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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

1News Kantar Public Poll
1 News: Poll: National rises, Ardern’s preferred PM result drops
1 News: Poll: Centre-right voters realign with new-look National Party
Maiki Sherman (1 News): Poll: ACT forced to step back as National voters head home
1 News: Full results: 1News Kantar Public Poll January 22-26, 2022
Henry Cooke (Stuff): New poll: National take support from ACT, Labour still ahead
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern’s numbers slump, Christopher Luxon up 13 points
Herald: Labour v National – Jacinda Ardern’s popularity slips as Chris Luxon gains ground
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): New TVNZ poll – Winners & Losers

National Party
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Luxon’s got issues – poll not one of them
RNZ: National MP Harete Hipango ‘regrets’ Wikipedia edit
Zane Small (Newshub): National leader Christopher Luxon publicly reprimands MP Harete Hipango over ‘silly and unwise actions’
Bridie Witton (Stuff): National MP Harete Hipango spoken to about ‘silly and unwise’ Wikipedia edits
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): National MP Harete Hipango regrets ‘unwise’ decision to edit Wikipedia page
1 News: ‘Silly and unwise’ – Luxon addresses Hipango Wikipedia saga

The Opportunities Party
Alex Braae (1 News): Former Christchurch City councillor Raf Manji new TOP leader
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Raf Manji, former Christchurch city councillor named as TOP’s new leader
RNZ: Former Christchurch councillor Raf Manji to lead TOP party
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Raf Manji takes over The Opportunities Party

Govt Omicron strategy, Covid 
Matthew Hooton (Herald):  Wheels come off Govt’s spin machine (paywalled)
Peter Dunne: Changing the process of government by stealth
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Trashing New Zealand’s pandemic response
Nick Mowbray (Herald):  NZ deserves better than this Govt’s mediocrity (paywalled)
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): What can New Zealand learn from Queensland’s omicron surge?
Herald: New Zealand has become a ‘hermit kingdom’, David Seymour writes in Daily Mail column
Tess McClure (Guardian): The new normal: New Zealand braces for shift from Covid zero to Covid acceptance
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Māori left in the dark on Omicron strategy
Felix Desmarais (Local Democracy Reporting): Rotorua community ‘scratching heads’ over three-phase approach
John Bishop (Stuff): How to keep calm and carry on in a red traffic light setting 

Testing, Contact Tracing
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Government planned to have COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for sale weeks ago
RNZ: Rapid antigen tests: Business ‘has part to play’
Maja Burry (RNZ): Horticulture, meat processors push for private RAT orders to protect supply chains
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Tracking Delta cases could become a ‘needle in a haystack’

Herald: Education officials warn mask exemptions being ‘abused’ by parents
RNZ: Covid-19 face masks: What you need to know
ODT Editorial: The great New Zealand cover-up

Health system braces
RNZ: Health Minister confident country prepared for Omicron while National ridicules ICU capacity claims
Nathan Morton (Stuff): Independent ambulance providers tell St John ‘use us’ to aid staff shortages
Sahiban Hyde (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Hawke’s Bay DHB welcomes 40 graduate nurses, but is it enough to cope in a Covid outbreak? (paywalled)

Modelling, cases, locations of interest
Thomas Lumley (StatsChat): How many omicrons?
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Modelling shows 65,000 Omicron cases could hit Wellington over 3 months
Te Aorewa Rolleston (Stuff): Superspreader or multi? What to expect from the Soundsplash Covid-19 cases
Ella Stewart (RNZ): Fears SoundSplash festival could be ‘big superspreader event’
Nikki Preston (Herald): Waikato music festival Soundsplash could be a ‘very big super-spreader event’, number of attendees test positive
John Weekes (Herald): New strain surpasses Delta in daily cases; Auckland Grammar acts over Soundsplash cases, contacts
RNZ: Thousands of music fans put on alert after Omicron confirmed in Soundsplash festival attendee
Herald: Soundsplash festival in Waikato likely a ‘superspreader’ event
Rachel Moore (Stuff): Five Covid-19 cases went to Soundsplash festival, one has Omicron variant
RNZ: Nelson-Tasman Omicron outbreak spread across three households
1 News: Tauranga KFC linked to probable Omicron case
SunLive (Stuff): Seventy-four close contacts from Tauranga childcare centre, safety ‘paramount’, centre says
Jonathan Guildford, Steven Walton and Amber Allott (Stuff): Christchurch community Covid-19 cases arrived from Auckland and Wellington, airport confirms
Amber Allott, Steven Walton and Wei Shao (Stuff): Christchurch braced for arrival of Omicron amid fresh Covid-19 cases
1 News: Queenstown airport, hotel linked to suspected Omicron case
Mike Houlahan, Guy Williams and Cass Marrett (ODT): Locations of interest in resort
RNZ: Covid-19 update: 45 new community cases, 34 Omicron cases added to total

Vaccination, Vaccine Pass
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Internal investigation launched at Auckland’s Manurewa Marae over allegations of ‘false vaccinations’
Amelia Wade (Newshub): The arguments for reducing the COVID-19 booster shot down to three months
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Health analyst pleads for cut in Covid-19 booster waiting time to protect Māori
Adam Pearse (Herald): Whānau Ora considering court or Waitangi Tribunal action over child vaccination data
Mildred Armah (Stuff): Vax rates for mental health, addiction service users lagging behind
RNZ: Consequences hit nurse who threatened medical professionals over vaccine
Belinda Feek (Herald): Unvaxxed CAA staff fail in appeal to get jobs back
RNZ: West Coast’s first vaccine clinic for tamariki Māori sees over 50 get first dose
Kate Nicol-Williams (1 News): NZ takes on mRNA market with arrival of million dollar machine
Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): New Zealand one step closer to producing own mRNA vaccine
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Auckland resident receives multiple vaccine boosters in one day
Māori TV: Parents opposing vaccine rollout for tamariki claim it will lead to ‘bullying, exclusion’
Stuff: Court asked to consider effect on unvaxxed children, like bullying and exclusion
Hazel Osborne (Herald): Parents opposing vaccine rollout for kids claim it’ll lead to ‘bullying, exclusion’
Jane Matthews (Stuff): Massive five-day vaccination clinic coming to Taranaki district with no dedicated jab hub 
Karla Karaitiana (Stuff): Te reo vaccine clinic promotes access for tamariki and whānau
Karina Cooper (Herald): ‘Small number’ of unvaccinated Northland police stood down (paywalled)
Herald: Health officials ‘aware’ of person getting multiple booster shots

Economy, Business, Employment
Richard Harman (Politik): Inflation rate could deflate the government (paywalled)
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Will Reserve Bank raise interest rates even if house prices are falling? (paywalled)
1 News: Pressure on Govt to ease the pain of rising inflation
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour to come under pressure as prices rise
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Rising cost of living leaves lower paid workers on shaky ground
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Inflation hits 30-year high of 5.9 per cent
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Inflation shoots up to 5.9%
Brian Fallow (Herald): Inflation’s 5.9% rise — ugly however you do the numbers (paywalled)
1 News: Inflation hits 5.9%, biggest movement since 1990
Henry Cooke (Stuff): National blames ‘dumb’ Government spending for rising prices, Government blames globe
Zane Small (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ‘absolutely refutes’ that high spending led to record inflation
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): ‘Diabolical’ prices, inflation leaves working professionals out of pocket
Heather du Plessis-Allen (Newstalk ZB): We haven’t seen inflation numbers this big since Geoffrey Palmer
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Waste Management told isolated Omicron contact to return to work
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): No ‘bumper summer’ for thousands of devastated workers after Covid trashes events
Liu Chen (RNZ): Travel and accommodation cancellations trickle in after move to red traffic light setting
Lorna Thornber (Stuff): Air New Zealand’s new credit rules trip up flyers set to attend cancelled events
RNZ: Karen Silk appointed as Reserve Bank assistant governor
Herald Editorial: Record dairy payout a welcome relief amid Covid’s trying times
Will Trafford (Māori TV): ‘Disgusting!’ Government leaked info of businesses opposing supermarket duopoly
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Foodstuffs rejects claims it dropped supplier over Commerce Commission submission

Border, MIQ
Josh Martin (Stuff): Can New Zealand learn anything from the UK’s reopening of travel?
Sophie Trigger (Herald): No early MIQ release for family who have stayed 22 days, returned seven negative tests
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Active cases at border hit record highs of more than 700
Hanna McCallum (Stuff): Man arrested moments after release from managed isolation facility in Christchurch

Protests, Rule breaches
Jessica Roden (1 News): Over $150K in fines dished out to businesses breaking Covid rules
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Six businesses fined $164,000 by Worksafe for breaking Covid-19 rules
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Lone Star New Lynn owners say they’re being shut down after refusing to follow Government COVID-19 rules
Stuff:  New Plymouth MMA Studio warned by WorkSafe for operating without vaccine pass
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): Mayor ‘disappointed, frustrated’ at second fake vaccine incident in district

Cancellations, restrictions
RNZ: Whaka 100: Disappointment for riders as Covid-19 fears derail event
Northern Advocate: Virtual Waitangi Day to air on TV3, iwi radio as live commemorations cancelled
Bill Hickman and Nicholas Boyack (Stuff): Loss of international cricket matches a ‘double blow’ for Wellington
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Wellington’s Round the Bays cancelled for the first time in 22 years

Local government
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Efeso? Yeah, Yeah!
Justin Latif (Local Democracy Reporting): Who wants to be Auckland’s mayor?
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Council staff could get $57m pay rise, taking wage bill to a whopping $1 billion
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Watchdog would constrain water infrastructure, Government warned
Gianina Schwanecke (Stuff): ‘Unfortunate situation’: $3 million revenue shortfall after Wellington water meter users undercharged
Maia Hart (Local Democracy Reporting): Picton’s water supply runs short
Maia Hart (Local Democracy Reporting): No vaccine mandate for Marlborough District Council staff as Omicron threat looms
RNZ: Key services priority as council warns of some closures
Fiona Ellis (Star News): 0/23 briefings attended: Councillor cops more criticism for no-show approach
Steven Walton (Stuff): Out with the ‘tongue twister’? Christchurch’s $533m stadium to get new name
Tina Law (Stuff): Christchurch’s new $533m stadium design ‘lacks green credentials’
Grant Miller (ODT): 6.5% rates rise put into draft budgets
Matthew Ronsenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Gisborne District Council’s commercial arm sells vehicle testing investment

Jake McKee (RNZ): Aspiring homeowners consider cutting essential costs to secure lending for mortgage
Katie Townshend (Stuff): Nelson land values jump 73 per cent in new rating valuations
Miriam Bell (Stuff): $1 million plus house sales surge up 70 per cent
Geraden Cann (Herald): Buyers complain to Commerce Commission after losing first homes to sunset clause
Ashley Church (OneRoof):  Have CCCFA home loan rules killed first home buyer hopes?
Te Aorewa Rolleston (Stuff): Omicron adds to woes of those helping the homeless

Jane Nixon (1 News): PM emphatic kids should return to school for overall ‘wellbeing’
Katy Jones (Stuff): Schools plan for mass absences under Omicron
RNZ: Otago University back to planning Covid-19 response after Omicron outbreak
Kirsty Wynn (Herald): Ministry of Education working to update toolkits for principals
Marine Lourens (Stuff): Pricey and impractical: Girls on the losing end of school uniform equation
Wyatt Ryder (ODT): Call to rethink school uniform design

Tom Kitchin (RNZ): NZTA pressing ahead with SH5 speed limit change despite local opposition
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Government to announce its Auckland Light Rail decision at 9am on Friday
Bernard Orsman (Herald): National’s new transport spokesman Simeon Brown on scrapping Auckland light rail and building two new city highways (paywalled)
Joel MacManus (Stuff): E-bike sales up sharply over five years, and so are the injuries

Andrea Vance (Stuff): Officials to consider closure of seamounts as part of bottom trawling review
Robin Martin (RNZ): Expert calls for ‘targeted risk assessment’ of New Plymouth agri-chemicals plant
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): The taonga on fire: 40 days at Kaimaumau
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Māori win coastal title, but a river runs through it
Matthew Martin (Stuff): Wallaby sighting cause for concern

Sophie Harris (Stuff): Dementia care beds already at capacity as patient numbers due to double by 2050
Emma Russell (Herald): Healthcare failures: Mum going blind delays getting help due to lack of petrol money, car and childcare
Michael Neilson (Herald): Māori Health Authority would fix inequity of Covid response, submitters say
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Counties Manukau DHB seeks to boost cancer screening after Covid-19 causes drop-off
Sunny Kausha (Herald):  What’s going on behind the bike sheds – vaping or smoking? (paywalled)

Foreign affairs
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): Turning a blind eye to the greatest threats to global
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Russia may invade Ukraine. What’s at stake for New Zealand? 
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Russian Ambassador denies Ukraine invasion is planned, blames tensions on US-NATO ‘threats’
Nicholas Khoo (Stuff): European powers are back in NZ’s strategic calculations 

Greg Ninness (Interest): Up to 165,000 migrant workers could be granted NZ residency under a scheme set up by the Government in September last year
RNZ: Australian vessel with Covid-19 cases arrives in Tonga waters

David Williams (Newsroom): Stats NZ braces for $250m census
Max Rashbrooke (Stuff): I want Māori to enjoy what I have, life in a society that makes sense to them
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Something In The Water
Ben Strang (Stuff): Police, NZTA are failing to deliver on ‘Road to Zero’ – review
Will Trafford (Māori tV): Police won’t release unlawful photographing of rangatahi report, yet
Katie Harris (Herald): Young lawyers and students ‘disappointed’ and ‘ashamed’ of penalty in Russell McVeagh case
Russell Brown (Public Address): New Drug Harm Index, new problems
Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes (Spinoff): The enduring legacy of the tino rangatiratanga flag
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): ‘Dawn raids were racist’ – Sir Kim Workman quit senior police role to protest
Anna Murray (Stuff): AM v Breakfast: The war of early morning TV is heating up
Natalie Akoorie (Herald): Kyle Harris takes fight to correct baby Paige’s birth certificate to Parliament
Don Brash (Bassett, Brash and Hide): Why is the Māori Language being thrust down the throats of people with no interest in learning it?
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): ‘By Māori, for Māori’ child protection model needed to improve outcomes, says expert



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