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.  Click here to subscribe to Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup and New Zealand Politics Daily.

Today’s content

Bernard Hickey (Spinoff): A cacophony of magical thinking on housing
1News: Kiwis think Govt not doing enough to address housing crisis as politicians quizzed on how many homes they own
Dan Satherley and Emma Turton (Newshub): Housing crisis: Share of homes being sold to people who already own property at record high
Julie Anne Genter (Business Desk): Time for bold, brave action to end this housing crisis
Greg Ninness (Interest): ANZ’s economists expect annual house price inflation to hit 27% by June but warn that nothing lasts forever
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Revealed: The multimillion-dollar cost of the Government’s emergency motel policy
Felix Desmarais (RNZ): Homelessness impacting Rotorua’s tourism ‘brand’ – development agency

Covid: TransTasman travel bubble
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Who benefits more from a trans-Tasman travel bubble – NZ or Australia?
Jamie Morton (Herald): Could NZ-Oz bubble be the path to eradication?
Zane Small (Newshub): Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins ‘can’t guarantee’ trans-Tasman travel bubble will increase MIQ availability
RNZ: Ardern refuses to put firm date on trans-Tasman travel bubble
Derek Cheng (Herald): Stranded in a burst transtasman bubble? Don’t expect a Govt handout, says Hipkins
Derek Cheng (Herald): Cabinet to consider transtasman bubble next week – April possible start date
RNZ: ‘Political scratchiness’ maybe behind trans-Tasman delay – forum
Brook Sabin (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern warns Kiwi travellers could get stuck when the trans-Tasman bubble opens
Brook Sabin (Stuff): Trans-Tasman travel bubble: Why it’s the right time to start
Jason Walls (Herald): Queenstown protest of Tourism Minister cancelled after good Aussie travel bubble news
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Tourism Minister Stuart Nash hints at possible support for Queenstown
Molly Houseman and Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): Excitement bubbling about travel
Business Desk: Wake Up Call: Trans-Tasman bubble by April? (paywalled)
Liu Chen (RNZ): Business community wants quick decision on trans-Tasman bubble

Peter Dunne (Newsroom): Covid-19: The gift that keeps on giving to those in power
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Managed isolation could be expanded by about 3000 rooms but Government has chosen not to

Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Queen tribute act border approval ‘kick in the guts’ for separated families – National
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Border exemptions for The Lion King show Government is not listening, farmers say
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Saliva tests may have a place at the border, but not in the community
Corazon Miller (1News): New figures show dramatic plunge in international flights arriving in Auckland, destinations served
NBR: Hotel sector feels unfairly treated by government Covid policies (paywalled)

Brent Edwards (NBR): Treasury argues case that fiscal prudence is good for wellbeing (paywalled)
Luke Malpass and Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Government points to low global growth as local GDP takes a hit
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Covid recession 2.0? Surprise 1% drop in GDP
Liam Dann (Herald): GDP slump means NZ probably back in recession (paywalled)

David Hargreaves (Interest): ‘Double dip’ recession looming after GDP drop in December quarter?
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealand GDP figures compare favourably to other countries
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealand GDP plunges 1 percent in latest figures, bigger drop than expected
Brian Fallow (Herald): Pandemic savages tourism income (paywalled)
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): The New Zealand economy experienced its largest ever decline in 2020
Anna Whyte (TVNZ): NZ’s GDP ends chaotic 2020 with 1% dip in final quarter, and largest year-to-year fall on record
Liam Dann (Herald): GDP slump means NZ probably back in recession (paywalled)
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): GDP: NZ economy firing only three of four engines (paywalled)

Foreign affairs
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Nanaia Mahuta – a minister to help clean up a foreign policy mess (paywalled)

Peter Dunne: New Zealand is right to take the moral high ground on Australian deportations
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Trans-Tasman tensions bubbling over
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): NZ visa office in Beijing staffed mostly by Chinese police-owned company
Marion Crawshaw (Incline): Where is New Zealand in PNG’s Covid disaster?

Thomas Manch (Stuff): National MP Nicola Willis confronts Green MP Marama Davidson over ‘racist’ accusation
Anna Whyte (1News): Argument erupts in Parliament over accusation of ‘racist and classist undertones’
Zane Small (Newshub): National MP Erica Stanford responds to be being ‘cat-called’ by Labour’s Peeni Henare in Parliament
Daniela Maoate-Cox (RNZ): Mad about Election 2020? Tell Parliament your thoughts
RNZ: Bill to simplify child support scheme passes third reading in Parliament

Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern ranked among people Brits want as leader, pops up in video with Prince William, Kate

America’s Cup
Jason Walls (Herald): Parliament erupts in applause in congratulating Team New Zealand – but Greens not so keen
Danielle Clent (Stuff): America’s Cup event featuring Rod Stewart singalong costs taxpayers nearly $1m

1News: ‘Money well spent’ — Tourism Minister says Govt’s $136m America’s Cup splurge paid off despite pandemic
Todd Niall (Stuff): America’s Cup: The lost chance to make the regatta reflective of all Aotearoa
Carolyne Meng-Yee (Herald): America’s Cup 2021: Government’s $5 million pledge a ‘drop in the bucket’

Water fluoridation
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Water fluoridation powers to be taken off councils, giving control to Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Herald: Water fluoridation: Govt proposes law change giving fluoridation decisions to director-general of Health
Helen Harvey (Stuff): Top dentist applauds Government’s bill to give fluoride decision to Ashley Bloomfield instead of councils
Cate Broughton and Tina Law (Stuff): Dentists praise fluoridation call; Christchurch councillors want to see the money
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National ‘concerned’ with Government move to centralise drinking water fluoridation power
David Farrar: Govt to make fluoridation compulsory

Ian Powell: Pointer to Government rethinking on district health boards?
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Kaupapa Māori solutions key to better Māori cancer outcomes, hui told
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): What needs to be done to stop New Zealand’s grim melanoma death rate

Richard Harman: Parker cops green backlash
Mandy Te (Stuff): Kiwis urged to swap the car for a cycle, walk or scoot on short trips
Maty Nikkhou-O’Brien (Herald): What the ‘lost year’ of Covid should have taught us (paywalled)
Brent Melville (Stuff): Time to curb the Kiwi ‘addiction to cars’ (paywalled)

Justice; policing
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Reality bites on prison stats as population plunges but violence spikes
Zane Small (Newshub): Ex-NZ First MP Darroch Ball, advocating for victims, blasts ‘out of touch’ Greens for opposing child sex offender list
RNZ: Urgent law change to put sex offenders back on register passes in Parliament
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): Gang members trying to ‘clean it up’ call for political help to stop violence in Napier (paywalled)
Ryan Boswell (TVNZ): Sir Kim Workman hopeful of solving police bias – ‘I don’t want to die and not have this stuff worked out’

Democracy and social media conference
Geoffrey Miller (Democracy Project): Twitter uses Dunedin conference to explain approach to political expression
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Taming the ‘wild west’ of the internet

Christchurch anniversary, hate 
Peter Griffin (BusinessDesk): Why internet filtering laws are a terrible idea
Kevin Veale (Stuff): Listen to those targeted by the hate groups
ODT: Editorial – More work still to be done

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Covid-19 saves RNZ from 16 per cent funding cut
Damien Venuto (Herald): Is Kris Faafoi being cowardly or clever on Google, Facebook? (paywalled)

Local government
Simon Wilson (Herald): The Auckland port and the pole-dancing hippo (paywalled)
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Shelly Bay occupiers refusing to back down after court decision

RNZ: KiwiSaver: 88 providers investing in making of nuclear weapons – Mindful Money
No Right Turn: The Ministry of Justice advice on an OIA review
No Right Turn: More secrecy from Labour
Lola Toppin-Casserly (Newsroom): Why we’re in denial about our public service
Christine Braid (The Conversation): Has a gap in old-school handwriting and spelling tuition contributed to NZ’s declining literacy scores?
Nick Agar (Stuff): Kiwi universities need their own academic ‘youthquake’



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