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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

Foreign Affairs and Defence 
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Stormy seas ahead in Indo-Pacific – defence assessment
Lucy Craymer and Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand faces ‘negative trajectory’ of security threats in Pacific
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Defence minister receiving briefings on Russian’s Ukraine aggression, Cabinet yet to discuss 
Jordan Small (Stuff): Are we prepared for the US-China tech decoupling?
Mitchell Alexander (Newshub): China’s rise in South Pacific means New Zealand faces more complex strategic environment – Ministry of Defence
John Weekes (Herald): NZ faces dangerous ‘grey zone’ of more sabotage, foreign interference, major Defence paper warns
Richard Harman (Politik): The threat is from the Pacific
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Defence assessment: Intensifying strategic competition leading to risk of conflict in Indo-Pacific
RNZ: Minister announces Defence Force ‘priorities and principles’
Benedict Collins (1 News): Pandemic has seen NZ Defence Force training suffer – chief
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Louisa Wall and Simon O’Connor call on Government to boycott games
Stuff Editorial: Bigwig boycott of Beijing Olympics more than vacuous tokenism

Govt management of Covid-19
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Economic, social and business pressure outweighed Māori health risks, Chris Hipkins admits in affidavit
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (1 News): Māori no longer shouting Covid grievances into void
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Crown must stop paying lip-service and sharpen its response times, Ngāti Hine leader tells Waitangi Tribunal
Michael Neilson (Herald): Health Minister Andrew Little, Dr Ashley Bloomfield grilled by MPs on health spending and Covid-19
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Auckland hospitals in ‘deep trouble’, will struggle with a Covid-19 surge – union
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern talks up New Zealand’s ‘advantage’ as fourth wave of COVID-19 hits northern hemisphere
Arena Williams and Stuart Smith (Stuff): While Delta ravaged the rest of the world, our Government failed to plan for its arrival here – we can’t do the same with Omicron
RNZ: Covid wrap: Nats call for removal of Auckland border, DHBs set-up mini-MIQs
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): ‘We should be in orange’: Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall (paywalled)

Auckland border 
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Next few months will ‘test’ the nation, Sir Brian Roche says
1 News: Auckland’s borders going sooner than advice said – Hipkins
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Chris Hipkins rejects Government slow to open up Auckland, amid calls for border to drop
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Government rejects criticism over Auckland boundary decisions
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern hits back at Christopher Luxon over ‘her decision to ignore health advice’ on COVID-19 traffic light system
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says Government ‘is right’ to seek other advice on COVID-19 response
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern defends decision to keep Auckland border in place
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Auckland boundary two-week delay ‘not material in terms of the risk’ – Bloomfield
RNZ: Christopher Luxon: Auckland border restrictions not necessary
Luke Malpass (Stuff): No need for Auckland borders: Christopher Luxon
1 News: Luxon calls for Auckland’s borders to go now
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Auckland border revelation astounding, but not surprising
Science Media Centre: Preparing for a Covid summer – Expert Reaction
RNZ: Holiday parks need advice on how to deal with Covid-positive visitors
Craig Kapitan (Herald): Remuera surgeon accused of lockdown trip to Christchurch
RNZ: Mini-MIQ: What happens if you test positive for Covid-19 while on holiday
Katie Townshend (Stuff): Nelson Marlborough Health books motels so holidaymakers with Covid can isolate
Don Brash: Questions about roadblock safety, openness and accountability

Contact tracing
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Hipkins: Police shouldn’t have asked for Covid-19 data
Derek Cheng (Herald): Contact tracing report into Covid 19 Delta outbreak: ‘Stretched with no more than 75 cases a day’

Vaccine pass, rollout, exemptions
Patrick Gower (Newshub): Multiple investigations underway after doctor filmed issuing medical certificate exemptions to anti-vaxxers
Herald: GP caught issuing medical certificates as vaccine exemptions, health officials investigating
RNZ: Unofficial Covid-19 vaccine exemptions ‘very unethical’ – Hipkins
Derek Cheng (Herald): ‘Why would we take unnecessary risk?’ – Sir Brian Roche on vaccine passes
1 News: Abuse hurled at Auckland Subway staff ‘unacceptable’
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): Auckland Council defends decision to allow unvaccinated into campgrounds
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): ‘Unmandated agenda’ claim as council meeting vax requirement passes
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Councillor trespassed from council building over lack of Covid-19 vaccine pass
Naomii Seah (Spinoff): A brief history of vaccine passes
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): Stronger guidance needed for businesses amid My Vaccine Pass confusion
Tamsyn Parker (Herald):  BNZ to require customers to be vaccinated for face-to-face meetings for loans, advice
Harkanwal Singh (Spinoff): The vaccination rate for every suburb in New Zealand on an interactive map

Delta outbreak
RNZ: First case of Covid-19 reported in Taumarunui
RNZ: Checkpoint: Gisborne Mayor urges locals get tested after wastewater result
1 News: Auckland woman shares family’s Covid experience
Lane Nichols (Herald): Richlister Murray Bolton funds successful MIQ bid for top Kiwi stuntman to work on Mad Max film (paywalled)
Nick James (Herald): Air NZ flight delayed after pair refused to wear masks
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Ruby Princess investigation finds no grounds to prosecute cruise company
Nikki Preston (Herald): Māori leader fears a group of young people is putting the community at risk by allegedly ignoring isolation rules

Parliament, parties
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Te Pāti Māori won’t rule out working with National but needs move towards ‘tiriti centric Aotearoa’
Peter Dunne: Question Time is Anything But
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Why Christopher Luxon Covid-19 play could succeed where others have stumbled (paywalled)
Ben Thomas (Stuff): Luxon’s baby steps steady enough, but next milestones crucial 
Jess Berentson-Shaw (Newsroom): Leading our country is far, far bigger than leading a business
Claire Trevett (Herald): ’50 Shades of Beige’: Labour’s Grant Robertson gives National’s leader Chris Luxon his induction roasting
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Christopher Luxon expects to ‘get better’ in House after ‘stumble’ while questioning Prime Minister, won’t say who won clash
Herald: National Party leader Chris Luxon grades performance in debating chamber – ‘I’ll get better’
The Country (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Christopher Luxon and iwi checkpoints
Lloyd Burr (Magic): What is the future for Judith Collins?
Claire Trevett (Herald): Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson kicked out of Parliament for ‘right-wing fascist’ comment
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern ranked 34th in ‘most powerful women’ list, down two spots
Henry Cooke (Stuff): People ‘fixated’ on politicians often have serious and untreated ‘psychotic illness’, report says 

Economy, business, government subsidies
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Fair pay disagreement: BusinessNZ rejects its role in key Labour industrial relations law (paywalled)
Brianna MciLraith (Stuff): BusinessNZ turns down key role in Fair Pay Agreements system
Gordon Campbell: On the dubious wisdom of raising interest rates
Jamie Gray (Herald): What rising interest rates and inflation will mean for NZ business (paywalled)
1 News: Luxon won’t be drawn on whether he backs Reserve Bank boss
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Supermarket competition: Consent for Costco megastore outside Chch
Eric Crampton (Offsetting Behaviour): Stupid government tricks
James Doolan (Herald):  Lessons from hospo and tourism can help our Covid response (paywalled)
Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): KiwiRail suspends scenic trains until next year amid ‘difficult’ tourism market
Olivia Caldwell (Stuff): Opening three new multimillion-dollar hotels in Queenstown to come with ‘challenges’
RNZ: Most business cyber attack victims able to resolve issue
Anan Zaki (RNZ): FMA urges vigilance after investor loses $700,000 in overseas scam
RNZ: Golden Shears cancelled for second year due to Covid-19 uncertainty
The Country (Herald): Golden Shears cancelled for a second time
Jennifer Eder (Stuff): Marlborough Wine and Food Festival cancelled for 2022
The Country (Herald): Seven-year high for dairy prices at latest GDT auction

Inequality, welfare
Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): When low debt trumps reducing child poverty (paywalled)
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Why the new poverty stats are way worse beyond the identity politics lens

Lake Alice
David Williams (Newsroom): Long read: The long, shameful history of Lake Alice investigations
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Charges against former Lake Alice staff member ‘better than nothing’ says survivor
RNZ: Lake Alice: 89-year-old charged, others medically unfit to stand trial
1 News: Ex-Lake Alice staffer charged over ill-treatment of child

Newshub: More beds less important for mental health than investment in housing, welfare – Mental Health Commission chair
RNZ: More Māori need to be on gout treament to achieve equity – Pharmac report
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): DHBs snapping up aged care staff, health bosses say
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Plunket staff to learn more Māori mātauranga under new partnership
Zoe Holland (Herald): New Zealand tops new study testing for designer drugs in wastewater
Stuff:  Southern District Health Board fails cancer care targets

Jordan Bond (RNZ): House value growth during three months adds $113k to Auckland prices
Talia Parker (Herald): Act Leader David Seymour slams Government over $70m Ferncliffe Farm deal (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Housing crisis: Too many rules could lead to badly-designed housing – expert
Rob Stock (Stuff): New lending laws a ‘nightmare’ for people seeking home loans 
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Hastings Golf Club reveals plans for large housing project and course upgrade at Bridge Pā (paywalled)

Local government, Three Waters
Logan Savory (Stuff): Mana whenua rep: 3 Waters reform debate divisive and harmful
Zane Small (Newshub): Advertising Standards Authority rules in favour of Government’s Three Waters ad despite seven complaints
Jon Lamonte (Herald): Delta no showstopper for Watercare services (paywalled)
Jono Galuszka (Stuff): Three Waters and rising interest rates create potential financial headache for Tararau District Council
Justin Latif (Local Democracy Reporting): How South Auckland’s reputation for tagging was turned around
RNZ: Christchurch City Council raises community hall hire fees
Shane Te Pou (Herald): Apathy towards local elections needs reversing (paywalled)
Will Harvie (Stuff): Calling it rain water – not stormwater – would see it treated as a taonga, say environmentalists
Herald:Trespassed Dunedin councillor Lee Vandervis quoting ‘misrepresented’ advice on vaccine
Craig Ashworth (Local Democracy Reporting): Council praised for hapū partnership in New Plymouth city plan

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
Geraden Cann (Stuff): Environmental group asks court to overturn NZTA’s $24 billion transport plan
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Sitting Next To Cousin Simon
Sahiban Hyde (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Napier’s 23 poor air quality readings since beginning of November just a load of hot air (paywalled)
Mark Thomas (Newsroom): We won’t get a ‘freedom day’ from climate crisis without technology
James Pocock (Herald): One farm, one year, 934 feral deer: Hawke’s Bay’s ‘staggering’ pest problem (paywalled)
Tina Law (Stuff): Bad smells from Christchurch’s fire-ravaged wastewater plant to continue for years
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Covert cameras capture illegal dumpers, most not ‘financially challenged’
Tim Newman (Stuff): Thirty-year vision for Nelson’s CBD approved by council

Jane Nixon (1 News): Government won’t mandate Covid vaccines for school students
Bronson Perich (Te Karere): Victoria Uni allocates $45m to build carbon gobbling marae

Family and sexual violence strategy
Louise Ternouth (RNZ): ACC therapists told to watch for sexual assault survivors exaggerating symptoms
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Sexual violence support organisation says funding to work with children limited
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): National leader Chris Luxon backs violence prevention strategy, net migration 50K

Immigration, NZ border
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Kris Faafoi cancelled all visitor visas for administrative convenience, lawyer argues
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Government taken to court over cancelled visa applications
Corazon Miller (1 News): Migrants kept apart from family hope for new border rules
Reweti Kohere (Spinoff): Want a flight from Australia when the border reopens? You’re probably too late
1 News: Cook Islands PM confident border reopening will be safe

Police, Justice
Zane Small (Newshub): National MP Mark Mitchell fires up at Police Commissioner Andrew Coster’s revelation 90 pct of charged meth dealers aren’t gang members
Stuff: Judge challenges power of panel to inquire into alleged conduct
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Trust and confidence in police being damaged by response to hate crime, report says
Stuff: More than $130,000 costs awarded to mother of police shooting victim Steven Wallace

RNZ: The Detail: Global restraints force another look at coastal shipping
RNZ: Roger Gray appointed new Ports of Auckland head
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): ‘Urgent’ need for second Ashburton bridge – Civil Defence
Adam Burns (Stuff): Replacing Ashburton River bridge or building new one ‘critical’ to dealing with extreme weather
John Anthony (Stuff): Air New Zealand boss says carbon offsets ‘don’t excite’ him. He has eyes on a bigger prize

Jem Traylen (BusinessDesk): Most govt depts spending more on consultants
Sam Olley (RNZ): Whakaari / White Island: Finger pointed back at WorkSafe
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): The true cost of Lord of the Rings: $1 billion and counting
Karl du Fresne: What this photo tells us about the state of political journalism
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Insurer refunds funeral cover premiums that cost more than policy would pay
RNZ: Animal welfare group refuses to hand dogs back to breeder
Abbey Wakefield (1 News): Free Xmas toy store opens for Wellington parents in need
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Ihumātao housing waiting on Kīngitanga appointments
Peter Griffin (BusinessDesk): Departing privacy watchdog has unfinished business with the tech giants (paywalled)
John Boynton (Newshub): Māori activist Chris Huriwai takes on New Zealand’s dairy industry in new documentary ‘Milked’



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