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

Clarke Gayford testing controversy 
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Clarke Gayford needs to clean up bad look (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): ‘Deeply inappropriate’: Clarke Gayford sorry for ‘confusion’ after claim he tried to get mate rapid Covid test
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Chris Bishop hits out at Clarke Gayford’s ‘deeply inappropriate’ alleged bid to get rapid antigen tests for musician mates
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Need a hand – just call Clarke

Covid, MIQ, border
Jamie Morton (Herald): NZ ‘pushing its luck’ with record border cases
RNZ: New Zealand must prepare for Omicron’s arrival in community – researcher
Mark Quinlivan and Alexa Cook (Newshub): New Zealand ‘could eliminate Delta’ again, giving us advantage over Omicron – Michael Baker
Jean Edwards (RNZ): Delaying school reopening could cause more harm than Covid-19 – paediatricians
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Stay-home orders, school closures possible if Omicron spreads
Adam Pearse (Herald): Analysis – Isolation variation sends the wrong message
Farah Hancock (RNZ): Covid-19 data visualisations: NZ in numbers
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): This is why MIQ should not be a lottery
1 News: 65 new cases at NZ’s border, most expected to be Omicron
RNZ: 28 new community cases, 65 in MIQ, two further deaths
Tom Hunt and Sophie Cornish (Stuff): English teacher one of more than a hundred Kiwis in Vietnam given only days to leave the country
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): SDHB considers population risk management for Omicron 
RNZ: Northern Bass music festival in Northland cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns
1 News: Northern Bass music festival canned over Covid concerns
Brett O’Riley (Stuff): What does re-engaging with the world mean for immigration?
Dr Galia Barhava-Monteith (Herald):  Israel – speed and agility, media and communication, looking after ex-pat citizens (paywalled)

Vaccine rollout, mandate, testing
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Study shows kids can get seriously ill, should be vaccinated – researcher
Hannah Martin and Kate Newton (Stuff): Close to one million eligible people have not got their booster yet, as Omicron looms
Todd Niall (Stuff): Covid-19 vaccination deadline looms for hundreds of Auckland Council workers
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Vaccine passes and photo ID required at scaled-back Rātana event
John Anthony (Stuff): Importer says it has 3.5 million rapid antigen tests but can’t get approval from Ministry of Health
Janine Rankin (Stuff): MidCentral Health campaign to control Covid-19 intensifies

Anti-vaxxers, protests, rule breaches
Stuff:  Police probe letters sent to homes threatening to ‘eradicate’ PM Jacinda Ardern
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Christchurch locals fed up with Brian Tamaki protests: ‘It’s been really disruptive’
Molly Swift (Newshub): Anti-vaxx doctor Jonie Girouard’s chocolate business faces investigation by MPI over sugar substitute
Herald: Food Safety NZ to probe fake vax exemption doctor’s chocolate business over prohibited sugar substitute
RNZ: De-registered doctor questioned over her chocolate business
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Disenchanted
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Wellington City Council has no plans to charge or fine Freedoms & Rights Coalition over protests

RNZ: National average house price went up nearly 30% in 2021
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Christchurch takes out ‘unwanted’ 2021 property title
Steven Walton (Stuff): Growth in Canterbury house values ‘will eventually slow and perhaps flatten’
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Fears for impact of new rules
Toby Allen (Interest): Rental price increases in the pipeline
Bill Hickman (Stuff): Stabbing ‘the last straw’ for resident who fled Wellington social housing
Anne Gibson (Herald): How much are landlords borrowing to buy investment properties? (paywalled)
Colleen Hawkes (Stuff): Changing face of Auckland’s suburbs: Fast and furious housing growth
Joel MacManus (Stuff): No apartment owners applied for Government $23 million earthquake-prone building scheme

Daniel Smith (Stuff): Wages rises are setting new records as employers compete for workers
Toby Allen (Interest): Monthly jobs growth accelerated in November, continuing the surprising resilience of the previous 10 months
RNZ: ILO reviews seasonal schemes in NZ and Australia
Herald: Construction jobs swelled by 8.6pc in November – Stats NZ

Economy & Business
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): The omicron tsunami: are our businesses ready? (paywalled)
Herald Editorial: Are our inflation fears over-inflated? (paywalled)
Herald: Will 2degrees-Orcon merger pass Commerce Commission test? (paywalled)
Morgan Godfery (Stuff): Ardern promised no capital gains tax. She should break that promise
RNZ: Ice cream could become big export earner for New Zealand, report suggests
Shannon Redstall (Newshub): New report suggests ice cream could become New Zealand’s next big export success
Peter Griffin (BusinessDesk): Our biggest economic risk – ineffective cybersecurity (paywalled)
Denise Piper (Stuff): Busy summer for Northland at red light, but businesses hope for orange
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Small-scale fishermen snagged in Government’s tightening quota regulations (paywalled)
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Retailer who ditched Paywave to stay afloat flooded with support from customers and business owners

Environment, conservation
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Climate change: ‘One in 50-year event is now one in 10-year event’, says scientist
Jill Whitmore (Herald):  We need to talk about climate refugees and be agents of change (paywalled)
Devon Bolger (Herald): Māui Dolphin population estimate 14 per cent lower than five years ago
Blair Jackson (Stuff): Stunning dolphin drone footage in Southland could help conservation artificial intelligence
No Right Turn: Undermining the offshore exploration ban
Bill Hickman (Stuff): Drilling rig destined for Māui fields offloaded in Marlborough Sounds
Cate Macinnis-Ng (The Conversation): New Zealand summers are getting hotter – and humans aren’t the only ones feeling the effects
Matai O’Connor (RNZ): Iwi-led conservation group begin Raukūmara Range regeneration project
Frances Chin (Stuff): Nests abandoned after quad bikers rip up protected beach
Caley Callahan (Newshub): Two faint bird calls in Kahurangi National Park may have revealed location of elusive South Island kōkako
Herald: Food waste going straight to landfill as households dump recycling habit

David Williams (Newshub): Ex-Canterbury DHB boss breaks silence
Cate Broughton (Stuff): ‘Extraordinarily distressing’: Cancer patients forced to wait months for treatment
ODT Editorial: No easy fix for midwifery situation
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Māori stroke sufferers more likely to die after 12 months, study finds 

Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Locals launch parliamentary petition to stop speed limit lowering on Napier-Taupō highway
Tara Shaskey (Stuff): Nearly $900k spent fighting Mt Messenger Bypass opponents

Local government
Stuff Editorial: Council seats aren’t passenger seats
Stuff:  From cop to council: Former Rotorua area commander takes deputy chief executive role
Catherine Groenestein (Stuff): Lake resource consent delays leave bad smell for Opunake residents 
Matthew Tso (Stuff): Residents’ representative wants more detail from Lower Hutt council on heritage policy

Virginia Fallon (Stuff): The paddock of horror near my home is an example of our lax animal laws
Leighton Heikell (Newshub): 5000-hectare historic station on East Coast could soon be foreign-owned carbon farm
Matthew Hooton (Patreon): Boris, Marja, Brezhnev, Ruth and me (paywalled)
Katie Doyle (RNZ): Drop in amount of contraband found in New Zealand prisons
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Here’s why your food labels might look different next month
1 News: Calls for lifeguards at Kiwi rivers after spate of fatal drownings
Jamie Morton (Herald): Subduction secrets: What triggers ‘megathrust’ earthquakes?
Simon Henderson (ODT): Ministry for Disabled People appointment irks disabled community
Nile Bijoux (Stuff): Despite the pandemic, New Zealand saw a drop in car thefts over 2020



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