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

Parliament’s tie-wearing rules
Metiria Turei (Spinoff): Why the parliament necktie fight is so much more than some petty squabble
Peter Dunne: Waititi wins
Caroline Daley (The Conversation): The tie that binds: unravelling the knotty issue of political sideshows and Māori cultural identity
Jason Walls (Herald): I spy with my little tie: Which MPs embraced the new tie-optional rules in Parliament?
Jessica Mutch-McKay (1News): Hei-tiki in Parliament a no-brainer, but ties should stay
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Loosening of the tie rules: Who dumped their neckwear in Parliament?
Lana Andelane (Newshub): National’s Simeon Brown condemns ‘lowering of standards’ in Parliament after ties made optional
Crystal Wu (RNZ): Male MPs spotted not wearing ties following Speaker’s new dress code ruling
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): From ties to Berocca: Dress code debacle not the only peculiar scene in first week of Parliament
River Lin (1News): MPs weigh in day after ties officially scrapped from Parliament dress code
The Guardian: New Zealand male MPs no longer have to wear ties after Māori MP ejected
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Speaker says he should have decided to make ties optional last year
Newstalk ZB: Peter Dunne slams Trevor Mallard’s conduct following parliament tie stoush
Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes (Māori TV): Waititi makes world headlines as first NZ politician without tie

Parliament and Government
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Still waiting for Jacinda Ardern’s ‘transformation (paywalled)
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): National struggles against super-powered Labour
Brian Fallow (Herald): Government debt target? What government debt target? (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Treasury caught out after audit finds ‘unacceptable’ number of non-compliant contracts
Richard Harman: Beehive leans on its shovels
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): The five big moments in a busy first week back for NZ’s members of parliament in 2021
Newstalk ZB: Tukituki MP Anna Lorck’s bizarre pro-supplement speech
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): New Ikaroa Rahwiti-based Green list MP Elizabeth Kerekere introduces member’s bill in maiden speech
Waatea News: National stalwart backs Maori seat change

Ricardo Menéndez March’s trip to Mexico
Stuff: Editorial – Menendez March’s Mexico visit raises questions about privilege
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Greens open to allegations of undue influence over senior MP Jan Logie’s letter on behalf of Ricardo Menéndez March
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Give Ricardo Menendez-March a break – he’s broken no rules
Zane Small (Newshub): Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March admits he was ‘rightfully declined’ emergency spot in MIQ
RNZ: Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March says Mexico trip may have been last chance to visit sick family

Air NZ work for Saudi Arabia military
1News: Revealed: Air NZ began hiding other activities as 1 NEWS investigated Saudi military dealings
RNZ: Former Air NZ boss Chris Luxon says military contract process was ‘a mistake’
RNZ: Air New Zealand apologises to MPs over Royal Saudi Navy contract
Conor Whitten (Newshub): Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran unable to give specifics around involvement with other international militaries
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Air NZ Saudi issue is selective outrage
1News: Air NZ apologises to MPs over Saudi engine scandal, explains ‘failings’ which saw airline ignore 1News’ questions
Jason Walls (Herald): ‘We have fallen short:’ Air NZ chair Therese Walsh apologises to MPs for ‘Saudi issue’
Calida Stuart-Menteath (NBR): Air NZ CEO can’t rule out other controversial military contracts (paywalled)

Housing and inequality
Michael Andrew (Spinoff): Five housing market numbers that will make your eyes bleed
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Treasury: ‘It’s still too early to assess the full impacts of the pandemic on inequality’
David Hargreaves (Interest): Getting the balance right on housing demand
Ashley Church (One Roof): Is the housing market about to hit a wall?
Brent Edwards (NBR): Govt still promising bold housing action despite KiwiBuild debacle (paywalled)
Catherine Masters (One Roof): 1.99% mortgage rate the ‘joker card’ too many Kiwis ‘won’t play properly’
Newstalk ZB: Reserve Bank Boss warns of debt-to-income risks for first home buyers

House rental market
Miriam Bell (Stuff): New rules in place but more rental changes may follow
Dan Satherley and Isabella Durant (Newshub): Landlords’ concerns about new tenancy laws based on ‘misinformation’ – tenant group
Rosemary McLeod (Stuff): Why I don’t feel sorry for landlords
Otago Daily Times: Editorial – Tenancy changes should not alarm
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): Will new rental rules fix more problems than they create?
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Rental law changes: What is a ‘minor change’, and what does the law say?
Harry Lock (RNZ): Landlords uneasy over reforms bringing more protection for tenants
Jean Bell (RNZ): Tauranga housing squeeze: ‘It can be desperate if you’re a tenant’
Joel MacManus and Ethan Te Ora (Stuff): Wellington the first region to top $600 median weekly rent, Porirua reaches $680
Kristin Hall (1News): Wellington renters in dire straits as rental prices hit all-time high
BusinessDesk: Rental prices, yields track up with higher house prices (paywalled)
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Rent records fall, but Trade Me says relief may be in sight for tenants

New planning laws to replace RMA
Newstalk ZB: Environment Minister hopes RMA reform will help fix the housing crisis
Newstalk ZB: Government urged not to rush through RMA reforms
Waatea News: Wider view of Maori rights in RMA reform
Waatea News: RMA reform offers chance for Maori to shine

Local government
Gareth Hughes (Stuff): If Wellington was a person, the family would be planning an intervention
Herald: Editorial: Lead-contaminated East Otago water a national concern (paywalled)
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington rates: 14 per cent increase proposed, $2.7 billion for water infrastructure
Harry Lock (RNZ): Wellington residents could face 17 percent rates increase
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington ratepayers facing hike of up to 17 per cent as cost of major projects mounts
Logan Savory (Stuff): Electoral officer disappointed with Invercargill City Council by-election voter turnout
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Dumping contaminants: Hamilton City Council slated for staying ‘sweet’ with businesses
Nikki Preston (Herald): Waikato Regional councillor suspended from council meetings over angry and abusive behaviour
Sally Murphy (RNZ): ‘It’s an overkill, it’s unreasonable’: Council urged to rethink cycleway
Denise Piper (Stuff): Campaigners plan to occupy key Northland land until it’s made into a reserve

Public transport
Simon Wilson (Herald): Robbie’s rapid transit and the city we could still have (paywalled)
Caryn Wilkinson (Stuff): Fix public transport to stop fossil fuel pollution deaths, climate expert says
Justin Latif (Spinoff): Chairman Mark: The South Auckland supremo aiming to fix the region’s inequality crisis
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): Three new stations announced for train line through growing south Auckland
Georgina Campbell (Herald): No airport bus to Hutt City a ‘slap in the face’
RNZ: Future of Hutt City transport infrastructure in planning
RNZ: Feedback on Wellington’s public transport plan sought

Economy and work
RNZ: Government releases details of Flexi-wage subsidy expansion
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Trade talks between New Zealand and the UK get tougher (paywalled)
David Scobie (Interest): Who would have guessed? 2020 caps off stellar decade for investors
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald: Survey: Why we don’t always call in sick when we should
Zane Small (Newhub): National MP Louise Upston hits out at Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni for cancelling JobStart meeting

Education
Kendall Hutt (Stuff): Auckland high schools short 30 teachers this year, 4000 students could go without
Simon Collins (Herald): New on-the-job teacher training scheme delayed as staff shortage ends
Roger Partridge (Herald): Counting the cost of New Zealand’s failed maths experiment (paywalled)
David Farrar: The truancy crisis
Dan Bidois (Herald): What to do with our failing education system (paywalled)
Gavin Brown (ODT): Committing to lift education
RNZ: Pasifika AUT students highlight lack of support at Manukau campus

Covid
Liu Chen (RNZ): People getting slack about protecting themselves from Covid risk, government survey shows
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Risky work: MIQ cleaners underpaid and undervalued, union says
RNZ: Invoices worth $23m sent to MIQ guests
RNZ: More managed isolation spots to be released

Media
Emily Brookes (Stuff): The secret life of Morning Report’s Susie Ferguson
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Radio host Sean Plunket moving on to the ‘next thing’ after departing MediaWorks radio station Magic Talk
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): MediaWorks bosses ‘rattled’ as Sean Plunket leaves Magic Talk, industry experts say
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Magic Talk’s Peter Williams gives shout-out to anti-vaxxers
Andre Chumko (Stuff): New Zealand’s broadcasting codes being reviewed

Freshwater claims and rules
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): 700 farmers turn up rural meeting to fight new freshwater rules
No Right Turn: Earning their reputation again

Māori wards in local government
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): In the pressure cooker of local politics, no one’s going to be oppressed by Māori wards
Waatea News: Fast track for Maori wards bill

Other
Chris Trotter (ODT): Recalling the past — and its ghosts
Chris Trotter (BFD): The new history curriculum must tell ‘Our Story’ (paywalled)
Michael Wright (Stuff): Collapse: Why the CTV tragedy is a blight on a city and a nation
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Pressure mounts for Govt action on marine protection
No Right Turn: NZ spies support torture
Ollie Neas (Spinoff): Stuart Nash on US military satellite launch in NZ: ‘I have not received an application’
Stuff: Defence Force sets protocols for possible civilian casualties, after damning Operation Burnham inquiry
RNZ: NZ Defence Force releases new rules for dealing with civilian harm
Amelia Wade (Herald): ‘Overly invasive regime’: Government faces opposition on bill to make live-streaming objectionable material illegal
Karl du Fresne: Police swoop on hateful bulldozer
Maia Hart (Stuff): Police to ‘engage’ with Renwick man again as ‘racist’ sign becomes crude sign
Emma Dangerfield (Stuff): Council calls for ban on ‘greenwashed’ products that cannot be recycled in NZ
Ryan Boswell (1News): More drugs being found in NZ prisons, but fewer inmates using them
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV): Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to challenge Crown’s methods of settlement with Iwi
Paul McBeth (Business Desk): SFO heads off health fraud; braces for covid crime (paywalled)
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Police charge NZTA worker sacked after 44 customers personal details were accessed unlawfully
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand defends Xinjiang ‘education’ after damning reports of rape, torture
Guy Trafford (Interest): The price of carbon starts to rise more sharply
Damien Venuto (Herald): Why the supposed war on barbecues was irresistibly seductive (paywalled)
Jeremy Sutton (Herald): The new trust laws explained – what you need to know (paywalled)
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Avondale tree protest: Police descend on demonstration over felling of tree, 1 arrested
Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Top Canterbury public health official taking legal action after being sacked
Grant Brookes (Daily Blog): The PSA & me: A review of ‘White-collar Radical – Dan Long and the rise of white-collar unions’, by Mark Derby

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