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

Child poverty report and inequality
Janet McAllister (Spinoff): What the new child poverty stats tells us – and what they don’t
Claire Trevett (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s do-or-die child poverty promise (paywalled)
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Poverty figures a sigh of relief for PM – but will it last?
Branko Marcetic (Democracy Project): NZ’s economic “bounce-back” is a myth – but lifting benefits would bring it closer to reality
CPAG: “Shocking, disappointing” child poverty statistics show incrementalism isn’t working
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Solo mum living in tent with six kids in stark contrast to Government celebrating drop in child poverty
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Child poverty: ‘Huge time lag’ means latest stats do not reflect post-Covid hardship – Andrew Becroft
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Mind your Ms and Ps when you’re talking about child poverty
Anna Whyte (1News): Child poverty declining before Covid-19, but latest stats ‘profoundly bad news’ for children with disabilities – Children’s Commissioner
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Children still living in poverty but number of whānau struggling to provide the basics drops – Stats NZ
Melanie Carroll and Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Child poverty declines: Maori, Pacific children worst off but some improvement
Keith Ng and Michael Neilson (Herald): Child poverty more than twice as likely to affect Māori, Pasifika, disabled children as Pākehā
Sela Jane Hopgood (RNZ): High number of Pasifika children experience material hardship
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Child poverty numbers improving – Stats NZ
Laura Walters (Newsroom): Crunch time for Ardern on child poverty
Brent Edwards (NBR): Government hails child poverty figures but more needs to be done (paywalled)
Jean Bell (RNZ): Demand for food parcels and housing soars in Bay of Plenty
Katie Harris (Herald): Hamilton mum forced to choose between living in a car with kids, or splitting them up (paywalled)

Housing
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): We don’t know how many houses we need – we should
Kirsty Johnston (Stuff): Half of ‘new’ public houses not actually new stock
Leonard Hong (Herald): Housing crisis? You ain’t seen anything yet (paywalled)
Susan St John (Herald): Housing and the art of the possible (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Home ownership scheme announced in 2019 has housed just 12 families
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Property experts at odds over whether Government should lift Kāinga Ora’s ‘unrealistic’ First Home Grant caps
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour to support National Party bill reforming apartment law at first reading
Brent Edwards (NBR): Housing supply needs serious boost to meet changing demographic demands (paywalled)
Marta Steeman (Stuff): Retirement village operator Summerset posts bumper $230m profit as property values jump
Elinor Chisholm: What is a mixed-tenure community? Views from New Zealand practitioners and implications for researchers
Bryan Bruce (Daily Blog): New Zealanders gave a mandate to Labour to be transformative
Waatea News: Agencies challenged to back Maori housing moves

Covid: Auckland community outbreak
Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Next few days critical after new community cases – experts
Bernadette Basagre and Anna Loren (Stuff): Auckland should go back to level 2 after new community cases – expert
Jamie Morton (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland still has ‘low risk’ of outbreak – experts
Lana Andelane and Emma Turton (Newshub): Health officials need to find out how latest Auckland case contracted the virus – Siouxsie Wiles
Richard Prebble (Herald): Why was New Zealand’s latest Covid lockdown the only option? (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Coronavirus: ‘Short, sharp lockdown’ prevented wider outbreak, ‘more dramatic’ measures – Chris Hipkins

Covid: General
Abbey Wakefield (1News): Covid-19 expert Michael Baker argues for more levels to be added to NZ’s alert system
Herald: Editorial: Vigilance needed as much as vaccine (paywalled)
1News: Taxpayers to foot bill for extra weeks Australian spent in MIQ after refusing Covid-19 tests
RNZ: Govt faced with competing advice on mandatory mask use – Chris Hipkins
Anna Loren and Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Covid-19 ‘tough’ to control in schools, expert says as student testing continues
Cecile Meier (Stuff): When will the Covid-19 vaccine be available for children?
Matt Burrows (RNZ): 329 Immigration NZ staff to lose jobs, offices around the world to close amid huge drop in visa requests
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Skilled migrant desperate for his wife and children to join him in Wellington
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Bowel movements could have led to Covid-19 Pullman Hotel outbreak – report
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Australian refusing a Covid test should be deported, says Judith Collins
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): Forget being grateful for level one
Curwen Ares Rolinson (Daily Blog): A Failure at the border – What one returnee’s worrisome experience reveals about what’s actually going on in isolation

Local government
Alex Braae (Spinoff): Ten massive questions facing local government in 2021
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Local Government Minister not considering commissioners for Wellington City Council – yet
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill City councillor: New media protocols close to gagging order
RNZ: Invercargill City Council introduces new media protocols
RNZ: Wellingtonians unimpressed by fractured city council
Rebecca Kiddle (Stuff): Whose heritage do we in Wellington care about?
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Green Party to issue a ‘please explain’ over Wellington deputy mayor’s cycleway vote
Mike Mather (Stuff): Councillors hit warpath after Govt funding for cycle paths dries up
Amber Allott (Stuff): Canterbury regional council rates could jump more than 24 per cent
Tara Shaskey (Stuff): New Plymouth District Council, City Care fined total of $179k for 1.5 million litre raw sewage spill
Herald: Māori wards law change: Northland councils may end call for submissions
Herald: Dover Samuels – hopes for Maori wards pinned on younger generation
Māori TV: New app embeds Te Ao Māori in local government

Prisons
Jane Patterson (RNZ): ‘Inappropriate’ pamphlet found at Spring Hill prison referred to police
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Corrections refers prison pamphlet to police over concerns it might incite riot
No Right Turn: A captive Minister
Anna Whyte (1News): NZ needs ‘by-Māori, for-Māori, to-Māori approach’ to prisons, says MP Rawiri Waititi
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Māori Party calls for ‘urgent inquiry’ into ‘inhumane’ treatment of inmates in New Zealand
RNZ: Te Paati Māori calls for urgent ministerial inquiry into treatment of prisoners

Simon Bridges on Police head Andrew Coster
Amelia Wade (Herald): National’s Simon Bridges says police commissioner Andrew Coster is too ‘woke’ for the job
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern responds after Simon Bridges labels Police Commissioner Andrew Coster ‘wokester’
Thomas Manch (Stuff): National Party MP Simon Bridges lashes out at ‘wokester’ police commissioner Andy Coster
RNZ: National Party’s Simon Bridges doubles down on ‘wokester’ jibe against Police Commissioner
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Simon Bridges starts his National Party leadership bid by attacking Police Commissioner Coster

Law and order
1News: Gang members grew to 8000 last year, Wellington sees greatest increase — National
Christian Fuller (Herald): Gangs in Hawke’s Bay: More patches, more players, fewer crimes (paywalled)
Jared Savage (Herald): Video of gang’s botched $1m drug deal that brought down Comancheros leader (paywalled)
Jared Savage (Herald): Police Commissioner Andrew Coster wants to test ‘fit and proper’ licence criteria after it emerges 12 people on gang list can buy guns
RNZ: Man jailed for 7 years over kiss appeals in Supreme Court

Health
Ian Powell (Democracy Project): Rescuing Simpson from Simpson
Ian Powell: ‘Gagging’ attempt highlights importance of voice in health system
Nick Truebridge (RNZ): Ex-DHB psychologist claims chronic failings in mental health services
1News: Ministry of Health ‘silences’ criticism about NZ’s mental health system — advocate
Caroline Shaw (The Conversation): NZ’s smoking rates dropped dramatically thanks to a hard-hitting campaign. Could we do the same to bring emissions down?
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): University orientation week drug testing reveals high levels of eutylone instead of MDMA

2020 election administration and political finance
Claire Trevett (Herald): Shane Jones, Christopher Luxon, Anna Lorck – who got the most donations in 2020 election?
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Billy Te Kahika may have broken Electoral Commission election campaign spending rules
Herald: Election 2020: 48 voters referred to police for voting twice

Parliament and government
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): How powerful is Labour’s Māori caucus?
Jason Walls (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ‘surprised’ at $12k bill for Winston Peters’ farewell bash
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern, Judith Collins face media as Parliament returns to full strength
Alan Kenyon (1News): Seymour questions Ardern’s te reo knowledge as pair clash over police gang operation
Cameron Slater (BFD): Hang on a minute Chris, time for a fact check

Environment
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Environment Minister David Parker ‘frustrated’ at Tiwai smelter, WorkSafe to assess compliance
Herald: Sanford to forfeit $20m vessel, fined for bottom trawling in restricted area
Stuff: Editorial – Nitrates in our water – the doubts remain alarming
Andrea Vance (Stuff): The Forgotten Islands: Pest control plan halted by Covid-19
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Bowel Cancer NZ questions links between the disease and low nitrate levels in drinking water
Gary John Brierley et al. (The Conversation): Why we should release New Zealand’s strangled rivers to lessen the impact of future floods
RNZ: Government not ruling out limits on nitrogenous fertiliser

Economy and work
Gilbert Wong (The Big Q): Is slavery a problem in New Zealand?
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Government considered $36 million tax break for company cars
RNZ: Thousands of businesses taking up govt support package
Tony Alexander (One Roof): Don’t be surprised if mortgage rates start to creep up
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Wronged employees’ compensation increasing
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Covid-19 makes $1.6b hole in bank profits
Sam Stubbs (Stuff): Think share markets are high? Think again
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Banks making covid-forced working from home permanent (paywalled)
Adam Jacobson (RNZ): Construction sector positive, despite Covid-19
NZIER: NZ’s V-shaped recovery intact despite Valentine’s Day community case surprise
Newstalk ZB: Agriculture Minister urges incentives to fix fruit picking shortage
Louisa Steyl (Southland Times): Southland Federated Farmers welcome M.bovis review

Conversion therapy ban proposal
Sophie Trigger (Herald): ‘Protect us, and mean it’: Conversion therapy survivors call for bill without religious exemptions
Zane Small (Newshub): Greens table conversion therapy petition despite Government’s promise to ban it by 2022
1News: ‘Wonderful’- Gay man who worked as conversion therapist backs Government’s move to ban practice
Clive Aspin (Waatea News): Gay therapy on way out
Stuff: Greens’ petition to fast-track ban on conversion therapy presented to Parliament
RNZ: Greens present petition in support of gay conversion therapy ban

Education
RNZ: Tough times for ECE services revealed in new Education Ministry figures
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Te Tira Kāpuia back calls for resignation of Unitec board
Kataraina Werahiko (Herald): A mother’s anguish – How the school system demonises children with disabilities (paywalled)
Josh King (Newsroom): Turfing Latin part of a disturbing pattern

Climate change and energy
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Rising sea levels could erode parts of Auckland’s coastline more than 200m in next 110 years, report finds
David Farrar: Climate Commission must release economic modelling data
Jack Santa Barbara (Newsroom): Our energy system has been broken for too long
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): EV advocates know they’ve lost their argument
Luke Blincoe (Stuff): A better future for NZ: Electricity market must cut its reliance on gas
Craig Stent (NBR): Electricity sector can enable move to a carbon-free economy (paywalled)

Other
Harry Lock (RNZ): Climate Change Commission blocked by Facebook
Stuart Smith; Arena Williams (Stuff): It’s ultimately about making sure everyone feels okay to be who they are
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand backs Britain’s call for a UN fact-finding mission into Xinjiang human rights abuse
Teuila Fuatai (Herald): NZ beats Australia on human rights of citizens (paywalled)
Donna Chisholm (Listener): The vitamin boom: Do supplements really work? (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Change to ‘safe areas’ in abortion law sought by Labour MP Louisa Wall, expected to get first reading backing from Act Party
Stuff: ‘Chief barking dog’ Matthew Tukaki on putting Māori issues front and centre
Michael Lueck (Stuff): Freedom camping laws need reform but foreign tourists aren’t the only villains
Helen Nickisson (Stuff): Youth hui to give Marlborough’s young people a voice
Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Spinoff): How non-Māori students play a part in te reo revitalisation
Vita Molyneux (Newshub): Pole dancer asked to cover up at Wellington fair says it perpetuates shaming of female
James Dann (Slate): The Last City of the 20th Century
Muriel Newman (NZCPR): The Failed Ideology of Cultural Marxism
The BFD: “Yes Prime Minister” comes to Inland Road

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