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

Mental health crisis
Kyle MacDonald (Herald): Jacinda Ardern has failed us on mental health – and it’s only going to get worse (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): ‘A lot of data and negative statistics’: Inside the battle behind dramatic edits and huge delays to a Government mental health report
Tess McClure (The Guardian): New Zealand mental health crisis has worsened under Labour, data shows
RNZ: Government failing to tackle mental health crisis – Foundation

Housing crisis
Bryce Edwards (Democracy Project): State builds missing from govt housing package
Matt McCarten (E-Tangata): The housing hand-wringing is bunk
Ben Schmidt (Spinoff): How the housing package leaves renters and beneficiaries behind
Bernard Hickey (Spinoff): On Labour: Great antennae, but still no radar
John Minto (Daily Blog): Has there ever been a more astonishing political coalition in the history of Aotearoa?
Jade Kake (Stuff): We’ve lost sight of houses as places to live, now they’re just assets
Kevin Berry (Stuff): Tax changes ‘harm people the Government should be helping’
Martin Farrer (The Guardian): Bubble or boom? Why ultra-low interest rates mean house prices may never bust
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Which MPs own the most property – part 2 (paywalled)
Kelly Makiha (Herald) Homeless crisis: Top 10 emergency housing motel earners in Rotorua revealed (paywalled)
Cameron Bagrie (BusinessDesk): Housing is important, but what about rents? (paywalled)
Jack Tame (Newstalk ZB): What can home owners do for the housing crisis?
Steven Joyce (Herald): Government’s direction – Forward into the past (paywalled)
Janine Starks (Stuff): Here’s why tenants shouldn’t worry about housing changes
Andrew Bayly (Herald): The big housing card the Government should be playing (paywalled)
Brian Easton (Pundit): Taxing questions about taxing housing
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Southland rents may rise in wake of Government housing policy changes
John Berry (Stuff): If it’s goodbye residential property, what’s next?
Dan Bidois (Stuff): Don’t vilify home-buyers, just get on and build more houses
Bryan Gould: Minimum wage? Property investors? Don’t touch our profits
Troy Bowker (Herald): Labour tax changes – Broken promises and a socialist agenda (paywalled)
David Hargreaves (Interest): Disappearing under a mountain of mortgage money
John Anthony (Stuff): Builders have been stockpiling timber as they brace for supply shortage, builders’ association says
Ben Leahy (Herald): Auckland investment home buyer says auctions sending house prices sky high
Jess Berentson-Shaw (Newsroom): Changing the course of the ship named Housing Misery
RNZ: House prices up 16% – first-home buyers feel ‘squeeze’
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Housing: National’s David Bennett knocks down Labour over ‘rubbish’ investor claims

Covid
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): The slow, slow walk to our post-Covid future
Tess McClure (The Guardian): How New Zealand’s Covid success made it a laboratory for the world
Derek Cheng (Herald): Will NZ be left high and dry in global movement for vaccinated countries? (paywalled)
Derek Cheng (Herald): Jacinda Ardern, Cabinet set to approve New Zealand-Australia transtasman travel bubble
RNZ: Covid-19: We’re ready for trans-Tasman travel bubble – Epidemiologist Michael Baker
Audrey Young (Herald): NZ poised for new sense of freedom with transtasman bubble (paywalled)
Herald: Editorial: Virus-like fever of political prickliness spreading around (paywalled)
RNZ: Tourism New Zealand forecasting billion-dollar boost to economy if trans-Tasman bubble goes ahead
Kate Nicol-Williams (1News): Concern NZ’s international education sector faces ‘total collapse’, as students look elsewhere while borders shut
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Untangling Covid’s mixed messaging
RNZ: More than 400 people convicted for breaching Covid-19 restrictions
Herald: Editorial: Clearer messaging and more detail please, on where we are going with Covid (paywalled)
Newstalk ZB: Medical professor says NZ’s vaccine rollout is ‘clumsy and falling behind’
Michael Morrah (Newshub): The Wiggles were given ‘contingency’ MIQ rooms reserved for emergencies after Jacinda Ardern stepped in

Public transport
Derek Cheng (Herald): Treasury’s warnings on Auckland light rail: Diluted accountability, risk of further delay
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Are we heading for Bustastrophe 2.0?
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland light rail’s timely Easter resurrection
RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will not rule out private investment for Auckland light rail
Stephen Forbes (RNZ): Mixed reactions to Auckland light rail announcement
RNZ: Long-awaited train service between Waikato and Auckland begins

Economy, inequality and work
Chris Trotter (Interest): Social class may have a bigger impact than race on how your life turns out
RNZ: Productivity, money and wealth – not all the same
Susan St John (Daily Blog): We are facing a pandemic of poverty that has been intensified by Covid
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): More than 100,000 businesses lap up interest free loan scheme (paywalled)
Aimee Shaw (Herald): Covid 19 coronavirus profits: Was pandemic a blessing for NZX-listed retail companies? (paywalled)
Liam Dann (Herald): Vangelis Vitalis: Why NZ’s big Apec challenge is so important (paywalled)
Steve Kilgallon (Stuff): Top boss at Immigration NZ issues stern warning to dodgy construction operators — stop now, or be caught
Aaron Dahmen (Newstalk ZB): Analysis shows young Kiwis hardest hit by Covid job losses
RNZ: Poor uptake for commercial rent dispute scheme
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Ticket to prosperity: Sleepyhead development holds promise for iwi, leaders say
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Why is Westpac NZ on the block and who might want to buy it?
Don Brash: The Paradox of our lousy productivity performance
Wade Pearson (ODT): Employee or contractor? It’s vital to get this right

Government finances
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Government heads into Budget with books in better shape
1News: New figures show Govt books look $4 billion better than expected ahead of Budget announcement
Zane Small (Newshub): Government debt now exceeds $100 billion, more than 70 percent on pre-Covid-19
RNZ: Government deficit of $4.5b for eight months to February, $3.7b less than forecast

Minimum wage increase
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Minimum wage at $20: 5% increase will leave workers 1.5% better off
Yvette McCullough (RNZ) ‘It’s quite a burden’: Criticism as minimum wage, benefit increases kick in
Newstalk ZB: High-income tax rate for people earning over $180,000 a year kicks in
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Living wage rises to $22.75 an hour in September
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Customers to bear the cost of latest wage increase

Media
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Public media plan moves forward behind closed doors
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Why the Government might want to merge TVNZ and RNZ
Chris Lynch (Stuff): Is the state buying off media independence?
Stephen Parker (Newsroom): The winter offensive for public broadcasting
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): The best decision of Faafoi’s career – what the dream TVNZ-RNZ merger looks like
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Simon Collins – a lifetime in journalism
Damien Venuto (Herald): Fresh details emerge about Sean Plunket’s media ambitions (paywalled)
Damien Venuto (Herald): MediaWorks boss Cam Wallace on sexual assault allegations, Magic Talk racism and plans for the business (paywalled)
Gavin Ellis: Reality check: Life has a deadline
Shannon Bond (NPR): This News publisher quit Facebook. Readership went up

Health
Rebecca Macfie (Newsroom): ‘Invisible army’ of caring Kiwis under fire
RNZ: Waikato DHB says it needs to accelerate its efforts to achieve health equity
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Working over-65s don’t get full benefit of ACC levies, says campaigner
Amy Wiggins (Herald): St John ambulance service under fire: 91yo waited two hours for ambulance – eight days later she was dead (paywalled)
Ian Powell: Criticisms of Pharmac review lose sight of an opportunity
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Proposed law change for cancer drugs to be administered in public system a ‘game-changer’
Giles Dexter (Newshub): Latest DHB pay offer felt like April Fools’ joke – nurses
Peter Davis (Herald): Eating and drinking our way to ill health – here’s a solution (paywalled)

Parliament and Government
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Insufficiently qualified to object: Why Labour Ministers can be lied to with impunity
Nick Smith (Stuff): Repeal of waka jumping law would help restore free speech in Parliament
Audrey Young (Herald): Rating the maiden MPs (paywalled)
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Red, Red Whines

Local Government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City Council considers iwi voting rights and $100k remuneration
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Hamilton City Council steps back from introducing Māori wards
Amber Allott (Stuff): Blue-greens rising: Canterbury councillors bridge political divide for climate
RNZ: Waimea Dam review should only go ahead once project’s finished, mayor says
Jason Walls (Herald): Farmers, marae, councils among those concerned by major overhaul of drinking water (paywalled)
Marcus Anselm (Stuff): Big jump in South Wairarapa rates planned, as much as 19 per cent jump
Damian Light (BusinessDesk): Auckland Council’s masterclass in mismanaging asset sales (paywalled)

Justice and crime
Jo Lines-MacKenzie (Stuff): A multi-million dollar new build at Waikeria prison on track for August 2022 finish
Paul Hunt (Spinoff): We need justice, not charity, for Christchurch’s mosque attack survivors
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Rape convictions at 10-year low: ‘The system is broken’ – sex education group

Ron Brierley
David Fisher (Herald): Jacinda Ardern looks into stripping Ron Brierley’s knighthood, Wellington College cuts ties
Matthew Tso (Stuff): PM moves to strip Sir Ron Brierley of his knighthood, Wellington College removes signage
The Guardian: New Zealand tycoon Ron Brierley pleads guilty to possessing child sexual abuse images
No Right Turn: This is on Ardern

Environment and climate change
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): The Climate Change Commission’s model is under fire
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Climate strikers to pick up where they left off after Covid stopped 2020 gatherings

Other
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Andrew Coster on claims of racism, Police Ten 7 and the future of the force
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Australian TV host Andrew Bolt launches extraordinary tirade against ‘backstabbing’ New Zealand for ‘sucking up’ to China
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): NZ takes on autonomous weapons and star wars
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Bullying, gender discrimination at Government venture capital fund
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March ‘disappointed’ Government hasn’t ‘acted with urgency’ to raise benefits

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