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: Auckland outbreak decisions
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Contact tracing ‘Ferrari’ will be enough to contain future outbreaks
Jamie Morton (Herald): Shift to Level 2 ‘not cautious enough’ – expert
Science Media Centre: Auckland jumps down to Alert Level 2 – Expert Reaction
Jason Walls (Herald): Auckland’s lockdown exit comes with a Jacinda Ardern warning
Richard Harman (Politik): Living with covid
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Community surprised as Auckland moved into alert level 2
1News: Dr Siouxsie Wiles ‘a little surprised’ at alert level drop announcement
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): NZ forges new, riskier path in dropping levels
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Latest lockdown is more than ‘just three days’ for businesses
1News: NZ wakes up to lowered Covid-19 restrictions, despite three community cases announced yesterday
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Health officials struggling to pin down source of Auckland’s community cases – Chris Hipkins
Dan Satherley (RNZ): ‘Stay a couple of days and see what happens’ – Siouxsie Wiles says it’s too early to lift restrictions
Jamie Morton (Herald): Why the Govt was right to order lockdown (paywalled)
Nicholas Jones (Herald): ‘Work bubble’ approach at Auckland Airport must be expanded: PSA
Waatea News: Maori feel wrong signals sent on Covid response
No Right Turn: Woodhouse lets the mask slip
Stephen Forbes (Stuff): South Auckland businesses will be hit hard by extended lockdown – advocates
Amy Williams (RNZ): Businesses brace for more pain – ‘Clock ends up ticking’
Julia Gabel (Herald): Australia extends pause on quarantine-free flights from New Zealand

Covid: Vaccine
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): Will our economic recovery be held hostage by anti-vaxxers?
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Nearly a quarter of Kiwis unlikely to take coronavirus vaccine, Ministry of Health research shows
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Covid-19 vaccines: Authorities combat misinformation
Shelley Knowles (Stuff): Why the hesitancy? Vaccinations save lives every day
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Is the vaccine really free?
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Should there be a specific Covid-19 vaccination plan for Māori?
Katie Todd (RNZ): Frontline staff prepare to get first dose of Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine
1News: Government aiming to have 12,000-strong border workforce vaccinated in two or three weeks
Stuff: Māori doctors address the issue of vaccine hesitancy as the Covid-19 vaccination is set to roll out

Covid: General
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Exclusive poll: NZ support for Covid-19 response remains sky high
Anna Whyte (1News): Jacinda Ardern details the ‘indescribable anxiety’ that comes with managing a pandemic
Zane Small (Newshub): ‘Stigmatised’ and refused gym memberships: E tū shares Jacinda Ardern’s concern for border workers
Liu Chen (RNZ): Some Aucklanders support mandatory Covid app scanning
RNZ: New Zealand academics help plan world’s recovery from pandemic
Damien Venuto (Herald): How much the Government is spending to upgrade quarantine hotels (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern says compulsory QR code scanning being considered
Michael Neilson (Herald): Calls for tracer scanning to be compulsory after latest cases didn’t use app
Josie Adams (Spinoff): Spit take: Saliva testing is something extra, not a nose swab replacement
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern appears frustrated at Judith Collins, David Seymour for ‘trying to have an argument’ about Covid-19 saliva testing
Geraden Cann (Stuff): MIQ checks put in place to combat travellers booking overlapping slots
Meriana Johnsen (RNZ): Māori health providers miss out on ‘masks for whānau’
Waatea News: Maori Covid plan sought

Australia-NZ dispute over terrorist suspect in Turkey
Jo Moir (Newsroom): PM’s lashing out at ScoMo will fall on deaf ears
ODT: Editorial – Anzac relations under stress
David Fisher (Herald): Isil Kiwi ‘shook with fear’ as she spoke of how she wanted to come home – to Australia
David Fisher (Herald): Isis Kiwi’s journey to Syria and her quest to come home (paywalled)
Claire Breen (Spinoff): NZ is fuming at Australia for washing its hands of a dual citizen. What does it mean for her children?
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Ardern stresses Turkey detainee case not yet resolved
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Should we revoke jihadi citizenship first?
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern pleased Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accepts ‘difficult situation’ in citizenship dispute
Newstalk ZB: PM says trans-Tasman relationship important despite Morrison criticism
Kerre McIvor (Newstalk ZB): Why was PM surprised by Australia’s decision on ISIS bride?

Housing
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Ministry still sees need for Govt to underwrite housing developments
Rob Stock (Stuff): Investors plead with ASB’s rival banks not to restrict loans for new builds
David Hargreaves (Interest): Fletcher Building sees ‘robust’ future demand for its new houses in NZ
Ashley Church (One Roof): The new victims of the property blame game
Corazon Miller (1News): Beneficiaries, low-income earners running out of places to live on Waiheke Island
Eleanor Black (Newsroom): Unlocking a housing impasse
Scott Fisher (Newstalk ZB): Can pre-fab houses help fix the housing crisis?
Ethan Te Ora (Stuff): Returning students flock to the halls, bypassing Wellington’s rental shortage in favour of nine-month leases

NZ troops to leave Afghanistan by May
Herald: NZ troops to leave Afghanistan after 20 years, 10 NZ lives lost
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand to end 20-year military deployment to Afghanistan
Zane Small (Newshub): New Zealand to conclude Afghanistan deployment in 2021 after 20 years

Economy and work
Spinoff: The future of work: Insights from across Aotearoa
Brent Edwards (NBR): Govt looks to hit employers with three-year minimum wage increase (paywalled)
Andy Fyers (BusinessDesk): Productivity growth heading in the wrong direction (paywalled)
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union to return $60,000 from wage subsidy
David Hargreaves (Interest): Community Covid cases confirm caution from RBNZ

Parliament and Government
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): In the know: Making sense of Labour’s inaction
Claire Trevett (Herald): Is Act outflanking National in the shifting sands of Opposition? (paywalled)
John Bishop (Stuff): Political leaders’ language seeks to manipulate us
Phil Smith (RNZ): The importance of being critical: the opposition role
Jason Walls (Stuff): National’s Chris Bishop stands his ground ahead of Berocca video please explain meeting
Kerry Harvey (Stuff): Chloe Swarbrick plays the brain game for Celebrity Brain Busters

Local government
Logan Savory (Stuff): Prominent broadcaster Marcus Lush wins Invercargill City Council by-election
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Broadcaster Marcus Lush wins race for spot on Invercargill City Council in landslide
RNZ: Marcus Lush elected to Invercargill Council in by-election
Herald: Marcus Lush elected to Invercargill City Council
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): Coral Raukawa takes out Rangitīkei District Council byelection
Bill Hickman (Stuff): Wellington tots may lose free swimming as council looks to save $120,000
Tina Law (Stuff): Residents using too much water face charges in Christchurch’s new budget
BusinessDesk: Beyond the Waikato: Auckland needs salt or recycled water options (paywalled)
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Gore estimates cost of $300m to comply with freshwater rules
Newstalk ZB: More critcisim over Let’s Get Wellington Moving
Aaron Stallard (Stuff): Survey shows demand for council action on climate in Nelson-Tasman

Māori wards in local government
Gavin Beattie (Stuff): How the law on Māori wards was drawn up
Waatea News: Kia tere call for Maori seat change

Discrimination survey
Lincoln Tan (Herald): Chinese Kiwis fear for safety as more experience discrimination amid pandemic
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Covid-19 heightens racism against Māori, Chinese – research
Lucy Xia (Stuff): Māori, Chinese communities report most discrimination during pandemic
1News: Chinese, Māori communities in NZ face high rates of Covid-19-related discrimination — report

Inequality
Andrew McRae (RNZ): Claims rising incomes only shows growing disparity in society
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Child poverty, inequality at ‘unacceptable levels’, wealth tax crucial to improving outcomes – Green Party
Newstalk ZB: Calls for more action to lessen the rise in poverty

Health
Eva Corlett (RNZ): ‘Crap pay and horrible conditions’: Midwives at breaking point in capital DHB
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Midwife shortage and more babies creates ‘perfect storm’ for Wellington hospital maternity ward
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Supplier of expensive cystic fibrosis medication yet to apply for Pharmac approval

Other
Marie Dyhrberg (Stuff): Marie Dyhrberg oped on sexual violence bill
Herald: Public sector employment boosted post-pandemic, and not only in Wellington
Rob Stock (Stuff): Prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s KiwiSaver profited from Saudi military deals
Robert MacCulloch (NBR): ‘Sniff tests’ the new ethical standard for Kiwi business (paywalled)
Newsroom: Outdated adoption law set for change
Mohsen Mohammadzadeh (Newsroom): NZ’s car ownership culture can’t be our future
Waatea News: Maori role vital in RMA reform support
Amber Allott (Stuff): Massive oil drilling prospect off Otago coast canned
Teuila Fuatai (Herald): Has John Banks set the tone of corporate anti-racism conversation? (paywalled)
Georgia-May Gilbertson (Stuff): More than 80,000 people on low incomes can earn more before their benefits are cut
RNZ: Baby mortality for young Māori, Pacific, Indian mothers needs urgent action – report
Stuart Smith; Arena Williams (Stuff): Learning history not only teaches us our past, it makes us think critically and look at the way in which those stories are told
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): Why 2020’s lockdowns hit the economy worse than they hit pollution
RNZ: Department of Conservation reveals new visitor strategy
The Standard: The very, very lucky country
Cushla Norman (1News): Two insects to be introduced from Europe to help
Rachel Canning (Herald): 1.1ha of Torepatutahi Wetland dies after Contact Energy spraying goes wrong
Victoria Young (Business Desk): Boat, bach… baby? Covid boom for fertility businesses (paywalled)

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