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

Omicron – community case, MIQ
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Timing of the Omicron case in the community ‘difficult’
RNZ: Omicron case: Variant’s incubation period could be longer – Siouxsie Wiles
David Farrier (Webworm): Are DJs worse than Covid?
Blair Ensor and Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): DJ Dimension ‘devastated’ after testing positive for Omicron in NZ
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): UK DJ Dimension confirms he has Omicron, says he thought he’d completed self-isolation
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Omicron case accused of breaching self-isolation reportedly UK DJ Dimension
1 News: ‘Extremely sorry’ – Dimension confirms he is Omicron case
Craig Kapitan (Herald): Community case spurs call to bar entertainers from NZ
Herald: Omicron case visited Auckland nightclub Impala
Jonathan Guildford and Amber Allott (Stuff): Auckland nightclub added as locations of interest of Omicron border case
Herald: First community exposure of Omicron in NZ confirmed, reportedly DJ Dimension
1 News: Kiwi DJs Lee Mvtthews close contacts of Omicron case
Guardian: New Zealand reports first community exposure to Omicron
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Spike in Omicron cases overnight as genome sequencing results emerge

Delta outbreak
Nathan Morton and Sapeer Mayron (Stuff): Auckland prepares to move to Orange light at 11:59pm
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): Auckland, Taupō, Gisborne, Whakatāne among regions moving to ‘orange’ traffic light
1 News: All of NZ excluding Northland to move to Orange from 11.59pm
RNZ: Traffic light setting changes for some North Island regions from tonight
Kelly Makiha (Herald): Holiday closure of Rotorua vaccination and Māori response centres criticised (paywalled)
Neil Reid (Herald): Fears unvaxxed party hosts could spark New Year’s Eve spread
John Weekes (Herald): The next pandemic: Nature under threat, rogue scientist risk make more outbreaks near-certain
Conrad Johnston (Stuff): Don’t like wearing a mask? Try this for inconvenience
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): The heroes behind Auckland’s pandemic response
Mina Kerr-Lazenby (Stuff): 46 new community cases, 48 in hospital 
Stuff:  Two new Covid-19 cases in Gisborne, including primary-school-aged child
Michelle Duff (Stuff): How to spot misinformation

Vaccine mandate, pass, rules
RNZ: Christchurch restaurant The Lotus-Heart fined $20,000 for breaching Covid-19 rules
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Christchurch restaurant The Lotus-Heart penalised for multiple Covid-19 rule breaches
1 News: Christchurch restaurant fined $20,000 over Covid-19 breaches
Rob Stock and Amber Allott (Stuff): Christchurch restaurant Lotus-Heart handed $20,000 fine for traffic light system infringements
RNZ: Rhythm and Alps vaccine passes: ‘It’d be pretty hard to be fraudulent’- director
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Silver Fern Farms proposes Covid-19 vaccine mandate for staff

Economy, business, govt subsidies
Paul Conway (Stuff): Buckle up for the interesting economic times ahead
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): How high will interest rates go in 2022?
Guy Williams (ODT): Resort firms expect more struggles
Neil Reid (Herald): Auckland goes orange, while hospo venues’ credit remains in the red
Andrew Owen (Stuff): Pessimism rife among Taranaki business survey respondents
Toni McDonald (ODT): Events a lifeline for desperate township
Tim Hunter (NBR): Email reveals SkyCity’s high roller compliance failure (paywalled)

Parliament, 2021 in review
Luke Malpass (Stuff): What Simon Bridges is doing, reading, and watching for his break
Stuff:  What Gerry Brownlee is doing, reading, and watching for his break
Henry Cooke (Stuff): What Todd Muller is doing, reading, and watching for his break
Luke Malpass (Stuff): What Marama Davidson is doing, reading, and watching for her break
Lillie Rohan (Herald): Green Party Co-Leader Marama Davidson pens a letter to her 25-year-old self (paywalled)
Stuff: What Kelvin Davis is doing, reading, and watching for the break
Stuff: What Kiri Allan is doing, reading, and watching for the break
NBR: Out of Office Reply: Duncan Webb (paywalled)
Stuff:  What Brooke van Velden is doing, reading, and watching for her break
Chris Keall (Herald): Summer questions: Kimbal Riley rates the Govt’s Covid response 2020 vs 2021 (paywalled)

Environment, conservation, climate change
Laura Walters (Stuff): Young Kiwis are experiencing climate anxiety – are we listening?
Jake McKee (RNZ): Boat crash report highlights DoC ‘organisational deficiencies’
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Disturbing video shows fish gasping for oxygen in Lake Ngaroto amid mass die-off
Lucas Kengmana (Stuff): ‘Net zero’ investing: Having your climate cake and eating it too
John Innes (Stuff): Why New Zealand needs more big pest-fenced ecosanctuaries 

Health
David Williams (Newsroom): The tragedy and triumph of charity hospitals
Robert Beaglehole (Stuff):  Just how hard will it be to get to 95 per cent smokefree?
Joel Lexchin: Ban drug ads to promote health
Stuff:  ‘You’re Awesome’: Auckland pharmacist’s love of data helps improve patient care

Transport
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Can the transport sector keep up with NZ’s space race plans?
RNZ: Police warn drink drivers as Christmas-New Year road toll rises to eight

Foreign affairs and trade
ODT Editorial: Unforgettable: Desmond Tutu
Herald Editorial: New Zealand still walks a tightrope as US, China rivalry heats up (paywalled)
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Australia pulls ahead in pursuit of Indian trade deal (paywalled)

Three Waters, water quality
Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): QLDC voices disappointment about water reform mandate
Bill Foster (Kiwiblog): Guest Post: 3 Waters – 3 Lies!

Other
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): How long until we have 80,000 public servants?
Steve Stannard (Stuff): How herd mentality can stifle the contest of ideas
Karl du Fresne: Some notable gains and a disappointing own-goal for the Free Speech Union
Michael Daly (Stuff): Auckland is too big, needs to stop growing, and preferably shrink a bit
Sinead Gill (Stuff): Councils’ interest in social housing grows as demand increases
Kim Baker Wilson (1 News): Charities hope to be back collecting on streets after Covid hit
Tom Peters (World Socialists): Migrant workers face discriminatory policies in New Zealand
Sharnae Hope (Stuff): $100m solar farm pitch for north Waikato

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