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: New community outbreak
Jo Moir (Newsroom): The border will never be unbreachable
Audrey Young (Herald): The best place to judge Ardern’s lockdown is from a rear view mirror (paywalled)
Josh Van Veen (Democracy Project): Ardern’s Year of Reckoning?
Richard Harman: The advisors behind today’s lockdown decision
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Police set up Auckland checkpoints to stop non-essential travel
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: National, Act respond to Auckland lockdown move
Bernard Orsman (Herald): ‘Gut wrenching’: Auckland to shut up shop for three days
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Did we just stop summer? NZ back in lockdown (paywalled)
Jason Walls (Herald): Covid-19 coronavirus: Auckland into level-3 lockdown; NZ to alert level 2
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern answers questions following alert level move
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Covid-19: Fear of highly-transmissible variant sparks snap 72-hour lockdown of Auckland
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Testing stations will be busy, prepare to be patient
Caitlin Ellis (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s message to New Zealand as Auckland plunges into lockdown
Siouxsie Wiles (Stuff): How we detect historical cases of Covid-19 and why it matters
RNZ: Australia stops quarantine-free travel for New Zealand after Covid-19 cases
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Kiwis urged not to rush to supermarkets
Spinoff: It’s back to lockdown for Auckland. Here’s what alert level three means in practice

Covid: Vaccine
Damien Grant (Stuff): Covid-19: The divisive new challenges the vaccine will bring
Herald: Editorial: Transtasman blueprint needed for future virus threats (paywalled)
Brian R. Spisak and Eric J. McNulty (Newsroom): The hidden costs of vaccine passports
Jason Walls (Herald): Government looking into New Zealanders getting the Covid-19 vaccine at their workplace
Jason Walls (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus vaccine: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – jabs begin for border staff next week
Newshub: Jacinda Ardern confirms Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in New Zealand mid-February
1News: Hipkins ‘worried’ about Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy in some communities ahead of rollout
Dan Lake (Newshub): Covid-19 vaccine: What it means for New Zealanders and international travel
RNZ: Covid-19 vaccine not a ‘magic bullet’, NZ expert warns
Ian Powell: Behind the speed of Covid-19 vaccines
Lucy Warhurst (Newshub): Covid-19 vaccine: New Zealand preparing for biggest vaccination programme in our history
RNZ: Stuart Ritchie: Debunking Covid bad science online
Adam Jacobson (RNZ): Covid 19 coronavirus: Workers shouldn’t be penalised in vaccine rollout – unions
RNZ: Covid-19: NZ females more likely not to get vaccinated
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Ministry of Education moves against Covid-19 conspiracy email sent by teacher

Covid: General
Scott Palmer (Newshub): New community cases show Government has left New Zealand a ‘sitting duck’ – David Seymour
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Expert calls for tighter checks on travellers after hundreds of people arrived in NZ and went on to Australia
Eugene Bingham (Stuff): MIQ as a transit lounge: hundreds fly to Australia soon after leaving isolation
Stuff: Covid-19: Auckland Airport trialling coronavirus saliva test developed by NZ team

Parliament and Government
Geoffrey Miller and Mark Blackham (Democracy Project): MP careers research shows “very diverse parliament”
Shaun Goldfinch, Robin Gauld and Ross Taplin (The Conversation): Trust in government soars in Australia and New Zealand during pandemic
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Speaker orders National Party ad mocking new Labour MP Anna Lorck removed
Christian Fuller and Jason Walls (Herald): Senior National MP Chris Bishop in hot water for mocking Anna Lorck
Jenna Lynch (Stuff): National MP Chris Bishop to face parliamentary committee over edited video of Labour MP Anna Lorck
Daniela Maoate-Cox (RNZ): MPs finish 19 hour debate on speech from the throne
Andrew Gunn (Stuff): Are we the freest or the most controlled?
Michele Hewitson (Listener): The bogan whip: Kieran McAnulty on pies, religion and his infamous ute
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Petitions get a dedicated committee
Brent Edwards: (NBR) From tie turnarounds to RMA reform (paywalled)
Claire Trevett (Herald) Beehive Diaries: The charmer and the ‘smarmer’ (paywalled)
Northern Advocate: Northland list MP Mark Cameron ‘indebted’ to World War II heroes
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Parliamentarians go into bat – literally

Parliament’s tie-wearing rules
Leigh-Marama McLachlan (Herald): What Rawiri Waititi’s defiance over tie symbolises (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): MP wearing tie hails end of rule, while MP without tie says keep them compulsory
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Sir Richard Branson ‘delighted’ by Parliament’s removal of tie rule

Māori wards in local government
Graham Adams (Democracy Project): Nanaia Mahuta and the Māori wards
RNZ: Māori wards key to ensuring local iwi represented – councillor
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Māori excluded in local democracy ‘forever’ – councillor
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Māori wards: A voice on local council grounded in the Māori world view
Jack Tame (Newstalk ZB): Opposition to Maori wards “extraordinary”
Grant Miller (ODT): Doubt about value of Maori wards
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Select committee hears submissions on bill proposing to ease creation of council Māori wards
Susan Botting (Herald): Northland Regional Council working party wants three Māori seats
Greg Presland (The Standard): Ending discrimination against Māori wards

Local government
RNZ: Small voter turnout for Invercargill City Council by-election
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Wellington iwi continue protest of $500m residential development with peaceful occupation of Shelly Bay
RNZ: Wellington mayor defends proposed rates rise amid capital’s water woes
Harry Lock (RNZ): Wellingtonians torn on proposed 17% rates hike: ‘That stuff needs to be done at some point’
RNZ: Wellington mayor defends proposed rates rise amid capital’s water woes
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Let’s Get Wellington Moving review: City’s transport plan at risk of failing
RNZ: Wellington’s traffic problems could harm economy – truckies
Eye of the fish: LGWM spanked
Tina Law (Stuff): Christchurch council spends nearly $30,000 undoing councillor’s unapproved trench

Water quality safety
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Our drinking water crisis: Pressure too much for councils
Molly Houseman (ODT): Mayor mum over SDHB contradiction
Tess Brunton (RNZ): DHB denies pushing for secrecy over elevated lead levels in water
Tom Peters (World socialist website): New Zealand towns’ drinking water contaminated with lead
ODT: What is the state of drinking water testing around NZ?

Housing and inequality
Ben Thomas (Stuff): Cashed-up former city dwellers are overheating the property market, and the regions will suffer for it
Bernard Hickey (Stuff): Three large elephants remain despite RMA overhaul and higher deposit rules
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): A longer bright-line test risks rewarding investors for locking out buyers for longer (paywalled)
Hamish Walker (Stuff): House prices won’t slow while we have ‘free money’
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): What’s the truth about property investors’ tax perks?
Brian Easton (Pundit): The Sources of house price inflation
Brendon Harre: Is the housing crisis bad for productivity as well as wealth inequality?
Greg Ninness (Interest): January property listings hit an 11-year high in Auckland
Luisa Girao (ODT): Rent hike approach deemed insensitive
Greg Ninness (Interest): Rental property market stirred not shaken by changes to the Residential Tenancies Act
ODT: Editorial – Preserving New Zealand’s habitat

Media funding from government
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Public purse to bankroll more of our news
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Why NZ on Air should weep
Zane Small (Newshub): Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi announces $55 million fund to rescue ‘grassroots public interest journalism’
Newsroom: Taxpayers to pay $55m for better journalism
RNZ: Public interest journalism gets $55 million boost
John Minto (Daily Blog): So will the public purse help top up Mike Hosking’s salary?
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Sweet Jesus not MORE public money for The Spinoff, NZ Herald and Stuff?

Media
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Should we care about Sean Plunket’s departure from talk radio?
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Telco unveils ethical advertising policy amid talkback turmoil
Stuff: Broadcaster Sean Plunket says support has been ‘humbling’ since Magic Talk departure

Economy and work
Luke Malpass (Stuff): The economy appears to be booming, but how long will it last?
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): What should banks do with all the cheap public money the RBNZ’s FLP offers them?
Alison Brook (Interest): Will infrastructure spending be too late for New Zealand’s post-pandemic recovery?
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): Grim message from Stuart Nash to tourism industry (paywalled)
Simon Draper (Stuff): Contribution of Asian communities to our economy is often overlooked
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Waiting for Godot and inflation (paywalled)
RNZ: Kiwifruit growers’ PSA case: Government agrees to pay sector $40 million
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Trade talks between New Zealand and the UK get tougher (paywalled)

Race relations and ethnicity
Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): Māori academics are ‘lonely, isolated, and struggling to be heard’
Tom O’Connor (Stuff): Let’s not get tied in knots over the little that divides us
Te Rina Triponel (Herald): Pākehā call for tikanga to change. Is it not okay to be Māori? (paywalled)
Hinekahukura Te Kanawa (Herald): Waitangi: Speaking protocol on marae a matter for Māori (paywalled)
Māmari Stephens (E-Tangata): Reading the signs on a journey into Māori law
Pounamu Jade Aikman and Anantha Narayanan (E-Tangata): ‘Clowns wear suits, too’: the look, feel and taste of systemic racism
Maia Hart (Stuff): ‘Racist’ sign removed from driveway in rural Marlborough

Climate change
Todd Niall (Stuff): Climate Change: Auckland councillors sign up to tougher standards
Tom Doig (Newsroom): Meanwhile, that other crisis
Will Harvie (Stuff): Scientists devise method to combat climate change using common NZ rock
Phil O’Reilly (Herald): Climate Change Commission report invites two major problems (paywalled)
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Trade Minister Damien O’Connor wary of ‘ad hoc’ carbon tariffs proposed by Britain
Julie Iles (NBR): Pamu already facing climate change impact as it lowers emissions (paywalled)

Air NZ work for Saudi Arabia military
RNZ: Air New Zealand names five other navies it is doing engine repairs for
1News: Air NZ reveals it has done work for eight different navies in past decade
John Anthony (Stuff): Air New Zealand confirms it has done work for eight different navies
Campbell Garrett (Stuff): NZ must catch up on supply chain due diligence
RNZ: Air NZ reveals which other militaries it does work for
Herald: Business Insider: Air New Zealand, the Saudi affair and dodgy prawns (paywalled)
RNZ: Government to keep majority share of Air NZ

Conversion therapy ban
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Ricardo Menéndez March & Dr Elizabeth Kerekere: A tale of two Greens
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Green Party calls for Government to urgently prioritise banning ‘harmful, traumatising’ conversion therapy
Stuff: Green Party calls to end conversion therapy, launches petition
1News: Green Party to launch petition calling on Govt to prioritise banning conversion therapy
RNZ: Green Party calls on Labour Government to ban gay conversion therapy

Mental health
Herald: Long overdue’: Government’s $4 million funding for Rainbow community wellbeing
1News: Govt to allocate $4m towards mental health services nationwide for rainbow youth

Other
Bruce Munro (Otago Daily Times): Budget justice
Reweti Kohere (NBR): Don’t throw baby out with bathwater, litigation funder warns (paywalled)
Joris de Bres (Spinoff): I’ll be long gone before the Royal Commission’s evidence is released
Monique Poirier (Kiwiblog): Child poverty: where’s the urgency?
Boyd Swinburn (Herald): Free lunch could be food-system game-changer (paywalled)
Ian Powell: Business consultants require health union vigilance
Robin Martin (RNZ): Hui hailed as first step in tackling ‘huge and terrible’ Māori cancer rates
Marc Greenhill (Stuff): Collapse: CTV rescue hero’s sadness for those he could not save
RNZ: Government considering legal offence for livestreaming objectionable content
Lana Hart (Stuff): Speaking up when it’s none of your business
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): New Zealand’s visa application centre in Beijing has links to Chinese security police
Natasha Holland (Stuff): Is anyone actually listening to the farmers?
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Big Gay Out: Corrections won’t attend after rainbow community shares safety concerns
Newstalk ZB: Greens unhappy next Rocket Lab launch will include US defence satellite
RNZ: Filmmaker: ‘We need to talk more about Christchurch’

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