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

Benedict Collins (1 News): Three quarters of Kiwis want house prices to fall
Esther Taunton (Stuff): National average asking price for NZ homes now over $1 million
RNZ: Average asking price for New Zealand houses tops $1m
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Omicron outbreak: Government takes different path over housing for homeless
Gordon Campbell (Werewolf): On the crisis in renting
Georgina Campbell (Herald):  Wellington’s ‘insulting’ rental market even worse this year (paywalled)
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Wellington sleep-out for $220 a week illustrates ‘dire’ rental situation
1 News: Tenant ‘stoked’ with $220pw sleep-out after 55 applications
Aaron Dahmen (Herald): Inside New Zealand’s ‘cooked’ rental market (paywalled)
Sandra Conchie (Herald): Tauranga rental market in ‘crisis’, with listings of properties down by almost 30 per cent (paywalled)
andra Conchie (Herald): Rotorua rental housing market ‘in crisis’, supply drops 15 per cent (paywalled)
Georgia O’Connor-Harding (Herald): Canterbury rental housing supply drops while demand skyrockets
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): David Clark hints banks not following the rules
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Revealed: What the investigation into lending rules will examine
1 News: Details of review into tough new lending rules revealed
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): MBIE review of new lending rules to report back by April; Clark sceptical of banks’ compliance with old rules
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Quick turnaround for consumer lending review (paywalled)
Kelvin Davidson (OneRoof): Why inflation and job numbers are a bigger threat to house prices than Omicron

Charlotte Bellis, MIQ, border
Matthew Hooton (Patreon): What’s making the Jacindamaniacs so horrible? (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Why the Bell(is) should be tolled for MIQ
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): I’m embarrassed by the Charlotte Bellis situation
Muzhgan Samarqandi (Newshub): Afghanistani mother responds to pregnant Kiwi journalist’s plea – Open letter
Adam Hollingsworth (Newshub): Kiwi journalist Charlotte Bellis rejects MBIE’s offer to reapply under different emergency MIQ category
Seni Iasona (Newshub): Lawyer of stranded pregnant Kiwi journalist hits back at head of MIQ
Zane Small (Newshub): Response Minister Chris Hipkins defends MIQ amid backlash over pregnant journo Charlotte Bellis’ refused entry to New Zealand
Anna Whyte (1 News): Hipkins responds to plight of Kiwi journalist in Afghanistan
Michael Neilson (Herald): Pregnant Kiwi Charlotte Bellis hits back as Minister Chris Hipkins defends Govt’s MIQ stance
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Charlotte Bellis: ‘Covid-19 Minister’s statement on MIQ incredibly disrespectful’
RNZ: Pregnant NZ journalist Charlotte Bellis asked to reapply for MIQ under different category
Sophie Cornish (Herald): Journalist Charlotte Bellis asked to apply for emergency MIQ under new category
Herald: Pregnant Kiwi journalist Charlotte Bellis hopes to ‘move the dial’ on MIQ
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): MBIE considered new pregnancy emergency MIQ allocation criteria, decided against making changes
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): MIQ for pregnancy: Growing calls to prioritise rooms for expectant mums
Chelsea Daniels (Newstalk ZB): MIQ system being called greatest abuse of women’s reproductive rights
The Standard: Women’s human rights and the vulnerability of pregnant women
Seni Iasona (Newshub): ACT leader David Seymour calls for MIQ to be dumped now as pregnant Kiwi journalist seeks refuge from Taliban
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): National accuses Chris Hipkins of ‘doing nothing’ for months over allocating emergency MIQ rooms to pregnant Kiwis overseas
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand defends strict Covid quarantine after pregnant journalist ‘had to turn to Taliban’ for help
Will Trafford (Maori TV): League star joins chorus of Kiwis wanting open borders
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Grieving Kiwi granted last-minute MIQ spot to bury mother in Ireland

National Party, parliament, polling
Richard Harman (Politik): Luxon snubs his party board (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Christopher Luxon channels David Cameron – ‘we do need to change to win’ (paywalled)
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Chris Luxon and National turn to British Tories in hunt for electability
Zane Small (Newshub): ‘We cannot be an old, crusty National Party’ – Christopher Luxon
Jo. Moir (Newsroom): Christopher Luxon: ‘It will make people uncomfortable’
Jo. Moir (Newsroom): Luxon’s grand plan to fix the National Party
Stuff Editorial: National leader Christopher Luxon knows the ‘what’, needs to work on the ‘how’
Zane Small (Newshub): National’s leadership make ‘expectations clear’ of MPs to ‘earn back’ public’s trust in 2022
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Judith Collins breaks silence, saying she is ‘pretty much the ultimate team player’
RNZ: Checkpoint: National Party ‘back’, Luxon tells caucus retreat
RNZ: National Party caucus retreat: MPs staying on message
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): National caucus retreat: Christopher Luxon speaks in Queenstown after win in approval poll
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Christopher Luxon makes his leadership address at National Party caucus retreat
1 News: National Party to have a new focus on poverty – Luxon
Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): Luxon says phone’s on the hook
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): National leader Christopher Luxon begins campaign to become Prime Minister as caucus retreat kicks off
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): It’s the virus that will be the Government’s undoing
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): New Roy Morgan Poll: National + ACT hit 50%
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Jacinda supposed leadership plunge & social media political proxification
Herald Editorial: Jacinda Ardern navigates a rough personal and political patch (paywalled)

Economy, Business, Employment
RNZ: Border delays and a crash in house prices are the main risks facing the NZ economy – OECD report
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): NZ Super age must rise from 65 in wake of Covid debt, OECD warns
RNZ: Survey sheds doubts on NZ companies’ actions on ethics
TVNZ: Seven Sharp: Supply chain issues expected until late 2022 – expert
RNZ: Retailers warn of price hikes amid ‘massive pressures’ on costs
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Wage pressures building as unemployment is tipped to fall towards 3 per cent
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): NZ headed for a nasty cycle of higher wages and higher costs: Economists
Nona Pelletier (RNZ): NZ dollar’s fall good for exporters, but will spike costs
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV): Māori feeling the burden of high food prices
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Labour’s new 39 per cent top tax rate nets 44,000 extra taxpayers (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): High earners pay tax early to escape new 39% rate (paywalled)
Terry Baucher (Interest): What’s ahead in the world of tax this year
Sam Olley (RNZ): Subdued long weekend for many Northland businesses
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Omicron red light brings drop in custom for Christchurch cafes and retail
Joey Dwyer (Newstalk ZB/Herald): Workers across country being strongly discouraged to travel between regions
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Aucklanders to get 50,000 activity vouchers aimed at revitalising tourism sector
Liz McDonald and Vicki Anderson (Stuff): Christchurch’s tally of cancelled summer events and lost dollars mounting
Vicki Anderson (Stuff): Electric Avenue cancellation ‘devastating’, says organiser who has pulled three festivals in a week
Stuff:  Goldrush Cavalcade to Millers Flat cancelled due to Covid concerns
Verity Johnson (Stuff): Omicron settings deal cruel blow to creatives
Ric Stevens (Herald): Crowded house: Indonesian worker pays $110 a week to share a room with five others
Conor Knell (Stuff): Business owner worries for elderly and vulnerable bankers as branch goes cashless
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Firm gets permission to buy land for planned data centre
Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Spinoff): Does your workplace have a health and safety representative?
Mike Yardley (Stuff): Consumer NZ’s recent attacks confound
RNZ: Kiwi Wealth sale possibility being explored

Govt Omicron strategy, Covid
RNZ: Cabinet ministers to finalise dates for reopening borders
1 News: Health officials say Omicron now ‘dominant’ in New Zealand
Kim Moodie (RNZ): Extended Covid-19 restrictions taking toll on public sentiment – psychologist
Andrew Barnes (Herald):  When to call time and repeal emergency legislation (paywalled)
RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tests negative for Covid-19
Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tests negative for the virus
1 News: Governor-General tests negative for Covid-19

High-risk communities
Rawiri Taonui (Māori TV): What’s urgently needed to keep Maori safe from Omicron
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Māori health researcher warns high-risk communities need more support to prepare for Omicron
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Self-isolation not easy for whānau in Northland
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Iwi seeks storage for food and supplies as it prepares to fill ‘gaps in the system’

Testing, Contact Tracing
John Weekes (Herald): Rapid test plans accelerate after truckers’ group voices concerns
Siobhan Downes (Stuff): Rapid antigen tests to stay free for unvaccinated domestic travellers

Matt Doocey (Herald): Youth mental health crisis is getting worse
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Avalanche of cases predicted
University of Otago: What 2022 will bring for our health system

Modelling, cases
Hanna McCallum (Stuff): When Omicron spreads ‘like wildfire’, variant won’t matter, expert says
Herald: Daily community cases could top 400 this week, says expert
RNZ: Covid-19 modeller expects shift to higher case numbers this week
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): 18,000-plus cases expected in Southern District Health Board catchment area
1 News: 91 new community Covid-19 cases on Monday
Devon Bolger (Herald): Locations of interest grow in South Island
Uma Ahmed (Stuff): Environment Southland will reopening office after negative Covid test
Todd Niall (Stuff): To bus, or not to bus? The big questions as a Covid-19 ‘close contact’

Jamie Morton (Herald): Can NZ boost before new variant’s peak hits? (paywalled)
Will Trafford (RNZ): Concern for addiction sufferers, mental health patients as vax rates trail general population

Climate Change, Environment
Henry Cooke (Stuff): James Shaw distances himself from agricultural emissions group proposals
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Farmers offering to pay $137m for their greenhouse pollution. Is that fair?
No Right Turn: Climate Change: End the bullshit. Make farmers pay their way
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Agricultural emissions pricing options presented to farmers at national roadshow
RNZ: Kaiapoi factory fire: Nearly 2000 litres of oil recovered from nearby rivers
Joy Reid (1 News): Native birds rescued after Kaiapoi fire creates oil spill

Sophie Trigger (Herald): Auckland primary school has all teaching staff isolating, delays start date
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Omicron heaps pressure on stretched communities as school term starts
Dubby Henry (Herald): Fears back-to-school costs too high for some families, KidsCan says
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Back to school means big bills for parents
Lee Kenny (Stuff): Mask wearing ‘a bit annoying’ says student as schools return under red setting
Wyatt Ryder (ODT): A Red start to the school year
Erin Gourley and Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Students mask up in ‘new normal’ on first day back at school
RNZ: Auckland school expects return to remote learning due to staff absences
Donna-Lee Biddle (Stuff): The trouble with Fairfield College? There isn’t one – it’s parents’ perception
RNZ: Consistent lower speed limit needed outside all schools – lobby group
Susan Sandys (Star News): Is the super school in Rolleston a good idea?
RNZ: Checkpoint: Homeschooling on rise as Ministry faces application backlog
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Are devices affecting Kiwi kids’ sporting abilities?

Local government
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Kaipara ratepayers won’t pay for rapid antigen tests used by unvaccinated councillors
Emily Ireland (Local Democracy Reporting): Council staff in Wairarapa feel pressure of surge in demand for building consents
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Protest, planes and passion – Raglan airfield stoush gets heated
Catherine Groenestein (Stuff): Council votes unanimously to return South Taranaki land to iwi for $1
Georgina Campbell (Herald): First wahine Māori elected to Wellington City Council announces she’s not standing again
Steven Walton (Stuff): Senior manager who chose not to get vaccinated leaves city council
Justin Latif (Local Democracy Reporting): Is it time for council to throw South Auckland some shade?
Grant Miller (ODT): DCC Councillors divided over proposed rates rise
ODT Editorial: Taking advantage of a visitor levy
RNZ: Ashburton District Council aims to bolster communication deadlines
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): Fire prompts Fairlie farmer to lodge legal action against council, lines company

Three Waters, water quality
Emily Ireland (Local Democracy Reporting): Featherston water supply at risk
Katie Todd (RNZ): Water quality issues at Auckland’s Hobson Bay may take decade to fix

Malcolm Mulholland (Newsroom): Waitangi week: Ranginui Walker
Michael Bassett: The Challenges of Waitangi Day

Foreign affairs
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Behind the ‘war’ against China
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): China privacy crackdown could hit NZ businesses
Thomas Manch (Stuff): NZ Govt places travel ban on Myanmar military generals one year after coup
Andrew Ladley (Stuff): In view of history, NZ should help remind countries of UN Charter obligations
Lisette Reymer (Newshub): New Zealand showcases itself at Dubai’s World Expo

Auckland light rail, Transport
The Standard: Light Rail: The State Is Back
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Napier-Taupō highway: Feedback sought on next steps over lower speed limits
Adam Blackwell (Stuff): Shannon businesses struggle as potential customers are sent up the road

Gavin Ellis (Knightly Views): Media should be careful where they tread in 2022
University of Otago: Some forecasts for the year ahead
Kevin Trenberth (Newsroom): Denying science with opinions and fairy tales
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Brian Tamaki’s two-year Covid run-in and journey to jail (paywalled)
Open Justice: Up to 25 foreign workers crowded into single-bathroom house
Jeremy Wilkinson (Herald): On the defence: Court told how NZDF ignored assault claims
1 News: NZDF servicewoman claims ‘lack of support’ after guilty plea
1News: Gun lobby: Firearm law reforms won’t target criminals
Katie Harris (Herald): Raft of changes to New Zealand’s gun laws recommended after mosque attack come into force today
Sally Rae (ODT): New vet group grounding animal advocacy in science
RNZ: The Detail: Getting Tonga on the line
André Chumko (Stuff): New $290m national archives facility to be built in Wellington



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