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

Tiwai Point Smelter deal
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Aluminium smelter deal – who caved?
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Power play: Meridian Energy reaches deal with Rio Tinto over Tiwai Point Smelter
No Right Turn: Paying the BluffGeld
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Tiwai Point negotiations continuing despite breakthrough on smelter
RNZ: Locals ‘absolutely thrilled’ about Tiwai Point’s revival
Evan Harding (Stuff): Tiwai aluminium smelter to stay open until end of 2024
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Tiwai closure deferral hailed as ‘welcome certainty’
RNZ: Tiwai Point aluminium smelter to keep operating until end of 2024
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Sharemarket closed in the red as investors await details on Tiwai Point deal
Luisa Girao and Abbey Palmer (ODT): Tiwai’s lifespan may be extended
Lyn Prentice: BluffGeld
Gavin Evans (BusinessDeck): ‘Dramatic’ renewables expansion possible with smelter deal – Contact (paywalled)

Housing
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Demand for property soared in 2020
Kiwiblog: Guest Post: The property crash is coming
Catherine Masters (One Roof): Here’s what could derail house prices in 2021
RNZ: Westpac expects house prices and spending in cities to drive recovery
Harry Lock (RNZ): Escalating rent prices forcing families into emergency housing
Rob Stock (Stuff): Tiny trailer homes are no solution for a first home affordability crisis
Marta Steeman (Stuff): Dismal uptake of Government’s $40m Covid commercial rents dispute service
Hugh Collins (Herald): Tenancy law overhaul: Concern new rules could harm domestic violence victims

Covid
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Plan on borders staying closed until 2022 (paywalled)
Justin Giovannetti (The Spinoff): Pressure mounts on government to accelerate Covid vaccine roll-out
Natalia Sutherland (1News): Don’t rush the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, WHO warns New Zealand
Leonie Hayden (The Spinoff): Debbie Ngarewa-Packer: We must urgently boost border controls in the face of the Covid peril
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Covid-19: Iwi Chairs forum urges cap on incoming travel, faster vaccine rollout
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Covid-19: Call to pause Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out ‘no cause for alarm’
Josephine Frank (Stuff): Covid-19: Grieving Kiwi makes it to managed isolation after being stranded in UK

Parliament and Government
Audrey Young (Herald): High flier Christopher Luxon starts at the end of the queue (paywalled)
Laura Walters (Newsroom): National’s Bayly ready to win back the boardroom
Claire Trevett (Herald): National MP Paul Goldsmith on his ‘shocker’ year and education plans (paywalled)
Derek Cheng (Herald): Meet the Minister: Priyanca Radhakrishnan on why she moved to Palmerston North (paywalled)

Billy Te Kahika rally at Parliament; Extremism in NZ
Jason Walls and Sophie Trigger (Herald): Police keeping a close eye on controversial Billy TK ‘freedom rally’ outside Beehive
RNZ: Billy Te Kahika spreads Covid-19 misinformation at Parliament rally
Anna Whyte (1News): About 150 anti-lockdown protestors, some bearing Trump flags, gather at Parliament
Chris Trotter: Will New Zealand’s body-politic be snatched by Trumpism?
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Govt research: NZ importing right-wing extremist content

Twitter suspension of NZ accounts
RNZ: Suspended Twitter accounts: Concern over Simon Bridges’ reaction
Greg Presland (The Standard): The twitter purge
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): The Twitter Purge – don’t cheer too loud

International students allowed into NZ
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Universities welcome announcement that 1000 international students will return
RNZ: Government to allow 1000 overseas students into New Zealand
Nicola Shepheard (NBR): Where to for international education? (paywalled)

Economy and work
Victoria Young (BusinessDeck): Just Jeans owner to return $8m to Aussie parent after taking $4.5m wage sub (paywalled)
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): Holiday workers left in limbo until Immigration updates its system in March
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Programme launched to help beneficiaries develop skills to start their own business
Victoria Young (BusinessDeck): Minister to revisit AML decision for tax agents (paywalled)

Health and mental health
Bridie Witton (Stuff): DHBs use ethnicity for low-cost contraception criteria
Jean Bell (Herald): Mental health support not enough after Whakaari eruption, mosque shooting, says therapist
Newsroom: Mental health services urgently needed in Canterbury and BOP, says therapist
Herald: Wellington Regional Hospital fire: Eight floors have water damage

Local government
Alice Angeloni (RNZ): Flyer opposing Māori wards ‘undermining democracy’
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Council hits back at Taxpayers’ Union sculpture claims
Stuff: Wellington council needs to explain what it wants to do to fix earthquake-prone historic hotel

Other
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): After Waikeria Prison Riot – What Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis must be doing now
Alan Bollard (BusinessDesk): New Zealand and the Asia–Pacific decade (paywalled)
Melanie Earley (Stuff): LGBTQ+ community experiences higher levels of victimisation, crime survey finds
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Auckland’s Sir George Grey statue gets $9000 repairs after nose, thumb cut off
Brenda Harwood (ODT): Voter attitude survey follows up on 1960 study
Crosbie Walsh: Beware tarring or whitewashing either Treaty partner in our school NZ Histories
Joanne Holden (Stuff): Timaru man who called MP’s office with bomb threats sentenced

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