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. You can sign up to NZ Politics Daily as well as New Zealand Political Roundup columns for free here.

Today’s content

Auckland border decision, move to traffic light system
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): ‘People will die at home’: Covid’s unstoppable summer
Derek Cheng (Herald): More cases in more places; the collateral damage of Jacinda Ardern’s Auckland travel date (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Cautious and conservative PM true to form on traffic lights
RNZ: Covid-19 will ‘crop up’ all around New Zealand once Auckland’s border opens – experts
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Experts say vaccination push needed as virus ‘will travel for summer’
Grant Miller (ODT): Unease, hope about travel date
1 News: Stopping Covid spread over summer ‘personal responsibility’ – Baker
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): ‘Hard, scary and unknown’: Ambulance crews confront growing Covid threat
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Aucklanders getting the Summer they deserve
Barry Soper (Herald):  Auckland’s mood will have lifted a little – from a low base
Denise Piper (Stuff): Northland iwi leader says new travel rules will create ‘summer from hell’
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Checkpoint: Excitement but anxiety in Northland as Auckland border to reopen
Amy Williams (RNZ): Aucklanders expected to leave city in droves in pre-Christmas exodus
1 News: Auckland border announcement sees Kiwis flock to Air NZ website
Herald: New era brings hope but when will we get the green light?
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1 News: Political parties react to Auckland border opening
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Covid-19 traffic lights, Auckland boundary plans: Parties at odds over speed
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Auckland border reopening too soon, say Green and Māori parties
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): National attacks Government’s ‘summer of chaos’ plan to reopen Auckland’s borders
John Weekes (Herald): National predicts ‘summer of chaos’ in traffic light, Auckland border system
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Anna Whyte (1 News): New Zealand to move into the traffic light system before Christmas
John Weekes (Herald): Ten days before Christmas, Auckland borders to go for vaxxed, Covid-free travellers
Zane Small (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hints at return to normality from January 17
1 News: Covid-19: Auckland border restrictions to end on Dec 15
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government to open Auckland border on December 15, allowing travel for Christmas
Keith Lynch (Stuff): What Auckland opening means for the rest of the country
Alice Neville (Spinoff): Revealed: When – and how – Aucklanders can travel for summer
Sarah Pollok (Herald): Where you can travel at Red stage of Covid-19 Traffic Light Framework
Peter de Graaf and Mike Dinsdale (Northern Advocate/Herald): Northland’s border with Auckland set to lift on December 15
1 News: Auckland’s border reopening: What you need to know
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Adult travellers to South Island will need negative test or both vaccine doses
Adam Pearse (Herald): Auckland border explained – what you need to do to get out
Ben Leahy (Herald): The traffic light system explained

Govt management of Delta outbreak
Dan Satherley (Newshub): NZ’s 2020 lockdown prevented 32,000 COVID-19 deaths and nearly 2 million infections – study
Zane Small (Newshub): Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield admits ‘rapid work’ was needed to switch from COVID-19 elimination approach
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Tough Covid-19 calls mark end of New Zealand’s optimistic innocence 
Frances Land (Stuff): We’ve gone from togetherness in 2020 to division in 2021 and I’m over it
RNZ: Covid-19 wrap for 17 November: Auckland on path to reopening, vaccine pass launched
Hannah Martin (Stuff): How New Zealand’s vaccine restrictions compare to those overseas
Herald Editorial:  Is surveillance testing the key to containment? (paywalled)
Mike Hosking (Herald):  Royal commission needed into our terrible Covid response (paywalled)

Te Pāti Māori release Covid response policy
Richard Harman (Politik): Maori Party rips into “arrogant and out of touch” Government (paywalled)
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Government speeds ahead to traffic lights; Māori may be left behind
1 News: Te Pāti Māori want vaccine mandates abolished
RNZ: Te Pāti Māori launches Covid-19 Pandemic Response Policy
Claire Trevett (Herald): Te Pāti Māori calls for Govt vaccine mandates to be scrapped, Māori and businesses to decide mandates for themselves
Craig Ashworth (Local Democracy Reporting): Taranaki success backs Māori Party Covid calls, say leaders

Vaccine certificate, mandatory vaccination
Peter Dunne: Vaccine pass an inevitable, necessary evil
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Health Ministry stalls on Vaccine Pass anti-fraud measures
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Kiwis shouldn’t be sharing their vaccine certificates on social media – here’s why
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Judith Collins says she might not ask for Covid vaccine passes if she owned a bar
Chris Keall (Herald): My Covid Record vaccine pass – why users are being bombed with overloading and error messages
Chris Keall (Herald): Experts surprised as My Covid Record Vaccine Pass problems persist
Herald: And so it came to pass…
Liz Gordon (Daily Blog): No vaccine passport for me
Zane Small (Newshub): COVID-19 vaccination mandate decision for police ‘imminent’ – Poto Williams
Anne Gibson (Herald): Can landlords ask if tenants are vaccinated? (paywalled)
John Minto (Daily Blog): A welcome change of direction away from mandatory vaccinations

Vaccine Mandate – education, all children return to school
Ben Leahy (Herald): Up to 40 per cent of early learning centres could lose teacher over vax mandate: lobby
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): Whanganui schools, ECE centres let staff go as vaccine mandates kick in (paywalled)
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Double-vaxxed educators in Whangārei jobless, due to mandates
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Mandates at uni colleges
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Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Teachers question the rush back to school
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Exams optional for some Auckland schools as students eligible for unexpected event grade
Louise Ternouth (RNZ): Some nerves but relief as Auckland primary schools reopen
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Hungry families welcome schools’ return as Christmas looms
RNZ: Auckland primary pupils ‘quite excited’ for return to class

Vaccine Mandate – health workforce
1 News: Covid vaccination status sees 1300 DHB staff stood down
Adam Pearse (Herald): Over 1300 unvaccinated DHB staff stood down
RNZ: Waikato biggest loser as doctors, nurses and midwives stood down across country
Janine Rankin (Stuff): MidCentral Health loses 43 workers who missed vaccination deadline
ODT: SDHB staff stood down over jabs
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Senior doc pins hopes on AstraZeneca vaccine as hundreds of unvaccinated health staff stood down

Cases, demographics, Delta spreads
1 News: Man in his 60s with Covid-19 dies in Auckland
1 News: New Christchurch Covid case recently travelled to Auckland
Stuff: Three Christchurch children moved to MIQ after mother tests positive for Covid-19
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Time will tell whether new Covid case in Christchurch will spread, experts say
Logan Church (1 News): Waikato Hospital ICU nurse positive for Covid-19
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Huge proportion of gang members infected
1 News: ‘A number’ of Covid-19 cases linked to Killer Beez gang
Sam Sherwood and Piers Fuller (Stuff): Confirmed cases linked to Masterton Killer Beez gang gathering
Vita Molyneux (Herald): Masterton cases linked to Killer Beez gathering, one case reportedly the daughter of senior member
Tamati Tiananga (Māori TV): Epere fears Māori hit hard after Covid-19 case detected at tangihanga
Māori TV: Māori cases six records in six days – Dr Rawiri Taonui
RNZ: Te Rangi Tupua collective secures $2.8m to prepare for Covid-19 cases
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV): Iwi-led facilities to provide hospital Covid care

Vaccine rollout
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): What you should know about ‘adverse events’
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency denies claims made by Minister of Health over vaccination data
Henry Cooke and Kate Newton (Stuff): Vaccine roll-out in 13 charts as Government gives up on 90 per cent target
1 News: 4000 doses away from Pasifika hitting 90% first doses nationwide
James Halpin (Stuff): Island that barred visitors at level 3 has Auckland’s lowest vaccine rate
Nikki Preston (Herald): Mum unhappy that Health Ministry contacted autistic 12-year-old about getting vaccinated
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): The vaccine side-effect that’s destroying families

Home isolation, MIQ, Border
Thomas Coughlan (Herald):  Time for an MIQ rethink (paywalled)
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Aucklanders allowed out, time for Kiwis stuck overseas to come in
Anne Gibson (Herald): Apartment chiefs worry about home isolation in units, seek Govt help (paywalled)
Ian Taylor (Herald): Rules need to make sense to be effective
Scott Yeoman (Stuff): ‘Gut wrenching’ wait for woman in managed isolation as sister dying from leukaemia
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Cops in isolation a ‘strain’ on resources
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Cook Islands holiday bookings slow ahead of January 14 travel bubble
Thomas Bywater (Herald): South Island travel agent charters quarantine-free flight to Brisbane
Nikki Preston (Herald): Woman hounded over $4000 MIQ bill for non-existent stay
Sahiban Hyde (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Hawke’s Bay DHB specialist stuck in India asks Government to return his taxes (paywalled)
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): Cancer surgeon can’t get spot in MIQ, patients left ‘in limbo’

Vaccine misinformation, protests, rule breaches
Chris Trotter (DAily Blog): Hell To Pay – The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the Jim Crow South
Hayden Thorne (Newsroom): The problem with the ‘individual rights’ argument
Charlie Mitchell and Katie Kenny (Stuff): Covid-19 vaccination paper criticised as ‘disinformation’ is being withdrawn, co-author Simon Thornley says
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Simon Thornley retracts paper with false claims on vaccine and pregnancy
Benedict Collins (1 News): Simon Thornley retracts bogus vaccination miscarriage
Stuff: Judge asked to stop investigation into Covid misinformation videos
Katie Harris (Herald): Doctor under investigation after controversial online Covid videos fights to halt investigation

1 News Colmar Brunton poll, parliament, parties
Claire Trevett (Herald): National Party leadership: Is there a pothole in Simon Bridges’ road back to the leadership? (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Judith Collins admits ‘horrible job’ of opposition comes with polling hit
Shanti Mathias (Spinoff): Does #nzpol actually impact politics?
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Does Carmel Sepuloni really rate 9/10?

Public service
Brigitte Morten (NBR): Bloomfield will bear brunt of blame for ministerial failings
Jem Traylen (BusinessDesk): Most still have faith in the public service – for now

Three Waters, local government
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Independence of three waters review questioned after working group chair’s firm contracted staffer to reforms
RNZ: Shelly Bay protesters defy Council threat to evict
Kate Nicol Williams (1 News): Council asks protesting Wellington iwi to leave Shelly Bay
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Shelly Bay protesters ignore second deadline to vacate occupied land
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Forcibly removing Shelly Bay protesters could get ugly, Wellington mayor warns
Matthew Rosenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Shadbolt claims he was denied new phone over tech illiteracy
Sam Olley (RNZ): Price rise puts Whangārei’s Ōruku Landing project at risk
Hawkes Bay Today: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council applies for consent for underground water storage trial (paywalled)
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): Pokies gradually on the way out in Mackenzie District

Justice
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Fears new duty lawyer fee plan has ‘appearance of incentivising guilty pleas’
Audrey Young (Herald): Crime, punishment and judicial contortions in three strikes repeal (paywalled)
ODT Editorial: Striking out three strikes
Newshub: ACT Party newsletter slammed for saying one violent or sexual offence ‘might be a regrettable mistake’
RNZ: The Detail: Our broken legal aid system

Economy, business, wage subsidy
RNZ: Minister unveils tourism and hospitality industries’ transformation planning group
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Treasury – Capital gains tax would be helpful
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Report claims Uber avoided millions in company tax
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Covid vaccine passes ready to go as businesses await details of scheme
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Govt still not certain how use of vaccine passes will be enforced
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Businesses want ‘assurance’ on a firm opening date
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Restaurants ‘inundated’ with bookings despite uncertain return date
Benn Bathgate and Luke Kirkeby (Stuff): Open arm welcomes or too little too late – the reaction south of the Auckland border
John Anthony (Stuff): Organisers of New Year’s Eve festivals in lowest vaccinated regions confident events will go ahead
Herald: Gisborne vaccination rates to determine if Rhythm and Vines festival goes ahead
Jo Lines-MacKenzie (Stuff): Haircut queues, gym visits and beauty bookings as Waikato businesses reopen in level 2
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): New Zealand ranked eighth in 2021 global prosperity ranking 
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): More fuel for inflation as producer prices jump 6.2%
John Berry (Stuff): Social entrepreneurs: a new force for good

Employment, migrant workers
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Brews Liquor ordered to pay $34,000 for migrant worker exploitation
Olivia Caldwell (Stuff): ‘It’s good to be back’: Migrant workers relieved to be back in NZ for fruit-growing season
RNZ: Managers more likely to think pay is fair – study
Paul Mitchell (Stuff): Palmerston North cafe staff defend sign slated as sexist by hospitality union
Chris Marriner (Herald): Black Pearl Cafe owner responds after ‘cute waitress’ controversy
Ankur Sabharwal (Stuff): The top 10 risks to your 2021 Resident Visa application

Housing
Phil Pennington (RNZ): New housing density plan prompts criticism from various industries
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Increasing house prices decrease wealth inequality – Treasury (paywalled)
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Treasury analysis concludes house price growth lowers inequality, but…
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Infrastructure, not more intensification is the answer to the housing crisis, says Auckland Council
Anne Gibson (Herald): Remuera neighbours halt nearly-finished apartments (paywalled)
Jade Kake (Stuff): Medium-density residential standards provide tangible step towards decolonising housing
Lane Nichols (Herald): Kāinga Ora policy protecting violent, abusive state house tenants may be unlawful: lawyer
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Home loan mortgage interest rates rise at fastest pace in 15 years and there’s more to come (paywalled)
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Kiwibank pulling plug on pre-approvals for low deposit home loans as banks strive to meet new RBNZ LVR restrictions
David Hargreaves (Interest): ANZ economists see ‘a relatively middle of the road outlook’ for a period of weaker-than-average house price growth over 2022, but a gradual return to average over 2023
André Chumko (Stuff): Housing and health researchers win the 2021 Rutherford Medal
Herald: Influential healthy homes research recognised with top honour
Anne Gibson (Herald): Failed Australian builder: Covid hit Kāinga Ora projects on two sites (paywalled)

Pike River
Rebecca Macfie (Newsroom): Pike River miners’ remains unlikely to be last found
Kim Moodie (RNZ): Families, minister respond to discovery of human remains in Pike River mine
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Bodies found nearly 11 years after disaster, leaving open door for prosecutions, families hope
Conan Young (RNZ): Discovery of bodies inside Pike River mine described as cold comfort by some families
Joanne Naish and Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Families not surprised by discovery of remains in Pike River Mine as police inquiry continues
RNZ: Checkpoint: Bernie Monk on Pike River operation: ‘They just try to wear us out’
Tess McClure and Eva Corlett (Guardian): ‘It hits you hard’: shock as bodies of Pike River miners found 11 years after New Zealand disaster
RNZ: Human remains found in Pike River Mine

Environment, climate change, conservation
David Williams (Newsroom): Controversial farmer’s next venture: A feedlot
Kevin E Trenberth (Newsroom): Climate change: NZ should cut emissions, not buy overseas offsets
Timothy Welch (The Conversation): Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cycle safely
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): SH1 expansion approval ‘hypocritical’ amid Govt pledge to halve emissions by 2030
Chris Hyde (Herald): The cardboard bread tag sums up why we’re struggling to stop climate change (paywalled)
Tim Newman (Stuff): Differing views over Nelson City Council carbon credit scheme
Hawkes Bay Today: Lawyer takes on climate challenge at Napier council
Stuart McKinnon (Herald): Northland geothermal plant powering a sustainable future (paywalled)
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Māori term kaitiakitanga added to Oxford English Dictionary
Denise Piper (Stuff): Government OKs marine mammal sanctuary in bid to save Bay of Islands dolphins
RNZ: Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary confirmed

Primary industries
RNZ: Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor ‘not yet assured’ by Fonterra’s proposed capital restructure
Andrea Fox (Herald): Is the Minister of Agriculture throwing a spanner in Fonterra’s capital restructure works? (paywalled)
RNZ: Groundswell drops dairy industry figure Ross Townshend after social media comments
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Wairarapa organisers pull pin on Groundswell protest as fringe elements undermine farmers’ messages
Jane Matthews (Stuff): Tractors, utes set to rumble through New Plymouth CBD for second farmers’ protest 
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): After racist rant, Tatua director ‘deserved to lose his job’, says Māori leader
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Tātua dairy company director quits after criticising Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s moko kauae

Health
Newshub: Advocates want more women to get vaccinated against cervical cancer
John Lewis (ODT): Calls to improve pancreatic cancer care
Jacqui Dean (Stuff): Health system needs resources, not restructure

Transport
Chris Marriner (Herald): ‘Giant middle finger to community’: Alarm at placing of T3-lane cameras on Auckland’s Onewa Rd
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Govt accused of ‘dragging the chain’ on KiwiRail chair (paywalled)
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Wellington’s electric cross-harbour ferry just around the corner following sea trials 

Foreign affairs and trade
John Weekes (Herald): US Navy ship to visit Wellington this month amid complex US-China relations
Newshub: United States Navy ship to visit New Zealand this month

Other
Finlay Macdonald (Newsroom): Book of the Week: Kelburn left, Remuera right
Karl du Fresne: No one should be surprised by a backlash against the news media
Julie Spray (RNZ): Stop saying children are ‘resilient’
Vincent O’Malley (Stuff): Signs are encouraging for a historically aware Aotearoa
Benje Patterson (Interest): A legacy of Covid-19 may be some permanent changes to the way we work and where we choose to live
Ian Llewellyn (BusinessDesk): Pumped hydro criticism motivated by commercial self-interest – Woods (paywalled)
Ian Llewellyn (BusinessDesk): Pumped hydro way out of the money for future power flexibility: report (paywalled)
RNZ: Isolated rural police face burnout, lack of support – IPCA review
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Christchurch mosque terror attacks: US expert’s review of medical response to shootings praises first responders
Stuff: Christchurch mosque terrorist sacks lawyer ahead of coroner’s inquest
Rachel Moore (Stuff): Drastic rise in demand for food assistance during lockdowns in Hamilton
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Royal Society is now anti-science!
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Legal expert says Destiny Church unlikely to be deregistered as charity despite 12,000 people signing petition
Taylor Rice (Stuff): Gen Z aren’t just ‘whinging zoomers’ – our struggle is real
1 News: ‘Shocking’ rise in identity fraud incidents – MBIE
RNZ: New Vice Chancellor for AUT encourages young Pasifika to pursue education

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