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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

Covid, MIQ, border
RNZ: Government postpones next MIQ lottery due to spike of Omicron cases at border
Herald: Upcoming MIQ room release postponed due to Omicron cases at border
Kate Green (Stuff): Next MIQ lobby postponed as Omicron arrivals surge 
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): A cowardly way to close the border
Jamie Morton (Herald): Has NZ dodged another Omicron bullet?
Keith Lynch (Stuff): Inside an Omicron wave – understanding the rise and fall
Matthew Hooton (Patreon): Yes, they really have all been asleep (paywalled)
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Cabinet ministers to assess Covid-19 traffic light settings, border reopening and testing
Herald: More restrictions likely as New Zealand gets ready to respond to Omicron outbreak
Caroline Williams (Stuff): Dr Ashley Bloomfield says Omicron could prompt changes to traffic light system
Katie Todd (RNZ): More Omicron in Auckland possible after MIQ worker’s contact tests positive
Herald: Omicron MIQ worker’s household contact tests positive
RNZ: Covid-19 update on 18 January: 14 new community cases today, 30 at the border
Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Spinoff): As the threat of omicron looms, we need to upgrade our mask game
Northern Advocate: Possible changes to Northland’s red alert status to be announced on Thursday
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Man in MIQ not isolated from Covid-positive partner, faces 30-day stay

Parliament, parties
Claire Trevett (Herald): Covid 19, Omicron and the five things PM Jacinda Ardern has to deal with in 2022 (paywalled)
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Voting fix in sight for Covid-hit Kiwi expats
Newstalk ZB: James Shaw: Agreement with Labour gives Greens a strong voice
Michael Neilson (Herald): Act Party MP Mark Cameron on family, farming, depression and why he admires Climate Change Minister James Shaw (paywalled)
James Pocock (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): ‘Watch this space’: Christopher Luxon’s National devising a plan to turn Hawke’s Bay blue (paywalled)

Vaccine rollout, mandate, testing
Richard Prebble (Herald):  What Clarke Gayford got right over Covid test call (paywalled)
Zane Small (Newshub): New Zealand police expand COVID-19 vaccine mandate to volunteers, suppliers and visitors
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Iwi-led Covid-19 saliva testing clinic fronts new Whanganui community approach

Anti-vaccination, protests, rule breaches
Herald: Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki appeals remand decision after alleged bail breach
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Brian Tamaki appeals prison stay for alleged bail breach
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Brian Tamaki in custody: What he can expect as an inmate during the Delta outbreak
Caitlan Johnston (Herald): ‘He sees himself as a martyr’, religious historian’s take on Brian Tamaki following arrest
Steve Braunias (Herald):  The Secret Diary of … Brian Tamaki’s first night in jail (paywalled)
Editorial (Herald):  The trials of ‘Apostle’ Brian Tamaki (paywalled)
1 News: Rumours of kids collapsing at vaccine clinic ‘incorrect’
William Hewett (Newshub): Ministry of Health denies viral claim children collapsed at North Shore vaccination centre
Herald: Auckland children did not collapse after vaccine – health officials quash social media lies
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): ‘Terrifying’ Voices for Freedom protesters descend on vaccine centre – but healthcare workers inside ease children’s fears
Adam Pearse (Herald): Labour Party Auckland MP Shanan Halbert harassed getting vaccination
Damien Venuto (Herald): The sad spiral of Liz Gunn down the conspiracy rabbit hole (paywalled)
Julie Spray (Spinoff): How Covid vaccines upend our assumptions about protecting kids
Jake Kenny (Stuff): Christchurch restaurant Lotus-Heart still not following Covid guidelines after $20,000 fine
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Unvaccinated MIQ escapee no show in court due to cold and flu symptoms

Economy, Business, Employment
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Business confidence falls sharply, inflation worries rise
Jamie Gray (Herald): NZIER survey points to increasing NZ inflation pressure
Greg Smith (Stuff): A familiar tune: The NZ economy is in great shape, but how long will it last?
Tony Alexander (OneRoof):  Inflation and CCCFA’s two-pronged attack on Kiwi budgets
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Labour shortages strangle business confidence: NZIER (paywalled)
Kirsty Frame (RNZ): Supermarkets stockpile and industries crisis plan ahead of Omicron community outbreak
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): NZ firms with lean workforces will struggle if Omicron hits
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Who pays for Covid-19 work absences?
RNZ: Fears Northland businesses will close without targeted financial support
John Anthony (Stuff): Former Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens moves to permanent Treasury role
BusinessDesk: Westpac economist confirmed deputy secretary of Treasury (paywalled)
Herald: Westpac’s Dominick Stephens appointed Treasury’s chief economic advisor
RNZ: Westpac issues warning over sophisticated scam
Nathan Morton (Stuff): Young people flocking to trade jobs post-lockdown, amidst huge industry push
Andrea Fox (Herald): Regulators will show more muscle this year, directors warned (paywalled)
Esther Taunton (Stuff):Auckland eateries Mink Cafe, Misters and Elijah Blue go into liquidation
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Global dairy prices hit 8-year high as supply tightens; farmer milk payments may push higher
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Big businesses blast Electricity Authority over market ‘dysfunction’
Alan McDonald (Stuff): Why Fair Pay Agreements are anything but fair

Riley Kennedy (ODT): Mum ‘shocked’ by 90-day maternity leave mortgage condition
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Consumer lending probe should ask regulators whether they ignored warnings from banks (paywalled)
Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Would-be homeowners face banks pulling pre-approvals
Geraden Cann (Stuff): Non-bank mortgage lender says it won’t ‘nitpick’ over how many coffees you have
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Mortgage approvals in South contract
Zane Small (Newshub): The three reasons New Zealand’s housing market is ‘starting to shift
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Housing market appears to be hitting pause after rapid growth
Greg Ninness (Interest): The housing market was considerably slower in December compared to a year earlier
Logan Savory (Stuff): The big shift: Search for an affordable housing market
Anne Gibson (Herald): REINZ data: House prices and volumes fall, chief concerned about law change
Liu Chen (RNZ): Record housing consents but some houses ‘just won’t get built
Lee Kenny (Stuff): ‘It’s not a shed’, say landlords after one-bedroom property provokes ire online
Andrea Fox (Herald): Housing needy to benefit from sale of Taupō motorsport park (paywalled)

Advertising targeting children
John Lewis (ODT): Children see 554 brands in single day
Alexa Cook (Newshub): New Zealand study finds children exposed to a brand every minute
Hanna McCallum (Stuff): ‘Harmful advertising’ heavily outweighs children’s exposure to branding, study finds

Tonga volcanic eruption, tsunami
Gordon Campbell (Werewolf): On sending an Orion P-3 to Tonga
Zane Small (Newshub): Navy’s three-day journey to aid ash-blanketed Tonga: Inside New Zealand’s emergency response to tsunami
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Two Navy ships heading to Tonga as communication issues hamper response effort 
ODT Editorial: Looking after the neighbours
Sela Jane Hopgood (Spinoff): Here’s how we can help Tonga
Henry Cooke (Stuff): The island can rebuild but needs NZ’s help, MPs say
Simon Shepherd (Newshub): Tonga volcano eruption: New Zealanders organise essential relief supplies for tsunami-hit Tongans
RNZ: Call for donations as relief committee prepares to send care packages to families in Tonga
Liu Chen (RNZ): Tonga eruption and tsunami: New Zealand families still waiting to hear from loved ones
Christine Rovoi (RNZ): Stranded Tongans better off in NZ, says RSE scheme official
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Volcanic changes at Whakaari/White Island ‘not linked’ to Tongan eruption

Environment, conservation
Gordon Campbell (Werewolf): On the global war against plastics
Kevin Trenberth (Herald):  Accumulated heat in upper ocean at record levels again (paywalled)
Chlöe Swarbrick (Herald):  Auckland’s next mayor must target climate action and housing for all
Vita Molyneux (Herald): Wellington wins $1million in global competition to tackle climate change with technology
Todd Niall (Stuff): Most Aucklanders not planning to drive less, despite climate fears – survey
Rob Stock (Stuff): Damage from extreme weather cost insurers $321.6 million last year
Samantha Gee (RNZ): Pāua fishing in Kaikōura: Public urged to gather ‘for a feed, not the freezer
Catherine Groenestein (Stuff): Taranaki hapū places rāhui to protect pāua on 12km stretch of coast
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Waiheke marina: Protectors hīkoi to High Court for injunction hearing
Lucy Warhurst (Newshub): Survey of kauri trees in Waitākere Ranges will reveal for the first time the prevalence of dieback disease
Amber Allott (Stuff): Jet ski dolphin tours plan for Canterbury harbour prompts environmental concerns

1 News: Pasifika make up half of Auckland’s 2021 sudden infant deaths
Mike Houlahan (ODT): SDHB apologises after cancer diagnosis missed
William Hewett (Newshub): Southern DHB missed cancer diagnosis despite patient turning up to emergency department seven times in six weeks
William Hewett (Newshub): Gastroenteritis outbreak at Dunedin Hospital closes two wards, 21 people infected
RNZ: Gastro outbreak shuts two wards in Dunedin Hospital
Isaac Davison (Herald): Euthanasia is now legal in New Zealand – how many patients are choosing an assisted death?

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Bar owner, lawyer and airport chairman eyeing Wellington City Council
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Fleur Fitzsimons bows out of local politics, mulls run for Parliament
Georgina Campbell (Herald): A Capital Letter: A trip to Auckland exposes Wellington’s tired streets (paywalled)
Steven Walton (Stuff): Councils decline rates discount for unvaccinated residents who can’t use facilities
Grant Miller (ODT): Plan to divest rolling stock
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Iconic venue Sammy’s remains closed five years after being bought by council 

William Hewett (Newshub): Auckland bus users urge Auckland Transport to return to normal schedule after complaints of full buses
Lawrence Watt (Listener/Herald): Hydrogen hype: A green-energy solution of just hot air? (paywalled)
Damien Venuto (Herald): Petrol prices could hit $3 per litre in 2022 – AA (paywalled)
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): How do NZ’s current high petrol prices compare with historical highs?
Kate MacNamara (Herald): The $85m spend to revive KiwiRail workshops that officials recommended against (paywalled)

Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Border clamps a double-edged sword for schools
Dubby Henry (Herald): NCEA results out tomorrow but how will different regions compare?

Herald: Tova O’Brien taking Newshub to court in employment stoush over new MediaWorks role
Edward Gay (Stuff): Mediaworks’ radio show launch hinges on outcome of Tova O’Brien’s employment case
Kelly Makiha (Herald): Farmers incident: Teen’s whānau heading to Human Rights Commission mediation
Juha Saarinen (Herald):  At last, reasons for the ransomware bandits to be fearful (paywalled)
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Cockroaches and sparking power points: One woman’s decade-long fight with EQC
RNZ: Last year’s December drowning rate worst since 1996 – report
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Whanganui River tribes draw global focus to indigenous knowledge
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Concern raised over new Oranga Tamariki legislation: ‘I don’t trust the government to deliver’



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