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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
Michael Swanson (The Conversation): History made the National Party a ‘broad church’ – can it hold in the MMP era?
Simon Louisson (Standard): Is National’s Luxon among the quick or the dead?
Russell Palmer (RNZ): National MPs align themselves with Luxon’s new-page philosophy
Richard Harman (Politik): National’s new rising star (paywalled)
Richard Prebble (Herald): Christopher Luxon hasn’t got much time to make an impression (paywalled)
ODT Editorial: Luxon’s southern conundrum
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Maori TV): Māori portfolios handed to MPs outside National’s new shadow cabinet
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Former National leader Todd Muller explains why he is scrapping plans to retire from politics
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National elects Chris Penk senior whip, Maureen Pugh to keep junior role

Jennifer Lees-Marshment (Newsroom): Anyone’s election in 2023
Claire Trevett (Herald): Who won in first Chris Luxon v Jacinda Ardern showdown? Act’s David Seymour did. (paywalled)
Jessica Mutch McKay (1 News): Analysis: Christopher Luxon’s ‘first taste of the big time’
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): A bit of bite back in the blue team: How National’s first day in Parliament under Christopher Luxon unfolded
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Chris Luxon should not have tried to take Jacinda Ardern at her own Covid game
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Why Christopher Luxon’s first question time was a success, but also showed Jacinda Ardern’s extra gears
Barry Soper (Herald): Christopher Luxon’s biggest mistake in first showdown with Jacinda Ardern
Anna Whyte and Irra Lee (1 News): ICU beds focus of first showdown between Luxon and Ardern
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Christopher Luxon, Jacinda Ardern spar in his first Question Time
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Chris Luxon vs Jacinda Ardern in first Question Time clash
Zane Smalll (Newshub): National leader Christopher Luxon’s first interrogation of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sparks brouhaha in Parliament
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): David Seymour copped nearly $3000 fine after believing lockdown would be ‘short and sharp’
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Christopher Luxon’s ‘squeezed middle’ of NZ versus Grant Robertson’s ‘Bermuda triangle’
Rachael Kelly and Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Ardern and Gayford have not bought land in the deep south

Political donations
Stuff Editorial: What place for the anonymous in political funding?
No Right Turn: Time to ban anonymous donations
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Strengthening New Zealand’s democracy

Public service
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Pay freeze? Not exactly
RNZ: Public servants paid over $400k almost double in year
Nikitin Sallee (BusinessDesk): Nearly 7% more public servants in one year

Govt management of Covid-19
Derek Cheng (Herald): Revealed – The public health advice to have Auckland unshackled by now and why Jacinda Ardern rejected it
Newshub: Christopher Luxon calls for Auckland border to be lifted ‘tonight’ after previously unreleased public health advice emerges
Jamie Tahana (RNZ): Covid-19 Māori response: ‘It is not partnership when Crown ignores advice’
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Covid-19 modelling showed risk to Māori but Government failed to act, Waitangi Tribunal hears
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): ‘Barrier after barrier’ — Māori health provider tells Waitangi Tribunal of its battle to increase vaccination rates
1 News: Govt should’ve worked with Māori ‘from start’ of pandemic
Teuila Fuatai (Herald):  How the Government continues to fail Māori in Covid (paywalled)
Matthew Hobbs and Lukas Marek (The Conversation): The uninvited Christmas guest: is New Zealand prepared for Omicron’s inevitable arrival?
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): New Covid cases are dipping under 100 a day. Are we on the brink of victory?
Māori TV: Delta cases declining while Māori hospitalisations increase – Dr Rawiri Taonui

Regional concern over Auckland border opening, MIQ
John Weekes (Herald): Anger at Northland iwi for checkpoints is racist, Kelvin Davis says
Anna Whyte (1 News): Te Pāti Māori, Davis throw support behind iwi checkpoints
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Backlash against Northland’s iwi-led checkpoints is racist, says Kelvin Davis
Zane Small (Newshub): ACT leader David Seymour, National’s Christopher Luxon oppose police-led iwi COVID-19 checkpoints
Giles Dexter (Newshub): Northland’s iwi-led checkpoints prompts racism row after David Seymour calls those manning borders ‘thugs’
Katie Todd (RNZ): Police union wants iwi to prove value of Northland border checkpoints
1 News: Police at Auckland’s borders ‘running out of steam’
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Northland Covid border checkpoints set for Uretiti, Maungaturoto
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Police to run two Northland checkpoints once Auckland boundary lifts
Herald: Two police checkpoints near Whangārei to replace northern Covid boundary during festive season
RNZ: Police to set up two checkpoints for vehicles heading into Northland this summer
Tamati Tiananga (Māori TV): Northland Iwi leader says checkpoint workers are protectors, not ‘thugs’
Marena Mane (Māori TV): Ngātiwai CEO says ‘spot checks’ at the borders aren’t good enough
Tim Dower (Newstalk ZB): What’s going on with the Northland border?
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Freedom camping concerns pegged out for Covid-affected summer
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): District health boards prepare for Covid-19 cases with mini-MIQs
Mike Houlahan (ODT): SIQ options for Queenstown discussed
Katie Doyle (RNZ): Turning youth prisons into Covid-19 wards ‘dreadful mistake’

Mandatory vaccination, vaccine pass
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern ‘working through how we might enable public to raise concerns’ about COVID-19 vaccine pass compliance
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Auckland gym staying open without checking vaccine passes despite police warning
Ella Stewart (RNZ): Newmarket shop owners fearful of further anti-vaccine mandate protests: ‘I had to lock the door’
William Hewett (Newshub): Conspiracy theorist films himself calling Subway staff ‘Nazis’ for asking for vaccine pass
RNZ: Man facing several charges after Dunedin bar incident remanded in custody
Herald: Man rants at Subway over vaccine mandate
Sinead Gill (Stuff): Confusion and fear clouds vaccine pass cafe compliance
Katy Jones (Stuff): Schools suspend trips over vaccine passport
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Sealord aiming for 85 percent staff vaccination in each business area by mid-January

Vaccine rollout
Jamie Morton (Herald): Has the vaccine pass just driven a spike in jabs?
RNZ: Tamihere concerned over data release delay after latest High Court victory
Stuff:  Māori health agency wins second case for sharing Covid-19 vaccination data
RNZ: Ministry of Health told to review decision on North Island Māori vaccine data
Māori TV: Whānau Ora scores second High Court decision over access to health data
Diane McCarthy (Local Democracy Reporting): Minister praises coordinated approach of Mātaatua iwi on Covid-19
Thomas Mead (1 News): Calls for vaccine exemptions for chronic fatigue sufferers
Daisy Hudson (ODT): SDHB vaccine drive pays off
Nathan Morton (Stuff): Kiwi in Fiji says island nation is ‘living proof’ vaccination works

Economy, business, government subsidies
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Taken for a ride? – KiwiRail to probe ‘double-dip’ claim on wage subsidy
RNZ: Two schools wrongly claim $170k under wage subsidy scheme
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Will the Government borrow money to buy old borrowing? (paywalled)
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Luxon shuts down Bridges’ headline-grabber over Orr
Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): ‘Blame yourselves before you blame Orr’
RNZ: Steadily-rising interest rates on the way, RBNZ officials say
RNZ: Foodstuffs North Island says some Commerce Commission proposals unjustified
RNZ: Missed debt repayments increased by 8 percent in November
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Franz Josef, Fox Glacier tourist spots prepare for summer with staffing shortfalls
RNZ: Franchise businesses see growth despite pandemic
RNZ: Cryptocurrency providers at high risk of financial crime – FMA
Dan Brunskill (BusinessDesk): FMA warns on high-risk of crypto money laundering

Inequality, welfare
Scott Palmer (Newshub): New child poverty research finds Government’s failed to fully implement any key Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommendations
Sarah Robson (RNZ): Slow pace of welfare reform increasing pandemic-related inequity – report
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Government accused of failing to follow roadmap from welfare expert group
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Slow action on child poverty could result in more children in hospital
CPAG: Govt yet to fully implement a single key WEAG recommendation nearly three years on: new research

Ian Powell (Second Opinion): ‘Health reforms’ Ernst & Young revenue stream
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Marginalised groups suffer poor health and discrimination, mental health report finds
MIke Houlahan (ODT): Code Black narrowly avoided
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Midwife shortage at Invercargill Hospital an ‘extreme risk’ – DHB
1 News: Repeat offenders fail latest Consumer NZ sunscreen testing
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Funding Keytruda for melanoma but not for lung cancer is racist, health advocates say
Daisy Hudson (ODT): SDHB told to apologise to dead prisoner’s family
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Report highlights ‘lack of option’ for Māori in aged residential care
Bronson Perich (Te Karere): South Auckland’s BBM gets funds to help boost health

Phil Pennington (RNZ): Mixed reaction to housing intensification bill recommendations ahead of second reading
Madison Reidy (Newshub): Debate over whether new housing law will make homes too expensive or turn communities into slums
Thomas Coughlan and Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Mayor Phil Goff calls for design standards to be added to controversial housing bill (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Bipartisan housing deal: Weakening of ‘townhouse bill’ estimated to only cost 1690 Auckland homes
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): The politics of housing is changing – even if progress is slow
Chlöe Swarbrick (Herald): We need more homes, but where?
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Politicians still clueless over housing
Herald Editorial: Housing investors as scapegoats (paywalled)
RNZ: Resource Management Act amendment passes second reading
RNZ: Price pressure shifts to higher valued housing – QV
Ben Leahy (Herald): ‘Inconsistent’ price estimates: Auckland Council explains why CVs have been delayed (paywalled)
Miriam Bell (Stuff): New Zealand’s priciest properties quickly becoming more expensive
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Government may allow plans for $1 billion Queenstown development to be fast tracked
Charlotte Fielding (Stuff): Living in a bus is a better option than renting – and that’s absurd
Adam Blackwell (Stuff): Horowhenua renters faced with ‘severely unaffordable’ market

Local government, Three Waters
Jean Bell (RNZ): Thames-Coromandel mayor opposed to vaccine mandates may have to work from home
Grant Miller and Courtney (ODT): Vandervis trespassed from DCC over vax pass
Luisa Girao (ODT): ICC decides to require vax passes
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill councillors introduce vaccine mandate at some council facilities
Diane McCarthy (Local Democracy Reporting):  No vaccine pass requirements yet from Kawerau and Ōpōtiki councils
Matthew Hooton (Patreon): Why Efeso Collins would be the best Mayor for the CBD (paywalled)
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Auckland Transport seeks $50m in funding support from council
Joanne Naish (Stuff): All senior managers leave after Grey District Council restructure
Imogen Wells (1 News): Driver shortage sees slow rubbish collection in Wellington
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City Council in the dark over hundreds of potentially deadly buildings
Jonnie Haddon (Stuff): Wellington can be a leader in public sector innovation but it’s going to take creativity and a startup mindset
Georgina Campbell (Herald): A Capital Letter: Councillors deserve pay rises, don’t begrudge them (paywalled)
Tina Law (Stuff): Council told to consider changes to its one councillor, one ward system
Tina Law (Stuff): Council chief recommends staying with LGNZ but two councillors urge colleagues to reject her advice
Deena Coster (Stuff): Nearly all of New Plymouth council’s big ticket projects are on track
Nikki Preston (Herald): Waikato regional councillors snub Christmas party hosted by under-fire council chair Russ Rimmington
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Cheaper water bills from the Government’s Three Water Reforms are doubtful, says Auckland Council (paywalled)
ODT: Cost of Gore District Council civic building $190,000 over budget

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
Henry Cooke (Stuff): James Shaw disappointed with current options to tax agricultural emissions
Grant Bradley (Herald): Analysis: The worrying number in Air New Zealand’s Sustainability Report (paywalled)
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Air NZ struggles to meet even conservative climate emissions targets
Kate Green (Stuff): Climate change will affect all of us, but it’s young people who are the most concerned
Joanne Naish (Stuff): Climate change made the May flooding in Canterbury more severe – researchers
RNZ: Air New Zealand outlines path to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Christopher Luxon would have sent minister to COP26 climate conference in Glasgow
Tim Brown (Newsroom): Pining for more profitable and sustainable native forests
RNZ: The Detail: Time to pay attention to our oceans
ODT: Two protesters appear in court

Simon Chapple and Michael Fletcher (The Conversation): NZ’s unemployment insurance scheme will be the biggest welfare shakeup in generations – is it justified?
Oliver Hartwich (Herald):  Social insurance lessons from Germany (paywalled)
RNZ: Majority of staff unsatisfied with managers’ competence – survey
Herald: Recruitment: Wendy’s gets chatbot to screen applicants first

Foreign Affairs
James Robb (Convincing Reasons): Why the Australian-New Zealand military adventure in the Solomon Islands is bound to fail
George Block (Stuff): New Zealand quietly deploys navy ship to Solomon Islands
Richard Harman (Politik): Ardern’s very long phone call (paywalled)
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Defence minister receiving briefings on Russian’s Ukraine aggression, Cabinet yet to discuss 
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): China says New Zealand athletes ‘welcome’ at Beijing Winter Olympics despite no ministerial representation
1 News: Robertson: NZ won’t be at China Games at ‘ministerial level’
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Beijing Winter Olympics US ‘diplomatic ban’: New Zealand Government not sending ministers, diplomats may attend – Sport Minister Grant Robertson
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): China is a problem for us again

RNZ: 80% of schools recorded surplus after govt funding increase
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Rural schools cry out for mental health support
Cate Broughton and Marine Lourens (Stuff): Otago University under fire for using mice in ‘cruel and unreliable’ test
Point of Order: Richard Dawkins (a foe of creationism) pitches into the NZ furore over letter in defence of science by seven professors
Point of Order: Here’s a worthy challenge for Judith Collins – asking why our Royal Society is investigating two defenders of science

Family and sexual violence strategy
Amelia Wade (Newshub): 1-in-3 girls sexually abused before age 16: The sobering stats behind family and sexual violence
RNZ: Government plan to stop domestic and sexual violence ‘only a start’ – Women’s Refuge
Kirsty Johnston (Stuff): The impossible task: How New Zealand plans to tackle violence without maligning men
1 News: New strategy hopes to eliminate family and sexual violence

Immigration, NZ border
Imogen Wells (1 News): Immigration NZ accused of exploiting victimised migrants
Paul Spoonley (Herald): Why Covid’s challenges to international travel are still relevant (paywalled)
Anuja Nadkarni (Newsroom): Renewed hope for migrant fighting to change the ‘ableist’ system

Primary and extractive industries, Groundswell Protests
Shawn McAvinue (ODT): Forestry on farms fires up speakers
Marena Mane (Māori TV): Activist Chris Huriwai documentary challenges dairy industry
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Dairy prices hit 7-year high on Global Dairy Trade auction as tight milk supply underpins demand

Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): TVNZ, RNZ demand right to be in on collective negotiations with Google, Facebook
Daniel Dunkley (BusinessDesk): BusinessDesk among recipients of PIJF’s third round

Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Experts divided on how to get more people saving in KiwiSaver (paywalled)
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV): Ngāti Kahu says one hectare of land down, nineteen thousand to get back
Māori TV: Ngāti Kahu joyous about plans for return of Taipa property
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Treaty settlement legislation for Hawke’s Bay hapū passes final reading
David Williams (Newsroom): Hint of justice for Lake Alice’s tortured victims
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Lake Alice Hospital abuse: Royal Commission rejects Selwyn Leeks’ lawyer’s submission
Samantha Olley (RNZ): Law change makes drug testing at festivals easier, funding and policing issues remain
Chris Keall (Herald): Cert NZ tracks fall in losses – but warns reported numbers only ‘tip of the iceberg’ (paywalled)
Katie Harris (Herald): Calls from MPs and survivor for protections for ‘deepfake porn’ victims
John Weekes (Herald): The quiet new criminal masterminds: Police boss warns of different breed behind drug trade
RNZ: Union withdraws strike notices for KiwiRail workers



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