and Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Council Christmas knees-up events cancelled, stripped back, due to Covid-19 rethink

Water
Julia Talbot-Jones, Sophie O’Brien and Suzie Greenhalgh (The Conversation): Even in a ‘water-rich’ country like New Zealand, some cities could face water shortages this summer
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Water infrastructure to be taken off councils and run by big government agencies
RNZ: Auckland water use rises 30m litres per day

Media
Charlotte Jones (RNZ): MediaWorks fined $3000 over iwi interview about roadblocks
Herald: Sean Plunket iwi checkpoint interview ‘amplified negative stereotypes about Māori’, BSA says
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): A year like no other

Other
No Right Turn: A hole in the OIA
Tony Wall (Stuff): Oranga Tamariki was tipped off that Nevaeh Ager was living in a drug house but failed to act before her murder
Marty Melville (Time): In New Zealand, ‘Hello’ Has Become ‘Kia Ora.’ Will That Save the Māori Language?
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Wait! What? The GCSB gets secret intelligence that’s worthless? So why the hell are we in it?
Brian Easton (Pundit): Beethoven Is A New Zealander
Nikki Mandow (Interest): Moving boards beyond token diversity
Kim Moodie (Herald): Christchurch City Mission struggling under Christmas pressure
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Mosque shootings: ‘Forgotten victims’ call for more government support
James Baker (Stuff): Questions raised after charity’s property gamble leaves holes in services
Gordon Campbell: On the Solar Winds hack

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