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

National Party
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Can Luxon “Reimagine Capitalism” – Like Muldoon?
Matthew Hooton (Herald):  Dream start for Christopher Luxon-Nicola Willis combo (paywalled)
Max Rashbrooke (Stuff): If Luxon’s looking for a new direction, he could start by investing in our kids
Gordon Campbell: On the elusive charms of Christopher Luxon
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): National can finally focus forward
Matthew Hooton (Patreon): On the Philosophy and Politics of Abortion (paywalled)
Brent Edwards (NBR): Can Luxon help National take off? (paywalled)
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Luxon is leader but what’s in it for Māori?
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Luxon should listen, not talk, with iwi Māori – Finlayson
Herald: Christopher Luxon’s houses earned him 15 times what he will get as National Party leader
No Right Turn: An embodiment of our problems
Karl du Fresne: The hit jobs on Luxon came even sooner than I expected
John Anthony (Stuff): Air NZ’s support for rainbow community reached new heights under Christopher Luxon’s watch
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Claire Trevett (Herald): Chris Luxon’s pick of Simon Bridges as his number 3 was more than just an olive branch (paywalled)
Richard Harman (Politik): Luxon builds Bridges
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Bridges gets bridges to calm troubled caucus (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Christopher Luxon gives leadership rival Simon Bridges finance and infrastructure portfolios
RNZ: Simon Bridges named as National’s finance and infrastructure spokesperson
Anna Whyte (1 News): Simon Bridges lands National’s coveted finance portfolio
Zane Small (Newshub): Simon Bridges given coveted finance portfolio after stepping aside to let National elect Christopher Luxon
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Woodhouse loses portfolio
Newshub: Simon Bridges provides update on son’s ‘serious’ injury that saw him miss finance portfolio announcement
1 News: Simon Bridges’ son seriously injured in school accident
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Christopher Luxon reveals Simon Bridges missed portfolio announcement because his son is in hospital
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Christopher Luxon gets warm reception as he meets the public in Tauranga

Traffic light system, regional concern over Auckland border opening
Keith Lynch and Kate Newton (Stuff): Why these 166 places may be most at risk of virus spread
Keith Lynch (Stuff): ‘Freedom Day’… so now what for our Covid-19 story?
1 News: Future lockdowns not out of the question – Hendy
Newstalk ZB: Police defend decision to man Northland iwi’s summer checkpoints
1 News: Police, iwi to man checkpoints at Auckland-Northland border
Karina Cooper (Northern Advocate/Herald): Tai Tokerau Border Control and Northland police to operate summer checkpoints (paywalled)
RNZ: Police and iwi to set up checkpoints on Northland/Auckland border
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Shane Jones slams plans for iwi roadblocks in Te Tai Tokerau, says he ‘won’t be listening’
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): How can you take Northland iwi’s requests seriously?
RNZ: Northland needs more time to get vaccination levels up – DHB chair
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): ‘Don’t travel unless you need to’ plea as Māori and Pasifika vaccination rates catch up
RNZ: ‘Risk too high’ for Whanganui when Auckland border reopens
Robin Martin (RNZ): Whanganui mayor backs iwi’s plea for holidaymakers to steer clear of region
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Unvaccinated private boat owners a risk to Aotea’s community – iwi
1 News: Auckland emerges from lockdown after 107 days
Stewart Sowman-Lund (Spinoff): Auckland’s almost-four-month lockdown, in numbers
1 News: Scan, mask and pass – the basics of the traffic light system
Sapeer Mayron and Nathan Morton (Stuff): Traffic light system no help for struggling special needs families
Olivia Shivas (Stuff): Freedom Day: For many disabled people, it’s just another day
RNZ: Aged care residents apprehensive ahead of expected spike in visitors

Govt management of Delta outbreak
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Truth behind Government’s delta reversal
Derek Cheng (Herald):  ‘Not out of the woods’ – Expert Sir Brian Roche on the challenges in coming months (paywalled)
Gehan Gunasekara (Newsroom): NZ’s Covid vaccination legislation: the fastest law in the west
Michael Andrew (BusinessDesk):Rushed traffic light legislation ‘constitutionally unsound’ (paywalled)
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Attorney-General David Parker defends Government’s hasty lawmaking 
Stuff Editorial: Will you pass go or be stuck in traffic?
Herald Editorial: We know what to do to beat Omicron
Herald: Confidence high vaccination rates making a big impact as the country moves to traffic light system tomorrow
Covid-19 wrap: Expert urges patience with children’s vaccine rollout, case numbers grow in Nelson

Economy, business, government subsidies
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Auckland revival package overlooks most vulnerable, say Greens
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Bar owner Leo Molloy says scanning QR codes ‘very, very slow’, a ‘serious issue’ for businesses as Auckland reopens under traffic light system
John Anthony (Stuff): Hospitality can’t make a profit in red traffic light setting, industry group says
Lincoln Tan (Herald): Restaurants welcome dine-in customers as Auckland turns ‘red’
Amy Williams (RNZ): Auckland hospitality reopens to new challenges in traffic light system
1 News: Bars the first to open doors after Auckland lockdown
Vita Molyneux (Herald): Wellingtonians put on their dancing shoes and bar owners rejoice as the first weekend at orange looms
Megan Wilson (Herald): Tourism operators ready for day one of the traffic light system
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Freedom Day: Auckland pubs and punters revving up for midnight
Herald: Pubs to open at 11.59pm as Auckland enters traffic light system
Amy Williams (RNZ): Economic agency warns of further business closures if Auckland stays in red
Ella Stewart (RNZ): Hospitality sector ‘devastated’ after being excluded from Auckland stimulus package
Kethaki Masilamani (Newshub): Auckland businesses excitedly prepare to welcome back patrons for first time in three months
Courtney White (OD)T: Shops in quandary over using vaccine pass system
David Skipwith (Stuff): Rhythm and Vines festival postponed until Easter 2022
RNZ: Rhythm and Vines postpone festival until Easter 2022
Herald: Gisborne’s Rhythm and Vines music festival postponed to Easter Weekend 2022
Vita Molyneux (Herald): Kiwiburn cancelled due to ethical concerns over Covid 19 risk
1 News: South Island start-up provides easier way to scan in
Liam Dann (Herald): The cost of inflation: Real wages going backwards – ANZ report (paywalled)
David Hargreaves (Interest): Out-of-control inflation ‘would deal a devastating blow to household purchasing power’
Stuff:  Tel Aviv named the ‘world’s most expensive city’, as Auckland jumps up rankings

Mandatory vaccination, vaccine pass, rules
Mia Sutherland (Stuff): Vaccine mandates: An open letter from your friendly hospo staff
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Vaccine pass enforcement: customers will be the judge 
Jane Clifton  (Listener/Herald): The pandemic has united the majority on the issue that counts (paywalled)
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Newshub-Reid Research poll: Overwhelming support for COVID-19 vaccine certificates but 900,000 yet to be downloaded
Andrew Chen (The Conversation): Verification will be essential as New Zealanders start using vaccine passes – to stop fraud and the spread of COVID
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Coronavirus: My Vaccine Pass rollout – ‘damn impressive’ or a ‘shambles’?
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): Temporary exemption granted to 70,000 people still waiting for help to get their My Vaccine Pass
1 News: 70,000 Kiwis temporarily exempt from producing vaccine pass
Herald: 70,000 vaccine pass temporary exemptions include Napier girl whose first jab wasn’t recorded
RNZ: Temporary exemptions available for those unable to obtain vaccine passes
Megan Wilson (Herald): Tauranga cafe trials vaccine pass ahead of traffic light system
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Herald): Age Concern’s warning as Central Hawke’s Bay firm charges elderly $50 to set up vaccine pass
John Gerritsen (RNZ): About 1400 school teachers refuse Covid-19 vaccination
Josephine Franks (Stuff): 97.6% of teachers vaccinated, Ministry of Education reveals
Dubby Henry (Herald): Teacher vaccination rates released by Ministry of Education
RNZ: Nearly 100 fewer firefighters on job due to Covid-19 vaccination mandate
1 News: People need to be fully vaccinated to book DOC facilities
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Wellington councils introduce vaccine certificate requirements
Helen Harvey (Stuff): New Plymouth Council staff concern over Covid pass decision
ODT: Councils move on vaccine passes
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Vandervis irate over ban on unvaxxed
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Upper Hutt council will not require vaccine passes at most public facilities
Chris Tobin and Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): Councils’ decisions on vaccinations and passes differ across South Canterbury
Henry Burrell (BusinessDesk):‘It’s a breach’: vax pass data storage concerning for Māori (paywalled)
Sandra Conchie (Herald): Destiny Church pastor Leon Wharewehe Samuels to fight Covid-19 public health order charges
Siobhan Downes (Stuff): Gisborne’s Tatapouri Bay campground stands by decision to welcome unvaccinated guests
Courtney Winter (Herald): Christchurch flatmate asked to move out after refusing to get vaccination (paywalled)
John Anthony (Stuff): Stewart Island Four Square actively seeking unvaccinated staff
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Orange level could make funerals harder for grieving families, directors say
Helen Nickisson (Stuff): Services for the vaxxed and the unvaxxed: Marlborough churches plan for orange
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): Wairoa will get through its red dawn if it sees the traffic light system as modern-day ‘tikanga’

MIQ, home isolation
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): What is wrong with James Shaw lately?
Phil Pennington (RNZ): MIQ health and safety reps left waiting 11 months for training, union says
RNZ: MIQ rules could be changed to allow 501 deportees to stay longer
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Isolating 501 deportees ordered to MIQ after Auckland CBD incident
Miriam Burrell (Herald):‘It was like a circus’: Australian deportees escape isolation, seen crying and drunk
Kaysha Brownlie (Newshub): Fears turning Christchurch youth prisons into COVID-19 facilities could ruin young offenders’ rehab
1 News: Inmates at risk if prison youth units close – advocate

Cases, demographics, testing
1 News: No plan’ to put Nelson in Red over Covid cases – Bloomfield
RNZ: Too early to say potential size of Nelson Covid-19 outbreak – Chief Medical Officer
1 News: Nelson residents ‘anxious’ about Covid-19 spread – mayor
RNZ: Nelson school expects up to 40 close contacts of Covid-19 case
Nikki Preston (Herald): Waikato schools warned cases could increase by 70 per cent this month
RNZ: Three new Covid-19 cases reported in New Plymouth
Jennifer Eder (Stuff): Outward Bound students among the first to use ‘interesting’ rapid antigen testing
Ian Taylor (Herald): The warning we should have heeded in May 2020

Vaccine rollout
RNZ: Covid-19 vaccine for children: Rollout timeframe helps ensure safety, says immunologist
1 News: ‘Vaccine better than virus’ – Expert welcomes 5-11 rollout news
Cate Broughton and Michael Wright (Stuff): A community apart: The low-vax suburb where everyone knows someone who isn’t jabbed
1 News: Auckland DHB first to hit 80% fully vaccinated rate for Māori
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Iwi providers take vaccination vans to vulnerable Gisborne communities
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Unexpected death of ‘cool Kiwi bloke’ Rory Nairn under investigation
RNZ: Scientists release ‘nerdcore’ vaccination rap in collaboration with politicians
Katie Harris, Rosie Gordon (Herald): In the Loop: Helen Clark criticises vaccine inequity as Omicron variant spreads

Pharmac report, health
Kristin Hall (1 News): Scathing interim report released on Pharmac
RNZ: Pharmac slated in new report after independent review of its decision-making
Michael Neilson (Herald): Pharmac review: ‘Damning’ interim report reveals ‘fortress mentality’, Māori, equity progress slow
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Pharmac review: Māori, Pasifika and disabled disadvantaged by medicine-buying agency 
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Damning report finds Pharmac is too focused on saving money, rather than lives
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Rowan Quinn (RNZ): $644 million boost as ICU and hospitals brace for widespread Covid-19
Liz McDonald and Cate Broughton (Stuff): New ICU beds approved for Covid battle will be ready mid-2022
Lincoln Tan (Herald): Major funding boost for ICU as country moves to traffic light system
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Health system reform: ‘Transition Unit’ to spend $18m on consultants this year (paywalled)
Lois Williams (RNZ): Surgery waitlists grow on West Coast
Sahiban Hyde (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Hawke’s Bay Hospital postpones 21 elective surgeries in two days as admissions soar
Kurt Krause (Newsroom): Covid-19 drugs: NZ’s state of play
Dan Satherley (Newshub) How stigma against people with HIV could be prolonging the COVID-19 pandemic
Lois Williams  (Stuff): Surgery waitlists grow on West Coast
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Lack of aged-care nurses affects quality of care

Housing
RNZ: Environment select committee releases recommended changes to housing intensification bill
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Bipartisan housing deal: ‘Townhouse bill’ restrictions set to be weakened
Geraden Cann (Stuff): Mega landlords could grow as they snap up mum and dad investment rentals
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Housing crisis: Everything points towards a market correction in 2022 – economist
Anne Gibson (Herald): Barfoot & Thompson data: Auckland average house prices up 18.5% annually
Miriam Bell (Stuff): ‘Abnormally high’ number of expensive sales drive Auckland prices up 

Local government, Three Waters
Ethan Te Ora (Stuff):  Messy politics postpone vote on rent freeze for Wellington City Council housing tenants
Nikki Preston (Herald): Waikato Regional Council chairman Russ Rimmington accused of ‘racist’ Māori comments over Three Waters
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Shelly Bay battle: De-escalation talks in progress, land occupation continues
Mathew Nash (SunLive): Tauranga CBD revamp could include museum, hotel, civic whare to encourage connection to city ‘heart’
James Pocock (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Napier Aquatic Centre: Not impossible to build new facility at Onekawa, $500,000 report finds (paywalled)
ODT Editorial: Hobbs’ vacancy poorly handled
Matthew Rosenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Waiting game for council annual reports

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
1 News: Daunting climate ‘to do’ list unveiled opposite Beehive
Brian Fallow (Herald):  Aiming low in climate’s fight against farm emissions (paywalled)
Peter Davis (Newsroom): Covid and climate change: A tale of two crises
Mitchell Chandler (Stuff): ‘All is not lost’: How we can protect the ocean from climate change
Kate Green (Stuff): Former conservation minister calls for urgent halt to mining on protected land – our smallest frogs are at stake
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Prominent pōhutukawa tree chopped down in Auckland on same day climate tax announced to plant trees
Lucy Xia (Stuff): Mayor mourns iconic Auckland pōhutukawa cut down overnight
Maja Burry (RNZ): Scientists choose cryopreservation to store plant material for decades
Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): West Coast iwi ‘euphoric’ over two-year closure to save at risk pāua stocks
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): Summer water restrictions ‘the new normal’ in South Taranaki after extreme weather, new regulations
Rebecca Moore (1 News): Auckland beaches get years-long swim safety warnings removed
Matthew Littlewood (Stuff): Part of Lake Opuha declared unsuitable for swimming

Primary industries, Groundswell Protests
Stuff Editorial: PM’s office has found Groundswell notes; now she needs to find that phone
Blair Jackson (Stuff): Southland’s farmers ageing, farms struggle to retain young staff
Andrea Fox (Herald): New Zealand milk production up but cow numbers fall

Employment
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): How & why is employment above its maximum sustainable level when 98k people are out of work?
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Youth unemployment rate declines to 9.6 pct – but it’s still three times the national average
Kirsty Johnston (Stuff): We made a law to stop sexism impacting pay – but we forgot about racism
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Restaurants and bars desperate for staff on eve of reopening day
RNZ: One in three employees high risk for burnout during pandemic
Chris Keall (Herald): Burnout soars among workers during pandemic; how to tackle it
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Countdown shoppers told ‘only buy what you need’
Chris Tobin (Stuff): Port worker strike in Timaru could last three days

Police, crime
John Weekes (Herald): Three-strikes: Any U-turn on jailed inmates ‘betrayal’ of crime victims, Act says
1 News: Man shot dead by police in Auckland’s Glen Eden named
Herald: Gang member numbers almost double around the country in five years
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): We work in the grey’: Police grapple with hate crimes
Natalie Siegel-Brown (Herald):  NZ’s chance to break the child sexual abuse chain (paywalled)

Education
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Large attendance variations in Auckland schools
Anuja Nadkarni (Newsroom): Mixed messages to education providers on borders opening to students
Laura James (1 News): Victims of Dilworth sex offender share impact of his abuse
1 News: Inquiry to be launched into sexual offending at Dilworth
Alice Wilkin (Newshub): Former Dilworth School chaplain sentenced to prison for sexual offending

Foreign Affairs
Mitchell Alexander (Newshub): New US Ambassador to NZ Tom Udall has free trade agreement on his radar
Lucy Craymer (Stuff): US ambassador Tom Udall excited to be in New Zealand, ready to engage
Tess McClure (Guardian): Tom Udall, Biden’s cowboy boot-wearing friend, makes debut as ambassador to New Zealand
Michael Neilson (Herald): New US Ambassador to New Zealand Tom Udall on Māori culture, climate change, China and trade
Dan Satherley (Newshub): No pressure from China to intervene in the Solomon Islands – Nanaia Mahuta
Lucy Craymer (Stuff): Was New Zealand too slow to deploy police and soldiers to the Solomon Islands?
RNZ: New Zealand to stay out of domestic politics in the Solomon Islands – Nanaia Mahuta
Edward Miller (Newsroom): How NZ could break the global vaccination impasse
RNZ: Britain rejoins major Pacific body

Transport
Tina Law (Stuff): Campaign for free public transport gains momentum
Andrea Fox (Herald): The $30m question: How best to boost NZ’s coastal shipping amid supply chain crisis (paywalled)
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Christchurch bus services to be reduced due to driver shortage
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Auckland Transport brings back late buses on Friday, Saturday nights
RNZ: NZ Bus testing markets for potential buyers
Marc Daalder and Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): ‘Blue highway’: Govt moots $25-40m coastal shipping network

Media
Daniel Dunkley (BusinessDesk): Radio NZ regains listeners in latest survey (paywalled)
David Skipwith (Stuff): Paul Henry back as the voice of rebranded Magic Talk station Today FM

Other
Jessica Mcallen (BusinessDesk): Procurement gets politicial: Tū Kotahi
Michael Andrew (BusinessDesk): A crackdown on all your houses: no blind eye to poor privacy practices (paywalled)
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Research reveals why Wellington experienced so much damage in the Kaikōura Earthquake
Bronson Perich (Te Karere): Buy now pay later services stinging customers with late fees
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): ‘Such a mess’ – IT teams work overnight to fix immigration glitch
Chris Keall (Herald): NZ’s biggest data hogs revealed as broadband use hits another all-time high (paywalled)
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Abuse inquiry: redress report out

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