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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

Newshub-Reid Research poll, Parliament, parties, MPs
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Newshub-Reid Research poll: Majority of Kiwis support keeping border closed to keep out Omicron
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Polls set stage for a box-office year in New Zealand politics
Gordon Campbell (Werewolf): On last night’s political poll, and Lata Mangeshkar
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): The polls: a warning to the commentariat (paywalled)
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern confident latest poll reflects people ‘support what we’ve tried to achieve’
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Political commentator says PM Jacinda Ardern has her work cut out for her this year despite glowing poll results
Luke Malpass (Stuff): The political lines have been drawn for a traditional left-right battle
Russell Palmer (Newshub): Omicron won’t be the end of Covid pandemic – Ardern
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern outlines how New Zealand is preparing for winter, warns of new, different variants’, influenza’s return
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern promises schools will only close again as a ‘last resort’, warns of a grim winter ahead
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): Transitioning from a team of 5 million to a group of independent contractors
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern looks to move past Covid-19 with first speech to Parliament of 2022
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Ardern puts green hydrogen high on the agenda (paywalled)
James Perry (Māori TV): Political year starts; parties jostle for position ahead of 2023 election
Johnny Blades (RNZ): Parliament begins year with a pep rally
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Patrick Gower praises Christopher Luxon’s ‘smooth’ transition to National leader, says he looks more ready than John Key was
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): People love Luxon because he’s not Ardern
Ben McKay (Canberra Times): NZ opposition on the march under Luxon
Richard Harman (Politik): Sorry Jacinda, Winston won’t rate you (now) (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Controversial businessman Troy Bowker makes $35,000 NZ First donation, Winston Peters says Bowker a ‘friend’
Raf Manji (Interest): TOP: UBI, land value tax, monetary financing and more
Nikki Mandow (Newsroom): MPs prove unable to agree to work together on anything
Mihingaarangi Forbes, Shane Te Pou and Tau Henare (RNZ): S2 episode 7 | Waitangi Day, poll results and the retirement age

Treaty of Waitangi
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): ‘Move on’ – Minister Davis responds to Greens’ plan for return of private land to Māori
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Major parties push back against Greens’ ‘Land Back’ proposal to revisit Treaty settlements
Zane Small (Newshub): Labour pours cold water on Green Party’s idea of returning private land to Māori
No Right Turn: The Greens’ “land back” policy
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Greens want to renege on full and final settlements
1 News: Te Pāti Māori launches petition to remove Queen as head of state
RNZ: Te Pāti Māori calls for removal of UK royals as head of state
Damien Grant (Stuff): How an unstable British pretext lost sight of the Treaty of Waitangi

Border, MIQ
1 News: 80 returnees in Rotorua MIQ held up by late test results
Mark Quinlivan and Matt Burrows (Newshub): Returnees devastated after slow COVID test lab processing traps 80 in MIQ hotel
Herald: MIQ returnees ‘infuriated’ test delays are keeping them trapped in Rotorua hotel
Ian Taylor (Herald): Non-transparent Government tried to muzzle me (paywalled)
RNZ: Separated families ‘tremendously suffering’ with phased reopening of borders
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Police investigate logistics boss Chris Knuth’s ‘unacceptable’ border break
Rafia Zakaria (The Baffler): The Reporter Without Borders

Vaccination rollout, Mandates
Rod Jackson (Herald): Omicron outbreak – our time to vaccinate is running out
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff):  Government to fund more flu vaccines this winter amid Omicron threat
Hannah Martin (Stuff): 200,000 children aged 5-11 have had first dose, 1.6m boosters given
John Weekes (Herald): Text, email booster alerts for 1 million NZers
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Pro-vaccination dairy company Tatua backs away from Covid-19 vaccine mandates

RNZ: Checkpoint: Testing under Omicron needs to be more targeted – lab experts
Nicky Pellegrino (Listener/Herald): Rapid antigen tests – how useful are they really for detecting Covid? (paywalled)
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Roche denies it took tests from business, but won’t say where missing tests went
Russell Palmer (Newshub): Ministry statement on rapid antigen test requisition ‘unclear’ – Hipkins
Mark Quinlivan and Zane Small (Newshub): PM responds after Health Ministry confirms it did obtain rapid antigen tests already in NZ
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Practices eager to get Rats

Omicron outbreak, cases, public health measures
RNZ: Between 460 and 1450 people will die of Omicron – latest modelling
Hannah Martin and Lucy Xia (Stuff): Most of New Zealand’s Omicron cases are in young people
Herald: Cases pop up in multiple school communities as students settle into class
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): More parents could catch Omicron from their kids as school cases rise, modeller says
Stuff:  Te Mata School outbreak – parents ‘cautious’ as 150 pupils stay home
RNZ: New modelling expects Omicron to peak at 10,000 daily cases
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Omicron NZ modelling: Hundreds of thousands of cases with peak possible in mid-March
RNZ: Checkpoint: Modelling data released for transparency – Professor Hendy
RNZ: PM Jacinda Ardern says the country’s Omicron peak could be in late March
Adam Pearse (Herald): Big outbreak predicted as PM warns ‘prepare for winter’
Tess McClure (Guardian): New Zealand Omicron wave likely to peak in March with up to 30,000 cases a day, says Ardern
Anna Whyte (1 News): NZ won’t be able to stamp out Omicron – PM
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern warns against complacency despite NZ tracking at ‘lower end’ of Omicron predictions
Herald Editorial: No telling how Covid might affect each of us (paywalled)
RNZ: Watch: Jacinda Ardern provides post-Cabinet update
1 News: Doctor explains why Covid parties are not a good idea

Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Minister Kelvin Davis: ‘I will never agree to a Māori education authority
Sapeer Mayron and Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Kura kaupapa founders go to Waitangi Tribunal in push for Māori Education Authority
RNZ: PM says closing schools will be last resort, as 24 are connected to cases
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Up to schools whether to temporarily close when students get virus
RNZ: Porirua’s Mana College announces Covid-19 caseRachel Moore (Stuff): Covid anxiety normal but the kids should really be in school, say experts
Māni Dunlop (RNZ): Claim filed to Waitangi Tribunal over alleged Crown breach of Kura Kaupapa obligations
Herewini Waikato (Māori TV): Annual kura hikoi as principal files urgent treaty claim
Carmen Hall (Herald): International student sector reaction to 5000 boost in numbers (paywalled)
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): International students cautiously optimistic about border reopening
Sam Hurley (Herald): Multi-billion dollar Indian tech company HCL to train Kiwi school leavers in IT and help fill skills shortage (paywalled)
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Bus association criticises Government school bus procurement

Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Govt eyes shake-up of ambulance sector as shortages continue
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Emergency departments expect huge pressures from Omicron – specialist
1 News: Omicron outbreak will put ‘significant strain’ on NZ’s health care system – modelling
Adam Pearse (Herald): New Omicron modelling predicts hit on health system
Shane Reti (Herald): Are Covid deaths the sole measure of pandemic effectiveness? (paywalled)
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Self-evident health system truths
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): An oath that stands the test of time
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Shortage of nurses is nationwide
Matthew Rosenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Filling the big hole in Wairoa’s dental service

Protests, anti vaccination, rule breaches
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Trevor Mallard orders anti-mandate protesters to remove tents or face trespass from Parliament grounds
Stuff: Anti-vaxxers target primary schools with ‘extreme’ messages
Erin Gourley (Stuff): Protesters continue to block streets around Parliament
Kristy Frame (RNZ): Protesters, vehicles occupy Parliament grounds for hours
Stuff Editorial: A protest more passionate than persuasive
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Thousands of anti-mandate protesters ‘in it for the long haul’
Ben Strang, Tom Hunt and Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Anti-vaccine mandate protesters at Parliament pitch tents for the night
Stuff:  Congestion eases after anti-vaccine mandate protest stalls capital traffic
Jane Nixon (1 News): ‘This too will pass’ – Ardern dismisses anti-mandate protest
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern’s message to New Zealand after anti-mandate protest descends on Parliament
Andrea Fox (Herald): Exec who entered NZ via Fiji ruse starts work next week – and his company will welcome him (paywalled)
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern’s message to New Zealand after anti-mandate protest descends on Parliament

Housing, Lending rules
Daily Blog: The Prime Minister on One News last night – telling a huge porky
Rob Stock (Stuff): Lending slow-down: Government stuff-up or lenders crying wolf?
1 News: Government ‘not giving up’ on housing affordability – Ardern
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says Government not considering rent controls after Poto Williams floated idea
James Graham (The Conversation): Why the NZ government is right to rule out rent controls as a housing crisis solution
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Is government policy pushing up rents?
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): The Covid impact: Kiwis want bigger, better homes and to move away from Auckland
RNZ: House building costs continue upward surge with ‘plenty more’ growth likely
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Cost of house building climbs with warning of more to come

Economy, Business
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Greens’ Chloe Swarbrick calls for economic response inquiry
Chlöe Swarbrick: We can let growing wealth and housing divide go on, or push for change
Karla Karaitiana (Stuff): ‘Everyone is suffering’: Foodbank founder warns financial hardship will only worsen
Tony Alexander (OneRoof):  The numbers point to a collapse in spending
Jamie Gray (Herald): Continuous Disclosure: The economic road ahead as NZ reopens
Jamie Gray (Herald): NZ Govt bond yields hit post-Covid high as inflation concerns mount (paywalled)
Uma Ahmed (Stuff): Covid-19 forces specialist grocery stores to raise prices
RNZ: Innovation necessary for sustainable financial future – Reserve Bank governor
Grant Bradley (Herald): NZ’s $17b international tourism sector big loser as Australia reopens (paywalled)
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Dismay for NZ tourism industry as Australia opens its border
Cats Marrett (ODT): Big loss to Queenstown from cancellations
RNZ: Wānaka A&P Show cancelled over Covid-19 restrictions
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Organisers ‘devastated’ for community after cancellation of Wānaka A&P Show
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Businessman offers to pay for audit of budgets to resolve America’s Cup hosting impasse

Employment, Unemployment insurance scheme
Susan St John (Newsroom): Some questions about income insurance
Kerry Davies, Laures Park, Rachel Mackintosh, Glenda Alexander and Sandra Grey (Stuff): Unemployment insurance scheme is good for workers and the country
Roger Partridge (Herald): Unemployment insurance creates more problems than solutions (paywalled)
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Here’s why my bank account isn’t keeping up with the cost of living, despite pay rises
Uma Ahmed (Stuff): Directors hitting a bump when it comes to parental leave
Michael Andrew (BusinessDesk): Testing times: the biggest employment law headaches of 2022 (paywalled)

Conversion therapy
Anna Whyte (1 News): Bill to ban conversion practices passes second hurdle
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Conscience vote on conversion therapy in step with National traditions – Luxon
Michael Neilson (Herald): Bill to ban conversion therapy passes second reading, just seven National MPs now opposed
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Act will vote for conversion therapy ban, but could switch vote at third reading

Local government
Graham Adams (Democracy Project): Three Waters: A sorry tale of government deception and media inertia
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland Council budget out for consultation, 6% rate rise for average home mooted
Arielle Kauaeroa (Stuff): MPs receive 1700 submissions on bill to entrench Ngāi Tahu seats on Environment Canterbury
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Michael Baker: Northland leaders should all be vaccinated
Matthew Rosenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Tribunal win for Gisborne kiwifruit growers
Tina Law (Stuff): Council asks residents to throw face masks into bins at home to protect maintenance workers
Michael Curreen (ODT): Fluoridation order could cost $500K
Ben Tomsett (ODT): More support for public spaces
Grant Miller (ODT): Tunnel plan for one-way system
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City Council to make u-turn on late night parking fees

David Williams (Newsroom): Long overdue conservation land review raises anxiety
Maia Hart (RNZ): Blenheim’s Seymour Square stays glyphosate-free for 18 months
Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): Health warning after toxic blue-green algae found in Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Hokonui Rūnanga lays out its environmental expectations, aspirations and positions
Skara Bohny (Stuff): Higher salmon deaths highlight reform need but industry urges speed
Jack Santa Barbara (Newsroom): Cheap abundant energy is the problem, not the solution
RNZ: Contact Energy’s Tauhara geothermal power station completion date delayed

Transport, Fuel prices
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Fuel prices: No plan to lower excise tax despite $3 pain at pump
Herald: Fuel rage: Could petrol prices for 91 also hit $3 per litre?
Damien O’Carroll (Stuff): As petrol prices rise, try to dial back the pump rage people
Stewart Sowman-Lund (Spinoff): What’s up with the price of petrol?
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Petrol has topped $3 a litre but why are prices rising so quickly?
Stephen Ward (Stuff): Drivers look past petrol price pain: Surge in electric car and bike interest as fuel prices hit ‘record’ levels
RNZ: National Party calls for Auckland regional fuel tax to be scrapped as prices rise
Bridie Witton (Stuff): National repeats calls for Regional Fuel Tax to be dropped amid ‘cost-of-living crisis’
John Weekes (Herald): Petrol prices: Nats say money sitting idle, Auckland regional fuel tax must go
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Never underestimate the power of a new tax
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Transmission Gully: Major repairs underway after surfacing issues
Nile Bijoux (Stuff): Toyota New Zealand doubles down on hydrogen
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): EV sales still too slow, govt mulls road user charges

Primary and Extractive Industries
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Government funds farmers’ contingency planning for outbreaks
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Negotiations to yet again ‘save’ aluminium smelter may face extra complication
Luisa Girao (ODT): Tiwai time extension toasted in Southland but Govt wary
Nicholas Pointon (RNZ): Rio Tinto wants to keep operating Tiwai Point smelter past 2024 closure date
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Tiwai Point smelter – we want to stay (paywalled)
No Right Turn: End Tiwai’s subsidies

Foreign Affairs, trade
Lydia Lewis (RNZ): First shipment of aid arrives in Tonga
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Welfare fears for rangatahi stranded in Dubai with Omicron

Marena Mane (Māori TV): Survey: Māori continue to experience government agencies’ ‘violence’
Marine Lourens (Stuff): Abuse in care inquiry: Survivors to tell of horrific abuse suffered at Christchurch Catholic school
Isaac Davison (Herald): Catholic Church says it’s too early to involve police in historic abuse findings, despite many complaints being upheld
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Massey research paper on Hindutva leads to trolling, persecution and threats
Kelly Makiha (Herald): Rebels gang VP who used teens in drug deals was a youth worker for Oranga Tamariki-linked agency (paywalled)
Tess McClure (Guardian): At least 28 people take advantage of New Zealand assisted dying laws in first three months
Sally Rae (ODT): New vet group grounding animal advocacy in science



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