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

Parliamentary Services, workplace culture
John Weekes (Herald): Former MP Nick Smith’s worker says he was treated ‘like disposable pieces of trash’
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Toxicity at Parliament: Union demands Parliamentary Service boss front up
Matt McCarten (Daily Blog): Questions the Chief Executive of Parliament must answer
Stuff Editorial: We need to think beyond the culture review
Greg Presland (Standard): Clearing the decks

Parliament, parties
Jason Walls (Newstalk ZB): My top five political predictions for 2022
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Prime Minister’s Delta year: ‘Terrible’
John Minto (Daily Blog): Luxon Vs Ardern: Spot the difference
Jennifer Lees-Marshment and Edward Elder (University of Auckland): What did the NZ 2020 election reveal about public opinion and political marketing?
Eleanor de Jong (Guardian): Fractious Australia has much to learn from the kindness and purpose of New Zealand politics
Tess McClure (Guardian): ‘An unfilled-in vision’: can Christopher Luxon lead New Zealand’s National party back to power?
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Christopher Luxon’s National team takes shape: Cameron Burrows appointed chief-of-staff
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Cameron Burrows to be new National chief of staff
Zane Small (Newshub): The ‘three constituencies’ National leader Christopher Luxon is focused on winning back from Labour
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Interview: The Green leaders on 2022
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Act joins fiscal hole club with $43b inflation typo
1 News: Ardern, Breakfast exchange ‘tasteful’ Christmas gifts
Mike Houlahan (ODT): The anatomy of a landslide win – review

Govt management of Covid-19, Traffic light decision
Derek Cheng (Herald): Jacinda Ardern’s New Year’s present – except for Northlanders or the unvaccinated (paywalled)
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Opinion: Orange is the new Green
Herald: Pandemic modeller says Northland’s ‘vulnerable communities’ at risk of spread
Mina Kerr-Lazenby (Stuff): Experts grateful for a few more weeks in the red traffic light phase
RNZ: Government’s traffic light settings decision under fire from political opposition
Denise Piper and George Block (Stuff): Northland businesses frustrated, mayors divided as red light sticks
RNZ: Northland Chamber of Commerce leader unimpressed at region staying in red traffic light setting
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Relief, but also timing questions, as holiday hot spots prepare to move to orange traffic light 
Katie Todd (RNZ): Aucklanders looking forward to orange traffic light setting but businesses surprised by delay
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Government gives Auckland New Year’s Eve parties the orange light
John Weekes (Herald): Jacinda Ardern says Auckland, other regions set to move to orange at midnight on December 30
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Auckland gets orange light date but ‘too late’ for some, says Hospitality NZ boss
John Weekes (Herald): Red Christmas for many leaves bitter taste for business
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Northern Bass festival postponed as Northland stays in red until 2022
RNZ: Rātana celebrations cancelled over traffic light system restrictions
1 News: Rātana Pā cancels 2022 celebrations
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): ‘Should be in Green?’ Mixed response from Mid Canterbury
James Perry (Māori TV): Time running out for regional centres to reach 90% before orange light turns on
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Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk):‘Big four’ consulting firms make hay on covid advice
Edward Miller (Newsroom): Soft approach on vaccine apartheid will impose significant cost to NZ
Nikki Macdonald (Stuff): Whatever happened to pandemic pariah Sweden?

Auckland border, summer travel, Testing
1 News: Kids should be tested for Covid before leaving Auckland – Baker
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Up to 20 per cent of infected travellers could be missed by rapid antigen testing
1 News: Unvaccinated can get rapid antigen testing from Wednesday
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William Hewett (Newshub): Majority of New Zealanders say no to restricting movement until 90 percent of Māori are vaccinated
Grant Bradley (Herald): Mass exodus: 12,000 flying out of Auckland on Air New Zealand when border opens (paywalled)
RNZ: Auckland’s border reopening: 7500 people booked to fly out of city tomorrow
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Leaks in the new Northland border
Laura James (1 News): Checkpoint stickers for Northland border run out a day early
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Queenstown Airport flight numbers will triple when Auckland borders open 
Tracey Roxburgh and Andrew Marshall (ODT): Auckland to head to resort

Inequality, welfare
1 News: Wealthy nearly $1 trillion richer since Covid began – Hickey
Mike Treen (Daily Blog): Universal entitlements – the welfare “reform” we desperately need
Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Spinoff): Why food banks aren’t the answer
1 News: Whānau in need to receive ‘Christmas magic’ from City Mission

Māori bear brunt of Covid-19
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Covid-19 deals heaviest blow to Māori and worse could be yet to come, report finds
RNZ: Māori bearing the brunt of Covid-19 in Tāmaki Makarau, Independent Māori Statutory Board says
Tureiti Moxon (Herald): Blocks and breaches remain in Ministry of Health response
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Māori in Auckland lost nearly 30% of jobs – new report
Māori TV: No new Pākehā – Māori and Pacific set new Delta records | Dr Rawiri Taonui

Housing
Jem Traylen (BusinessDesk): Treasury’s doubts about Kāinga Ora’s $2B war chest
Jane Patterson (RNZ): ‘A campaign of denial’ – NZ Police and emergency housing
RNZ: Report reveals emerging issues in housing market
RNZ: Property prices increased in November amid continued supply pressure – REINZ
1 News: Median house price in NZ hits record high in November
Greg Ninness (Interest): House prices continuing to rise strongly but sales numbers are looking wobbly
BusinessDesk: Canterbury house prices rose 38.1% annually in Nov (paywalled)
Anne Gibson (Herald): NZ house prices hit new record $925,000, up 23.8%, Auckland now $1.3m
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Big dollars paid for city homes in record-breaking 2021
1 News: One family’s two-year battle to help son buy first home
Miriam Bell (Stuff): ‘Bleak picture’ for tenants as rental affordability declines further
Anne Gibson (Herald): ‘Pretty bleak picture for tenants’: Rents up 9.4% annually, nearly double inflation rate (paywalled)
Jake McKee (RNZ): Regions hit hard as rents increase nationally
Rob Stock (Stuff): Petition to rewrite laws that mortgage advisers say are ‘working against the NZ public’
Rob Stock (Stuff): Lending law change threatens to create an army of people who can’t get a bank loan – KPMG report
Heather du Plessis Allan (Newstalk ZB): The PM doesn’t seem to know what she’s talking about
Eric Frykberg (Listener/Herald): Through the roof: Will sky-high building costs ever come down to earth? (paywalled)
RNZ: Sections in new Gore subdivision to go on sale as housing demand soars
Herald: Max Key announces sale of his first Auckland property development

Border, MIQ, Omicron
Siobhan Downes (Stuff): PM hints border reopening date may be in jeopardy due to Omicron 
RNZ: New Zealand ‘vulnerable’ to Omicron until more people have booster – Covid-19 modeller
Richard Harman (Politik): Ardern hints at quarantine free border back-off (paywalled)
1 News: Border settings to be reassessed early Jan as Omicron looms
Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): Govt urged to open border with Australia

Vaccine pass, mandate
RNZ: Rugby players will need vaccination passes for club games
Will Trafford (Māori TV): NZ Rugby will require vaccine passports
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Parents barred from school Christmas concert over fears of vaccine legal stoush
Sam Olley (RNZ): Returnees vaccinated abroad stuck without vaccine pass: ‘It’s an absolute joke’
Robin Martin (RNZ): Womad organisers refund about 500 tickets over vaccine mandate

Vaccine rollout
1 News: ‘Don’t take anger out on us’ threatened vaccinator pleads
Williams Hewett (Newshub): Covid-19 vaccinator makes emotional plea after being threatened by parent
Corazon Miller (1 News): Māori, Pasifika the target of Auckland vaccination drive
RNZ: Health providers unite in final vaccination effort before Auckland re-opens
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Whanganui DHB hits 90 per cent vaccination milestone
1 News: Ardern praises ‘huge work’ from Northlanders on vaccine rates

Fake vaccine exemptions, anti-vaxxers, misinformation
RNZ: Dunedin nurse referred to Nursing Council over online threats to attack vaccination buses
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Police making enquiries after anti-vaxxer posts threatening video on social media
Avina Vidyadharan (Herald): ‘I’ll take you on a boot ride’: Northland nurse’s life threatened by anti-vaxxer (paywalled)
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Former COVID-19 denier discharged from hospital receives influx of kind messages
Zane Small (Newshub): Police texts to Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki amid anti-lockdown COVID-19 protest revealed
Herald: Police text Brian Tamaki to tell 1000-strong protest crowd to social distance
Stuff:  New campaign calls on Kiwis to ‘dial down’ vitriolic virus rhetoric
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand authorities investigate claims man received 10 Covid vaccinations in one day

Economy, business, government subsidies
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): How Treasury and the Reserve Bank could work together to remove billions of dollars from the financial system
David Hargreaves (Interest): This week’s GDP figures expected to show a drop – but by nothing like the sort of drop economists earlier expected
RNZ: Cybersecurity expert warns of risk with too many holding onto unnecessary client info
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): After 18 months of silence, Fender Leathers’ tour guide patter is back
RNZ: Service industry’s hopes of recovery ‘limited’ as capacity pressures continue – economist
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Inquiry finds structural engineer negligent but not incompetent
Justine Smyth (Herald):  The challenges of change in a post-pandemic world (paywalled)
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Slowest lending growth for finance sector since 2010 – KPMG (paywalled)

Health
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Who should one believe over hospital safety concerns?
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): ‘Aged care is going to be different’ association says
Mark Dye (Herald):  Why you’ll be hearing more about cannabis, bud (paywalled)

Smoking
Anna Rawhiti-Connell (Spinoff): I smoked for 20 years. I desperately wish there’d been a cigarette ban
James Pocock (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): ‘Dairygeddon’: Hawke’s Bay dairy owners fear the new smokefree laws could bring ruin (paywalled)

Local government, Three Waters
Grant Miller (ODT): Council to reviewThree Waters assets ahead of reforms
RNZ: Three Waters: Ashburton mayor says process ‘farcical’ if mandate decided months ago
Mike Yardley (Stuff): Pause on Three Waters reforms suggests Government may be spooked by public backlash
ODT: Water users vote for private ownership
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Trash, water, roads: Wellington council looking at bringing it all back in-house
Tara Shaskey (Stuff): Chong and Bennett in the race for New Plymouth mayoralty
Tina Law (Stuff): Unsuccessful by-election contender could face criminal conviction for not declaring expenses in time
Sinead Gill (Stuff): Council faces tight deadline to get buildings earthquake strengthened
Grant Miller (ODT): Former DCC CEO left with $67.5K of unused leave
RNZ: Waikato bus drivers to get $1000 Christmas bonus
Stuff:  Waikato bus drivers all aboard for $200,000 Christmas bonus, living wage
Todd Niall (Stuff): Questions for 2022: Who do you want as Auckland mayor and will you ditch your car?

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
David Hall (Herald): Why pricing emissions isn’t enough (paywalled)
Nathan Cooper (The Conversation): Courts around the world have made strong climate rulings – not so in New Zealand
Mike Dinsdale (Northern Advocate/Herald): Campaign to buy land next to Northland’s Ngunguru Sandspit and return it to public ownership
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Council and Government in talks about reinstating greater tree protection (paywalled)
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Assessment of Manuherikia River tailor-made

Education
George Driver (Listener/Herald): Education’s big OE: Can the international student sector recover, and do we want it to? (paywalled)
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Covid-19 has fundamentally disrupted teacher supply – Ministry
Dubby Henry (Herald): Oversupply of teachers possible next year, Ministry of Education forecasts show
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Covid-19 vaccine mandate could push teacher shortfall to 870 in 2022
Alice Wilkins (Newshub): Dilworth class action group calls for resignation of two of school’s trust board members
Herald: Dilworth class action group calls for the school’s chairman to resign

Transport
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Transmission Gully was never going to open before Christmas, here’s why (paywalled)
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Transmission Gully: Blame games and anger at road’s fifth delay in two years 
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Transmission Gully will not open in 2021, transport agency confirms
Mitchell Alexander (Newshub): Waka Kotahi chair Sir Brian Roche apologises for Transmission Gully not opening in 2021, hopes road ready by Easter 2022
1 News: Transmission Gully won’t open before Christmas
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Ratepayers to stump up for driver shortage
Steven Walton (Stuff): Councils join forces to approach minister for cash to upgrade Christchurch buses
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Calls to include aviation in biofuel mandate this week
RNZ: Tarras community divided over planned international airport
Simon Wilson (Herald):  The right and wrong way to spend money on cycling (paywalled)

Police, Justice, corrections
Derek Cheng (Herald): Fear of jailing the innocent: Waitangi Tribunal claim hovers over bill to overhaul rape trials
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Seizures of drugs in prison increasing

Foreign affairs, defence, trade
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): How the US-China ‘decoupling’ drive will affect NZ
Ford Hart (Stuff): New Zealand is not a bystander when it comes to ‘strategic competition’
Vangelis Vitalis (Spinoff): Apec 2021: How the New Zealand event boosted Asia-Pacific’s pandemic response

Primary industries, Groundswell protests
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Coroner recommends tougher safety rules after forestry worker’s death
Lois Williams (Local Democracy Reporting): SNAs great if you have the space: West Coast farmer
Lois Williams (Local Democracy Reporting): Clarity coming on flood-hit West Coast farms – O’Connor
Herald: Groundswell founders distance themselves from racist protesters

Media
Gavin Ellis (Knightly Views): It’s Christmas: E-Lim-I-Nate the negative
Karl du Fresne: Journalistic prejudice exposed (#149 in a continuing series)
Daniel Dunkley (BusinessDesk): Facebook offers funding to The Spinoff (paywalled)

Other
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): ‘Essentially fobbed off’ – Sexual assault victims say they struggled to get financial help from ACC
NZ: The Detail: A new direction on domestic violence in NZ
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Equity and Economics; Equal footing for Coromandel rohe’s development plans
Newshub: Republican Senator Wendy Rogers under fire for calling Jacinda Ardern ‘Lenin with hair’
Herald: New Zealand’s Quote of the Year finalists announced
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Pew and the meaning of life

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