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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

Housing crisis
Claire Robinson (The Guardian): Backlash to Labour’s housing policy has exposed signs of internal party disarray
Graham Adams (Democracy Project): Housing – Ardern’s divide-and-rule tactics
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): National’s failure on housing risks making the party irrelevant
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Public housing waitlist hits new record of 22,803 as new builds slow in January
Zane Small (Newshub): Have rents ‘tended to mirror wage growth’ as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claims?
Helen Livingstone (The Guardian): New Zealand readers say housing policy shake-up isn’t radical enough
Chlöe Swarbrick (Herald): Hard work is no longer enough to get you a home
Richard Prebble (Herald): Labour’s housing package a loss of credibility moment (paywalled)
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Government should underwrite bank lending to developers to speed up house building, property financier urges (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Housing crisis: Landlord tax changes are ‘bad policy’ – economist
Juha Saarinen (Herald): We have the tools to rein in runaway housing market (paywalled)
Keith Rankin: Solving the housing crisis: making homes
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Strings attached to new $3.8b housing infrastructure fund (paywalled)
John Tamihere (Stuff): Unlike the squealers, I know I need to pay my way
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Housing: National average asking house price up $100k over last year, 13 regions see record highs in February
Miriam Bell (Newshub): Housing consents dropped in February but the home building boom is powering on
Priscilla Dickinson (Newshub): Mortgage borrowers warned interest rate hikes likely in next couple of years
Tina Morrison (Stuff): High house prices are the biggest barrier to social mobility and need to come down, says tech leader
RNZ: Widespread implications to wood shortage – industry leader

Economy and work
Bernard Hickey (Stuff): NZ Inc’s ‘yeah nah’ Government
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): The Covid-19 reset: What now for business in the ‘nice, kind, hermit kingdom’?
Gareth Kiernan (Stuff): Economic forecasting’s spectacular Covid failure
Jarrod Kerr (Stuff): Here’s what our economy needs to reset
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Rob Campbell: Humans are in collision with nature
Grant Robertson (Stuff): Looking towards recovery after an ‘extraordinary’ year of Covid-19

Local Government
Felix Desmarais (Stuff): The black hole of transparency: Secret council workshops
Alex Braae (Spinoff): Anne Tolley’s gang of four lay out their plan to rescue Tauranga
Jean Bell (RNZ): Tauranga Council commissioners spell out reality of infrastructure underinvestment
Bernard Hickey: Council funding review eyed
Mike Mather (Stuff): Decision time nigh for Hamilton City Council on whether to introduce Māori wards
Jono Galuszka (Stuff): North Island mayors expect bulk of climate change mitigation work to fall on councils
Harry Lock (Stuff): Wellington councils warned over risks around spending big on water infrastructure
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Chain stores are not killing Wellington’s Cuba Street (paywalled)

Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Light rail: the hard part is done, now get ready for the hard part
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Politics scuttled light rail in Auckland before, will it happen again? (paywalled)
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Auckland mechanic witnessed ‘threat’ over truck certification process
Matthew Hutching (RNZ): Onehunga low traffic trial sees quiet streets but some loud critics
Harry Lock (RNZ): NZ transport system contributing to distress – study

Prominent businessman trial
Alison Mau (Stuff): Destiny Church leaders fled lockdown for me, witness in businessman’s trial says
Sam Hurley (Herald): Inside story: The PR firm hired to do a rich-lister’s dirty work (paywalled)
Sam Hurley (Stuff): Kiwi entertainer Mika X sentenced to home detention for attempts to derail rich-lister’s trial
David Fisher (Herald): Exclusive: Witness in ‘rich lister’ indecent assault case speaks (paywalled)
David Farrier: Jevan Goulter, a special kind of creature

Sharon BrettKelly (RNZ): The Speaker row – should Trevor Mallard step down?
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National MPs agree on ‘compromise’ on water fluoridation which could see them support Government’s centralisation push

Rachel Sadler (Newshub): NZ Medical Association says Government ‘failing’ to help Kiwis get primary care treatment
Hannah Martin (Stuff): ‘Unacceptable’ under-representation of Māori and Pacific GPs, ‘staggering’ gender pay gap
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Free consults at clinics as Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital experiences heavy demand
Tom Peters (World socialist website): New Zealand’s public hospitals face worsening crisis

International relations
Mackenzie Smith (RNZ): MFAT approved military equipment export permits to UAE Land Forces
No Right Turn: MFAT has no conscience
Thomas Manch (Stuff): ‘Yes, he did say that’: Diplomats scramble to contain fallout of Damien O’Connor’s Australia-China comments
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealand will continue to raise concern with China over Uighur human rights issues in Xinjiang – Jacinda Ardern

Stuff: Editorial – Vaccination targets? Fair enough, but there’s a difference between focus and tunnel vision
Derek Cheng (Herald): Covid-19 coronavirus: More planning, less ‘policy on the hop’: Review findings into Govt response to August cluster
Jamie Morton (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus: Five ways NZ can beef up its border
Derek Cheng (Herald): Health ministers to receive first vaccine dose in next 2 weeks

Derek Cheng (Herald): Will overhaul of rape trials see more innocent Māori men in jail? (paywalled)
Teuila Fuatai (Herald): The irony in the Police Ten 7 racial stereotyping debate (paywalled)

Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Media Freedom Coalition: New Zealand joins group of countries advocating for journalists
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Stuff launches The Monitor, measuring the pulse of corporate New Zealand

Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Euthanasia: What happens if the drugs don’t work?
Peter Griffin and Jane Clifton (Listener): Hit job: The inside story of dirty tactics exposed in landmark defamation case (paywalled)
Teuila Fuatai (Re News): Benefits are going up, but only marginally
Kerre McIvor (Newstalk ZB): Who’s going to pay for the country we want to live in?
Tess McClure (The Guardian): Pike river mine families accept end of mission to find victims ‘with heartbreak’
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Government’s refusal to go further into Pike River mine a broken promise to some families
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Former NZ premier Richard Seddon’s memorial removed after fears bronze statue may fall on Wellington home
Eloise Gibson and Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Government may pay twice for carbon credits



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