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

New Zealand history and the school curriculum
Wayne Hope (The Conversation): In an age of digital disinformation, dropping level 1 media studies in NZ high schools is a big mistake
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): National’s Paul Goldsmith hits out at ‘identity politics’ in proposed NZ history curriculum
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand shouldn’t underplay its own history
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National say new history curriculum features too much ‘identity politics’ and needs more balance
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government releases the New Zealand histories that will be compulsory in schools from 2022
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV): Aotearoa history to be taught in all schools from 2022
Te Rina Triponel (Herald): Government gears up as Aotearoa NZ history subject launches in 2022
Waatea News: Aotearoa history lessons to take regional flavour

Covid: Vaccine
Stuff: Editorial – Vaccine programme set to roll
RNZ: Covid-19 vaccine: Government’s contracts with suppliers questioned
Michael Daly (Stuff): Government must maintain transparency around vaccines, law professor says
Amelia Wade (Herald): Pfizer vaccine gets tick as Government prepares for mammoth roll-out
1News: Misinformation a ‘threat’ as Government prepares for Covid-19 vaccine rollout
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Covid-19 vaccine: Was it rushed? Is it safe? Could it be used to spy on the population? An expert addresses key questions and fears
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern expresses concern about Covid-19 ‘vaccine nationalism’ as National pushes for roll-out date
Herald: Editorial: First vaccine passes muster and readied for rollout (paywalled)
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern pledges to ‘absolutely be vaccinated’ – now it’s just a matter of getting our hands on it
Hannah Martin (Stuff): First Covid-19 vaccine approved for NZ: How did we get here and what comes next?
Eleanor de Jong (The Guardian): New Zealand gives provisional approval to Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
RNZ: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine granted provisional approval by Medsafe
Justin Giovannetti  (The Spinoff): New Zealand approves Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, first jabs expected next month
Tina Morrison (Stuff): What will vaccines do to New Zealand’s share market?
Aaron Dahmen (Newstalk ZB): Government to spend at least $3m on Covid-19 vaccine ad campaign

Covid: MIQ and testing
Luke Malpass (Stuff): A ‘new chapter’ in the Covid-19 fight isn’t a new chapter at all. It’s a phoney war
Caroline Williams (Stuff): Covid-19: People linked to Auckland cases wait days for results, have to be retested
Stuff: Editorial – Wiggle room at the MIQ inn depends on who you are
Stuff: Covid-19: Movement in MIQ facilities restricted to limit potential spread, Brigadier Jim Bliss says
Newstalk ZB: MIQ head responds to recent backlash around emergency entry decisions
Germana Nicklin (The Conversation): If we’re to defend our borders from pandemic, what do we mean by borders?
Thomas Bywater (Herald): Tasmania ready to welcome first direct NZ flights for 20 years
Tom Peters (Word Socialist Website): New Zealand government bans foreign cruise ship workers

Economy and work
Richard Harman: It’s ok to smile now, Grant
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Shock fall in unemployment to 4.9 per cent
RNZ: Unemployment fell to 4.9% in December quarter
Liam Dann (Herald): Jobs data shock: Unemployment falls to 4.9 per cent
David Hargreaves (Interest): BNZ economists now forecast interest rate rises next year
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): New Zealand’s unemployment drop shocks economists but Māori joblessness is rising
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Unemployment still higher for women, Maori: CTU
Andy Fyers (BusinessDeck): Winners and losers: Beyond the headline jobs number (paywalled)
Dita De Boni (NBR): The rich could pay the Coronavirus bill (paywalled)
Chris Wright and Andrea Steven (Stuff): ‘New normal’ or back to normal? Why the remote working revolution isn’t here yet
Peter Cullen (Stuff): Should Uber drivers be considered employees?
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City’s economy forecast to bounce back by 2022
Katarina Williams and Sophie Cornish (Stuff): ‘A very sad day for Wellington’: Flagship department store David Jones to close
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Closure of David Jones risks a gutting of Wellington’s CBD retail offering
Gordon Campbell: On the case for investing in coastal shipping

Housing
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Privacy Commissioner concerned landlords may be seeking too much information
Julia Gabel (Herald): Privacy Commissioner crackdown on information compiled and shared by landlords
Eva Corlett (RNZ): Property managers told to quit Facebook page that publishes ‘blacklist’ of tenants
RNZ: No ‘silver bullet’ will fix housing crisis
Mark Quinlivan & Leighton Heikell (Newshub): Christchurch councillor urges local, central Governments to support first-home buyers as property values hit new records
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Fear of missing out set to drive house prices higher, agents say
Tony Alexander (One Roof): Buyers fraught and nervous – NZ’s FOMO housing market
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): BNZ cracks down on property investors due to ‘unprecedented demand
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Garage ‘sleepout’ listed for rent for $400 a week for a couple in Carterton
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Dunedin’s push for more housing: Granny flats for more than just granny
Rob Stock (Stuff): Low, but no lower: Home loans as good as they will get
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): New Zealanders with home loans cash in on low rates

Local government
RNZ: High levels of lead in Dunedin water first detected six months ago
Nick Leggett (Stuff): It’s not just about the pipes, it’s about a lack of leadership
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington City Council reveals $40 million plan to upgrade central city wastewater pipes
RNZ: Despite improvements, Invercargill City Council fails on obligations, ombudsman says
Luisa Girao (Otago Daily Tinmes): Council needs to act on transparency: report
Stuff: Ombudsman calls for more transparency from Invercargill City Council
ODT: Editorial – Soaring DCC rates and spending
Tim Newman (Stuff): Nelsonians to face rate rise after Covid put a kibosh on 2020 increase
Justin Latif (The Spinoff): Dirty politics charge inflames South Auckland by-election
Joel MacManus (Stuff): As Auckland prepares for car-free Queen St, Wellington’s Golden Mile is stuck in neutral

Māori wards in local government
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Māori wards ‘natural’ next step in Hamilton
Susan Botting (Herald): Northland Māori seats poll petition to be delivered despite looming law change
Janine Rankin (Stuff): Smoothing the path for Māori wards pleases many in Manawatū region

Waitangi announcements
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): New Matariki public holiday date to move around like Easter, date for 2022 to be announced
Claire Trevett (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Northland visit starts at emotion-charged Ruapekapeka commemoration
Claire Trevett (Herald): Manual labour, a memorial and the signal PM Jacinda Ardern has sent to Maori (paywalled)
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Feeling and seeing the majesty of the background

Climate change
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): Government can’t afford climate complacency (paywalled)
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Doubling public transport and cycling trips isn’t enough to cut carbon, activists warn
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Climate transformation that sticks
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Transport development is already ‘a decade ahead’ of climate plan, says hydrogen boss
Steven Cowan:Climate change commission: tinkering with a failed system
No Right Turn: Climate Change: Unimaginable?
Terry Baucher (Interest): Climate change and tax; Fringe benefit tax the low hanging fruit
Jess Berentson-Shaw (Newsroom): Stop the behaviour change talk, give us better systems
Breanna Barraclough (1News): Electric car driver hits the road in record-breaking trip across NZ to ‘dispel EV myths’

China and international relations
Robert Ayson (Incline): Inklings of a Mahuta Doctrine?
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern deflects Australia-China comments with joke about 40-year-old ‘underarm incident’
1News: PM laughs off suggestion trans-Tasman relations were damaged by Trade Minister’s China comments
Philip Matthews (Stuff): Anzacs and atrocities: Will New Zealand ever recognise the Armenian Genocide?

Education
Dylan Reeve (Spinoff): Why are school uniforms so outrageously expensive?
Otago Daily Times: Editorial – Maths and science teaching woes
Newstalk ZB: NZ Initiative says child-centric teaching approach is failing students
Newstalk ZB: Professor: Politics to blame for record low maths results
Newstalk ZB: Chris Hipkins: All parties want to work together on fixing education
Laura Wiltshire (Stuff): Teachers to pay more to teach as new registration fees kick in

Health
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Health Minister Andrew Little hints at more funding for cancer, but makes no promises
David Galler (The Spinoff): My wish for Waitangi
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Cancer in New Zealand: Haematologist calls for increased funding towards blood cancer treatments
Patrick Gower (Newshub): Cystic fibrosis survivor calls for life-saving drug Trikafta to be funded as Pharmac dangles hop

Other
Melenie Parkes (Stuff): Jack Tame looking for answers as Q+A returns
Shilo Kino (The Guardian): We need more than a sprinkle of te reo in our culture for the Māori language to thrive
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Court kept a big secret about Stuff
Phil Pennington (RNZ): ‘We need to see changes to institutions’ – Islamic Women’s Council
Peter McKenzie (Stuff): How a Wellington bowls club is reconnecting its community
Māni Dunlop (RNZ): Mana Wāhine Inquiry: Original claimant Ripeka Evans gives evidence
Tapatahi (Māori TV): Happy Nat excited his party will contest Maori electorates
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Rainbow crossing for Karangahape Rd will celebrate home of Auckland’s queer community
1News: Auckland’s Karangahape Road to receive New Zealand’s third ‘rainbow crossing’
Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes (Herald): Armed police stop vehicle after bystander reports ‘gun’

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