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: General
David Welch (The Conversation): Northland case is a reminder NZ’s ‘dumb good luck’ may run out
Jamie Morton (Herald): Why aren’t we seeing more cases in Northland?
Amelia Wade (Herald): Two new Auckland community cases, locations of interest released
Adam Pearse (Northern Advocate): Two positive Auckland cases confirmed by Ministry of Health
George Block (Stuff): Govt failed to release names of two businesses linked to Northland case
Herald: Two more cases linked to Pullman Hotel being investigated by health officials
Troels Sommerville and Mina Kerr-Lazenby (Stuff): Business visited by latest Covid case open for business, hasn’t deep cleaned
Newstalk ZB: Hipkins: Two new Auckland community cases have South African variant
Herald: Auckland Countdown closed for deep clean as officials investigate two cases
Rodney Hide: The light at the end of the tunnel
Cathy Odgers: Cindy and Ashley get a C-ovid bomb from hone for Waitangi
Eleanor de Jong (Guardian): ‘Encouraging signs’: New Zealand hopes for Covid all-clear after no new cases reported
Irra Lee (1News): The psychology behind our heightened response after Northland Covid-19 case
Jamie Morton (Herald): Public loos with no soap or water a worry – researchers
Barry Soper (Herald): Why Kiwi taxpayers are paying Covid wage subsidy in Cook Islands
Juha Saarinen (Herald): Oh please, not CovidCard again (paywalled)
Vera Alves (Herald): If you don’t scan the QR code, don’t judge the Government’s pandemic response
1News: Cafe owner’s ban on recent isolation hotel guests ‘potentially infringing people’s rights’ – Hipkins
Denise Piper (Stuff): Northland trips cancelled, National retreat moved to avoid being ‘super-spreader’
Adam Pearse (Herald): Northland hapū grateful after ‘slack’ Covid testing stations improve
Nicholas Agar (Newsroom): Has the Treaty played a role in our Covid success?
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): MIQ is poorly run – here are my ideas to improve it
RNZ: Northland Covid-19 checkpoints to go ahead without police
Peter de Graaf and Mikaela Collins (Northern Advocate): Northland checkpoint group keeping mum on location, timing

Covid: Vaccine
Claire Trevett (Herald): Covid 19 vaccines and why PM Jacinda Ardern will not want to win the race to vaccinate (paywalled)
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Covid-19: At the back of the vaccine queue
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): A vaccine war is coming – and we’re on the wrong side
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Govt continuing to spin over Covid vaccine
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Why the rush to rollout the Covid-19 vaccine?
Zane Small (Newshub): Chris Hipkins brushes off EU threat to block COVID-19 vaccine exports as Ashley Bloomfield targets ‘minimum’ 70 percent jab coverage
Kate Hawkesby (Newwstalk ZB): Facts have got in the way of Ardern’s ‘year of the vaccine’
Newstalk ZB: Govt under scrutiny as NZ falls behind Australia with vaccine rollout
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Employers could pay workers to get the Covid-19 vaccination
Natalia Sutherland (1News): Covid-19 vaccine could be a repeated vaccine as virus keeps changing, says Ashley Bloomfield

Covid: Borders and travel
1News: Two new Auckland Covid-19 cases could hold up resumption of quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia
RNZ: Long wait for trans-Tasman bubble just got even longer
Brook Sabin (Stuff): Hello Perth and Brisbane: The PM’s plan for trans-Tasman travel
Herald: NZ-made immunity test could screen future travellers
Kris Gledhill (RNZ): If border restrictions increase to combat new Covid-19 strains, what rights do returning New Zealanders have?

Housing
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Govt lacks urgency implementing its own housing policies, let alone considering National’s
David Hargreaves (Interest): Weighing the options for the housing market
Greg Ninness (Interest): Low interest rates have created winners and losers in the housing market as the Covid-19 pandemic rumbles on
Crystal Wu (Newshub): National’s housing spokesperson Nicola Willis’ solutions to solve crisis
Leonard Hong (Herald): The housing shortage is even worse than you’d thought (paywalled)
Anne Gibson (Herald): Auckland rents hit new high, forecast to top $600/week soon: Barfoot & Thompson
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Super City rents hit new record
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Auckland average rental prices reach new high but central city properties dip
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): This one image shows why we urgently need NZ rent riots now!
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington housing advocate moves to Auckland as rental squeeze tightens
Catherine Smith (One Roof): Empty threat? The truth about landlords quitting the market
RNZ: Housing: Judith Collins says free up land and bring in more tradespeople
Newstalk ZB: National wants bipartisan solution on housing supply measures

Parliament and Government
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government not sure how much it is spending on third-party social service organisations
Andrew Barnes (Herald): Give MPs just two terms to fulfil their potential (paywalled)
Mike Hosking (Herald): Just like Joe Biden, the media needs to keep Jacinda Ardern honest (paywalled)
Stuff: Editorial – National’s state of the nation only stirs up apathy
Maiki Sherman (1News): National Party to contest Māori electorate seats
RNZ: Ex-MP welcomes National’s possible return to Māori seats

Economy and work
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Estimated $5b in wage subsidies paid out unneccessarily – philanthropist
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Employers who haven’t acted in the spirit of wage subsidy scheme to support staff ‘may get their comeuppance’
1News: Government fails to deliver key election promise on time despite being one of PM’s top priorities
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): How Covid-19 could lead to a three-day weekend… for some
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Economists wary of billion-dollar cost of raising sick leave (paywalled)
Daryl Warburton (Stuff): Child poverty: Kids will go without food for days so their younger siblings can eat
No Right Turn: Time to tax greed
John Anthony (Stuff): Airlines need roughly $600m in government support to keep air links open, airline group says
Katie Todd (RNZ): West Coasters ask – where’s our $24m?
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): BNZ appoints new chief economist

NZ-China free trade agreement
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): What New Zealand’s enhanced trade deal with China means (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): What the China-NZ free trade agreement upgrade means (paywalled)
Herald: Editorial: Upgraded NZ-China trade agreement a win for primary exporters (paywalled)

Climate change
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): New Zealand’s on-farm dairy emissions most efficient: Study
Richard Harman: Dairy NZ makes pre-emptive strike on methane critics
Henry Cooke (Stuff): James Shaw says US will have to ‘rebuild credibility’ on climate change following phone call with John Kerry
Mike Burrell (Newsroom): Go hard and go early on climate change
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Should we acknowledge climate crisis can’t be stopped?

Local government
Robin Martin (RNZ): New Plymouth Council signals support for ditching of Māori ward polls
Kiri Gillespie (Herald): Hobson Pledge’s Don Brash to speak against Tauranga Māori wards (paywalled)
Herewini Waikato (Māori TV): Maōri ward issue sets off Taumarunui fracas
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Unknown condition of wastewater pipes a ticking time bomb for Wellington
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Déjà vu: Wellington weathering a storm of broken water pipes
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Wellington businesses sick of constant ‘poo-namis’ stench after latest burst pipe
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland Council’s water company pays nearly $40,000 to think tank
Karen Driver (Stuff): Our waste recovery systems are broken

Oranga Tamariki
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): ‘Putting the pieces back together’: Oranga Tamariki needs to regain trust, says new board member
1News: Oranga Tamariki will have ‘laser-like focus on the needs of our children’ under new leadership – Kelvin Davis
1News: Government announces new advisory group for Oranga Tamariki after boss resigns
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Oranga Tamariki child rescue model separates tamariki from culture

John Banks Magic Talk radio show
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Vodafone, Kiwibank pull advertising from Magic Talk after racist comments endorsed by host John Banks
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Banks’ blurts bring boot from broadcaster
1News: John Banks removed from his radio show after ‘blatantly racist’ caller said Māori were ‘a stone-age people’
Alex Braae (Spinoff): John Banks axed over Māori ‘stone age culture’ comments on Magic Talk

Other
Cheree Kinnear (Herald): Police Association disagrees with minister over reason for recruitment halt
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Good news for apartment owners as Government plots big EQC shake-up
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Common sense dictates greyhound racing and pokie machines must be scrapped
David Greig (BusinessDesk): Is light rail worth having at all?
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): ‘Challenges’ at women’s prison being addressed – inspector
Herald: Vaping products could carry warnings in te reo Māori under new Government proposal
Zane Small (Newshub): ‘Judith Collins has a history of getting the facts wrong’: Kelvin Davis hits back over Waikeria Prison riot criticism
Paul Hunt and Meng Foon (Stuff): The growing issue of anti-semitism in New Zealand
Charlotte Ryan (RNZ): The NZ music industry’s #MeToo reckoning

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