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

Border, MIQ, Charlotte Bellis
RNZ: Cabinet ministers to finalise dates for reopening borders
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): Kiwis set to learn more about how NZ will ‘reconnect’ with the rest of the world
John Weekes (Herald): Govt to unveil plans to reconnect NZ to rest of the world
Greg Presland (The Standard): The problem with and the benefits of MIQ
Herald Editorial: An answer to managed isolation and quarantine headaches (paywalled)
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): This government has become like a can of CRC
RNZ: Pregnant journalist Charlotte Bellis offered a place in MIQ
Michael Neilson and John Weekes (Herald): Charlotte Bellis returning to New Zealand in March to give birth to her baby girl
Michael Neilson (Herald): Charlotte Bellis to continue speaking up for rights of pregnant women after winning MIQ battle with Government
1 News: Pregnant journalist Charlotte Bellis thanks NZ public for support
Zane Small (Newshub): Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins accused of breaching pregnant Kiwi journo Charlotte Bellis’ privacy
Dubby Henry (Herald): Border exception scheme for 300 teachers has let just eight educators into New Zealand
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Ministry of Education tells principal to apply for emergency MIQ spot for teacher
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): The MIQ madness has to stop now
Alexandra Birt (Stuff): MIQ, the dark shadow across New Zealand that has to lift
Audrey Young (Herald): Meet Kiwi lawyer behind Grounded Kiwis – helping those missing out in MIQ lottery (paywalled)
RNZ: Checkpoint: Farmers desperate for machinery workers before cows go hungry
Anne Gibson (Herald): NZ pensioners stuck in Australia have super payments ceased
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Will the Government allow pregnant Kiwis home?
Muzhgan Samarqandi (The Guardian): Trivialising the Taliban is not the way to force New Zealand to change its Covid quarantine rules

Housing
Bernard Hickey: Robertson says voters don’t really want house prices to drop
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Minister stands by lending rules, says he will listen
Miriam Bell (Stuff): House price rises are not out for the count just yet, CoreLogic says
RNZ: Property values climb despite tougher lending rules, higher mortgage rates
Priscilla Dickinson (Newshub): National property values deliver ‘surprise’ 2.1 pct gain in January amid forecasts of slower growth
No Right Turn: Public radicalisation vs political self-interest
1 News: Home ownership dream ‘gone’ for Porirua renter
Matthew Rosenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Women ejected from emergency housing a picture of failing system, say advocates
Anne Gibson (Herald): Parents helped daughter into house, snared in tax trap: ‘Don’t be caught like we were’ (paywalled)
Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): Dawn Chorus: Inside the not-so-crunchy home loan figures (paywalled)
Greg Ninness (Interest): Realestate.co.nz says homes are taking longer to sell pushing up the stock of homes on the block
Catherine Smith (OneRoof): Houses near the beach cheaper than houses by the airport
Catherine Smith (OneRoof): Omicron wave: What NZ can learn from Australia and the UK
Matthew Martin (Stuff): Housing project hopes to bring iwi back to ancestoral land
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Council gives accessible housing needs higher priority

National Party, parliament, polling
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Yes, minister: Te Ururoa Flavell on cultural competency
Grant Duncan: What’s up with 2022?
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Luxon’s smooth landing in Queenstown (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Herald):  Christopher Luxon turns leaf for National, but old problems linger (paywalled)
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen shares team-building expertise with National MPs
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Our leaders’ state-of-the-nation speeches – the shorter, totally made up edition
Muriel Newman (NZCPR): A Cultural Con

Omicron strategy
Zane Small (Newshub): National returns to ‘end MIQ now’ campaign after dropping ‘now’ from petition
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): National leader Christopher Luxon calls for border relaxation
Jane Patterson (RNZ): National Party calls for borders to open, frequent RAT tests in schools
Mike Tweed (Whanganui Chronicle): Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer calls for swifter Ministry updates
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Christopher Luxon wants to give rapid tests to schools, cut isolation periods
Zane Small (Newshub): National would slash COVID-19 isolation to a week, give all schools rapid antigen tests for twice-weekly checks
Irra Lee (1 News): National wants twice-weekly RATs for teachers, students
Bridie Witton (Stuff): New strategy needed for Omicron, says National leader Christopher Luxon
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): This Government is beyond embarrassing, it’s tragic
Claire Trevett (Herald):  Covid 19 Omicron outbreak – can PM Jacinda Ardern put out the fires as she moves on borders, Charlotte Bellis, boosters and rapid antigen tests? (paywalled)
Sam Olley (RNZ): Omicron spread a ‘huge worry’ for Grey Power members

Testing, Contact Tracing
Zane Small (Newshub): 58 million COVID-19 rapid antigen tests secured as modelling shows demand could reach 9 million a week
John Weekes (Herald): New rapid tests ordered, Govt says nine million a week might be needed
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government promises enough rapid antigen tests for Omicron wave, orders a further 36 million tests
Anna Whyte (1 News): Purchase of 36 million extra rapid antigen tests confirmed
Herald: Expert says critical worker RATs rollout faces ‘accessibility issues’
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Look what happens when the government lets businesses help
Ian Taylor (Herald): The Covid test offered to NZ last year that we need
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Twice-weekly RATs possible for all at peak omicron (paywalled)

Vaccination rollout, misinformation
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Government paid $36.50 per dose of Pfizer vaccine
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Two-thirds of those eligible for booster dose have had it
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): As schools reopen, paediatric vaccine rates remain low, principal warns
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Nearly half Wellington’s 5 to 11-year-olds received a Pfizer shot in first two weeks
Nathan Morton (Stuff): Ministry of Health deems Northland 90 per cent first dosed – despite being 500 jabs short
Steven Walton (Stuff): 99 per cent of Canterbury has had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Sri Krishnamurthi (RNZ): More ethnic-specific figures on booster jabs needed, Pacific GP
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Iwi eye back-country stations in bid to lift Māori vaccination rate
Katie Townshend (Stuff): Māori vaccination rate hits first 90 per cent milestone for Te Tauihu
—————
RNZ: Calls for Facebook to take stronger action on Covid-19 misinformation as antivax leaders banned

Modelling, cases, public health measures
Hanna McCallum (Stuff): People could be contagious 24 hours after contracting Omicron, Covid-19 modeller says
Chris Hyde (Stuff): Fly at your own risk, and make sure you have a self-isolation plan
RNZ: Covid-19 update: 126 new community cases, 79 in MIQ
Karina Cooper (Herald): Prisoner at Northland Region Corrections Facility tests positive
Jamie Morton (Herald): What NZ can expect from new Omicron subvariant (paywalled)
RNZ: Colleagues isolating as Hawke’s Bay Airport worker’s positive result announced
Vanessa Phillips (Stuff): People hunker down, tourists cancel bookings, as Omicron cases rise in Nelson
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): Family forced to isolate in small cabin allowed to return home after U-turn
ODT Editorial: Playing the numbers game
1 News: Focus on seat rows as new flights added to locations of interest

Inequality
Josie Pagani (Herald): Covid has increased the class division to a chasm (paywalled)
Richard Prebble (Herald): Govt policies, inflation make the rich richer while the poor get poorer (paywalled)
Georgina Campbell (Herald): A Capital Letter: Covid-19 is the ultimate rip off for young people (paywalled)
Arena Williams and Stuart Smith (Stuff): The NZ labour market is all too often a race to the bottom on wages
Murat Ungor (The Conversation): Inflation is raising prices and reducing real wages – what should be done to support NZ’s low-income households?

Economy, Business, Employment
Matt Burgess (Herald):  Why inflation looks here to stay (paywalled)
1 News: Arts and culture sector gets huge Govt funding boost
Kate Green (Stuff): Govt’s $120m funding boost for arts and culture offers relief for Omicron-hit sector
Zoe Holland (Herald): Government grants more financial support for Arts and culture sector
Nicolas Pointon (RNZ): Construction material shortages, price hikes plague building industry
David Dyason (The Conversation): Omicron will only add to looming workforce shortages already faced by key New Zealand industries
Carmen Hall (Herald): Want a job? 24,000 seasonal kiwifruit workers needed for 2022 harvest as labour shortage bites (paywalled)
Ric Stevens (Herald): Facebook group recruits Indonesians for horticulture work
Anita Rosentreter (Stuff): Government’s supply chain assurances meaningless with Omicron in the community
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Supermarket food limits mean families are shopping more often, but is that ideal during an Omicron outbreak?
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): Why the politics of inflation could ultimately depend on supplies
Ben Kepes (Stuff): We need to stop putting all our economic avocados in one basket
RNZ: The Detail: Post-Covid tourism living on a strategy of hope
Grant Bradley (Herald): Tourism sector’s $16b question – when will borders reopen?
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Tourism NZ restarts global advertising, while the border remains closed
John Anthony (Stuff): Air NZ goes on cabin crew recruitment drive to gear up for border reopening
Uma Ahmed (Stuff): Plan unveiled to boost the Southland economy with Tiwai’s closure looming
Jake Kenny (Stuff): Donut Dispensary’s four stores closed due to ‘heartbreaking’ pandemic struggles
Helen Harvey (Stuff): Womad proceeding cautiously until decision on whether to go ahead is made in two weeks
Emily Brookes (Stuff): Live music venue San Fran in Wellington will close under Red
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Famed Aoraki Mt Cook cafe closes over Covid-19 vaccine mandate stance
Logan Savory (Stuff): Concern further cancellations could dent athlete motivation
RNZ: Organisers pull the pin on NZ Golf Open
Jake Kenny (Stuff): Christchurch’s Nostalgia Festival joins long list of cancelled events
Matt Brown (Herald): Ryan Fox hits out at the ‘absurdity’ of Government Covid response following NZ Open cancellation (paywalled)
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): We need to talk about the fairness of restraint of trade clauses
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Hawke’s Bay company collapses after Government recalls $106k in wage subsidies (paywalled)
Kim Moodie (RNZ): University programme providing support guide for employers on helping menopausal workers

OECD’s NZ economic survey
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): OECD warns action needed for New Zealand to meet emissions targets
Geraden Cann (Stuff): OECD: New Zealand (still) at risk of large house price fall
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): OECD fears ‘large, sudden’ house price fall in NZ (paywalled)
RNZ: Border delays and a crash in house prices are the main risks facing the NZ economy – OECD report
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): OECD recommends Govt scraps FHB KiwiSaver withdrawals and other policies targeted at FHBs, and focuses on increasing housing supply
Richard Harman (Poliitk): OECD points out where the government is failing (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): OECD frets over risk of NZ border-opening delay and tech worker catch-22
RNZ: Labour won’t raise the age of superannuation – Grant Robertson
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Grant Robertson rejects OECD warning NZ Super age must rise from 65
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Christopher Luxon says no U-turn on superannuation age ‘for now’
Amelia Wade (Newshub): National backs raising superannuation but Labour continues to rule out lift
Herald: Link NZ Super age to life expectancy, OECD report recommends

Health
Ian Powell (BusinessDesk): An undeclared state of emergency (paywalled)
RNZ: Murupara doctor suspended from Friday
Diane McCarthy (Local Democracy Reporting): Murupara doctor suspended from practising medicine after 30 years
Vandhna Bhan (1 News): Mental health callouts on the rise for under-14s
Shea Turner (Stuff): 30% increase in mental health-related incidents for St John Ambulance
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Dunedin ED head says department needs support
Dylan Cleaver (Spinoff): World Rugby’s beer problem

Education
Avina Vidyadharan (Herald): Northland principals stressed as tensions rise over schools doubling as vaccine clinics (paywalled)
Katy Jones (Stuff): Mask exemptions low despite high applications, as schools start back
Katie Doyle (RNZ): Fears mask mandate will set back learning for deaf, hard of hearing students
Morgane Solignac (Stuff): School’s make-do attitude to mask mandate on first day back
Will Trafford (1 News): Whānau struggling more than ever to cover school costs – NMA

NZ Catholic Church abuse statistics
RNZ: ‘Horrifying’ statistics show abuse complaints laid against 1 in 7 Catholic clergy working for a bishop
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand’s Catholic church admits 14% of clergy have been accused of abuse since 1950
Steve Kilgallon (Stuff): Catholic Church reveals huge abuse stats – but it’s a ‘drop in the bucket’ say survivors
Isaac Davison (Herald): Catholic Church in New Zealand discovers 14 per cent of clergy accused of abuse, with Cardinal describing findings as ‘horrifying’

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellingtonians faced with a 9.1 per cent rates increase
Shea Turner (Stuff): Auckland Council apologises for manager’s email about ‘people with poor English’
RNZ: Wellington’s first wahine Māori councillor will not seek re-election
Sinead Gill (Stuff): Manawatū councillor to resign, move from Feilding to Christchurch
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Differing views on vaccine passes in Napier and Hastings
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland Council staff lose jobs over vaccine mandate
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Levy could help music venues
Toni McDonald (ODT): Councillors split over island visitor levy rise
Jared Morgan (ODT): Public shut out of camp discussion

Auckland light rail, Transport
Bernard Orsman (Herald): $24 billion? Government keeping higher cost for Auckland light rail under wraps (paywalled)
Todd Niall  (Stuff): Auckland rail: 23 new commuter trains, costing $330m, take city fleet to 95
Logan Savory (Stuff): Speed review: ‘Tomorrow’s too late for any loss of life
Nile Bijoux (Stuff): Largest drop in new-vehicle CO2 emissions since 2006

Primary industries
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Dairy prices hit 8-year high at auction; milk payments to farmers could lift
Andrea Fox (Herald): Bankers muscling in for a big slice of record dairy payout? (paywalled)
Maja Burry (RNZ): MPI consider timing of new cattle barn restrictions
ODT: Environment Southland responds to Fed Farmers
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Farm dump riverbank blowout pollutes Wairarapa river with plastic

Tonga
Barbara Dreaver (1 News): Two community cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Tonga
RNZ: Tonga to enter lockdown after port workers test positive for Covid-19

Other
RNZ: Disproportionate number of rangatahi Māori appearing before youth court despite drop in offending
James Perry (Māori TV): First Children’s Monitor report exposes shortfalls, Oranga Tamariki promises to fix them
Eda Tang (Stuff): Ministry of Social Development announces new fund to help prevent elder abuse in NZ
RNZ: New firearms laws won’t change situation overnight – Police minister
Shannon Thomson (ODT): A hero remembered
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Investigation uncovers ‘concerning culture’ at Auckland court police workplace, woman repeatedly sexually harassed
Leonie Hayden (Spinoff): How to celebrate Waitangi Day at home
Mana Wikaire-Lewis (Māori TV): Online Waitangi commemorations win support from Te Kahu o Taonui
Katie Todd (RNZ): NZ performance at World Trade Expo cancelled after dance crew members get Covid-19
Eric Trump (ODT): Predator Free Dunedin to expand
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Historic land wars site returned in $1 council deal

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