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

Foreign affairs, defence, trade
Geoffrey Miller (Democracy Project): China strategy dominates New Zealand’s foreign policy year
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Why new Cold War risks turning hot (paywalled)
Matthew Hooton (Patreon): Why Ardern Should Choose Washington & Canberra Over Beijing & Moscow (paywalled)
1 News: China warns of ‘politicising sports’ after O’Connor’s comment
Richard Harman (Politik): United – in confusion (paywalled)
Pete McKenzie (Guardian): New Zealand faces growing challenge from Chinese nationalism, defence report warns
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand wants to benefit from Aukus nuclear defence pact, defence minister says
No Right Turn: Why would we want to do that?
Nicholas Khoo (Stuff): The US-China relationship – it’s our problem too
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern tells world leaders our model of democracy is ‘being challenged across globe’
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Afghanistan response: Government denies being ‘late to the table’ but accepts housing Afghans an issue
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): NZ troops patrol China-US proxy war in Solomon Islands
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Pre-Covid supply chains may never return – official
RNZ: International trade shows strong growth after setback last year
RNZ: The Detail: Muscling up and moving in on the ice

Govt management of Covid-19
Alexander Gillespie (The Conversation): A century on from the 1919 influenza inquiry, NZ needs a royal commission into its COVID-19 response
Jamie Tahana (RNZ): Crown fronts Waitangi Tribunal on Covid response
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (1 News): Bloomfield advised Govt to prioritise Māori over 50 in rollout
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Government ignored Bloomfield’s age band advice for Māori vaccinations
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Minister continues to defend government’s Covid response
Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shuts down Facebook commenter during live video

Auckland border, Traffic light system, regional MIQ
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Keeping Out The Virus Of Racism
1 News: Swarbrick, Seymour clash over Northland’s iwi checkpoints
Stuff Editorial: Can holidays risk the health of others?
John Weekes (Herald): All South Island, several regions were considered for ‘green’ light setting
Matai O’Connor (RNZ): Covid-19 risk: Council supports iwi request for people to stay away from region
Will Trafford (Māori TV): ‘Stay Away’ – Iwi and Council’s united message for Holidaymakers
Marena Mane (Māori TV): PM tells Christmas travellers to follow the rules
RNZ: Rapid antigen testing to be free for some domestic travellers over summer
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): We aren’t getting the summer we were promised
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Isolation spaces being secured in Queenstown Lakes

Vaccine pass, rollout, 
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Integrity and vaccine production: lessons for New Zealand
Tony Wall (Stuff): The influence of a few vaccine-sceptic GPs in remote, vulnerable communities
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Expert calls for Māori, Pasifika and South Auckland to be prioritised in vaccine roll-out for children
Kirsty Frame (RNZ): Concern over Covid-19 vaccine for children: ‘Protective instinct kicks in’
1 News: Tauranga mum urges vaccination after daughter catches Covid
Michael Neilson (Herald): Hesitancy still high for parents over vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds ahead of planned January rollout
RNZ: More advice needed before accelerating vaccine booster rollout – Hipkins
James Halpin (Stuff): Vaccine roll-out to drug users contributed to elimination failure – expert
Hannah Martin (Stuff): NZ fewer than 59,000 second doses off 90 per cent vaccine goal
RNZ: All three Auckland DHBs hit 90 percent first dose milestone for Pacific people
Moana Ellis (Stuff): Whanganui DHB vaccination rates among worst in the country
Nick James and Sophie Trigger (Herald): Mandatory vaccine passports introduced at Victoria University from 2022
Avina Vidyadharan (Herald): More than 150 Northland teachers say no Covid-19 vaccination (paywalled)
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): Hawke’s Bay hospitality in ‘panic stations’ as large businesses rejig work dos to include the unvaxxed (paywalled)
Sinead Gill (Stuff): Restaurants feel pressure to break vaccine pass rules amidst financial strain
Katie Townshend (Stuff): ‘Disrespectful’ behaviour puts Tākaka Village Market users on notice
Lois Williams (Local Democracy Reporting): Covid-19 anti-vaxxers damaging Reefton, says Inangahua Community Board chair
Vita Molyneux (Herald): Upper Hutt City Council say strong support on Facebook for not enforcing vaccine passes
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Freedom bus to Parliament protest requires vaccine passport or negative Covid test
1 New: How to get vaccine pass ready for Air NZ domestic travel

Vaccine exemptions
Patrick Gower (Newshub): Police investigating Canterbury doctor Dr Jonie Girouard for giving out medical certificates as vaccine exemptions
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Fears there could be more doctors issuing bogus vaccine exemptions
RNZ: Medical Council to put to GP ‘serious concerns’ over fraudulent vaccine exemptions
RNZ: Unofficial Covid-19 vaccine exemptions ‘very unethical’ – Hipkins
Herald: Police confirm investigation into GP caught issuing ‘illegitimate’ medical certificates
Martin Van Beynen and Marine Lourens (Stuff): Police investigate as concerns about doctor filmed giving vaccine exemptions escalate
Conan Young (RNZ): Unvaccinated Kaiapoi GP under investigation for fraudulent vaccine exemptions
Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says anti-vax doctor putting lives at risk
Susan Sandys (Christchurch Star) Selwyn teen’s life in limbo as she waits for vaccine pass exemption

Delta outbreak
Louise Ternouth (RNZ): Entering the ‘red zone’ – A look inside an Auckland Covid-19 ward
1 News: Nurses’ union: Govt’s claim health system coping inaccurate
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Auckland nurse says notion hospitals could cope with Covid-19 surge ‘utter nonsense’
ODT Editorial: Hospitals under pressure
Jamie Morton (Herald): Why do fully vaxxed people show up in daily cases?
RNZ: Tairāwhiti DHB boss appeals for testing, assures support for anyone with Covid-19
Farah Hancock (RNZ): Active case numbers inflated with recovered people
Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): Pleasant Point’s politically incorrect Christmas Parade cancelled

Parliament, parties
Max Rashbrooke (Herald): New Zealanders have had enough with ‘dark money’ in politics (paywalled)
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): Politicians operating in the shadows
Steven Cowan (Against the current): Jacinda Ardern: Propping up a failed democracy
Nadine Porter (Stuff): National leader Christopher Luxon visits schools as party attempts to woo back voters
RNZ: Watch: Christopher Luxon speaks to media in Christchurch
1 News: ‘Bit rusty’ – Luxon bowls cricket ball into orbit
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Christopher Luxon, poet
RNZ: MP Kiri Allan given all-clear after months of cervical cancer treatment
1 News: Kiri Allan announces ‘huge milestone’ in cancer journey
Stuff:  ‘Huge milestone’: Labour MP Kiri Allan says scan shows no sign of residual cancer
Herald: Jacinda Ardern and the Queen: Forbes reveals 100 most powerful women of 2021
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern makes Forbes list of world’s most powerful women for fourth year, drops two places
Herald: Act leader David Seymour on his biggest mistake in 2021

Fair pay agreements, employment
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Marching To Class War
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): No surprises and the Fair Pay Agreements slapdown (paywalled)
Herald Editorial: BusinessNZ move may not end Fair Pay Agreements but Government has dropped pretense (paywalled)
1 News: Business NZ turns its back on proposed Fair Pay Agreements
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): ‘Unfair’ pay agreements: Business leaders reject industry-wide negotiations
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): BusinessNZ’s withdrawal is a spanner in the works for Michael Wood
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Employers could lose out after Business NZ walked away from agreements – Michael Wood
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Fear BusinessNZ’s refusal to be part of the Fair Pay Agreements scheme could put employers on the backfoot in negotiations
James Nokise (Stuff): At Christmas, remember those working on the checkouts are people too
RNZ: Covid-19 lockdowns leads to lowest job applications, despite record advertisements
Chris Tobin (Stuff): Timaru big build projects ‘will struggle to get workers’
RNZ: Flick Anticimex fined after workers suffer acute poisoning from toxic fumigant

Economy, business, government subsidies
David Hargreaves (Interest): The next year won’t ALL be about the housing market – but will be a LOT about the housing market
David Hargreaves (Interest): It was the year of unwelcome guests and house prices that wouldn’t quit
Cameron Bagrie (BusinessDesk): Can the government pivot? (paywalled)
Brian Fallow (Herald):  The man to curb your enthusiasm (paywalled)
1 News: Study finds 70 percent of infrastructure consent costs goes to consultants
RNZ: Freight movements data further sign economic activity is on the move
Grant Bradley (Herald): ‘It’s not pretty out there’ – Auckland tourism bookings down 90 per cent on last year (paywalled)
Grant Bradley (Herald): Pure Milford: Re-launched cruise operator says Kiwis willing to pay more and slow down (paywalled)
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): NZ an expensive place to get infrastructure resource consents, report finds
Liam Dann (Herald): Trade disruptions set to hit consumers hard in 2022 (paywalled)
Andrea Fox (Herald): Tall Poppies and tragedy – Kiwi entrepreneurs speak out on mental health stress, toxic criticism (paywalled)
Chris Keall (Herald): NZ’s largest game studio sending jobs offshore as NZ fails to match Aussie tax incentives, border opening (paywalled)

Smoking
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Smokefree 2025: How will the Government’s new plan for a smokefree generation work?
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Smokefree action plan: Cigarette sales to be banned for younger generations
Tess McClure (Guardian): New Zealand to ban smoking for next generation in bid to outlaw habit by 2025
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Government to ban tobacco sales to young people for their lifetime in first-ever ‘smokefree generation’
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Hone Harawira calls for ‘death tax’ on Big Tobacco, vaping wiped out as well as cigarettes
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Smokefree 2025 plan is ‘100 per cent theory’ and will destroy dairies, owners’ group says
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): ‘Smokefree generation’ that can’t buy smokes will still be able to purchase vapes
Michael Neilson (Herald): Fears Smokefree 2025 legislation could stoke growing black market
Michael Neilson (Herald): 14-year-olds will be banned from smoking under new law
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Social good’ from booze, none from cigarettes – Simon Bridges
1 News: Luxon ‘broadly’ supportive of Govt’s tobacco buying ban

Health
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Carer for disabled daughter wins right to be employed by Ministry of Health
1 News: National health strategy needed for tamariki ‘right now’
Soumya Bhamidipati (RNZ): Aged care workers call for minimum staffing levels
Will Trafford (Māori TV): 10,000+ Māori going Untreated for Gout
Stuff:  More Māori should be on preventive treatment for gout — Pharmac
Māori TV: Doctor says Pharmac’s diabetes funding delay killing whānau
Samantha Mythen (Herald): No lack of eager midwifery students at Ara despite nationwide shortage
Peter Davis (Stuff): Where to now for Pharmac? 
Penny Tucker (Stuff): Urgency required, or more will die needlessly

Housing
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Auckland housing crisis: ‘Monumental task’ for first home buyers as prices continue to rise
Rob Stock (Stuff): New lending laws a ‘nightmare’ for people seeking home loans 
Justin Latif (Local Democracy Reporting): Plans for 5000-home, carless South Auckland community run into road block
Herald: Residential land values jump 72 per cent in three years in Nelson
Greg Ninness (Interest): A buyer’s market and bargain house prices could be on the cards in 2022, says CoreLogic
Greg Ninness (Interest): Average rents up by more than $70 a week in September year in parts of Auckland, declining in parts of Wellington
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Bed in a garage: Auckland property listing slammed by MP
Amy Ridout (Stuff): Mould, holes in walls, and puzzle used to fix window: another fine for notorious Nelson landlord
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): NZ’s newest label: #1 in global house inflation (paywalled)
RNZ: Hopes fast-tracked project will help alleviate housing shortage in Cromwell
Jake Law (Stuff): Nothing ugly about housing reform that eases Auckland’s affordable homes shortage

Local government, Three Waters
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Controversial Three Waters reforms delayed until next year
Steven Walton (Stuff): Christchurch joins push for alternative water reform model
Skara Bohny (Stuff): Three Waters debate simmers as council gives feedback on part of package
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Councillors aim to put Three Waters race row under the bridge
Emily Ireland (Local Democracy Reporting): Carterton’s multimillion dollar wastewater ponds damaged
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Inconsistent wastewater enforcement allegations
Nikki Preston (Herald): Waikato Regional councillors censure chairman over racist comments, tell him to perform better
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Council employee reported to police over alleged credit card and expenses fraud
Kirsty Frame (RNZ): Wellington council looks at incentives for quake-prone building owners to meet deadline
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Government asked to step in over costs of repairs to earthquake-prone buildings
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Review of unused earthquake-prone loan scheme lands with ministers
Grant Miller (ODT): Paper Vandervis used often misrepresented: MoH
Luisa Girao (ODT): Councillors should reveal vax status, Kett says
Emily Ireland (Local Democracy Reporting): Carterton wastewater ponds damaged before being commissioned
Jared Morgan (ODT): Poster attack short-lived

Inequality, welfare
Benedict Collins (1 News): Govt promises to help children affected by welfare sanctions
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Welfare debts pushing thousands into ‘poverty trap’
Rosemary McLeod (Stuff): My question for Christopher Luxon

Lake Alice
Aaron Smale (Stuff): Lake Alice survivor laid first complaint in 1978 and is still looking for justice
Tess McClure (Guardian): New Zealand police charge one staff member over child abuse at Lake Alice psychiatric hospital

Public service
Nikitin Sallee (BusinessDesk): Capital gains: public service growing in Wellington
Anuja Nadkarni (Newsroom): Private sector wins on pay against public service

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
Peter Simons (Stuff): The fundamental shifts we need to make to decarbonise New Zealand
Herald: Climate change behind flooding in Canterbury in May
Katy Jones (Stuff): ‘Blue carbon’ stores measured in groundbreaking Nelson inlet study
Jake Kenny (Stuff): Eco-friendly timber walls could replace steel or concrete, research finds
Peter Matheson (ODT): We should be helping our neighbours in struggles for survival
RNZ: Wainono Lagoon testing to increase after potentially toxic algae found
Stuff:  Council authorises inquiry over contaminated material entering Clutha River
William Hewett (Newshub): Concrete company charged, fined $60,000 for emptying liquid contaminants into Whangamatā Harbour

Education
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Government refuses to fast-track ECE rules review
Steven Cowan (Against the current): Freedom of speech under attack again from the liberal left
ODT: Code funds to assist polytechnic
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Border exemption for 300 teachers brings in 0 teachers

Immigration, NZ border
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Overseas residence application processing resumes after court ruling
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Immigration NZ should be investigated over residence visa ‘shambles’ – industry
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Nurses still struggling to return to New Zealand despite MIQ slots for healthcare workers
Corazon Miller (1 News): Opinion: A tale of two migrant families

Police, Justice, legal profession
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Review prompts police to halt plans to use facial recognition technology
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Why arming Police as a response to rising gun violence is a really bad idea
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government helps National Party pass ‘Insane Offenders’ bill into law
Stuff Editorial: Drug harm: ‘prevention first’ doesn’t mean enforcement can be a too-distant second
Edward Gay (Stuff): Murder at Paremoremo prison: ‘They fed him to the wolves’, grieving mum says
Herald: Reporter who worked on Russell McVeagh expose discusses ‘watershed’ moment
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Russell McVeagh partner must face stiff sanction, tribunal told
Imogen Wells (1News): Ex-Russell McVeagh partner’s sexual misconduct penalty reserved

Self-ID bill
RNZ: Parliament unanimously passes bill allowing change to birth certificates
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand passes law making it easier to change sex on birth certificates
Michael Neilson (Herald): Parliament passes ‘Self-ID Bill’ at third reading, making it easier for trans people to update birth certificates
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Parliament unanimously passes sex self-identification law, simplifying changes to birth certificates

Transport
RNZ: Transport Agency’s highways plan to hike-up emissions – lobby group
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): First electric ferry in Southern Hemisphere afloat in Wellington
Chris Keall (Herald): Fullers unveils electric ferry for Devonport run, wider EV plans (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Taxpayers should pay for any national fuel reserve once refinery shuts, Z argues
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Transport pursuing powers to remove parking spaces without consulting local residents
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): KiwiRail, commercial player or public good?
Grant Miller (ODT): E-bus fine on city hills, trial shows

Primary industries
Adam Hollingworth (Newshub): Dairy farmers vote to restructure Fonterra to help ensure milk supply and farmer ownership
Nicholas Pointon (RNZ): Farmer shareholders vote in favour of Fonterra’s planned revamp of capital structure
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Fonterra farmers vote in favour of capital structure changes 
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): No questions asked as farmers back Fonterra’s capital idea (paywalled)
John Lewis (ODT): Fonterra revamp hailed
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Fonterra’s Hurrell says New Zealand milk is the most valuable in the world 
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Wood over beaches in central Gisborne a summer ‘eyesore’
Karen Coltman (Stuff): Scheme aims to establish commercial seaweed farming sector
Kate Green (Stuff): Regional council moves away from grazing for good in major Kāpiti Coast park

Whakaari/White Island
Eva Corlett (Guardian): White Island anniversary passes quietly, with healing – and reckoning
Ben Strang (Stuff): Whakaari eruption: Mortality rate lower than expected, despite acid and microbe complication
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Whakaari / White Island eruption: Victims remembered with karakia from Ngāti Awa
1 News: Hayden Marshall-Inman’s family remember Whakaari victim
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): White Island eruption: Survivor Stephanie Browitt recounts tragedy that ‘ripped’ her family apart
Lana Andelane (Newshub): White Island eruption: Karakia to be held on two-year anniversary in honour of first responders who put their lives on the line

Media
Matt Burrows (Newshub): ACT Party’s boycott of RNZ’s Morning Report caused by host comparing one of its policies to eugenics
Damien Venuto (Herald): Three media storylines to follow in 2022 (paywalled)
André Chumko (Stuff): Government announces review of how it funds the screen sector
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Vodafone to withdraw from television market by axing VodafoneTV
BusinessDesk: MediaWorks swallows Digital Commons (paywalled)

Other
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Building back better by thinking big (paywalled)
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Online hui first step as ACC seeks feedback on handling of sensitive claims
Sam Olley (RNZ): Fuel experts divided on impact of Marsden Point refinery closure
RNZ: Kiwibank faces court action as home loan customers overcharged
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): FMA takes Kiwibank to court in relation to allegation it overcharged 35,000 customers over 15 years
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Big banks had ‘much shorter survival horizon’ in RBNZ liquidity stress testing than small banks
RNZ: Consumer NZ to test products for sustainability and repairability
Christine Rovoi (RNZ): Pacific Languages Survey: Call for more support to NZ’s realm states
Marjorie Cook (ODT): Movie studio gets consent

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