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

Government, Parliament, 2021 in review
Jason Walls (Newstalk ZB): Revealed: The ‘eye-watering’ amount the Govt’s spending on contractors and who’s reaping the benefits
Anna Whyte (1 News): 2021 in review: Biggest political moments
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): How 2021 laughed in our face
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Covid response can’t look past lockdown (paywalled)
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): A look back at the stories that created change this year
Jon Johansson (Stuff): This year has been absurd in so many ways, we should embrace the madness
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Report cards for Southern MPs
Steve Braunias (Herald): The Secret Diary of . . . 2021 (paywalled)
Kevin Norquay (Stuff): MPs must help save the economy, starting with the Boxing Day sales 
ODT Editorial: Facing an uncertain world
1 News: Political leaders wish Kiwis a merry Christmas (video)
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): The Basil Awards – the best and worst of Wellington in 2021
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Seymour slams PM’s pavlova tactics
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Summer: Sepuloni: The truth behind ministerial lockdown life
Greg Presland (Standard): The Standard’s 2021 political awards
Don Brash (Bassett, Brash & Hide): 2021: Fighting for the very soul of New Zealand
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Which Labour MPs are gone on current polling?
Lillie Rohan (Herald): Former Prime Minister Sir John Key pens a letter to his 25-year-old self (paywalled)
Michele Hewitson (Listener/Herald): Ever the diplomat: What’s next for David Shearer? (paywalled)
ODT: Have you ever?… Ingrid Leary MP

Govt management of Covid-19, Omicron, NZ border, MIQ 
Derek Cheng (Herald):  Preparations into opening Fortress NZ are under way. What will 2022 look like? (paywalled)
Claire Trevett (Herald):  Government caught short in planning for Delta (paywalled)
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Where does low Māori vaccination rates leave us amid Omicron threat? (paywalled)
Herald Editorial:  Covid game of two halves that’s now into extra time (paywalled)
Pete McKenzie (Guardian): Locked-out New Zealanders outraged as visa scheme for rich foreigners resumes
Emily Clarke (ABC): NZ buys time for Covid-19 boosters, but quarantine changes cancels Christmas for some
Cecile Meier, Natalie Crockett and Bill Hickman (Stuff): Grieving for our family overseas in pandemic New Zealand
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Indian community upset New Zealand labelled an ‘at risk’ Covid-19 country
RNZ: Thousands making most of Christmas in MIQ as Omicron extends required stay
1 News: Kiwis’ MIQ stays extended over Christmas due to Omicron
Herald Editorial: Positive news mixed with clear challenges over Omicron (paywalled)

Delta outbreak
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Dip in case numbers down to low testing rates over the holidays
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Delta could be ‘eliminated’ as cases plunge to lowest since October, while border cases spike
Alexa Cook (Newshub): Experts issue warning to Kiwis to not become complacent about getting tested
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Expert urges against complacency over holidays as death toll reaches 50
Nathan Morton (Stuff): 37 per cent of New Zealanders not confident they can isolate at home, study finds
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Almost 1500 Aucklanders self-isolating during Christmas break

Vaccine rollout
Irra Lee (1 News): Covid-19: 80% eligible Māori now fully vaccinated
Sam Olley (RNZ): Covid-19: Ministry of Health’s ‘fear’ over lack of pregnancy vaccination data
Talia Parker (Herald): Covid 19 vaccine booster change sparks confusion in Bay of Plenty (paywalled)
Soumya Bhamidipati (RNZ): Vaccine event for Christchurch’s Chinese community heralded a success

Vaccine mandate, rules
Kirsty Frame (RNZ): Aged care provider Enliven Retirement Homes charging families $10pp for its own form of vaccine pass
John Roughan (Herald):  On the year of the vaccine – how Kiwi is the mandate? (paywalled)
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Man refusing to wear a face-covering ejected from Mitre 10 after confrontation with staff
Herald: Mitre 10 employee praised for trespassing anti-masker shopper
Adam Pearse and Anna Leask (Herald): Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki allegedly threatens to have future mobile vaccination clinics blown up, police investigating
Māori TV: Police investigating ‘blow it up’ Tamaki threat
Katy Jones (Stuff): Unvaccinated teachers in NZ discouraged from offering homeschooling

Auckland border checkpoints, summer travel & activities
D’Angelo Martin (Newshub): Northland settlement of Mitimiti preparing for those wanting to return home
Peata Melbourne (Māori TV): ‘Being ‘disgusting’ to others… I’m enjoying every second of it’
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Herald): Mayor: Māhia’s move to orange light is not a green light for new year chaos (paywalled)
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Whanganui River tribes axe annual tribal pilgrimage because of Covid-19 threat

Economy, business, govt subsidies
Jamie Gray (Herald): The $55b question: Was the Reserve Bank’s QE programme worth the money? (paywalled)
Damien Grant (Stuff): Here’s why I think the Government’s rosy forecasts are an illusion
David Schnauer (Herald):  New Zealand’s disappointing lack of economic ambition (paywalled)
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Boxing Day sales losing popularity, but people are spending more than ever
RNZ: Retailers hope post-Christmas shoppers make up for slow start
Rob Stock (Stuff): Auckland’s battle-weary cafe and restaurant owners hope for better 2022 after miserable year
Carmen Hall (Herald): Rotorua CBD fights ‘ruined’ reputation as businesses hope for a summer rally (paywalled)
Mike Tweed (Herald): ‘Plan, plan, plan’: How the construction industry is battling Covid interruptions (paywalled)
RNZ: Queenstown faces ‘big challenge’ to have less than half of workers rely on tourism
Guy Williams (ODT): Queenstown visitors fail to show up
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Customer who lost $200,000 in investment scam fails in bid to get bank to pay

Three Waters, water quality
Katie Doyle and Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Letters between mayors and minister reveal strained relationship on Three Waters reform
Nikitin Sallee (BusinessDesk): Govt ad campaign just water under the bridge
Tatjana Buklijas and Campbell Guy (Newsroom): Let the people have their say on Three Waters
Sinead Gill (Stuff): Anti-Three Waters campaign formalised in new group
Kate Green (Stuff): Three Waters reform punishing those who manage system well, one council says
RNZ: Lake Hāwea near holiday park records high level of E coli
Joanne Naish (Stuff): Water quality in New Zealand: Which lakes have improved and how can we learn from them?
Richard Davison (ODT): Hope village’s water woes will be sorted

Local government 
Matthew Ronsenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Sir Tim Shadbolt’s year in review
Matthew Ronsenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Questions over Invercargill council’s land sale: Toxic waste, mayoral storage, and forgiven loans
Grant Miller (ODT): A year of thorny problems and big plans for DCC
Sophie Barker (ODT): DCC’s report card begs questions
Stuff Editorial: Democracy needs us to get the questions right
Michelle Cooke (RNZ): What I really want for Christmas: Efeso Collins

501 deportees, crime, corrections, 
Jarrod Gilbert (Herald):  The terrible injustice of Shane ‘Kiwi’ Martin’s exile as 501 from family (paywalled)
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Time to ‘turn the planes around’ on Australian 501 deportees amid exploding gun violence – National Māori Authority
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Ditch 501 Deportees – Māori Authority Chair
Daniel Hurst (Guardian): ‘Turn the planes around’: Māori leader says New Zealand should block Australian deportations
Herald Editorial: Gun violence turns focus on Australia’s problematic 501 policy (paywalled)
Logan Church (1 News): Gangs and guns: ‘Seeing stuff here that you have never seen before’
RNZ: Police ‘concerned at prevalence of firearms’ in society
RNZ: Auckland mayor raises gun violence issue with police minister
Anna Leask (Herald): A decade of violent death: New Zealand’s 158 lost women
Andrew McRae (RNZ): ‘Perfect storm’ of conditions led to Waikeria Prison riot – clinical psychologist
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Doors at Auckland Prison’s maximum-security unit broke weeks after $300 million renovation
Cate Broughton (Stuff): As Christchurch care and protection home lies empty, what does its future hold?

Environment, conservation, climate change
AAP: Ardern eager to focus on climate change in 2022
Phil Pennington (RNZ): What is the real cost of a switch to biofuels?
Lorraine Mapu (Stuff): Government emissions reduction plan not ambitious enough
Rebekah Cain (Stuff): Reaching net-zero emissions means all hands to the pump for NZ 
Bridget Coates (Stuff): The role of private finance in the transition to net-zero emissions
Logan Church (1 New): Race on to find use for dead EV batteries
Ralph Sims (The Conversation): Convenience, comfort, cost and carbon: what’s the best way to travel, save money and cut emissions?
Geraden Cann (Stuff): A Shore Thing: NZ housing market unfazed by sea rise but Reserve Bank preps for change
Tess McClure (Guardian): Trauma, dislocation, pollution: why Māori leaders want control of the South Island’s water
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Fears for Mangawhai sandspit over seabed sand mining at Pakiri – council
Laura James (1 News): Covid-19 pushes environmentally-friendly habits aside
Vanessa Phillips (Stuff): Discarded Covid-19 masks a bad fit for the environment 
Logan Church (1 News): Project underway to determine pollution on Kiwi beaches
Kethaki Masilamani (Newshub): Department of Conservation rangers working hard to keep Mercury Islands predator-free
RNZ: Department of Conservation trialling ground-based hunters to target Himalayan tahr
RNZ: Forest and Bird raises concerns over deer and pigs in Waitākere Ranges and wetland
RNZ: Eighteen kakī chicks hatch over three days

Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): The Infamous Daily Blog Media Awards 2021
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Media Person Of The Year
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (1 News): Record high queries about broadcasters’ te reo Māori use
Sally Rae (ODT): Leadership helps causes from media standards to charity
RNZ: The Mediawatch Christmas Bonus (audio)
RNZ: New Zealand media coverage on Muslims mostly use negative language – study
Richard Prebble (Herald):  The Beatles and deregulation of broadcasting (paywalled)
David Skipwith (Stuff): Groundbreaking Newshub presenter Oriini Kaipara makes history again on primetime bulletin
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Dinner with Michael Bloomberg (paywalled)
Andrew Barnes (Herald):  How to fix the damage being caused by social media (paywalled)

Peata Melbourne (Māori TV)): Misinformation is meddling with Māori well-being
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Mental health hospital beds could be closed due to severe staff shortages in Christchurch
Maia Hart (Stuff): Covid patients in Marlborough needing intensive care will be transferred to Nelson or Wellington
Kim Moodie (RNZ): Christchurch charity raising funds for new youth mental health outpatient facility
Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): The Timaru Report: The health of the district with an ageing population
Toni McDonald (ODT): ‘Serious utu’ warning for Vining pounamu graverobbers
Toni McDonald (ODT): Family ‘devastated’ as pounamu missing from Blair Vining’s grave
Jared McCulloch (1 News): Family of cancer campaigner desperate for return of pounamu

RNZ: First-home values up, QV records ‘bumper year’ for property owners
Rob Stock (Stuff): Library fines kept family on sidelines of NZ property market
Keiller MacDuff (Timaru Herald): The Timaru Report: Renters pay more, housing list balloons, homeless living in cars
Keiller MacDuff (Timaru Herald): The Timaru Report: The trials of a first home buyer in a bull market
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Napier among worst in country for hike in first-home prices in 2021 (paywalled)
Carmen Hall (Herald): Tauranga rental crisis: Aucklanders fleeing lockdown add to pressure on Bay of Plenty rental market (paywalled)
Mike Yardley (Stuff): I fear politicians have made a pig’s ear of rushed housing legislation
RNZ: Housing crisis, climate on agenda at urban planners conference
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Landowners battle Christchurch airport noise rules as housing land runs short

Sally Blundell (Listener/Herald): Back on track: The resurgence of rail (paywalled)
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Civil Aviation Authority’s lengthy legal battle with pilot costs it $500k
Ben Strang (Stuff): Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ‘concerned’ by police’s lack of performance on road safety
Steve Sanderson (Stuff): Wellington tunnels are vital for lower-carbon future
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Covid 19 holding back key motorway projects from opening this summer (paywalled)

Immigration, migrant workers
RNZ: Community group scheme to be used for refugee resettlement in NZ
Corazon Miller (1 News): Family set to be deported on Christmas can stay another year
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Christmas miracle’: Family’s Christmas Day deportation halted, visa issued at the last minute
Herald: Family facing Christmas Day deportation given visa to stay in New Zealand
RNZ: Last-minute reprieve allows Filipino family to remain in Aotearoa
Pete McKenzie (Guardian): Family set to be deported from New Zealand on Christmas Day given last-minute reprieve
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): An RSE Christmas in Aotearoa

Charities, inequality
Edward O’Driscoll (Newshub): Former homeless man inspires $100k donation to Auckland City Mission
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Federated Farmers pitch in to help Auckland City Mission amid high demand

Foreign affairs
Anneke Smith (RNZ): ‘Something has shifted’ in NZ’s security and foreign policy for China, says analyst
Paul Buchanan (Kiwipolitico): The incremental shift
1 News: NZ not convinced Chinese security unit is needed in Solomons
John Minto (Daily Blog): Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Friend of Aotearoa New Zealand and Champion of Palestinian human rights – dies aged 90
Ben Kepes (Stuff): False equivalency – the Holocaust, Palestine, and vaccination

Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Government mulls fix for rushed tax law that looks into who stays at the bach (paywalled)
Terry Baucher (Interest): How Covid-19 has changed the tax world, revisited
David Chaston (Interest): Central government taking sharply increased income taxes from individuals

Primary industries
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Minister Shaw agrees to meet Groundswell NZ leaders next year
Karen Coltman (Stuff): Beef cattle numbers increase in 2021
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Marlborough Sounds’ marine life improving after mussels project – researchers

Retirement, KiwiSaver
Susan St John (Interest): Time to rock the KiwiSaver boat
Katrina Shanks (Stuff): Retirement finances: The cold, hard facts
Rob Stock (Stuff): Retirement spending: How Kiwis are ‘drawing down’ their nest eggs

Richard Shaw (The Conversation): Learning to live with the ‘messy, complicated history’ of how Aotearoa New Zealand was colonised
RNZ: Contaminated sites in Northland, Manawatū cleaned up
Jake McKee (RNZ): Abuse in care inquiry ‘needs to hear from more’ Pasifika survivors – lead counsel
ODT Editorial: National violence strategy first step
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Iwi wants to protect and own their memories with archive partnership
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Reserve Bank: Change, what change? (paywalled)
Chris Fowlie (Daily Blog): Cannabis year in review: the referendum’s long shadow
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Covid baby boom: More people turn to fertility treatment in 2021 than ever before (paywalled)
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Claim for $260,000 backfires into bill of $11,000 for former National MP Aaron Gilmore
Rebecca Moore (1 News): Decline in dangerous synthetic drugs ahead of festivals



+ 48 = 49

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