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

Conversion therapy
Bridie Witton (Stuff): ‘Shame’: Conversion Therapy bill passes first reading but is opposed by National Party
Bridie Witton (Stuff): ‘Deeply disappointed’: Young Nats call for National Party to support conversion therapy bill 
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Young Nats clash with Simon Bridges again, this time over conversion therapy
Michael Neilson (Herald): Parliament backs bill to ban ‘monstrous’ conversion therapy
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Young Nats break with party over conversion therapy vote
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Conversion therapy ban legislation passes first reading at Parliament
Zane Small (Newshub): Tense scenes in Parliament as National stands alone opposing conversion therapy ban law
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Conversion therapy ban passes first hurdle in divided parliament
No Right Turn: On the wrong side of history, like always
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Young Nats want to lock people up for 5 years for Gay conversion – great, can they tell us how many will be prosecuted?

Budget documents
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Government lifts lid on Budget 2021, with ministers advised to double benefit increases and cut health promises
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Treasury wanted Labour to break all health election promises bar one
Michael Neilson (Herald): Budget 2021: Benefit boost of $50 would have doubled children out of poverty, Government opted for $20
Sarah Robson (RNZ): $50/week boost in benefits was rejected for Budget
Zane Small (Newshub): Treasury warns benefit boost won’t make a difference for two-fifths of poverty-stricken children
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Budget: Jacinda Ardern probed idea of larger $50 benefit boost to potentially lift twice as many children out of poverty

Billionaire Larry Page granted entry to NZ
Stuff Editorial: The lives of the rich and secretive 
George Block (Stuff): Larry Page: Billionaire’s entourage requested MIQ hotel upgrade
Herald: Google billionaire’s staff requested an MIQ hotel upgrade for boss Larry Page
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Google co-founder Larry Page has New Zealand residency
George Block (Stuff): Google billionaire Larry Page is an NZ resident, Government confirms
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Air Ambulance flew Google co-founder Larry Page, sick child to New Zealand for treatment – Andrew Little
RNZ: Google billionaire met requirements to enter NZ – Immigration
Eva Corlett (Guardian): Google co-founder Larry Page granted entry to New Zealand despite border closure, report says
Chris Keall (Herald): Will tax-minimising Google get a new appreciation for NZ after founder’s mercy visit? (paywalled)
1 News: Google co-founder spent time in NZ due to sick child

Covid-19
Peter Dunne: The monolithic MIQ System is rapidly becoming a huge millstone around the government’s neck
1 News: Immigration Minister denies residency queue is ‘shambles’
Ben Strang (RNZ): Hopes for a less strict MIQ system as vaccine rolls out across NZ
Wilson Longhurst (1 News): QR code scanning slumps to lowest levels since Delta scare
Scott Yeoman (Stuff): Workers sent home – then given all clear – at Port of Tauranga after apparent Covid-19 scare
RNZ: One-on-one the way to break port worker vaccine fears – Union
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): What’s behind NZ’s slow vaccine rollout?
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Wellington health officials say vaccination schedule on track
Andy Fyers (BusinessDesk): Vaccine tracker: how NZ’s rollout is progressing (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Use of Covid app ‘not where it needs to be’ but Hipkins rules out Covidcards 
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Family desperate to bring 92-year-old dad home to be ‘loved for last time on this planet’
Dan Satherley and Perry Wilton (Newshub): Travel bubble with Australia unlikely to reopen until ‘much later’ this year, if not next year – experts
Grant Bradley (Herald): Travel refunds: Agents pile on pressure to expand Government scheme (paywalled)
1 News: Number of marriages in NZ fall sharply amid pandemic
Laura Hooper (Stuff): Covid-19 spending causing container congestion for Southland exporters
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Travel corridor for Pacific workers to free up 300 MIQ spots per month
Herald: Canadian frigate first foreign naval vessel to visit NZ since start of Covid pandemic
Helen Harvey (Stuff): Human error blamed for Taranaki general practice patients receiving Covid-19 announcement email
Ben McKay (Spinoff): Pictures of politicians getting their Covid vaccinations – reviewed

National
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National Party president could lose job as ‘frustrated’ members head to conference
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Judith Collins promises change at National conference (paywalled)
Matthew Hooton (Herald): For Judith Collins, biggest danger is success (paywalled)
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): ACT can drag National back to viability
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Pressure at the top – National’s annual conference
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Demand, but no debate, at National AGM
Brent Edwards (NBR): How does National win back supporters who deserted it? (paywalled)
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): National need to act more like a government
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): National Party Board candidates

Parliament, Māori roll, voting age
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Call to change how Māori can be enrolled to vote
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Māori electoral roll rules are racist – Rawiri Waititi
Waatea News: Maori Party wants continual Maori option
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Voting age discrimination case is heard in Court of Appeal
Stuff: ‘Make it 16′ campaign follows the path of votes for women
Phil Smith (RNZ): The unmysterious case of the vanishing leaders
Phil Smith (RNZ): Parliament’s week: Some business, some personal
Phil Smith (RNZ): And on the third day: the pre-life of a law

Hate speech
Graham Adams (Democracy Project): The thorny hate-speech debate sorts sheep from goats
Bryce Edwards (Democracy Project): Political Roundup – Progressive opposition will help kill off hate speech proposals
Stu Crosson (ODT): ‘Hate speech’: who decides who needs protecting?
Ling Yee Wong (Spinoff): What New Zealand can learn from hate speech laws in England
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Muslim group slams ministry over lack of time given for hate speech feedback

Labour market, industrial relations, migrant workers
Bernard Hickey (Spinoff): The team of five million rhetoric rings hollow for those locked in visa limbo
Liam Dann (Herald): Extend visas for trapped immigrant workers – NZIER Economist (paywalled)
Jean Bell (RNZ): Labour market predicted to be strong as immigration slows – recruiter
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Deportations lowest in years as Covid crisis deepens (paywalled)
Kate Green (Stuff): Wellington’s low unemployment rate means hard times for businesses needing staff
RNZ: Labour shortage causes apple grower profits to go rotten
Rob Stock (Stuff): NZ Super reforms for migrants take a step closer to becoming law
Hawkes Bay Today: RSE workers on life in a Hawke’s Bay winter and the ‘forgotten’ talent they’ve found (paywalled)

Business, economy
RNZ: Interest rate rises – Reserve Bank has time, ‘shouldn’t go too early’ – economist
Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): Dawn Chorus: Group-thinking our way to premature rate hikes
Michael Reddell: Should have done better
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): New Zealand company liquidations spike again as firms default on their debt – Centrix
Shannon Johnstone (Herald): Air NZ backs Hawke’s Bay with 17,000 extra seats as domestic visitor spending soars (paywalled)
Dan Brunskill (BusinessDesk): FMA wants to prevent ‘Robinhood style’ trading (paywalled)
RNZ: FMA cautions against risky investments as online trading grows
Brian Fallow (Herald): Wartime economy is no time for interest rate rises (paywalled)

Health
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Newshub-Reid Research Poll shows Government not doing enough to address mental health crisis
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): Report details excessive seclusion, overdoses at Whanganui’s Te Awhina mental health facility
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Two Whanganui mental health units receive vastly different inspection results despite operating on same hospital grounds
Jimmy Ellingham (Stuff): High rate of secluding patients at mental health unit a concern
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Report says SDHB operates in a permanent ‘crisis mode’
Samantha Gee (RNZ): Dunedin ED staff fear patients could die due to wait times
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Failed cancer victim dies
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Proposed law change to administer unfunded drugs in public system pulled from ballot
Russell Palmer (RNZ): DHB reform consultation with people who are disabled will continue – govt
Audrey Young (Herald): Mother’s transition from retirement village to aged care under spotlight (paywalled)
Robin Martin (RNZ): Remembering 100 years of free dental care for NZ children
Pauline Norris (ODT): Putting a price on a smile

Housing
Imogen Wells (1 News): Opinion: Spiralling rents make prospect of finding new place to live terrifying
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): NZ ranked as 13th-most expensive country to rent a three-bedroom house – UK study
Zane Small (Newshub): Government could pocket $800 million from landlords by ending property investor ‘tax loophole’
RNZ: Green MP Chloe Swarbrick on housing: Much more intervention needed
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Almost half of houses have doubled in value since their owners bought them
Zane Small (Newshub): National’s Nicola Willis, Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick continue push for house price briefing after Reserve Bank’s ‘admission of forecast failure’
Benedict Collins (1 News): Govt urged to deliver on health promise as they celebrate building milestone
Michael Neilson (Herald): Government Govt hails 8000 extra places in public housing programme as demand continues to boom
RNZ: Government marks adding 8000 additional public housing places
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Subsidy for troubled Wellington council social housing would cost $100m over four years
Alison Smith (Herald): Bach owners denied use of own property under tenancy law (paywalled)
Lawrence Gullery (Stuff): Environment Court appeal sinks plan for 30-home cohousing project
Geraden Cann (Stuff): Government project targets ‘ghost houses’ to encourage owners to fill empty homes
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Leaky home owners left high and dry (paywalled)
Marta Steeman (Stuff): Record submissions for Building Code consultation over higher insulation rules for new homes 
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Government denies it is considering limiting timber exports due to shortage
Susan Edmund (Stuff): Use property investor tax to help low-income earners: Tax expert

Marsden Point
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Banned firefighting foam used at Marsden Point for training
Madison Reidy (Newshub): Closing Marsden Point oil refinery would dramatically reduce fuel supply, could cause immediate price rise – experts
Denise Piper (Stuff): Northland holds breath ahead of vote on turning Marsden Point into fuel import terminal
Imran Ali (Northern Advocate): Northland awaits Refining NZ shareholders’ vote on future of refinery (paywalled)
RNZ: The Detail: The plans to close NZ’s only oil refinery, Marsden Pt

Local government
Chloe Ranford (Local Democracy Reporting): Council’s broadband licence cancelled after sub-leasing out airwaves
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Fight over speakers barred from Auckland Council venue heads to Supreme Court
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Hamilton politicans shy away from mandatory Māori street names
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Christchurch stadium row: Decision to reduce capacity to be revisited at council meeting next week
Tina Law (Stuff): New vote on stadium size will ‘be the end of the matter’, Christchurch mayor says
Bea Gooding (Star News): Christchurch stadium row linked to likely mayoral bid, former mayor Garry Moore says
RNZ: Christchurch stadium decision to be reconsidered in light of new details
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Waikato councillor ignores dressing down to chase boss’s seat
Felix Desmarais (Local Democracy Reporting): Reynold Macpherson’s urgent items under fire: Some councillors ’embarrassing themselves’
Justin Latif  (Local Democracy Reporting): Taking back the streets: Meet the South Aucklanders standing up to violence in their communities
Richard Davison (ODT): Feeling of being ‘kicked in guts’ by doubling of rates
Chloe Ranford (Local Democracy Reporting): Freedom or folly? Camping rules under the gun

Transport
Georgina Campbell (Herald): ‘We can’t grind our city to a halt’: Businesses form coalition over Wellington transport plan
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): I’m swinging behind the Wellington businesses
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Advocates ask Wellington council for free public transport free for community service cardholders and students
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Transport minister to weigh up Harbour Bridge options (paywalled)

Environment, climate change, conservation
Jason Walls (Herald): Clean car discount: Government ignored Treasury warnings about EV feebate scheme, ute tax
Tess McClure (Guardian): Emissions from cows on New Zealand dairy farms reach record levels
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Pay farmers $12 billion to stop dairying, ecologist urges
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Feebate pushing up ute sales, as well as EVs
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill powered for expected electric vehicle growth
Jamie Morton (Herald): Outgoing boss of Crown-owned company optimistic NZ can be predator free
Tesh Randall (Stuff): Is plant-based food the way of the future?

Police
RNZ: General arming of police not the answer, say Ardern, Minister Williams, Commissioner Coster
Newstalk ZB: Police Association: Police don’t feel safe without firearms
Ben Strang (RNZ): Support among police for carrying arms at highest level in decade, survey shows
Vita Molyneux and Perry Wilton (Newshub): Auckland Councillor rethinks position on arming police after spate of gun crime
John Weekes (Herald): Police won’t say if discredited ‘formal warning’ data will be erased from national intel system

Primary industries
Susan Murray (RNZ): Intensive winter grazing improves but not all councils have data on its use
Guy Trafford (Interest): Updating and balancing the story is important, warts and all
Laura Smith (ODT): Claim misinformation factor in farmers’ bad mental health

International relations
Geoffrey Miller (Democracy Project): NZ’s Olympic-sized relationship with Japan may be about to change
Johnny Blades (RNZ): Fiji democracy in tatters as crisis deepens – where is NZ and the region

Media
Rosemary McLeod (Stuff): Bullying boys’ clubs like MediaWorks were how all newsrooms used to be
Damien Venuto: (Herald): The section in the MediaWorks report that will make executives squirm (paywalled)
David Farrier (Webworm): Hillsong & Mediaworks have their reckoning
Vera Alves (Herald): MediaWorks report: The damning stat that cannot be overlooked (paywalled)
Bryan Gould: The Herald’s bias

Other
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Warrantless search powers in new counter-terror law pose ‘grave risks’ to public, privacy commissioner says 
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Predators pretending to be children online to get prison sentence under new Labour bill 
Derek Cheng (Herald): ‘Unheard and unseen’: The calls for more rights for victims and what’s being done (paywalled)
Herald Editorial: Justice for all requires commitment to change (paywalled)
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Previous National Government gave $30,000 to Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam’s Hard 2 Reach
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): New meth programmes help addicts connect with their whenua
Derek Cheng (Herald):  ‘Intervention required’: Treasury slams commission of inquiry into abuse costs blow-out
Karl du Fresne: A referendum? You mean, like, allowing people to have their say? We can’t have that
Charlie Gates and Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): $35m of public money for Auckland studio a ‘kick in the teeth’ for South Island
Chris Marshall (Stuff): Striking a cultural balance in geothermal exploitation
Stuff: Whānau customary marine title claim refused, but given chance to reduce its scope 
Richard Harman (Politik): A matter of taste
ODT Editorial: Hopes for hydrogen and Southland
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Teens looking in the cracked mirror of social media
Kaysha Brownlie (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern opens New Zealand’s first socially sustainable hotel in Christchurch
James Nokise (Stuff): A primal response caught up in the idea of hate
Malia Pole’o (Herald):  Where are our Pasifika teachers to lift up our learners?
Dita De Boni (NBR): Minister doesn’t rule out govt-owned KiwiMarket to bring prices down
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): MPs join in farewelling Tauranga Moana leader Kihi Ngātai

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