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: Vaccine
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): New Zealand catching up to allies on COVID-19 vaccines but mass roll-out won’t begin until mid-year
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Not much time for DHBs to get ready to administer Covid vaccines, vendor warns
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Health staff train up to administer Pfizer vaccine
Henry Cooke (Stuff): PM says government approval for Pfizer vaccine possible next week
Alice Angeloni (RNZ): Māori health leaders gear up for ‘people focused’ vaccine roll-out
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says vaccine campaign will be educational so sceptics know it’s safe
RNZ: Pasifika nous to be tapped for NZ vaccination rollout
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Govt full of hot air over Covid-19 vaccine
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Can employers make vaccination mandatory?
Josie Adams (Spinoff): Discrimination by healthcare providers could affect immunisation rates – study

Covid: Borders and travel
Jason Walls (Herald): Jacinda Ardern – New Zealand’s borders likely to remain closed to most of the world all year
Eleanor de Jong (Guardian): New Zealand borders to stay closed until citizens are ‘vaccinated and protected’
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Covid-19: Jacinda Ardern says country-to-country bubble with Australia looking increasingly difficult
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern’s ‘disappointment’ at Australia’s decision to close border over Northland COVID-19 case
Brook Sabin (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern outlines where Kiwis could travel in 2021
Brook Sabin (Stuff): Bubble trouble: Did Australia just sink all hope of trans-Tasman travel?
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Aussie border closure is an overreaction but works for ScoMo
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Australia one-way travel suspension a ‘cautionary message’, foreign affairs minister says
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Not all of The Wiggles’ crew have applied for entry to NZ
Debrin Foxcroft (Stuff): Just 32 per cent of border exception requests approved since March

Covid: MIQ
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Poor PPE, guests mixing and lax attitudes: Couple share concerns after MIQ stay
1News: Chris Hipkins says Covid-19 transmission via isolation hotel ventilation ‘less likely’
1News: Hotel ventilation systems ‘certainly possible’ as mode for Covid-19 transmission, expert says
Crystal Wu (Newshub): Chris Hipkins explains why it’s hard to separate returnees
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Cracks starting to show at MIQ, returnees say (paywalled)

Covid: Iwi checkpoints
Liu Chen (RNZ): Opinion divided over reinstating iwi border control checkpoints
Peter de Graaf (Northern Advocate): Police say Northland iwi Covid checkpoints not needed
Hone Hawawira (Daily Blog): Border controls are back
1News: Northland iwi leaders to reinstate checkpoints after latest Covid-19 community case

Covid: General
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM paints picture of a ‘normal’ Covid life – but not for a long time (paywalled)
Jamie Morton (Herald): Covid-19: Three big questions we’re now asking (paywalled)
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): COVID-19 modelling expert urges Kiwis to prepare for level 4 lockdown in 2021
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Latest Northland Covid Outbreak: The only political test that matters for Labour in 2021
Duncan Garner (Newshub): New Zealand had remarkable luck avoiding summer COVID-19 catastrophe
RNZ: Iwi ask for water, toilet facilities as people wait hours for Covid test in Northland
Māori TV: Ngātiwai calls for more resource for Covid-19 Northland testing
1News: Covid-19 outbreak in Māori, Pasifika communities could be ‘catastrophic’, leading GP warns
Molly Codyre (Herald): No way home for Covid recovered who still test positive (paywalled)
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Two new cases in managed isolation, 1500 community tests in Northland
Kerre McIvor (Newstalk ZB): We all have a role to play in keeping Covid out
Elle Hunt (Guardian): ‘No system is perfect’: Siouxsie Wiles on New Zealand’s fight against Covid complacency
Newstalk ZB: Study reveals key to getting more people scanning Covid Tracer app
Vaimoana Tapaleao (Herald): Northland man with symptoms waits almost 10 hours for test
Adam Pearse and Karina Cooper (Herald): People who visited locations of interest turned away from testing
1News: NZ ranked best place to be during Covid-19 pandemic for third month running
Skara Bohny (Stuff): Nelson cafe owner takes Covid precautions to next level
RNZ: QR codes at DOC visitor sites being expanded

Housing
Dileepa Fonseka and Kate Newton (Stuff): Rents soar after Covid-19 freeze ends
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Economist suggests strategy to cool the hot housing market
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Judith Collins calls for emergency housing law change in first speech of the year
Audrey Young (Herald): National leader Judith Collins calls on emergency plan for housing
Anna Whyte (1News): Judith Collins says National and Labour must work together to solve the housing crisis
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins suggests National and Labour fix housing crisis ‘together’ by copying Canterbury quake response
BusinessDesk: Use quake-style powers to speed house-building: Collins
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): National complaining about State Housing is like Trump lecturing on Feminism
Eric Crampton (Newsroom): Plan flexibly, build more or pay the price
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Housing market “defying logic” says Oceania (paywalled)
1News: Auckland woman calls for housing ‘system’ shake-up as she struggles to buy first home in hot market
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): Are heating and cooling standards for landlords over the top?
Tom Hunt (Stuff): It’s affordable, but not as you may know it: $750 a week for three bedrooms
Ashley Church (One Roof): The Bright Line Test and other silly laws

Judith Collins speech
Richard Harman: Collins promises to be kind as she points National to the centre
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): RMA reform plans put Nats on tricky tightrope
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Judith Collins wants to help solve the country’s housing crisis. Do people care?
Audrey Young (Herald): National leader Judith Collins calls on emergency plan for housing
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Judith Collins focuses on housing, Covid-19 in National’s state of the nation address
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Collins: No time to prioritise climate change
Newstalk ZB: Collins confirms she’s started writing political thriller set at Parliament

Oranga Tamariki
Michael Neilson (Herald): Māori leaders to head Oranga Tamariki advisory board appointed by Kelvin Davis
Stuff: Oranga Tamariki Minister Kelvin Davis announces new all-Māori board of advisors
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Govt moves again on Oranga Tamariki
Liz Gordon (Daily Blog): It was always going to be trouble

Parliament and Government
Chlöe Swarbrick (Herald): How to make NZ a better place? It’s down to you, me, us (paywalled)
Logan Tutty (Herald): Rātana focus on internal issues with no politicians around
David Farrar: Ratana leader wants Ratana to ditch Labour
Hayden Donnell (Metro Mag): The 25-year-old campaign manager behind Chlöe Swarbrick’s Auckland Central win
Catrin Owen (Stuff): New Zealand first foundation case: Duo charges moved to High Court
Sam Hurley (Herald): NZ First Foundation investigation: SFO’s political donations case against accused duo heads to High Court

Education
Katy Jones (Stuff): Schools shouldn’t ask parents to provide devices, expert says
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Schools prepare for children in ‘survival mode’ as term starts
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Inequality among pupils as schools prepare for new term
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Ministry of Education process stifled complaints of abuse at childcare centre, teacher says
George Heagney (Stuff): Thousands of free lunches to be dished out by local charity
Richard Prebble (Herald): Brother Tom’s wise words still ring true (paywalled)
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Children miss out on vital health and development check because of lockdown

Economy and work
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Property owner says loan guarantee scheme shows Labour sees sector as ‘like arms dealers’ (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): The help firms will get if there is another Covid lockdown
RNZ: Estimated $5b in wage subsidies paid out unneccessarily – philanthropist
RNZ: Government commended for helping businesses survive pandemic
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Hundreds of injured people paid less than minimum wage, despite vow to change ACC law
Grant Bradley (Herald): Hotel Council Aotearoa says it will take years for sector to recover (paywalled)

NZ-China free trade agreement
Richard Harman: The China trade agreement; you can’t always get what you want to get
RNZ: New Zealand and China upgrade free trade agreement
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand signs upgraded free trade agreement with China

Climate change
Elle Hunt (Guardian): New Zealand school climate strikers call for ‘can-do Kiwi attitude’ to combat crisis
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): ‘Our future is not guaranteed’: Students rally outside Parliament to demand climate action
Gavin Evans (BusinessDesk): Prepare to be shocked: Sunday’s big carbon budget reveal (paywalled)
RNZ: Protesters demand rapid action on climate change
Luke Harrington (Stuff): New Zealand needs to start taking extreme heat seriously

Local government
Christina Persico (Stuff): New Plymouth councillors recommend supporting Government law change on Māori wards
Herewini Waikato (Māori TV): Maōri ward issue sets off Taumarunui fracas
Doug Sail (Stuff): Waitaki District Council praised in independent assessment
RNZ: Contaminant dumping: Minister says companies must comply with consents
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Wellington pop-up library deemed safe, despited ‘quake-prone’ sticker
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): ‘National embarrassment’: How Wellingtonians reacted to the city’s sewage pipe water woes
Russell Tregonning (Stuff): A different way forward for Shelly Bay

Other
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Government didn’t look at value for money when weighing up $10b light rail decision
Dane Giraud (Democracy Project): It’s time to “hound” beagle into doing his job
Danyl Mclauchlan (Spinoff): We need to throw out a mindblowing amount of science and start again
Robert Ayson (Incline): Biden and Democracy: Implications for New Zealand
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Opposition mounts against proposed land swap that could create 1000 Upper Hutt homes
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Partners and children of some visa holders mistakenly added in extension email
Newstalk ZB: Are online tools the solution to gaps in NZ’s legal system?
1News: Problem Gambling Foundation says it’s ‘a shame’ Kiwi music giants Six60 being used on scratchie tickets

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