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

Covid
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Northland Covid-19 case threatens to bring summer to screeching halt
Audrey Young (Herald): Aussie suspension adds to Cabinet’s Covid agenda (paywalled)
Richard Harman: Testing the limts – the Northland Covid-19 case
Katie Todd (RNZ): ‘This is totally on the government’ – anger grows in Northland after community case revealed
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Northland Covid-19 case will be top of the agenda at Cabinet’s first 2021 meeting
Stuff: Editorial – The wake-up call Kiwis needed?
Herald: Editorial: Northland case shows Govt shouldn’t wait to release Covid details (paywalled)
Southland Times: Editorial – Covid snuck back among us. Govt and our communities must each lift their game
Jamie Morton (Herald): Experts: More incursions likely before vaccines arrive
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Government told to step up and help Northland’s COVID-19 response
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Experts urge rethink on using isolation hotels with sub-par ventilation
Crystal Wu (Newshub): Government should look into building specialised MIQ facilities – Dr Michael Baker
Heather du Plessis Allan (Newstalk ZB): Health Ministry needs to do more to stop cases getting into community
Jamie Morton (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Traveller’s worries over mingling at isolation hotel
Karina Cooper, Imran Ali and Adam Pearse (Northern Advocate): Northland Covid-19 testing sites overwhelmed, public anxiety and workforce shortage to blame
1News: National’s Shane Reti says there’s missing information about where the Northland Covid-19 case had been
1News: Chris Hipkins warns Kiwis not to share ‘fake, untrue’ social media content about Covid-19
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): We can’t drop the ball now on our Covid-19 response
Duncan Garner (Newshub): Our new community case raises more questions than answers
Melissa Davey (The Guardian): Australia halts New Zealand travel bubble over case of infectious new Covid variant
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Australia suspends travel bubble with NZ
1News: Jacinda Ardern responds to Australia’s surprise call to close travel bubble with NZ
RNZ: Covid-19 update: Ministry narrows down transmission link of Northland case to MIQ
Danielle Clent, Steven Walton and Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Covid-19: Business owners visited by new case ‘not contacted’ by ministry
Lydia Lewis and Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Auckland business owner ‘disgusted’ Ministry of Health didn’t contact him about positive COVID-19 case’s visit
Newstalk ZB: Epidemiologist: Northland Covid case illustrates how we can do better
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Covid community case: Northland businesses face anxious wait
Newstalk ZB: Hipkins: Could take 48 hours to confirm any alert level change
Chris Keall (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Bluetooth usage pulls well ahead of poster scanning – and that’s a problem (paywalled)
Breanna Barraclough (1News): The grim reality behind New Zealand’s low Covid Tracer app numbers
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): 7-hour wait for some at Northland Covid-19 testing stations
Newstalk ZB: Where is the PM? Seymour criticises Ardern as he praises Covid case for app use
1News: Ardern assures NZ won’t completely shut its borders following Northland Covid-19 community case
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern calls for kindness following Northland Covid-19 case
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Refusing to use the app is either laziness or childish petulance
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): How worried should we be about these new Covid-19 mutations?
Muriel Newman (NZCPR): Controlling Covid
Helen Petousis-Harris (Newsroom): Still too early for NZ vaccine rollout
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): We’d be getting CovidCards now, if ministers made different decision in August
Jamie Morton (Herald): How NZ’s Covid 19 response led to dramatic drop in deaths last year (paywalled)
Ben Strang (RNZ): Government grants vaccine suppliers indemnity against claims
David Farrar: Covid-19 Vaccinations by country
1News: National moves location for annual caucus retreat after confirmed Covid-19 case
Carly Gooch (Stuff): Covid immigration changes has mother wondering when she’ll be with her family again
Steve Braunias (Guardian): The daily grind never felt sweeter: New Zealanders should enjoy their Covid-free liberties

Housing
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Public housing need ‘set to surge’ with tenancy reforms
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): Twenty years of housing costs beating wages in one heinous chart
Rob Mitchell (Stuff): New chief city planner has a house – now he needs a plan to help others get one
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Sleepyhead’s dream answer to the housing crisis
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Increase home loan rates for investors: Kiwibank economist
Anne Gibson (Herald): Landlords in $180b sector worry: Can tenants paint after next month’s law change? (paywalled)
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): South Auckland’s demand for state housing continues to outstrip supply
Alex Braae (Spinoff): NZ’s biggest house price surge? Kawerau. Here’s what it means for the town
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): The brutal truth: There are votes to be won in a broken housing market
Priscilla Dickinson (Newshub): A snapshot of 2021 for property prices, interest rates and unemployment
Kirsty Johnston (Stuff): Family violence victims punished in tenancy tribunal – research
RNZ: Mulitnational company promises quick builds in NZ
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Are the tenancy law changes going too far?
1News: More people turning to private sales to save coin amid hot housing market

Inequality
RNZ: Graeme Hart’s $3.4b gain proves need for taxing wealth – Oxfam
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Graeme Hart, NZ’s richest man, makes $3.4b during Covid-19 pandemic
Jo Cribb (Stuff): Are we serious about tackling children’s hardship?
Eric Crampton (Stuff): Govt policy choices to blame for high inflation that disproportionately affects the poor

Oranga Tamariki
RNZ: Racism in Oranga Tamariki not over yet, says Lady Moxon
1News: Grainne Moss ‘did do the right thing’ by resigning, Assistant Māori Children’s Commissioner says
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Pākehā lack ‘cultural competency’ to lead Oranga Tamariki, which needs ‘by Māori, for Māori’ overhaul – Whānau Ora chair
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): Grainne Moss’ resignation is a second political victory for the Maori Party in less than a month

Education
Kirsty Wynn (Herald): Back to school: Technology, stationery costs can leave parents in debt
Kirsty Lawrence (Stuff): Principals gear up for rough year as more families struggle with back-to-school costs
Simon Collins (Herald): Feeding hungry kids: Forward one step, back one step
Simon Collins (Herald): Boys’ schools ask parents to pay more in voluntary donations
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Foreign students in country fewer than half normal number
Alice Wilson (Herald): Reading between the lines of the phonics debate (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: Early Childhood Council wants new food safety rules delayed

Economy and work
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Why banks aren’t taking advantage of cheap money (paywalled)
Jamie Gray (Herald): Why the Reserve Bank is pulling back on its QE bond buying (paywalled)
Rob Stock (Stuff): Government’s ‘game theory’ tactic promises cascade of KiwiSaver fee cuts
Rob Stock (Stuff): Why the proposed ‘fair’ pensions law should scare you
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Rio Tinto’s relationship with Govt feels like a hostage negotiation

Climate change
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland’s public transport fare rises contradict its climate action goals
Janine Rankin (Stuff): Harnessing the winds against climate change
ODT: Editorial – Flicking the switch on EVs
Jack Santa Barbara (Newsroom): Climate Commission report: get it right or face catastrophe
Nile Bijoux (Stuff): Why do our police keep avoiding electric vehicles?

Local government
Peter McKenzie (Stuff): Wellington city council divided (again) over claims democracy is being obstructed by senior staff
Christina Persico (Stuff): NPDC set to formally support Māori ward law change
Laura Smith (ODT): Climate plan vote this week

Health
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): After the pandemic: Will our system of healthcare change?
Helen Harvey (Stuff): New Zealand’s psychological crisis putting lives at risk
RNZ: Doctors issue challenge to do more for Māori children
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Fluoride Free NZ accepts Health Minister’s call for fluoridation debate

Other
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Revealed: The companies dumping contaminants down the drain
Chris Trotter: The Winds of change
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Rātana celebrates without the official political contingent
David Williams (Newshub): Minister scolded Conservation boss over Mackenzie shambles
Maire Leadbeater (Herald): West Papua flag an inconvenient truth for Auckland Council (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): What if RMA reform still leaves everybody angry? (paywalled)
Tom McKinlay (ODT): Clauses for optimism
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): A third of rejected asylum cases overturned by appeals tribunal
Tame Malcolm (Guardian): Māori knowledge can help New Zealand get rid of predators but it can’t be ‘whitewashed’

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