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
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Government’s Fortress NZ strategy comes to an end
Andrew Geddis (Spinoff): RIP MIQ: An early obituary for a border system that’s run its course
Jane Patterson (RNZ): MIQ soon to be a thing of the past but Covid wounds run deep
Michael Plank (Herald): New Zealand’s MIQ has intercepted thousands of cases, but is it time to retire the flawed system?
RNZ: Experts give stamp of approval to government’s border re-opening plan
Science Media Centre: Gradual reopening of NZ from late Feb – Expert Reaction
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Border self-isolation may be too ‘leaky’ and hurt Māori, experts say
Zoe Holland (Herald): Expert airs fears on households of returnees being allowed to come and go as they please during self-isolation
No Right Turn: Importing covid by the planeload
James Nokise (Stuff): MIQ has helped, and MIQ has hurt. Nothing about Covid is simple
Stuff Editorial: RIP MIQ: The necessary evil of New Zealand’s pandemic response
Damien Venuto (Herald): How long will the stench of MIQ hang over NZ? (paywalled)
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Finally the borders are opening!
Ian Taylor (Herald):  Encouraging signs in Jacinda Ardern’s MIQ announcement, but the devil may be in the detail (paywalled)
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Opposition parties take contrasting views on border re-opening plan
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Christopher Luxon says Jacinda Ardern should resign if she backs down on COVID-19 border reopening dates
Michael Neilson (Herald): Joy as border to reopen but with a warning of high case numbers
RNZ: Border re-opening plan: Businesses ‘chomping at the bit’ but want more detail
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Business gives mixed response to Labour’s 5-step reopening plan (paywalled)
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Border plan leaves split families divided
River Lin (1 News): ‘A relief’ – Overseas Kiwis react to border announcement
Herald: Kiwis abroad fear border announcement too good to be true
Katie Todd (RNZ): New Zealand border reopening plan brings relief but MIQ pain unforgettable for some
Emma Cropper (Newshub): Kiwis in Australia excited to fly home this month after border reopens
Anne Gibson (Herald): Grounded Kiwi pensioners welcome border reopening: ‘It’s marvellous. I can’t believe it’
Debbie Jamieson and Nadine Porter (Stuff): Border reopening plan welcome, but ‘too cautious and too slow’ for some
Nadine Porter (Stuff): MIQ announcement too little too late for some 
Seni Iasona (Newshub): Jubilation for Kiwis stuck overseas as borders set to open but Dan Wootton is ‘mad’
Nadine Porter (Stuff): ‘No longer a citizen’: Ex-pat Kiwis welcome MIQ decision but say they feel abandoned
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Overseas Kiwis relieved and ‘worn down’ by border announcement
Herald: Self-isolation rules could dissuade airlines from flying to NZ – BARNZ
Grant Bradley (Herald): Border reopening means light at end of the tunnel for some travellers
Grant Bradley (Herald): Reopening New Zealand: Isolation rules a ‘demand killer’ for tourism (paywalled)
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Border reopening: Tourism operators welcome positive step forward
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Border reopening a relief, but little hope for tourism revival 
Tracey Roxburgh (ODT): ‘Devastating blow’, operator says
Karen Coltman (Stuff): Horticulture sector: Border reopening comes too late
Carmen Hall and Emma Houpt (Bay of Plenty Times/Herald): Border opening could be too late for kiwifruit sector (paywalled)
Alex Chapman (Newshub): Coronavirus hits sports: Kiwi sports stars, teams react to NZ Government’s border reopening plan
RNZ: ‘Self-isolation won’t be something that we ask people to do forever’ – Chris Hipkins
1 News: Fines up to $12k for isolation breaches when border opens
Anna Whyte (1 News): Details of isolation rules as NZ prepares for border reopening
1 News: What you need to know about NZ’s border reopening
Henry Cooke (Stuff): How New Zealand’s five-step border reopening will work
Anna Whyte (1 News): Jacinda Ardern reveals NZ’s new border reopening dates
Zane Small (Newshub): Staged COVID-19 border reopening for New Zealand: Kiwis in Australia can self-isolate from end of February, most tourists can enter by July
Michael Neilson (Herald): NZ reopens border from February 28, most returnees can self-isolate, no MIQ
RNZ: Border reopening for New Zealanders confirmed for end of February – what you need to know
1 News: Ardern acknowledges Defence Force ‘burden’ as MIQ winds down
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand border will open in stages from end of February, Jacinda Ardern announces
1 News: ACT, Te Pāti Māori clash over Omicron border management
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Community isolation scheme needs to be overhauled, study says
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Custom-built facilities on the cards for new national quarantine service
John Lewis (ODT): Infecting each other ‘ticket out’ of MIQ
1 News: A timeline of New Zealand’s MIQ system

Charlotte Bellis
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): The Bellis Embarrassment
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Activists call out Kiwi journalist Charlotte Bellis over Taliban ‘safe haven’ comment during MIQ row
RNZ: Afghan women say they wouldn’t be afforded the same rights as a pregnant NZ journalist under the Taliban
Rosemary McLeod (Stuff): Pregnancy and childbirth have long been politicised
Herald: Charlotte Bellis ‘relieved’ overseas Kiwis can finally return home
Herald: In the Loop: Charlotte Bellis, ‘cooked’ flat markets and Boris Johnson in hot water

Unemployment insurance scheme
Rob Stock (Stuff): How might Labour’s compulsory unemployment insurance change our money lives?
Kathy Errington (Herald):  Why NZ families need social insurance (paywalled)
Brian Fallow (Herald):  Job insurance plan won’t come cheap (paywalled)
Steven Cowan (Against the current): Grant’s got a brand new welfare blueprint
Don Franks (Redline): Further on Labour’s Unemployment Insurance Scheme

Vaccination rollout
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Bracing for Omicron, Govt shores up NZ’s immunity wall
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Up to 1200 people turned away for boosters due to software mismatch
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Pacific vaccination rates pass 99 per cent across several regions 
Science Media Centre: Booster gap shortened to three months – Expert Reaction
Jamie Morton (Herald): When can NZ expect a vax for under 5s?
Adam Pearse (Herald): Parent’s warning after daughter vaccinated without consent
Naomii Seah (Spinoff): Why is the Asian community behind on boosters?

Housing, Lending rules
Zane Small (Newshub): Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams floats rent controls as cost of living bites
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Government not revealing detail of potential rent control options
1 News: ‘Nothing off the table’ as Government looks to support renters
Michael Daly (Stuff): ‘Nothing off the table’ as Government considers rent controls to tackle unaffordable housing
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): How tiny is Poto Williams table & why a nationwide rent strike is the only solution?
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Auckland house sales drop 12 per cent in January 
Gianina Schwanecke (Stuff): Napier City Council to put question of public housing’s future to the community, three options being considered
Ethan Te Ora (Stuff): Wellington City Council votes to give its tenants much-needed rent freeze
Isaac Davison (Herald): Please don’t change lending rules, budget advisers say – we’ve fought for them for 20 years (paywalled)
Steve Stannard (Stuff): Pawnbrokers Inc.
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): David Clark digs in over lending laws, which are adding strain beyond the headlines (paywalled)
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Credit crunch or responsible lending? Has the law gone too far?
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): More cases emerge of banks using customers’ house sale profits to pay off other mortgage

Omicron outbreak, cases, public health measures
Keith Lynch (Stuff): Omicron NZ: Why the daily Covid-19 data will soon be a bit of a muddle
Michael Neilson (Herald): Chris Hipkins compares modelling with weather forecasts – ‘I’ve always been sceptical’
Molly Swift (Newshub): Ministry of Health warns New Zealanders to have self-isolation plan when travelling this Waitangi weekend
1 News: 147 new Covid-19 community cases in NZ on Thursday
Stuff: About 414 new cases a day forecast for Waikato’s Omicron peak
Sharnae Hope (Stuff): Twelve students Covid positive after St Paul’s Collegiate, Hamilton, camp
Denise Piper (Stuff): No known virus transmission in NZ prisons, so far
Kate MacNamara (Herald): The fate of one rapid Covid test and why it’s taken New Zealand 18 months to consider it (paywalled)
John Anthony (Stuff): Air NZ introduces ‘test-to-return’ policy for critical staff as Omicron outbreak affects regional services
Grant Bradley (Herald): Air New Zealand speeds up return to work of Omicron close contacts
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Damning Treasury report gives Ashley Bloomfield’s Ministry of Health a ‘D’ for spending (paywalled)

Protests, anti vaccination, rule breaches
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): ‘Hands off our tamariki’ – Iwi vaccinators egged as anti-vaxxers force caution in children’s jab rollout
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Parent outraged as anti-vax protesters gather outside Canterbury schools
Tina Grumball (ODT): Woman fined for not wearing mask in supermarket
Herald: Anti-mandate protester arrested at Tāmati Coffey’s Rotorua restaurant
Newshub: Anti-mandate woman arrested for refusing to show vaccine passport at Labour MP Tāmati Coffey’s Rotorua restaurant
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Group advertising cards that falsely claim to give ‘diplomatic immunity’
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Ivermectin import attempts not slowing down amid warning against use

Economy, Business, Employment
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Winners and losers in this grave new world of so-called full employment
RNZ: Emergence of Omicron variant among negatives to hit GDP – Infometrics forecast
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Households feeling the squeeze as Omicron rolls in: Infometrics
Herald: ‘Rock and a hard place’: Liam Dann on inflation, rates, wages and investing in an overheated market (paywalled)
Edward O’Driscoll (Newshub): NZ arts sector welcomes Government’s $120m support fund but venue owners left short
Jake McKee (RNZ): Overseas travel tempts young New Zealanders despite ongoing pandemic
RNZ: Businesses should prepare for increased regulatory, enforcement action in 2022
RNZ: Main commodity exports remain at record highs, soft NZ dollar boosts returns
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea): 5.9% inflation highlights why Supermarket duopoly must be smashed!
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Fewer Trade Me sellers attempting to cash in on Covid-19
Conor Knell (Stuff): Palmerston North business owners ‘struggle’ through record-high inflation

Parliament, parties, polling
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Something Entirely Different: Why Co-Governance Is A Very Bad Idea
Barrie Saunders: Democracy or partnership revisited
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Can Christopher Luxon become PM – and mend a divided NZ? (paywalled)
David Farrar (Patreon): Luxon focusing on brand first (paywalled)
Thomas Manch (Stuff): ACT’s David Seymour mocks ‘Red Queen’ Jacinda Ardern in state-of-nation speech
John Weekes (Herald): Act’s state of the nation: Seymour says voters need asylum from Ardern ‘wonderland’
Catrin Owen (Stuff): New Zealand First Foundation case: Duo continue name suppression fight
Sam Hurley (Herald): NZ First Foundation investigation: Accused argues for continued suppression in High Court

Hannah Martin (Stuff): Half of cancers potentially preventable, but Govt investment needed – report
RNZ: Breast cancer outcomes worse for Māori, Pacific women, new study finds
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Major breast cancer report reveals lower survival rates for Māori, Pasifika, and younger women 
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): ‘I thought I might be running out of time’, lockdown puts off breast cancer treatment 
Lucy Xia (Stuff): Racism preventing young Asian Kiwis from seeking health services, study shows
Jane Matthews (Stuff): Taranaki mother, pelvic health physiotherapist calling for ACC to cover all birth injuries

Lee Kenny (Stuff): New Zealand ‘back in business’ with return of international students, but will lag behind rival countries
Shea Turner (Stuff): Auckland University moves to online learning until mid-semester break
Shea Turner (Stuff): Universities move to online learning for semester 1 as Omicron looms
Emily Writes (Spinioff): ‘There’s nothing I won’t do to keep my child safe’: The rise in pandemic homeschooling
RNZ: Melville High School and intermediate may be replaced by new school
Wyatt Ryder (ODT: Otago Boys’ bans phones
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Parents complain ‘Go Bus, no bus’ in Wairarapa at start of school year

Local government
Martin Foo (Interest): NZ councils have largely fared well in the Covid-era but infrastructure deficits may prove challenging
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Project): Waiuku developers face hefty bill for wastewater treatment plant
Seni Iasona (Newshub): Auckland Council defends euthanising dog despite offers to home it
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): Three waters reform: Divisions widen among Hamilton politicians
RNZ: Company running Wellington wastewater treatment plants failed basic asset management – report
Emily Ireland (Local Democracy Reporting): Golf course may go to the dogs
Maia Hart (Local Democracy Reporting): Proposal to turn former landfill site into ‘rugged, rustic’ park
Skara Bohny (Stuff): Nelson City Council gets AA rating for ‘robust financial management’
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): Mackenzie District Council receives unchanged grade from new report
Jonathan Leask (Local Democracy Reporting): Unvaccinated council staff given ‘alternate work arrangements’
Emily Ireland (Local Democracy Reporting): Down the drain: Masterton District Council’s damaged drip line wastes water
Amy Ridout (Stuff): Council inaction over leak led to flooded bedroom, says resident

Phil Pennington (RNZ): PFAS contamination: Scientists keen to find source of pollutants in urban water systems
Bay of Plenty Times (Herald): Out-of-towners caught fishing in Mōtītī Island protected area

Foreign Affairs, trade
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promises to travel to Europe, US, Asia, Australia in 2022
RNZ: Ardern to lead trade visits in 2022 to Australia, Asia, US and Europe
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Trust to appeal mānuka honey trademark rejection
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Honey producers appeal after bid to trademark ‘mānuka honey’ fails
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand to send a single official to cheer on Olympic team at Beijing Winter Games
Ben Strang (Stuff): NZ athletes warned about cybersecurity, political statements
Marcus Musson (Stuff): The demand on forestry: If a tree falls in the forest, should it be exported?

Foreign investment
Richard Harman (Politik): Government looks set to do u-turn on foreign investment rule (paywalled)
Sally Murphy and Maja Burry (RNZ): Rules helping foreign investors turn NZ farmland into forestry reviewed

Timothy F Welch (Newsroom): Who really wants Auckland’s light rail plan?
Sam Stubbs (Stuff): Is Auckland’s new $14 billion rail line a Harry Potter fantasy?
RNZ: The Detail: How realistic are Auckland’s light rail plans?
Joel MacManusstf Transmission Gully: Waka Kotahi withheld $7.5 million payment to builder after missing opening deadline 
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff):  Electric vehicle numbers surge as petrol price climbs and subsidy kicks in
Chris Keall (Herald): EV sales ease as Clean Car Discount bounce fades (paywalled)
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Waka Kotahi accuses Hawke’s Bay leaders of putting efficiency ahead of lives 
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Lower speed limit on SH5: Waka Kotahi asked to justify decision
Matthew Martin (Stuff): Taupō truckie angry with 80kmh limit on Napier-Taupō highway
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Roadworks cause concern for locals after crashes in Franklin
Luisa Girao (ODT): Council wants to lower city’s speed limits

Lydia Lewis and Finau Fonua  (RNZ): Tonga’s PM says investigation underway into Covid-19 outbreak
RNZ: Tonga eruption: RSE workers arrive in NZ
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Tonga told virus ‘is here to stay’ as first of community cases recovers
Lydia Lewis (RNZ): ‘Resilience and strength of people’ will get Kingdom through, Tonga’s PM

RNZ: Independent Police Conduct Authority loses USB stick with complaint information
Seni Iasona (Newshub): IPCA staff member loses unprotected USB stick containing police information
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): ‘We have failed’: USB stick with private police watchdog information lost

Glenn McConnell (Stuff): How New Zealand’s political leaders will mark Waitangi Day at Covid-19 red
Kerry Enright (ODT): Hope of Waitangi Day key to healing

RNZ: Afghans still stranded despite court ruling allowing them into New Zealand
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (1 News): Ngāpuhi Treaty settlement: Glimpse of what Govt could offer revealed
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Are heritage laws failing Māori?
Edward Gay (Stuff): 80% of Aucklanders called for jury service fail to show as trials resume
RNZ: Supreme Court to weigh assurances from China in extradition case of murder-accused
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Māori set to receive quarter of key 5G spectrum band and $57m under Crown deal
Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes (Spinoff): What does it mean to be tangata Tiriti?
Melissa Lee (Kiwiblog): Guest Post: The Future of New Zealand Media
Nicholas Agar (Newsroom): How the pandemic put science on steroids
Kate Green (Stuff): People urged not to overestimate abilities in water, data shows over-65s most at risk



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