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

Public sector pay freeze
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Ardern and Robertson say public sector wage freeze is ‘misreporting’. But is it?
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Grant Robertson schedules union crisis meetings after failing to communicate public pay freeze properly
Chris Trotter (Interest): Playing by a new set of rules
RNZ: Government urged to rethink public sector pay freeze decision
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government in damage control over public sector pay freeze ahead of meeting with union
Jason Walls (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern forced on defensive over the public sector pay freeze
1News: PM won’t say how much money saved by public servant pay freeze when challenged by John Campbell
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern defends public sector pay freeze, says it doesn’t reflect workers’ Covid-19 response
Tom Peters (World socialist website): New Zealand’s Labour-Greens government is imposing historic attacks on the working class
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Contractor and consultants’ pay rates rises figures not available with ministry
Newstalk ZB: Political commentator: Pay freeze an ‘own goal’ from Government
Dita De Boni (NBR): Finance minister denies public sector pay movement pause is a ‘freeze’ (paywalled)
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Robertson lukewarm on public sector pay freeze (paywalled)
Shane Te Pou (Herald): Labour policies both bold and bewildering (paywalled)

Budget 2021
Richard Harman: Robertson to present a “Maori” budget
Helen Robinson (Herald): Impossible choices deprive our people of hope (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): BusinessNZ hopes Budget will focus on investment
RNZ: Finance Minister Grant Robertson: ‘Budget 2021 will be a recovery and wellbeing budget’
Zane Small (Newshub): Finance Minister Grant Robertson dampens expectations ahead of Budget 2021
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Robertson warns of more waves of Covid breaking on economy

He Puapua document and Māori self-determination
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Falling between two treaties: A reply to Dr Emily Beausoleil
Jo Moir (Newsroom): He Puapua – the report dividing Parliament
Steven Cowan: The Reactionary politics of He Paupau
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): He Puapua report: Judith Collins calls on Government to lay out its implementation plan for report
Zane Small (Newshub): National leader Judith Collins questions Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ruling out of separate Māori Parliament

Local government
Peter Neilson (Stuff): Let’s extend MMP into local elections
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland Council cuts 643 staff despite strong building activity
Todd Niall (Stuff): The winds of change blow up a storm in Auckland
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Fifty complaints a day about Wellington’s leaky water pipes
Damian George (Stuff): Overwhelming support for Māori ward in Wellington
Luisa Girao (ODT): Creation of Maori ward discouraged
Matthew Dallas (Stuff): Māori ward in Manawatū District only path to an inclusive democracy

Economy, Budget, and work
Emile Donovan (RNZ): Why employment figures don’t tell the whole story
Mike Rudd (Stuff): Bracket creep key to addressing unfairness in tax system
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Tax freedom day: From today, you’re working for yourself
Rob Stock (Stuff): Households and businesses hoard $600 million of cash over Covid fears
RNZ: PPP review could lead to improved investment model – specialist
Claire Dale (Newsroom): The unacknowledged consequences of the gender pay gap

Fair pay agreements
Gordon Campbell: On Why Fair Pay Agreements Should Be Embraced
ODT: Editorial – ‘Fair pay’ diminishes competitiveness
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Fair Pay Agreements not only radical, but dangerous

China, international relations, national security
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Officials said Grant Robertson should use Five Eyes meetings for greater trade liberalisation
Jason Young (Stuff): The China Challenge: US-China strategic competition
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Risk of worst-case terror attack ‘very high’ according to Government’s Terrorism Risk Profile

Media
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Police open investigation into Newsroom
Gavin Ellis: Two hundred candles on the cake
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): TVNZ is all in online – and planning an ad-free Netflix-style subscription service
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): TVNZ planning to launch paid, ad-free on-demand service

Housing crisis
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Rotorua’s mayor needs to take a stand on emergency housing
Anne Gibson (Herald): Commerce Commission to probe building materials sector: Grant Robertson (paywalled)
Stan Stubbs (Stuff): Why don’t we get longer fixed-rate mortgages?

Health
Derek Cheng (Herald): Drug law impact revealed: Number of people charged per month dropping dramatically; less bias against Māori (paywalled)
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Govt’s commitment to providing self-test for HPV ‘great news’, but solution needed to bridge two-year delay – expert
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Govt dismisses calls for medicinal cannabis review to be widened

Christchurch Call
Thomas Manch (Stuff): More countries, tech companies expected to join Christchurch Call
Duncan Garner (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern’s Christchurch Call just got a major shot of credibility – the US coming on-board
Jo Moir (Newsroom): US pledge boosts Christchurch Call

Covid and border
Tova O’Brien (Newshub): Government sat for nearly a week on key information about border worker who hadn’t been tested for five months
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Government announces more MIQ spaces for important ‘skilled and critical’ workers

Environment and climate change
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Internal plea for green recovery went unheeded
Sam Bookman (Newsroom): Global momentum is building for a right to a safe environment. Why is NZ missing?
No Right Turn: Climate Change: “Least cost” means “do nothing”

Other
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Labour: How to lose friends and infuriate people (paywalled)
Stuff: Editorial – Motherhood in manacles? Oh hell no.
Michelle Duff (Stuff): Women are being forced to give birth in handcuffs, with prison officers in the room
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Govt to take back control of school property in education reforms
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Simon Bridges announces ‘intensely personal’ memoir National Identity, on masculinity, race and fitting in
Leah Tebbutt (Herald): Simon Bridges has written a book, but he says it’s no political memoir
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): NZ ‘needs to get more bang from its investor migrants’ bucks’
Māori TV: Māori content shake up for law schools
Murdoch Stephens (Overland): The battle of the refugee quotas
1News: NZ should be ’embarrassed’ about its global ranking on young carers, says world leading expert
Book Guardians Aotearoa: Who takes care of the (book) caretakers?
RNZ: Sue Kedgley: 50 years at the feminist coalface

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