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
Tim Watkin (Pundit): The Law Of Diminishing Covid Returns: The Government’s Mood Management Task
Liam Dann (Herald): Riding Dr Ashley Bloomfield’s Covid roller coaster (paywalled)
Jamie Morton (Herald): Auckland lockdown was ‘frustrating’ but justified, says expert
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Experts call for seven-tier alert level system as Auckland moves to level 1
Stuff Editorial: MIQ facility suggestion is poor timing
RNZ: Michael Barnett urges ‘more clinical’ response to Covid-19 community cases, Chris Hipkins says each case unique
Amelia Wade (NZ Herald): Epidemiologist slams ‘highly problematic’ border operation as Jacinda Ardern pours cold water over building specialist MIQ
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern throws doubt on National’s purpose-built COVID-19 quarantine facility idea
TVNZ: Ardern pours cold water on National’s proposal of purpose-built quarantine facilities
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): More than $700m of the Covid-19 wage subsidy repaid before alert level change
Kate Gregan (RNZ): Business support package opens today, to give alert level help
Jason Walls (Herald): Government officials turned their noses up at a potential policy to subsidise Kiwis’ dinners out
TVNZ: Ardern hopes Kiwis will make public transport mask wearing ‘new normal’ as mandatory rule remains
Richard Harman: Trans Tasman bubble looks closer
1News: Trans-Tasman travel bubble kicked down the road again, after initial ambition to start by end of March

Covid: Vaccine
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): PM should be bumped up the vaccine queue
Herald: Jacinda Ardern says she will be publicly vaccinated — but not yet
Zane Small (Newshub): National’s deputy Shane Reti ‘happy to help’ Jacinda Ardern get public COVID-19 vaccination
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says she will get vaccinated against COVID-19 publicly but is ‘torn’ over timing
Aimee Shaw (NZ Herald): Big employers on board with Government’s vaccine roll-out plans (paywalled)

Canterbury earthquake anniversary
Dmytro Dizhur (Spinoff): Lessons learned from a city destroyed: making buildings safer post-Christchurch
Tom Peters (WSWS): Ten years after New Zealand earthquake, no justice for victims of building collapse
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Remembering Christchurch a decade on: Sir John Key says earthquake was his toughest day as Prime Minister
TVNZ: ‘Bitterness of 10 years of injustice’ still churns for man whose wife was one of 115 killed in CTV building
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Ten years after Christchurch’s devastating quake ‘anchor projects’ yet to be completed
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): 10 years on, Christchurch deserves better from its rebuild
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Looking after traumatised young people is a legacy of the quakes, says PM
Elle Hunt (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern pays tribute as Christchurch commemorates earthquake victims
Stuff: Then and now: The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake in pictures
Newshub: Remembering Christchurch a decade on: A raw, powerful account of the events that unfolded after the quake

Housing
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Govt delays housing policy announcements to mid-March
Jade Kake (Stuff): Housing rethink poses mighty challenge
Brent Melville (Business Desk): Housing: From avoiding catastrophe to finding solutions (paywalled)
David Hargreaves (Interest): Records all around in the searing mortgage market in 2020
Brent Melville (Business Desk): NZ Initiative: Auckland to remain ‘crowded house’ for new arrivals
Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Spinoff): What the new tenancy laws mean for Māori
Greg Ninness (Interest): Immigration is the biggest single driver of housing demand
Georgina Campbell (NZ Herald): Call for Government to support reform of apartment living legislation
Rupert Gough (One Roof): The Reserve Bank’s LVR rules and how they apply to new-builds

Economy
Luke Malpass and Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): S&P Global ratings upgrade a massive boost to Grant Robertson and Labour’s economic management credentials
David Hargreaves (Interest): Grimes: The RBNZ should tighten monetary policy
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): NZ dollar reaches 34-month high as S&P upgrades NZ’s credit rating
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Eyes on Reserve Bank: Next OCR move tipped to be up
Brent Edwards (NBR): The Reserve Bank’s dilemma over its Covid-19 response (paywalled)
Newshub: What the Reserve Bank’s first monetary policy statement could mean for Kiwis – Simon Power interview

Inequality and poverty
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Covid lockdown months not included in tomorrow’s child poverty statistics
RNZ: Pasifika unemployment in NZ rising, report shows
No Right Turn: An open door waiting to be pushed on

Media, Facebook
Gordon Campbell  (Werewolf): On Australia’s attempt to demonise Facebook
Gavin Ellis (Knightly Views): Thank God Facebook doesn’t supply electricity and water
Mandy Henk (Herald): Facebook and the disinformation wars (paywalled)
Callum Baird (Newsroom): Online extremism: Censorship isn’t the solution
The Big Q: Should social media companies be owned by the public? (audio)
Steven Cowan (NZ Against The Current): They’re Reading Our Socialist Commentary over There

Local government
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland’s 10-year Budget: What you see masks what you won’t get
Stuff Editorial: ICC must tread carefully with media policy
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Shades of the flyover vote as Foster makes last-minute library move
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Councillors and Wellington Mayor in full blown stoush over library
Nikki Mandow (Newsroom): Wellington water chaos a warning for all
RNZ Checkpoint: Foster’s leadership questioned over Wellington library saga
Grant Miller (Otago Daily Times): Petitioners push to get vote on STV on ballots
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): Why banning anti-Maori petitions is true democracy
Waatea News: Wainuiomata naming disturbs peace

Conversion therapy ban
Graham Adams (Democracy Project): Greens stir the pot on banning conversation therapy
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Conversion therapy banned by early next year, Government reveals
Māori TV: Faafoi reaffirms ban on harmful ‘conversion’ practices
The BFD: The Heart of the Conversion Therapy Debate

Health
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Maker of epilepsy drug warned over quality control
RNZ: Up to 800,000 New Zealanders may have increased bowel cancer risk due to nitrates in water
Ian Shaw (Otago Daily Times): Better safe than sorry with lead in water
Otago Daily Times: Lead not detectable in latest water tests
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Mental health: A top priority stalls

Employment
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Overhaul of confusing Holidays Act promised as Government accepts improvements
RNZ: Holidays Act overhaul planned, including earlier entitlements
Jo Cribb (Stuff): What has actually changed for women?

Parliament
Chris Trotter: The French Connection
Jason Walls (NZ Herald):
Taxpayers foot $12,000 bill for Winston Peters’ farewell bash – an event he didn’t even want

Australia-NZ dispute over terrorist suspect in Turkey
John Ip (Newsroom): Revoking citizenship just global NIMBYism
No Right Turn: The first test of control orders

Primary and extractive industries
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Smelter stockpiles 100,000 tonnes of hazardous waste near beach
No Right Turn: The end of offshore exploration?
John Anthony (Stuff): Will alternative proteins become the norm, and what will it mean for Aotearoa?
Anuja Nadkarni (Stuff): Millennials embracing plant based diets forcing restaurants to take notice

Corrections
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Treatment at Auckland Women’s Prison ‘degrading’ and ‘inhumane’ – judge
Yvette McCullough (RNZ): Minister seeking details about ‘inhumane’ prisoner ruling

Climate change, environment
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Storm brewing for the Climate Change Commission (paywalled)
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): Hapū concerns over Whanganui water bottling proposal

National – Jami-Lee Ross SFO case
Sam Hurley (Herald): Former National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross agrees to destroy ‘leaked’ SFO documents
Business Desk: Former National MP Jami-Lee Ross and SFO settle over sensitive document leak

Other
Toby Manhire (The Spinoff): Exclusive poll: Do New Zealanders back the tough border rules?
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Ministry of Transport comes under pressure to rein in budget blowouts
Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Annual cannabis operation culled in shift to ‘more significant and sophisticated’ approach to organised crime
Emile Donovan (Newsroom): Re-shaping the RMA
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Far-right group threatened with legal action over use of Buy NZ Made trademark
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Navy will be without war-making frigates the end of 2021
Simon Ewing-Jarvie: Cake Stall Security
Newsroom: Oranga Tamariki re-thinks its uplift policy
Josh Robertson (Re News): Reflecting on Captain Cook’s many mistakes

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