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

2021 reviews, 2022 predictions, Parliament, parties
Luke Malpass (Stuff):  ‘Tis the season for crystal ball-gazing: here are the political issues to watch in 2022
Stuff:  The best and the rest: Stuff’s politician of the year and other political awards for 2021
Claire Trevett (Herald):  The award goes to … the Politician, Minister and Opposition MPs of the year (paywalled)
Magic: Who are the best and worst in politics this year? Peter Dunne shares his answers
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): Māori MP of the Year
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): The news that will matter in 2022
Liam Dann (Herald): Yippee-ki-yay, it’s a Die Hard Christmas (paywalled)
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): If Labour thought 2021 was tough… (paywalled)
Martyn Brabury (Daily Blog): 2021 – The Year a Bat won Bird of the Year & why being Left wing was so hard
Morgan Godfery (Guardian): From Covid-free to Delta and back: New Zealand’s year of living (almost) normally
Bruce Cotterill (Herald):  Here’s to 2022 — let’s make it a better year (paywalled)
Janet Wilson (Stuff): Just like soldiers in WWI, it’s time for a truce and a thanks
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald):  Nothing has turned out as bad as predicted (paywalled)
Steve Braunias (Herald):  The Secret Diary of . . . Xmas songs
Public Address: Word of the Year 2021: Covidiot
Victor Billot (Newsroom): An Ode for .. 2021
Bruce Cotterill (Herald):  Here’s to 2022 — let’s make it a better year (paywalled)
RNZ: Focus on Politics: An end-of-year chat with the minor party leaders
Peter Wilson (RNZ): The Week in Politics: ‘Outrageous’ spending and traffic light settings
Phil Smith (RNZ): The House: ‘I wish you a wonderful break. You bloody deserve it!’
Bridie Witton (Stuff):  Ayesha Verrall: Rookie politician’s big year of policy
Carolyne Meng-Yee (Herald): Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford wedding: Billionaire’s homestead venue, Lorde to sing
Claire Trevett (Herald): Christopher and Amanda Luxon on life as leader, what lies ahead – and Luxon’s bad habits (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Luxon reflects on 2021 successes, failures and summer plans 
Bill Ralston (Listener/Herald):  Christopher Luxon’s timing was perfect both for him and National (paywalled)
Arielle Kauaeroa (Stuff): Member’s bill to increase accessibility to Māori electoral roll faces uphill battle
Herald: ‘Jessica, then Tova’: Jacinda Ardern grills reporters in ‘reverse press conference’ on The Hits with Jono and Ben
Taylor Rice (Herald):  A new right? Why Act can maintain a strong presence despite National’s rise (paywalled)

Govt management of Covid-19
Josh Van Veen (Democracy Project): Omicron could topple Jacinda Ardern
Derek Cheng (Herald): It looked liked Jacinda Ardern was shunning public health advice, but the opposite is true (paywalled)
Ian Taylor (Herald): Politicians and officials go on holiday at arguably the most dangerous time in this pandemic
Alida Shanks (Stuff): Move the focus from conflict to what brings us together
Michael Hanne (Newsroom): Comparing Covid: How New Zealand stacks up
RNZ: Prof Peter McIntyre: refocusing Covid-19 vaccine strategies
Herald: Republican Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers trolled after saying Kiwis are emailing her about Jacinda Ardern and Covid camps

Omicron
John Anthony (Stuff): Ministry of Health assessing border settings in light of Omicron
Michael Daly (Stuff): How long can MIQ keep Omicron out of New Zealand?
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Call for tighter borders
Alice Wilkins (RNZ): Michael Baker wants to delay reopening New Zealand’s border in bid to keep Omicron out
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): Experts warn there could be an ‘explosion’ of Omicron cases in MIQ as variant spreads
RNZ: Summer Omicron outbreak would mirror NSW’s huge jump in community cases – expert
Jo Lines-MacKenzie (Stuff): ‘Each day there’s a better understanding’ – Health Minister eyes Omicron
Vaimoana Tapaleao and Lynley Ward (Herald): Ministers to discuss new strategies in fight against Omicron
John Weekes (Herald): Omicron on collision course with summer as document dump shows holiday challenges, Asian Bubble talk
Herald Editorial: Variant could be first political stress test for National’s new leader (paywalled)
Stuff Editorial: The Covid-19 sequel is worse than the original 
Herald Editorial: The critical information policy makers need about Omicron (paywalled)
Michael Neilson (Herald): Dr Ashley Bloomfield says ‘mixed strategy’ dealing with new variant
Ethan Te Ora (Stuff): Omicron in the community would be a ‘game-changer’ for Christmas plans
Alice Bracwell-Worrall (Newshub): Close contacts of NZ’s first Omicron cases stunned high-risk travellers put on their MIQ floor, have stay extended
Nicole Bremner (1 News): Omicron not a concern while in MIQ – Baker
Herald: Everything you need to know about the new variant
RNZ: Prof Gary McLean on rise and (eventual) fall of Omicron
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): The worrying rise of omicron

Border, MIQ
Miriam Burrell (Herald): MIQ cracks revealed as experts urge tighter control with rising numbers of new variant
RNZ: Returnees owe $36m in overdue MIQ fees
Nicholas Jones (Herald): Revealed: Why critical healthcare workers couldn’t get into NZ
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Nearly half of self-isolation pilot spots went to waste, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern initially unaware James Shaw got one
Katie Harris (Herald): Man visiting dying father stuck in MIQ longer due to being on same floor as Omicron case
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Omicron at Rotorua Ibis keeping son from father with brain tumour
Steve Kilgallon (Stuff): Immigration says sorry, and welcome back – but won’t let her into NZ
Andrew Macfarlane (1 News): Kiwis in Australia call for clarity on border reopening
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Trans-Tasman travellers fearful border reopening plans will be canned

Covid-19 outbreak
Michael Morrah (Newshub): 732 people infected with COVID-19 made to wait more than a day for a medical assessment
Sahiban Hyde (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): 15,000 cases predicted for Hawke’s Bay in 2022
Jake McKee (RNZ): Māori and Pacific over-represented in NRHCC hospitalisation figures in Delta outbreak
Moana Ellis  (Local Democracy Reporting): Māori urged to ‘take action and work together’ to combat increased Covid risk
RNZ: Claustrophic housing puts Queenstown hospitality sector at risk of Covid-19 outbreak
—————
RNZ: Child is youngest person with Covid-19 to die in NZ – MoH data
Herald: Young child who died was unknowingly infected
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Young boy who died with COVID-19 was not a known case prior to his death
1 News: Child under 10 tested positive for Covid-19 ‘post-death’ – MOH
Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): Asymptomatic Covid-19 case went to Christchurch Hospital’s ED to be treated for injury

Health
Jane Patterson (RNZ): ICU capacity: ‘This is where the rubber hits the road’
Katie Harris (Herald): Wellington doctor claims hospital already pushed to limit
Kate Nicol-Williams (1 News): Emergency departments urge Kiwis to stay safe over summer
RNZ: Rural hospitals ‘largely left out’ of $100m pandemic funding
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): The madness of health system restructuring in a pandemic
Libby Wilson (Stuff): Radiology staffer’s ‘considerable’ overtime prompted limits at Waikato DHB
Damien Grant (Stuff): No smoking, but the Government trusts us with cheese?
The Economist (Stuff): Plan to outlaw smoking for the next generation is misguided
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Pacific organisations call for ‘village approach’ to help save Pasifika babies 
Sammy Carter (Herald): Fears buy now, pay later for alcohol could create ‘generation of juice junkies’ (paywalled)
Leanne Warr (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Son’s death inspires Dannevirke parents to fight for more information (paywalled)
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Privacy breach at Hutt Hospital as clinician leaves patient info on street
Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): Health literacy plan to help public navigate medical information

Vaccine rollout
John Gerritsen (RNZ): Schools asked to help with vaccinations for under-12s
RNZ: Ngāti Hine Health trust calls for school vaccination day
RNZ: Health experts call on government to roll out children’s vaccine ASAP and prioritise tamariki Māori
Herald: Prioritise tamariki Māori in children’s Covid vaccine rollout – health experts
Amy Williams (RNZ): Doctors ready for speedy booster roll-out ahead of Cabinet decision
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Decision on booster gap ‘matter of urgency’, immunologist says
Tony Wall (Stuff): Tūhoe organisation accused of failing to counter Covid-19 vaccine lies
Northern Advocate (Herald): Non-Māori biggest obstacle to Northland reaching 90% vax target, figures show (paywalled)
Peter de Graaf (Herald): Finding the missing 3300: How to lift Northland’s vax rate to 90 per cent (paywalled)
1 News: Disease expert says Covid boosters will be way of life
RNZ: Eight million vaccine doses administered
Herald: New Zealand administers its eight millionth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Samantha Gee (RNZ): West Coast less than 1500 vaccinations away from 90 percent target
Kristin Hall (1 News): Health providers urged to warn of rare Covid vaccine side effects
Cecile Meier (Stuff): ‘I feel absolutely worthless’: Chronic fatigue sufferers can’t get Covid-19 vaccine exemption despite expert support
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Vaccine-linked death prompts reminder letter from Ministry of Health to doctors – report
Herald: Expert urges people to get help if needed after autopsy links Dunedin death to jab
Olivia Caldwell (Stuff): Coroner investigating after autopsy links Dunedin man’s death to ‘very rare’ side effect of Pfizer vaccine
ODT: Dunedin man’s death linked to vaccine
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Platform Advertising revealed as comms provider behind ‘dark ages’ Covid cartoons

Vaccine mandate
Keith Lynch (Stuff): The “pro-choice” argument against vaccines, explained
Nick James (Herald): Police called to Wellington Airport after verbal confrontation over masks
Ruth Hill (RNZ): Domestic airline passengers call for consistent policing of vaccine passes, mask use
Dan Lake (Newshub): Police step in as ‘tense’ confrontation over face masks breaks out at Wellington Airport
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Concerns raised about having to share public transport with unvaccinated people
Lucy Anderson (1 News): Man with mask exemption denied entry into SkyCity
RNZ: Human Rights Commissioner met with Brian Tamaki ahead of anti-vaccine mandate protest
Craig Kapitan (Herald): Destiny’s Brian Tamaki appeals bail restrictions
Sapeer Mayron (Stuff): Destiny Church charities back under the microscope of Government watchdog
Chris Marriner (Herald): Anti-vax protesters ruin pupils’ final day at Birkdale Intermediate
RNZ: Doctor who quit over vaccine mandate continues to challenge Covid-19 guidance
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): Mid Canterbury GP challenges health officials Covid guidance
George Heagney (Stuff): Unvaccinated banned from tertiary campuses, but online study an option
Lee Kenny (Stuff): Vaccine passes likely needed for hundreds of thousands of tertiary students
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): ‘We don’t want to be the grinch’: No to vax pass mandates at Matamata-Piako facilites
Herald: Fonterra staff may soon need to be vaccinated
Herald: Ashburton intermediate defends vaccine pass for school camp
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Auckland no-vax gym seeing new members, say owners
Whanganui Chronicle (Herald): Ruapehu businesses not complying with Covid 19 rules will be referred to police, council says (paywalled)

Auckland border, testing, summer travel
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Covid-19 PCR saliva test as accurate as nasal swabs, New Zealand study confirms
Wiliam Hewett (Newshub): Police pleased with ‘extremely high’ level of compliance at Northland checkpoints
Imran Ali (Herald): Police checkpoints in North to become mobile with spot checks
Edward O’Driscoll (Newshub): Aucklanders make break for Northland ahead of Christmas, but iwi worried COVID peak yet to arrive
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Heading away for Christmas? Here are the COVID restrictions for each region
Steve Maharey (Stuff): Why we should be rolling out the welcome mat to double vaxxed Aucklanders 

Economy, business, govt subsidies
Brian Easton (Pundit): Where Is Fiscal And Monetary Policy Going?
RNZ: Business confidence on slight decline heading into 2022 – report
ODT: Southland ranked as ‘most pessimistic’ region
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Jobs for Nature creates just one tenth of promised jobs to date (paywalled)
RNZ: Commerce Commission to investigate variety of residential building issues
Michelle Cooke (RNZ): What I really want for Christmas: Kirk Hope
Michael Donaldson (Stuff): Hospitality in crisis: How can we save our bars and restaurants?
Olivia Caldwell (Stuff): Underwhelming summer visitor numbers forecast for South Island hotspots
1 News: Retailers call for people to ‘shop nice’ this Christmas
George Clark (Herald): Retail NZ calls on Kiwis to ‘Shop Nice’ in light of increasing levels of abuse
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): The ‘over it’ economy kicks in as the country sits at traffic lights
Richard Meade (Spinoff): As omicron lurks, hard-hit businesses need a new kind of support

Local government
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Sprawling governing bodies to allow all councils say in Three Waters corporations
Matthew Tso (Stuff):  Living wage policy not reflected in rates for council contractor’s workers
Felix Desmarais (Local Democracy Reporting): Can money be made from human poo? A council’s spent millions trying
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Palmerston North council eyes bowling greens for housing
Anna Fifield (Stuff): Reimagining Wellington: What could we achieve with ambition and bold leadership?
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Most of us want a greener, more sustainable Wellington – but it has to be liveable
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): ‘Nothing was in scope’ with Waimea dam investigation 
Felix Desmarais (Local Democracy Reporting): Can money be made from human poo? A council spent millions trying
Lois Williams (Local Democracy Reporting): West Coast district plan goes out for first look with apology for complex language
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): Revenue of $16m for Ashburton District Council – annual report forecasts
Steven Walton (Stuff): Council proposes reducing budget due to supply chain issues, cost escalation
Kiri Gillespie (Herald): Inside Tauranga City Council’s toxic sealed-off floor: Mould, mushrooms and Christmas (paywalled)
Laurel Stowell (Herald): Hard look at Anzac Pde flood remedies for Whanganui (paywalled)
Laura Mills (Local Democracy Reporting): Franz Josef floodwalls have 20 years left
John Lewis (ODT): Vandervis criticises city’s police
RNZ: Upper Hutt council to stick with decision to not require vaccine passes for its facilities
ODT: Invercargill City Council funding transferred for fostering activity

Abuse in care, Lake Alice
Daisy Hudson (ODT): The long road to facing up to country’s dark past
ODT Editorial: Abuse redress overdue
Aaron Smale (Stuff): The truth about Lake Alice: Justice delayed is justice denied

Pike River
Conan Young (RNZ): Remains of up to three more men have been located within Pike River Mine, police say
Jamie Ensor and Leighton Heikell (Newshub): Pike River Mine: Further human remains have been discovered
Cherie Howie (Herald): Evidence of further human remains found in mine where 29 men died
1 News: Pike River mum ‘unashamedly cried’ after human remains found
1 News: More human remains found in Pike River mine

Transport
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Transport Accident Investigation Commission spending more on inquiries but completing fewer
Grady Connell (Newshub): Urgent calls for long-distance passenger services to stay as KiwiRail cuts operations
Sam Brooks (Spinoff): Alert: There is no airport bus service in Auckland or Wellington
Hawkes Bay Today/Herald: Napier and Hastings MPs: Lowering the speed limit won’t solve SH5 problem (paywalled)
Kate Nicol-Williams (1 News): Interislander preparing for new ship’s first voyage
Luke Kirkeby (Stuff): Plane crash reveals emergency response shortfalls

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Climate Commission investigating subsidies for farmers
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Officials warn New Zealand will fail clean car pledge if bold new policies not agreed to (paywalled)
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): Public sector’s carbon footprint remains a mystery, despite 2025 target
Samantha Gee (RNZ): Appeal for information after kea shooting
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Reimagining Wellington: Bringing the capital’s streams back to life and light 
David Turner (Stuff): We need sustainable cities our grandchildren will want to inherit

Education, Science
Thomas Mead (1 News): Education Minister suggests ‘external review’ at Teaching Council
Dubby Henry (Herald): School air purifier order ‘progressing’, CO2 monitors on way
Laura Hooper (Stuff): Engineering academy extension to address Southern industry shortages
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Fears the vaccine mandate for school bus drivers and low pay will worsen the driver shortage, leaving some students without transport next year 
Why evolution is true: The “teach Maori other ways of knowing in science class” fracas continues; Richard Dawkins weighs in
Siouxsie Wiles (Stuff): Academics: Use your mana to aid colleagues, not fight them
Morgan Godfery (Stuff): It took science for Polynesians to settle the corners of the vast Pacific

Housing
Steven Cowan (Against the current): Crisis? What crisis?
Brian Gaynor (BusinessDesk): Heavy is the head 2022’s house prices rely upon (paywalled)
Joanna Davis (Stuff): These are New Zealand’s most expensive streets – and the cheapest
Andrew King (Stuff): Instead of demonising property investors, we should be making it easier for them
Mary Holm (Herald):  Facing the challenges of a landlord’s life (paywalled)
Geraden Cann (Stuff): Mega landlord who bought 20 homes in a year says those days are over
Mikaela Wilkes (Stuff): What the cheapest house in NZ sold for
Lane Nichols (Herald): Ex skinhead ‘white supremacist’ in state house terrorising Christchurch neighbours

Immigration
Barbara Dreaver (1 News): Research shows devastating effects overstayers face
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Family’s change in fortunes after sharing story of job loss and visa woes

Police, Justice, corrections
Matt Burrows (Newshub): Police, IPCA agree to start regarding people who complain of mistreatment by officers as victims
Anna Leask (Herald): Christchurch terror attack: Taxpayers foot $392K legal bill for man behind mosque massacre
Christine McCarthy (Newsroom): The long road to humanising youth justice

Media
Russell Brown (Listener/Herald): Media monster: The plan to radically transform public TV and radio in New Zealand (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Stuff rejoins Nielsen rankings in top media position

Other
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Oranga Tamariki underspends by $4m on support for child victims of sexual violence
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Oranga Tamariki slashes size of leadership team
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Non-disclosure exit payouts rife in public service, researcher finds
1 News: Construction workers at high risk of suicide, research shows
Katie Stevenson (1 News): Long-awaited Te Pae Convention Centre opens in Christchurch
RNZ: Te Pae convention centre worth $475 million to open in Christchurch
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): ‘The world according to Orr’: growing concern RBNZ losing institutional memory (paywalled)
RNZ: Reserve Bank rejects multiple claims over fake bank notes
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Norwegian terrorist’s manifesto, which inspired Christchurch killer, banned in New Zealand
Matt Nippert (Herald): Oslo terrorist manifesto, cited as ‘inspiration’ for Christchurch terrorist, banned
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Mānuka honey trademark bid: UK ruling ‘insulting to Māori and our culture’, says trust
Sally Rae (ODT): Water battle won, but ‘sour taste’ remains
John Roughan (Herald):  Why I am angry about Aotearoa (paywalled)
Tess McClure (Guardian): ‘A wave of joy’: babies born from world’s first HIV positive sperm bank

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