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

Russia invasion of Ukraine
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Government facing pressure to freeze assets of Russian oligarchs
Katie Bradford (1News): Ukrainians in NZ urge Govt to seize Russian financial interests
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Cabinet considers prohibiting Russian investment in New Zealand
Rob Stock (Stuff): NZ investment funds had more than $100 million invested in Russia
Rob Stock (Stuff): Why NZ Super Fund must dump Sberbank of Russia over Ukraine invasion
Anna Whyte and Katie Bradford (1News): Hundreds of KiwiSaver, investment funds in Russian companies
Richard Harman (Politik): Government to review overseas investment approval criteria in wake of Ukraine (paywalled)
Richard Harman (Politik): The Putin ally with the $50 million New Zealand beachside lodge (paywalled)
Hamish Price (Patreon): Empire’s end (and our role in the downfall of Tsar Vlad)
Liam Dann (Herald): Limited trade fall-out from Russian conflict but inflation risk is real (paywalled)
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Global Unity Against Moscow Sends A Clear Message To Beijing
Olga Dodd (Stuff): Ukraine invasion set to hit Kiwis in the pocket
Andrea Fox (Herald): Fonterra suspends export shipments to Russia
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Ukrainians in New Zealand urging stronger action from Government in response to Russia
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): National’s Gerry Brownlee calls on Government to expel Russian diplomat
1News: NZ to send $2m in humanitarian aid for Ukraine
RNZ: New Zealand pledges $2m for Ukraine aid
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Russia-Ukraine war: New Zealand won’t be providing Ukrainians with military equipment, Jacinda Ardern says
John Minto (Daily Blog): Surely the Prime Minister was misquoted…
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): MFAT refuses to name 80 Russians subject to NZ travel ban (paywalls)
RNZ: New Zealanders with links to Ukraine say they feel horrified and helpless
1News: ‘NZ’s voice must be heard’ in condemning Russia – Kasparov
Kate Green (Stuff): Police respond to threats, white powder in an envelope at Russian Embassy
RNZ: Fonterra suspends shipments to Russia

Foreign affairs, trade
Anna Whyte (1 News): NZ and UK sign off on free trade agreement
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealand signs free trade agreement with United Kingdom
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): New Zealand and UK sign free trade deal
RNZ: New Zealand signs free trade deal with UK to eliminate all tariffs for NZ exports
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): New Zealand, United Kingdom sign Free Trade Agreement eliminating tariffs on Kiwi exports, boost of up to $1b to GDP
Phillip Inman (Guardian): UK and New Zealand sign free trade deal
1 News: NZ ‘pushing hard’ to secure free trade agreement with EU
Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): China will decide if globalisation ends
RNZ: Calls for NZ govt to condemn charges against West Papuan activist

Vaccine mandates, Wellington anti-mandate protest
1News: Ardern calls protest ‘Covid camp’ after 17 cases linked to it
Stuff: 17 people linked to ‘super-spreader’ Parliament occupation test positive
Romany Tasker-Poland (ISO): This is an Anti-Worker Occupation
1News: Iwi leader ‘disrespected’ by Parliament protesters’ behaviour
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Iwi take unprecedented stand against ‘abusive’ protesters who invaded marae
Māni Dunlop (RNZ): Te Kahu o te Raukura laid as a cloak of peace over Parliament grounds and ancestral whenua
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Te Kahu o Te Raukura – a call of protection and peace for Wellington
Te Rina Kowhai (Newshub): Iwi leaders from across the motu condemn violence of anti-mandate protesters at Parliament
Melanie Reid (Newsroom): A visit to freedom village (video)
Dylan Reeve (Spinoff): The tinfoil has been unrolled in Wellington
George Block and Kate Green (Stuff): Short-lived shower block gone after late-night police mission
Stuff: Four arrests at Parliament occupation, numbers continue to shrink
RNZ: Four more people arrested at anti-mandate protest
Adam Pearse (Stuff): Child at protest recalls riot police incident
Claire Breen (The Conversation): What are the rights of children at the parliament protest – and who protects them?
Newshub: Parliament anti-mandate protest: Showers removed, tyres slashed in late night protest standoff
1News: Judge orders prominent anti-vaccine activist away from Parliament
George Block (Stuff): Tension escalates over demand for vehicle access to occupation site
Vita Molyneux (Herald): One arrested at Parliament occupation, protest spreads to Auckland
Erin Gourley (Stuff): Convoy vehicles aren’t being ticketed, but shoppers are
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Businesses supporting the occupation of Parliament risk reputational damage – marketing experts
Stuff: Maskless protesters watch their court appearances via video link
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Wellington Girls’ College to reopen on Tuesday following occupation closure
Ella Duggan and Raya Hotter (Herald): Wellington students kept away from school
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): Mr Foster goes to Parliament

Auckland and other NZ anti-mandate protests, rule breaches
David Fisher (Herald): Inside intelligence: Security service reports detail ‘realistic possibility’ of violent terror attack threat from ‘peaceful’ anti-vax movement
1 News: Ardern still feels safe despite heckling from protesters
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Auckland protest: Council ‘ready to act’ with trespass notices, waiting for police green light – Goff
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Council set to take action against anti-mandate protesters at Auckland Domain
RNZ: Auckland Domain protest: Mayor says council ready to act on campers
Simon Wilson (Herald): John Key, the Black Eyed Peas and the protest on the harbour bridge (paywalled)
RNZ: Police, hapū and iwi monitoring anti-mandate protest in New Plymouth
Alexa Cook (Newshub): Picton locals demand police move protesters on as illegal camp infuriates neighbours
Gabrielle McCulloch (Stuff): Covid-positive swimmer rescued, placing Auckland lifeguards at ‘significant risk
1News: Swimmer who knew they had Covid rescued from Auckland surf
RNZ: Checkpoint: Surf lifesavers frustrated at Covid-positive swimmer’s rescue
RNZ: Dunedin students claiming to have Covid coughed on officers – police

High Court Ruling on police and defence force mandates
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Reason to cheer the High Court quashing a vaccine mandate
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Govt faces legal ultimatum: End mandates and vaccine passes, now
Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Unvaccinated cops told to stay away from work for now
RNZ: Officers stood down over mandates seen protesting at Parliament – Police association
RNZ: Police and defence mandates court case has opposition urging rethink
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Mandate cases should wake the Govt up

Govt response to Omicron outbreak, Cases
Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig, Matire Harwood, Nick Wilson (The Conversation): Two years on from the first COVID case, New Zealand’s successful pandemic response still faces major challenges
RNZ: New Zealand’s Covid-19 response still one of the best worldwide – Michael Baker
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Māori health analyst criticises rollout mistakes as virus continues to target young people
Eva Corlett (Guardian): Previously virus-free New Zealand now has one of world’s highest Covid transmission rates
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Checkpoint: NZers most in need bearing brunt of Omicron outbreak
Stuff: The 1pm news conferences are making a return for Omicron
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Māori health provider still chasing up contracts for its pandemic work
Leighton Keith (Herald): Trials on hold after court staff get sick following party
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): It’s not freedom we’ve lost, it’s our common sense
RNZ: Covid-19 update: 14,633 new community cases, 344 in hospital, five in ICU
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Hospitalisations spike to 344 with five in ICU
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Unvaccinated people four times over-represented in hospital data
Tom Hunt, Ellen O’Dwyer and Bronte Metekingi (Stuff): 648 Covid cases in Victoria University, Wellington halls
Julia de Bres (Stuff): Reactions to government’s use of ‘bro’ says plenty about us too

Border
Alan Granville (Stuff): The end of MIQ: The good, the bad and the ugly of managed isolation
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Government ditching border isolation rules a bright spot in Omicron tumult
Stuff Editorial: New Zealand’s time for global reconnection has arrived
Herald Editorial: Returnees arrive to Omicron in ascendency (paywalled)
Oscar Francis (ODT): Border rule changes: relief, hope for more
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Border opening lifts spirits before Omicron lets rip
Michael Neilson (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern announces no more self-isolation for vaxxed Kiwi travellers
1New: Border reopening, new isolation rules: What you need to know
Henry Cooke (Stuff): How New Zealand’s five-step border reopening will work
Anna Whyte (1News): Isolation to be scrapped for fully vaccinated, border opens to all Kiwis Friday
Herald: Government removes self-isolation for vaxxed travellers – experts react
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern provides post-Cabinet briefing on easing of border restrictions
Derek Cheng (Herald): Why borders could fully reopen before winter (paywalled)
Debbie Jamieson and Nadine Porter (Stuff): Tourism businesses ‘thrilled’ at end of isolation but want borders open to visitors sooner
John Anthony and Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Tourism sector welcomes isolation move, calls for news on international arrivals
Andrea Fox (Herald): Airlines, tourism industry celebrate border relaxations
1News: Emotional scenes as MIQ-free travel from Australia reopens
Lincoln Tan (Herald): Tears, hugs as first flight from Australia lands in Auckland
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Jetstar halts trans-Tasman, Rarotonga flights for three months 

Public health measures, Testing, Masks
RNZ: Covid-19 testing advice update needed to better understand rate of infections, says modeller
Alice Wilkins (Newshub): Some supermarkets to stock rapid antigen tests as early as next week
Matthew Martin (Stuff): RATs ‘burned through’ as South Waikato testing centres hit peak demand
Rachel Thomas, Tom Hunt and André Chumko (Stuff): GPs await RAT deliveries as Wellington’s testing nightmare continues
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Rapid antigen tests fly off pharmacy and supermarket shelves
John MacDonald (Newstalk ZB): Regardless of your job, the government should pay for your RAT test
Lachie McLeod (1News): Plane delivering tonnes of RATs touches down in Christchurch
1News: Long lines for RATs in Wellington leaves people frustrated
Kendall Hutt (1News): Why the ‘hidden heroes’ of our Covid-19 response are striking
Siobhan Downes (Stuff): Why are face masks necessary on flights?

Health
Elspeth Frascatore (Spinoff): ‘We feel unseen’: An Auckland ED doctor responds to calls to ditch Covid restrictions
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): More than 13 percent of Counties Manukau DHB staff off work due to Covid-19
1 News: Q and A: Middlemore Hospital boss says March will be ‘pretty tight month’
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Counties Manukau DHB postpones surgeries, scans amid Omicron surge
RNZ: Lawyer ‘extremely concerned’ for healthcare of disabled after hospital visit
Grant Miller (ODT): Ministry of Health’s vaccination blunder
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Damning ICU report reveals systemic inequities for Māori health
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): MP criticises Southern District Health Board’s orthopaedic outpatient programme
Sally Mackay, Kelly Garton, Sarah Gerritsen (Public Health Expert): Aotearoa New Zealand’s unhealthy food environment needs more policy action
Lauren Hendricksen (Newshub): Kiwis call on Government to increase Pharmac funding to help fund Spinraza treatment
1News: Teen smoking rates fall to all time low, vaping increases
William Hewett (Newshub): New survey finds teen smoking falls to record low in New Zealand

Employment
Katherine Ravenswood (Stuff): Pay equity settlement has not delivered all it promised 
Ryan Boswell (1News): Little weight given to Gloriavale documents waiving workers’ rights
Joanne Naish (Stuff): ‘A privilege to work hard’: Gloriavale administrator testifies about wages going back to the community
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): ACC levy change will see employers with history of fatalities pay more (paywalled)
David Farrar: Even the PSA supports indexing tax brackets
RNZ: RSE scheme cap increased to 16,000
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Hundreds more RSE workers for Hawke’s Bay – but is it enough (paywalled)
Ben Kepes (Stuff): Why so many employees are jumping ship amid pandemic
Jane Phare (Herald): Ready, set, go! Employers brace for the Kiwi worker exodus as borders reopen (paywalled)

Parliament, MPs
Stuff: Things we didn’t learn this week, to February 25
Anna Whyte (1News): Government Minister David Parker tests positive for Covid-19
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Attorney-General David Parker the first Cabinet minister to contract Covid-19
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Cabinet Minister David Parker tests positive for Covid 19

Housing
Greg Ninness (Interest): The idea that first home buyers have been disproportionately affected by the CCCFA changes appears to be unfounded
Rob Stock (Stuff): Asking prices for homes fell in 11 of 19 regions in February as market cools
Kirsty Wynn (Herald): OneRoof Report: Brakes are on the housing market as rules and interest rates bite
Julia Czerwonatis (Northern Advocate/Herald): OneRoof: Northland average housing prices crack $900k after strongest quarterly growth across NZ (paywalled)
Amber Allott (Stuff): Tenant returns from work to find himself homeless after house declared unfit to live in

Local government
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Auckland mayoralty: Labour Party backs councillor Efeso Collins as its candidate
RNZ: Labour endorses Efeso Collins for Auckland mayoralty
Herald: Labour Party endorses Efeso Collins for Auckland mayoralty
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Auckland Council debt climbs to $10.5b, finances struggling under Covid-19 impact
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): ECan signals 24.1 per cent rates rise as Annual Plan reaches consultation stage
Mike Yardley (Stuff): Can Christchurch’s next mayor slow council’s runaway spending? 
Janine Rankin (Stuff): Palmerston North homeowners could face double-digit rates increases
Jimmy Ellingham (Local Democracy Reporting): Regional council allows public input on proposed waste-to-energy plant
Sam Kelway (1News): Govt to decide future of Tauranga City Council
RNZ: Queenstown-Lakes residents suffering from poor mental health, survey shows
Jessica Roden (1News): Boiling frustration at Reefton’s water woes

Education
1News: Big Covid outbreak at Victoria University’s halls of residence
Julie Bennett, Tim Chambers and Caroline Shorter (Public Health Expert): Ventilation in NZ schools during the Omicron wave – results from a preliminary study
Cecilia Robinson (Herald): When back to school isn’t normal – or acceptable (paywalled)
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Alternative power for some Dunedin students impacted by planned outages
Dubby Henry (Herald): Underserved learners miss out on billions in lost wages, NZIER analysis finds (paywalled)
Karanama Ruru (Stuff): Student allowance to increase by $25pw, but students still ‘just scraping by’

Economy, Business
Danyl McLauchlan (Listener/Herald): The ‘world’s scariest economist’ is on a mission to fix capitalism – and New Zealand’s listening (paywalled)
David Hargreaves (Interest): ANZ Business Outlook Survey records massive hit to business confidence, while inflation and pricing expectations hit fresh survey highs
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Business confidence survey suggests inflation could hit 8%, says ANZ 
RNZ: Business confidence slumps amid Omicron, rising costs
BusinessDesk: Recession ahead? Business confidence tanks (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Power company profits jump 60% as customers warned to prepare for ‘hard year’
Aimee Shaw (Herald): Grocery business: Comings and goings in NZ’s supermarket scene (paywalled)
RNZ: NZ: Commercial Bay landlord wants staff back in city offices
Tessa Guest (RNZ): Kaikōura businesses desperate for tourists as bookings dry up
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Chatham Islands businesses hope border reopening won’t stunt tourism boost
RNZ: Restaurant Brands’ net profit expands by about $21m

Environment, Climate Change
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Why the Climate Change Commission is being taken to court
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Climate Change Commission fell “well short” in carbon-cutting advice, lawyers argue
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): Prepare now for climate turbulence or pay extra when it hits, says mammoth global report
Jamie Morton (Herald): NZ slow on climate adaptation as UN issues ‘dire warning’
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): ‘All life on Earth is vulnerable to a changing climate’
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Environment Ministry considers national database to register old landfill sites
Kamiya Varshney (Newsroom): Our cities need to capture carbon, not just offset it

Transport
Todd Niall (Stuff): What is a fair public transport fare – especially for the climate?
Rob Stock (Stuff): Ports of Auckland services slow because staff off with Omicron
RNZ: High warrant failure rate must be addressed to help cut road toll – MTA
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Government road safety campaign doesn’t address woeful state of cars, MTA says
Ben Strang (Stuff): Transmission Gully road builders send second letter saying it’s fit for public use
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Transmission Gully neighbour raises run-off issue (paywalled)
Kathleen Bunting (Newsroom): Maximising benefits of Auckland light rail

Immigration
Amanda Gillies (Newshub): Disabled man being deported to India despite living in New Zealand for 22 years
Ruth Hill (RNZ): Refugee sponsorship scheme sees Kiwis volunteer to help settle migrants

Media, Internet
Gavin Ellis: Fog thick on ground in Ukraine/ Swallows and summer
Glen Kyne (Stuff): What’s at stake in RNZ-TVNZ merger: a competitor’s view
1News: Experts want more digital regulation as misinformation grows

Other
Nicky Hager (Declassified Australia): Eyes over the Pacific
No Right Tun: Utterly reprehensible
Veronica Schmidt (RNZ): Child abuse victim only latest to be failed by Fire and Emergency – advocate
Veronica Schmidt (RNZ): The town that backed a child sex abuser
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Mayor apologises to Lake Alice patients: ‘There must have been a sense that all wasn’t well’
Barrie Saunders: Richard Randerson – yes there is a better way
RNZ: Mosque terrorist attacks: Survivor to walk 350km to reclaim peace
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): New tsunami alert in works for New Zealand after Tonga eruption
Robin Martin (RNZ): Act casts shadow over Maari oil field deal
Will Hansen and Kerryn Pollock (Spinoff): 50 years of gay liberation in Aotearoa
ODT: MPI among those investigating horse rider’s actions
Rebecca Ryan (ODT): SPCA launches investigation after rider kicks horse

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