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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

Omicron, NZ border changes, MIQ
Henry Cooke (Stuff): New Zealand decides to keep itself free from Omicron – for now
RNZ: Limit or halt arrivals from risk countries to avoid big Omicron numbers MIQ – Michael Baker
RNZ: New Zealand may need to tighten borders further to keep Omicron at bay – professor
Liz McDonald, Henry Cooke and Charlie Gates (Stuff): Changes to pandemic plan as Government tries to buy time
Stuff Editorial: Faster, slower, shorter, longer – combatting Covid is a rough ride
Chris McDowall (Herald): Siouxsie Wiles on the key numbers to watch over summer
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Chris Hipkins says he wouldn’t immediately lock down if Omicron found in the community
Scott Palmer and Tom McRae (Newshub): Government reveals plan to combat Omicron
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): The omicron overhaul: Booster and border rules revealed in face of new menace
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government brings forward boosters, postpones end to MIQ because of Omicron
1 News: International travel free of MIQ delayed to late Feb 2022
Herald: New Zealand border reopening pushed to end of February
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand delays border reopening in bid to strengthen defences against Omicron
Kim Moodie (RNZ): Omicron threat: Delay to borders opening a further blow to Kiwis overseas
Herald: ‘Crushing the souls of Kiwis’: Tourism industry, airlines and Kiwis abroad react to border delay
John Anthony (Stuff): Omicron border restrictions ‘final nail in the coffin’ for some tourism businesses, operator says
Nadine Porter and Siobhan Downes (Stuff): ‘We matter too’ – Devastated Kiwis react to delay in border opening
Alexa Cook (Newshub): Kiwis in Australia stranded after Govt decision to delay border reopening
RNZ: Air New Zealand cancels about 120 flights after border reopening plan delayed
1 News: 120 Air NZ flights to be cancelled, 27K customers affected
John Weekes and Katie Harris (Herald): At least 27,000 flyers in limbo after Omicron border delay
Newshub: Air New Zealand cancels around 120 trans-Tasman flights after delayed border reopening
RNZ: MIQ room release cancelled due to Omicron situation
Herald: MBIE cancels MIQ room release as Govt announces temporary change
Tom Hunt (Stuff): New Zealand re-opens door to wealthy foreign investors promising to drop millions
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Revealed: First Omicron case left MIQ before variant identified
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Man incorrectly told he had Covid while in MIQ now worried mistakes could cause Omicron cases
Hannah Martin (Stuff): MIQ returnee who left Middlemore Hospital had child with them
1 News: Child with Covid-negative MIQ traveller missing from hospital
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Travel ban: ICU nurse stuck in South Africa unable to take up job offer

Govt management of Covid-19
Keith Rankin (Evening Report): Visualising a Way out of the Pandemic
Jamie Tahana (RNZ): Details from Waitangi Tribunal report on goverment’s Covid-19 response
1 News: Waitangi Tribunal finds Govt Covid response actively breached Treaty
Leonie Hayden (Spinoff): Tribunal’s report on Covid response for Māori offers vindication but no comfort
No Right Turn: Labour’s racist covid policy
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Government hits back at Sir Ian Taylor’s ‘holiday’ comments
Newshub: Jacinda Ardern tackles child vaccination misinformation, health rumours and ageing remarks in Facebook live

Vaccine rollout, mandate
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Paediatric vaccinations a ‘litmus test’ for Covid-19 response partnership, New Zealand Māori Council says
Amy Williams (RNZ): Papakura GP says community ready for immunisation of children aged 5 to 11
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Govt should learn from its mistakes by targeting vaccination of Māori children – paediatrician
Adam Pearse (Herald): Māori/Pasifika child vaccine rates will outstrip Pākehā – rollout equity manager
RNZ: NZ kids able to get Pfizer vaccine from Jan 17
Herald: Child vaccinations – parents put at ease, more students to return to school
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Experts welcome January 17 start date for child vaccine roll-out
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Roll-out to children to begin January 17, booster interval cut
Eva Corlett (Guardian): Death of child with Covid-19 prompts calls for Māori to be prioritised in NZ vaccine rollout
1 News: Govt reduces Covid-19 booster wait time to 4 months
1 News: Around 200,000 Kiwis still waiting to receive vaccine pass
1 News: Risk of Covid ‘far outweighs’ risk of myocarditis – Hipkins
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington’s Newtown festival cancelled, too hard to check vaccine passes
John Anthony (Stuff): Popular Whangārei cafe’s no vaccine pass days not breaking any traffic light rules
Dan Satherley and Juliet Speedy (Newshub): Vaccine-linked death prompts reminder letter from Ministry of Health to doctors – report
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Broadcasting Standards Authority tells anti-vaxxers not to bother complaining about discrimination
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Broadcasting watchdog rules discussion about unvaccinated people on air not discriminatory 
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): ‘I felt paru because I was gay’ – Café owner sees homophobia over vaccine pass

2021 in review, Parliament, parties
Richard Prebble (Herald): My attempt at praising Labour (paywalled)
1 News: Green Party co-leaders worried about disinformation
1 News: Te Pāti Māori’s 2022 focus: building te Tiriti-centred NZ
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Trusting The People: Chile Elects A Far-Left President
1 News: Massey University announces NZ’s Quote of the Year winner
William Hewett (Newshub): Chris Hipkins wins quote of the year for his ‘spread your legs’ gaffe
Stuff: Chris Hipkins’ press conference slip of the tongue voted quote of the year
Steven Cowan (Against the current): Lifestyles of the rich and famous

Auckland border checkpoints, summer travel, Delta outbreak
Siouxsie Wiles & Toby Morris (Spinoff): Five factors to help us avoid Covid-19 this summer
RNZ: Testing positive for Covid-19: What you need to know
Dr Mataroria Lyndon (Herald):  Planning your summer holidays? Plan for home isolation at the same time (paywalled)
Professor Michael Bunce and Dr Jemma Geoghegan (Herald): Why studying the origins of Covid-19, its variants and relatives matters (paywalled)
1 News: Pasifika home isolation pilot expands following success
RNZ: Ronapreve gains Medsafe approval for treatment of worst-affected Covid-19 patients
Janika ter Ellen (Newshub): Kiwis taking shorter holidays and staying closer to home amid COVID-19 pandemic
Jamie Ensor and William Hewett (Newshub): Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak – Tuesday, December 21
Megan Wilson (Herald): Two cases in Murupara
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Former holiday park confirmed as isolation centre

Covid Rule Breaches, Protests
Logan Church (1 News): Fine, donation for Auckland couple who flew to Wānaka in lockdown
Jean Bell (RNZ): Auckland couple who flouted lockdown face court: Man convicted and fined, woman ordered to donate
Craig Kapitan (Herald): Judge’s son William Willis, lawyer Hannah Rawnsley sentenced for flouting Auckland lockdown to holiday in Wānaka
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Wānaka lockdown breach couple: Judge’s son fined, his partner escapes conviction
Tia McDougall (Newshub): Auckland couple who escaped to Wānaka during COVID-19 lockdown sentenced
Craig Kapitan (Herald): Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki gets bail conditions tweaked
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Brian Tamaki allowed at Auckland Domain but not to protest, in bail conditions U-turn

Zoe Holland (Herald): Effectiveness of pandemic drug against Omicron to be reviewed
Cira Olivier (Herald): Revealed: How many millions ACC spends on alcohol injuries (paywalled)
David Burton (Stuff): At what point are people on their own?
Scott Palmer and Perry Wilton (Newshub): New Zealanders urged to get drugs tested this summer festival season
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): Drug testing urged as post-lockdown summer party season approaches
Jane Matthews (Stuff): ‘No-one wants Covid for Christmas, stay home if you’re sick’ – Taranaki Covid-19 boss
Herald: Health practitioner fined $30,000 after accessing patient records for personal reasons

Economy, business, govt subsidies
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Rage at the violence of racism’: Marama Davidson joins chorus of outrage at Farmers
Teuila Fuatai (Herald):  Change rather than apology needed to stop racial profiling in stores (paywalled)
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (Herald):  Rangatahi lead amazing kaupapa and deserve to be heard, not stood over
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): From global food basket to ‘Foodbank Nation’ – a year of lost opportunities
Simon Bridges (BusinessDesk): Grantonomics risks rousing the inflation dragon
RNZ: New Zealand infrastructure investment not getting bang for buck
RNZ: Investors pick up hotels in anticipation of tourism rebound
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): More than a dozen tourism operators are affected by a rāhui discouraging visitors to the Whirinaki forest park to protect unvaccinated locals
Nathan Morton (Stuff): Auckland restaurants struggling to recruit staff post-lockdown
Katie Townshend (Stuff): Restaurant owner to community: ‘we will be lucky to survive’ 
Herald: Supreme Court dismisses Pizza Hut franchisees’ appeal in delivery drivers case
Esther Taunton (Stuff): H&M, Kate Sylvester remove sustainability claims after Consumer NZ investigation
Melanie Carrol (Stuff): Holidays Act changes should end expensive payouts to short-changed workers
Kirsty Wynn (Herald): Bosses warned: Salary Survey shows skills shortage to bite further next year
Herald: NZ Post announces price increase for sending letters

Police, Justice, corrections
Gordon Campbell: On the obscure Bill that erodes our system of justice
Phil Pennington (RNZ): How one of the country’s longest and most fraught fatal crash investigations unfolded
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Criminals given chance to appeal convictions after police prosecution blunder
Jeremy Sutton (Herald):  Review of succession law – Rights to a person’s property on death (paywalled)
Charlotte Cook (RNZ): Broken phones at Waikeria cause trouble for prisoners trying to call home
1 News: Corrections reveals Xmas day menu for those in prison
Jordan Bond (RNZ): IPCA concludes police officer used ‘unnecessary force’ on mentally ill man
Herald:Levin man in coma after falling during attempt to arrest him

Environment, conservation, climate change
David Williams (Newsroom): Emails expose council’s clash with scientist
Jo Hendy (Stuff): Climate change: We must think across the system
Jacqueline Rowarth (Stuff): Farms can reduce animal numbers, but how much would you like to pay for food?
Matthew Littlewood (Stuff): High Court appeals filed against ECan’s Plan Change 7
RNZ: DOC urges upper South Island residents to look out for at-risk dolphins
Niva Chittock (RNZ): ‘No room for complacency’ despite positive signs for 25 native bird species – DOC
Matthew Rosenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): ‘Cleared out’: Fears for future of Fiordland fish stocks
Doug Paulin (Stuff): In a world of black and white, it’s about balance
Sam Olley (RNZ): Kaimaumau fire: Hapū fears widespread damage to sacred sites
RNZ: DOC appeal for information after dead leopard seal decapitated on Monkey Island
1 News: Dead leopard seal decapitated in ‘horror’ act
John Boynton (Newshub): 10-year project to restore Ōkahu Bay with kūtai reaches end, already helping water quality

Local government, Three Waters
Anne Salmond (Newsroom): Three Waters and Te Tiriti
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill city councilllors take aim at Audit New Zealand over annual report process
Marjorie Cook (ODT): QLDC system ‘failed’: coastguard
Marjorie Cook (ODT): Concerns over new contract
Chris Tobin (Stuff): Timaru’s discoloured water issue still being sorted
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Tūwharetoa building new home for council to cement ‘enduring relationship’

Imran Ali (Herald): Northland’s rent hike one of the highest among regions – Report (paywalled)
Ollie Neas (Spinoff): All I want for Christmas is a landlord register
Murphy (RNZ): Discrimination in housing market leading to takatāpui and LGBTQI homelessness – study
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Credit crunch: Mortgage brokers hit back at lending rule changes
Kylie Klein-Nixon (Stuff): Inside a 1906 state-built home once considered ‘too flash’ for workers
Stuff: ‘I’m just blown away’: Watch longtime Kāinga Ora tenant’s reaction to home upgrade
Stuff:  Growth sites identified as regional plan takes shape

Georgina Campbell (Herald): A Capital Letter: Let’s be clear, we need a new opening date for Transmission Gully (paywalled)
Stuff Editorial: No more excuses on Transmission Gully
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Let’s Get Wellington Moving has spades in the ground at all of two intersections
RNZ: Water safety concerns in Wānaka as Harbourmaster resigns
RNZ: Air New Zealand aiming to fly zero emissions aircraft in five years’ time
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Fuso New Zealand investigating tow bars to see if vehicle recall needed

Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Commerce Commission outlines issues for media bid to negotiate collectively with Facebook, Google
RNZ: Ex-cabinet minister Simon Power to replace Kevin Kenrick at TVNZ
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Simon Power can guide TVNZ through political minefield: media expert
Herald: TVNZ appoints Simon Power as CEO
1 news: Simon Power named TVNZ’s new chief executive officer
Daniel Dunkley (BusinessDesk): TVNZ turns to Power for new chief executive (paywalled)
Tom Frewen (Listener/Herald):  Politicians remain the masters of control over TV (paywalled)

Foreign affairs
RNZ: Hong Kong elections: NZ joins allies in urging China to respect ‘protected rights’
Audrey Young (Herald): NZ signs Five Eyes statement urging China to respect Hong Kong freedoms (paywalled)
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealand joins Five Eyes partners in expressing ‘grave concern’ after Hong Kong election, sends message to China

Newsroom: Academics: Don’t stifle healthy debate
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Lake Alice psychiatric hospital: John Richard Corkran named as 89-year-old man charged
Te Aorewa Rolleston (RNZ): Tāmaki Makaurau marae team up for Kirihimete drive-throughs
Herald: New mum, baby die four days apart: Husband gains residency
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Retired senior judge warns squadron he’ll sue if it takes America’s Cup offshore (paywalled)
RNZ: New share ownership model needed to combat fragmentation in Māori farm incorporation
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Robertson, Quigley have no concerns about RBNZ exodus (paywalled)



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