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
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Labour announces that it will make more housing announcements this year
Zane Small and Conor Whitten (Newshub): Backlash over Labour’s public housing ‘re-announcement’ prompts firm defence from Jacinda Ardern
Chris Trotter: The Economic consequences of Mr Hickey
Miriam Bell (Stuff): More public housing won’t ‘fix’ the housing crisis
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Jacinda Ardern’s government facing continued criticism over its housing plans
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Govt to unveil measures to address housing supply at May Budget
Newstalk ZB: Economist: Govt doesn’t have the guts to bring house prices down
Zane Small (Newshub): Labour Party pamphlet from 1919 shows striking parallels to today’s housing crisis
Jason Walls (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern puts fixing housing crisis at the top of her political agenda
Jason Walls (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warns pace of house price increases unsustainable
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Govt wiggles on housing hook (paywalled)
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern details timeline for housing annoucements
Greg Ninness (Interest): Why we need a war on debt
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Ardern lays out path to 18,000 more state homes
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Public Housing Plan not whole story for Nelson, says MP Rachel Boyack
Jo Lines-MacKenzie (Stuff): ‘There aren’t houses for everyone’: Hamilton mayor welcomes confirmation of new social housing
Devlon Bolger (Herald): Skyrocketing Queenstown property market bounces back after Covid-19 losses
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Westpac predicts 20% house price inflation (paywalled)

US politics and NZ
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Joe Biden brings the United States closer to New Zealand in first day in office
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Joe Biden offers reason for optimism (paywalled)
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Let’s not overstate the benefits of Biden to NZ
Audrey Young (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hardens language on Trump’s presidency
RNZ: NZ better off but ‘formidable’ challenges for US – Tim Groser
Harry Lock (RNZ): What a Biden-led US might mean for climate action in New Zealand
Tim Newman (Stuff): The day Joe Biden helped kick-start the career of NZ’s longest serving MP
Elle Hunt (Guardian): New Zealand Trump aide Chris Liddell pulls out of race to lead OECD
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Kiwi expat and former Trump staffer Chris Liddell withdraws from OECD top job

Covid
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): Government’s ‘unhealthy’ refusal to hear different voices on Covid-19
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern declares 2021 ‘the year of the vaccine’
Jamie Smyth (Herald) New Zealand’s delayed vaccine rollout threatens early Covid success (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: PM declares 2021 ‘Year of the Vaccine’ – but professor doubts we’ll get rollout right
George Block (Stuff): Covid-19: Managed isolation ‘leaky as a sieve’, warns Kiwi microbiologist returnee
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Covid-19: Māori to be prioritised for vaccination
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Doubt over managed isolation facilities ‘full house’ predictions
Grant Bradley (Herald): Air New Zealand’s first quarantine-free flight lands in Auckland
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Covid focus critical, PM Jacinda Ardern reminds MPs
John Anthony (Stuff): Some workers have more reason to be QR code-scanning champions than others
Zane Small (Newshub): The Wiggles in hot water over NZ tour: Jacinda Ardern warns promoters not to sell tickets before booking quarantine
Emily Brookes (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern sends ‘strong warning’ to event promoters after Wiggles botch up
Emily Brookes (Stuff): The Wiggles contacted several MPs in desperate attempt to enter New Zealand
Herald: Political Hot Potato! MP lobbies for The Wiggles after entertainers fail to secure MIQ space

Parliament and Government
Karyn Henger (Herald): David Seymour’s second act: ‘I’d be the perfect husband!’
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Rātana — of God, politics, spirituality and the sheer terror of the paepae for Simon Bridges
Stuff: German magazine names Jacinda Ardern ‘the best politician in the world’
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): German magazine View calls Jacinda Ardern ‘best politician in the world’
Ian Powell: Is there a difference between a powerful government and a house of cards?
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern demands ‘absolute focus’ from Labour MPs in first speech of 2021 dominated by COVID-19
Brent Edwards (NBR): Government faces big challenges in next three years (paywalled)
Jason Walls (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern admits ‘holding my breath’ as Kiwis enjoyed summer
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): The challenge for Maori and Pakeha politics in 2021

Local government
Simon Wilson (Herald): Could Paula Bennett become the next mayor of Auckland? (paywalled)
Hamish MacLean (ODT): 9.8%rates increase proposed
Herald: ‘Beware the mongrel mayor’: Dunedin councillor Lee Vandervis uses blog to vent about colleagues
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Claim and counter claim as $740,000 sculpture stoush rumbles on
Harry Lock (Herald): Shelly Bay occupation: Mau Whenua ‘resolute’ after serving trespass notice to developers

Economy, inequality and work
Brian Fallow (Herald): Failure to boost productivity is keeping us poor (paywalled)
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Confidence rises in the job market but young still affected
Stuart Williams (Stuff): Despite global uncertainty, NZ should have a positive economic outlook for 2021
Rob O’Neill (NBR): How our Reserve Bank was breached (paywalled)

Other
David Farrar: Single sex schools
Crystal Mu (Newshub): Ministry of Education’s new food safety rules for daycare ‘very unrealistic’ – Early Childhood CEO
Collin Tukuitonga (Newsroom): We must change tack on ‘racist’ disease
James Renwick (The Conversation): Expect the new normal for NZ’s temperature to get warmer
Eleanor de Jong (The Guardian): Hash landing: New Zealand police ditch annual helicopter hunt for cannabis dens
Farah Hancock (RNZ): Abandoned toxic waste in Northland will take two years, $3 million to clean up

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