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 reshuffle, leadership change
Audrey Young (Herald): Luxon’s best MPs vs Ardern’s top ministers (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): National leader Christopher Luxon true to form with first political reshuffle
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Christopher Luxon’s National Party caucus reshuffle spells fixes not factions (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National reshuffle: Biggest winners and losers in Christopher Luxon’s first shake-up
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Luxon’s front bench shake-up and some wildcards too
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Has Chris Luxon shuffled up a winning pack?
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Unpicking Christopher Luxon’s ‘hard’ reshuffle (paywalled)
1 News: Opinion: The winners and losers in National’s new line up
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Christopher Luxon’s National Party caucus reshuffle: The winners and losers
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Judith Collins and Todd McClay the losers, Chris Bishop, Erica Stanford shoot up ranks
Bridie Witton (Stuff): National ‘has work to do’ on diversity after caucus announced
RNZ: National Party leader Christopher Luxon reveals new caucus lineup
John Weekes and Claire Trevett (Herald): Rising star Erica Stanford is protege of only MP to defeat Jacinda Ardern, as rejig losers lick wounds
Anna Whyte (1 News): Christopher Luxon drops Collins to 19th place in reshuffle
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Christopher Luxon demotes Judith Collins off front bench in first reshuffle
Jaime Ensor (Newshub): National Party rankings: Compare Christopher Luxon and Judith Collins’ teams
Sandra Conchie (Herald): Former National Party leader Todd Muller will run at next election after (Listener/Herald): reshuffle
Anna Whyte (1 News): ‘Invigorated’ Todd Muller reverses retirement decision
Zane Small (Newshub): Judith Collins plunges to #19 in Christopher Luxon’s National Party reshuffle as Shane Reti, Chris Bishop keep top roles
Eva Corlett (Guardian): Judith Collins axed from frontbench after losing National party leadership
Zane Small (Newshub): Ex-National leader Judith Collins loses Pacific portfolio to her former deputy Shane Reti despite vow to take it ‘very seriously’
Sandra Conchie (Herald): Todd McClay reacts after dramatic drop in National Party caucus list from sixth to unranked
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Demotion stings for Dunedin (Listener/Herald): MP
Robyn Bristow (Star News): Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey big winner after National’s reshuffle
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): National’s new lineup
1 News: Ardern wishes Luxon well managing National’s ‘3 past leaders’
1 News: Peters says National list not based on merit, talent
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Graham Adams (Democracy Project): Chris Luxon, abortion and the gender divide
Simon Wilson (Herald):  Chris Luxon, is a man on a mission but it’s not a religious thing (paywalled)
Chris Trotter (Interest): A smooth performance
Jason Walls (Newstalk ZB): How much will high-flying Luxon clip Act’s wings on his path to power?
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): A week is a long time in politics
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Chris Luxon’s social investment policy is a fantastic idea
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Andrew Dickens: If Luxon understands the economy, he gets a nod of approval from me
Tim Dower (Newstalk ZB): Solid start for Luxon, Lord knows we need him
Bill Ralston (Listener/Herald): National is failing to harness the country’s anger (paywalled)

Political donations
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Ban of anonymous political donations among electoral law reform options 
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Government consults on political donations clampdown
RNZ: Government releases proposals for changes to political donations

Govt management of Delta outbreak
Derek Cheng (Herald): ‘National disgrace’ – Govt Covid response panned at Waitangi Tribunal
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Delta has become a Māori pandemic, Waitangi Tribunal hearing told
Jamie Tahana (RNZ): Waitangi Tribunal hearing into whether Te Tiriti breached begins
Herald Editorial: Early data on Omicron suggests rethink of border-easing plans warranted (paywalled)
1 News: NZ’s Covid spread rate at its lowest in weeks – Plank
Jamie Ensor and Caitlin Ellis (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern not expecting lockdown over summer, any restrictions would be ‘localised’
Herald: PM has no plans to lock down country over summer; expert wants Aucklanders to avoid the unvaccinated
1 News: Govt signs pre-purchase agreement for another Covid drug
RNZ: Pharmac secures Pfizer’s Covid-19 oral antiviral medication, subject to Medsafe approval – PM
Stuff Editorial: Pandemic’s pressure on public service keenly felt

Traffic light system
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern says ‘Caution has paid off’ with positive start under traffic light system
1 News: Rude customers, confusion for some under traffic light system
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): Reports of abuse at Ashburton businesses over Covid-19 rules
Marjorie Cook (ODT): Festival organisers confident in logistical plan
RNZ: South Island music festival set to rock New Year’s in orange light
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Seasonal townhall Christmas meal off
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Woman fears for wellbeing of rest home residents after frustration over visits

Regional concern over Auckland border opening
RNZ: Importance of partnership between govt, iwi shown in Te Tai Tokerau border model – Northland iwi
1 News: Ardern moves to allay fears over Auckland holidaymakers
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): ‘We haven’t left anything to chance’: Jacinda Ardern on whether you should travel this summer
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Influx of Aucklanders anticipated
Verity Johnson (Stuff): Auckland played its part and now we want our lives back 

Mandatory vaccination, vaccine pass
John Anthony (Stuff): U-turn on vaccine mandate allows takeaway staff to be unvaccinated
Sue Teodoro (Wairarapa Times-Age): Wairarapa DHB investigating claim large group of vaccination staff paid for big night out with Prezzy cards
Philip McKibbin (Guardian): Restaurants that reject vaccine passes in favour of ‘equality’ for the unvaccinated harm us all
RNZ: Checkpoint: Some pharmacies criticised for charging to print vaccine passes
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): What’s the future of the vaccine mandate?
Nikki Preston (Herald): Vaccine mandate forces 10 per cent of community midwives to stand down, some areas feeling the pressure
Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): No council vax mandate planned at present
Nadine Porter and Sam Sherwood (Stuff): New vaccine pass system receives mixed review from hospitality industry
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): Ashburton Mayor slams anti-vaccination abuse after bakery is forced to call police
Katie Harris (Herald): Gisborne cafe’s plan to get around traffic light system by hosting daily ‘events’ fails
RNZ: Public libraries in Nelson now subject to vaccine pass checks
Alison Smith (Herald):Anger ‘vented’ at Coromandel hospitality providers responding to mandate

Economy, business, government subsidies
Bernard Hickey (The Spinoff): The real impact of New Zealand’s economic response to Covid-19
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Delta illustrates why wage subsidy kept: Skyline leader
Greg Smith (Stuff): Omicron and inflation twin threats for financial markets
Dita De Boni (NBR): Economic difference between Auckland Māori employers and employees stark: BERL (paywalled)
Nicholas Pointon (RNZ): CTU backs Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr amid calls to replace him
Richard Harman (Politik): Bridges says Orr should go
Eric Crampton (Offsetting Behaviour): A politicised central bank
Mikaela Wilkes (Stuff): We need to pay $7 for a flat white if cafes are going to survive, says coffee boss
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Freedom day like the end of World War II, says Auckland restaurateur
Hamish Rutherford (Herald):  To be Frank, none of the small electricity retailers are quite what they seem (paywalled)
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Construction sector tipped to peak at $48.3 billion in 2024, driven by residential
Tina Law (Stuff): Christchurch’s popular Sparks concert will go ahead – but only for the vaccinated 
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): Mackenzie tourism operators hope for summer surge

Protests, Covid-19 restrictions breaches, Misinformation
Michelle Duff (Stuff): ‘It’s a hellscape’: The age of misinformation is here – can government close the rabbit hole?
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Hamilton mum in denial – until she caught Covid
1 News: Holocaust comparison by Covid-19 protesters ‘false equivalence’
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Women accused of breaching Covid-19 restrictions named after suppression lapses
ODT: Queenstown developer told police breach not ‘particularly serious’

Health
Lloyd Burr (Magic): Little’s $644m ICU press release, another reason why I’m cynical when it comes to politics
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Critics blame diabetes deaths on Pharmac taking years to fund new drug
Lois Williams (Stuff): New Zealand’s goal of being smokefree by 2025 unlikely to be met
Michael Neilson (Herald): NZ secures 60,000 doses of Pfizer’s new antiviral medicine – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Michael Neilson (Herald): New Pfizer antiviral drug ‘big step forward’ in fight against outbreak
Orna McGinn (Newsroom): Why NZ needs a women’s health strategy
Lokesh Padhye (Newsroom): Time for NZ to act on ‘forever chemicals’
RNZ: New research shows extent of fast food combos’ poor nutritional value
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Stoush over after-hours GP fees discussion

Housing
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): How low can you go? Labour and Nats play game of housing limbo
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern ‘would be surprised’ if National seeks to change housing deal given new deputy Nicola Willis ‘was a part of discussions’
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Housing bill to be watered down
Brent Edwards (NBR): Can bi-partisan legislation on housing intensification become law by Christmas? (paywalled)
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): New home consents tipped to dip below current record highs
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Wallet squeeze: High home loan rates will mean some have to ‘cut their cloth’, Grant Robertson says (paywalled)
RNZ: 265,000 new dwellings in pipeline over next five years – MBIE report
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): ASB suggests ‘lofty’ housing confidence is set to be tested
Felix Desmarais (Stuff): Rotorua Lakes Council says ‘momentum’ building on housing
Rosie Collins (Interest): All I want for Christmas is more rentals 
Kelvin Davidson (One Roof): Timeline of a housing crisis: Numbers behind NZ’s price surge
Catherine Master (One Roof): New Zealand house prices: What went wrong?
Catherine Master (One Roof): Government v the housing market: Can a minister ever win?
Catherine Master (One Roof): Nick Smith: ‘Housing was the most stressful portfolio I had’
Tony Alexander (One Roof): 52% of Kiwis blame overseas buyers for rising house prices. Why?
Jamie Wilson (One Roof): House prices in 2022: Why the property market could be very different
Jen Baird (One Roof): REINZ boss: The housing market remains strong – for now
Kelvin Davidson (One Roof): Timeline of a housing crisis: Numbers behind NZ’s price surge

Local government, Three Waters
Lois Williams (Local Democracy Reporting): Separate rules for Grey district suggested to retain SNA deals with landowners
1 News: Six of Auckland’s regional parks will be given new Māori name
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill City Council invited to join 3 Waters ‘push back’ group
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): City and regional councils revisiting co-management of Napier’s stormwater network (paywalled)
Grant Miller (ODT): Perception of ORC: ‘infighting’
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Waikato Regional Council chairman faces backlash over ‘offensive’ Māori comments

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
RNZ: Damning verdict on shellfish diversity after study – but restoration project underway
Jean Bell (RNZ): Rare Auckland native bush section may be sold to developers
Karen Rutherford (Newshub): World-famous New Chum headland safe from developers after being bought by New Zealanders
Jamie Morton (Herald): Campaigners buy part of world-famous New Chum Beach for $2.15m
Simon Coley (Herald):  How business can get past the ‘blah, blah’ of the climate change debate (paywalled)
Livia Esterhazy (Herald):  Saving the Bryde’s whale – the panda of the ocean (paywalled)
Helen Clark (Newsroom): Preventing devastation on the high seas – and beneath them
Melanie Reid and Cass Mason (Newsroom): Horror at new plan to excavate pristine Fiji reef
Melanie Reid and Bonnie Sumner (Newsroom): The Kiwi scientist and the failed surf breaks

Primary and extractive industries, Groundswell Protests
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): National and ACT call on Ardern to release Groundswell NZ briefing notes
Andrea Fox (Herald): Fonterra shareholders urged to vote with Cabinet eyes on new capital plan (paywalled)
RNZ: Hopes beneficial insects could boost farm yields
Maddisyn Jeffares (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): $20m possum control plan to eradicate bovine TB in Hawke’s Bay over next five years (paywalled)

Immigration, NZ border, MIQ
Anuja Nadkarni (Newsroom): Officials express ‘regret’ as residency visa applications inundate system
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Families left waiting as borders open for tourists: ‘It’s been tough’
Katie Todd (RNZ): Some Kiwis are still travelling overseas: ‘Things become desperate’

Education
RNZ: Principals, teachers more stressed and exhausted than last year – ERO survey
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Teacher wellbeing plummets and workloads rise due to pandemic
Mina Kerr-Lazenby (Stuff): South Auckland school spent nearly $9k on principal’s farewell party, $4k on gift
RNZ: Annual tertiary education enrolment numbers up 10%
Ellen O’Dwyer and Tom Hunt (Stuff): Victoria University survey shows staff have low confidence in senior leaders

Transport
Andrea Fox (Herald): NZ freight forwarders dismayed by new Maersk shipping restriction (paywalled)
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Herald): An 80km/h speed limit? Decision on Napier-Taupō Rd set to be an early Christmas present (paywalled)
Mike Yardley (Stuff): Let’s see proof congestion charges will change behaviour
Todd Niall (Stuff): Aucklanders are seeing red, despite traffic light freedoms
Siddharth Philip (Stuff): London-Auckland in zero emissions hydrogen-powered jet? UK-backed concept design unveiled
Tina Morrison (Stuff): NZ Post uses green finance to accelerate move to electric vehicles

Family and sexual violence strategy
1 News: New strategy hopes to eliminate family and sexual violence
Kirsty Johnston (Stuff): ‘Our greatest shame’: Eliminating violence will take a generation’s work
Michael Neilson (Herald): Government launches strategy to eliminate family and sexual violence in Aotearoa

Employment
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): The industries that need you: Hawke’s Bay’s summer of labour shortages set to hit harder than ever (paywalled)
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Timaru’s PrimePort workers up the strike ante (paywalled)

Foreign Affairs
RNZ: The Detail: Unrest and riots in Solomon Islands
George Block (Stuff): NZ police officers report calm in Solomon Islands amid fears of renewed violence

Other
RNZ: Targeted effort needed to reduce hardship for Māori, Pacific and disabled children – Children’s commissioner
Sasha Borissenko (Herald):  When law firms value profit over people
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Government looking at more changes to KiwiSaver
Terry Baucher (Interest): Te wiki o te tāke; Latest Covid-19 development, Luxon keeps property debate in news, and Inland Revenue turns its attention to charities
RNZ: Cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated – govt watchdog
Karl du Fresne: On the Royal Society and the stifling of free speech
ODT Editorial: Protesters damage their own cause
Dylan Reeve (Spinoff): What is RealMe and why do people hate it so much?
RNZ: Demand for special meeting over America’s Cup venue dropped
Gavin Ellis (Knightly Views): New snap and crackle in breakfast radio

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