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

Vaccine mandates, Wellington anti-mandate protest
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): Giving a voice to Voices for Freedom
Paul Spoonley (The Conversation): The extremism visible at the parliament protest has been growing in NZ for years – is enough being done?
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Good morning NZ – today is the kind of democracy that tastes like pepper spray
Steven Cowan: Teanau Tuiono and Marama Davidson: Nazi Hunters
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Stuff: Live: Protesters armed with ‘pitchforks and plywood shields’, police move on Parliament
William Hewett (Newshub): Latest on Parliament protest, COVID-19 community outbreak – Wednesday, March 2
1News: Live: Parliament protesters seen with plywood shields, pitchforks, lasers
RNZ: Live: Anti-mandate protest enters 23rd day as police descend on Parliament
Erin Gourley and George Block (Stuff): Protesters pepper sprayed as hundreds of police move in
Herald: Anti-mandate protest at Parliament enters 23rd day – police gather in big numbers
George Block, Kate Green and Erin Gourley (Stuff): Additional concrete blocks delivered to Parliament to manage protest
William Hewett (Newshub): Protester accuses cop at Parliament protest of ‘inciting violence’, mob yells ‘murderers’ after showers taken
1 News: Parliament protest showers removed, police car tyres flattened
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): ‘I’ll take this to the end’: Protest shower block man Colin Wightman says police stole it
RNZ: Police accuse anti-mandate protesters of damaging their cars
Vita Molyneux (Herald): Police tyres slashed, protesters told to get out of Auckland Domain as anti-vaccine protest continues
Stuff:  How police have ended other long-term protest occupations
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Miriam Burrell and Isaac Davison (Herald): ‘We’re not going anywhere’: Anti-mandate protesters at Auckland Domain defy eviction notice
James Halpin and Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Eviction notices handed to anti-mandate protesters at Auckland Domain
Jamie Tahana (RNZ): Auckland Domain protest: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei wants it brought to a swift end
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV): Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei tells Pukekawa occupiers to go home

Russia invasion of Ukraine
Reuben Steff (Newsroom): NZ must act as Putin rips future wide open
Alexander Gillespie (The Conversation): Ukraine crisis: how do small states like New Zealand respond in an increasingly lawless world?
Gary Hughes (Herald): Why NZ can’t levy proper sanctions on Russia, and what it lays bare (paywalled)
Robert Ayson (Incline): Sanctioning Russia: Where New Zealand and Partners Sit
Liam Hehir: NZ drags the chain on Russia (again)
David Farrar: Ardern provides the perfect example of why perfect is the enemy of good (paywalled)
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Law changes needed to sanction Russia, says international law expert 
Richard Prebble (Herald):  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lessons for New Zealand (paywalled)
Malcom Evans (Daily Blog): Whadda Ya Know?
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Jacinda Ardern hints at Russian Sanctions Bill coming
RNZ: Government moving fast on new law to allow more sanctions on Russia
Thomas Manch (Stuff): ‘Slava Ukraini’: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leads Parliament in condemnation of Russia, amid criticism of inaction
Russell Palmer (RNZ): National urges visa for Ukrainians fleeing ‘unhinged’ Putin’s war
Michael Neilson (Herald): NZ Parliament condemns ‘bully’ Putin; Luxon and Ardern face off on living costs
Thomas Manch (Stuff): ‘The blatant act of a bully’: Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta condemns Russia’s invasion at UN
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): National’s Erica Stanford and Greens’ Golriz Ghahraman and Ricardo Menendez March want NZ to welcome Ukrainians fleeing war
John Weekes (Herald): Christopher Luxon says Putin ‘unhinged’, invasion an affront to human rights
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): National calls for stronger action against ‘completely unhinged’ Russian President Vladimir Putin
Herald Editorial: Encircling and isolating Russia as Ukraine resists (paywalled)
Andrew McRae (RNZ): Sanctions will drive business rethink on dealing with Russia – international trade lawyer
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): KiwiSaver managers exit Russian investments but ethical expert calls for more action (paywalled)
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Ukrainians and Russians unite on streets of Christchurch to condemn Putin’s invasion
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Russian and Ukrainian community in Christchurch protest against conflict
Emma Clark-Dow (Stuff): Auckland liquor stores pull Russian alcohol from shelves in support of Ukraine
Joe Bennett (Stuff): Ukraine shows Putin is not a man of his word 
Rachel Moore and Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Hamilton’s river city refuge for Ukrainian refugees

Foreign affairs, trade
Richard Harman (Politik): The Maori free trade trap (paywalled)
RNZ: FTA with UK: Dairy and meat exporters thrilled, but academic criticises deal
David Chaston (Interest): New Zealand signs a me-too free trade deal with the UK
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Tiriti neglected, Māori failed by UK trade agreement – NTW
Sally Rae (ODT): NZ-UK FTA ‘significant boost’ for farmers
No Right Turn: Locking away our culture
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Free trade agreement with UK ‘not just sending carcasses’ – Damien O’Connor
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): New Zealand, United Kingdom sign Free Trade Agreement eliminating tariffs on Kiwi exports, boost of up to $1b to GDP
David Farrar: NZ the odd one out on Israel

Public health measures, Testing, Masks, Vaccine, Isolation
Derek Cheng (Herald): The testing failure hangover from Delta and why it matters (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Ashley Bloomfield fronts over failure, no minister to be seen
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Covid testing ‘overestimate’ grounds for concern
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Bloomfield misled public over testing capacity, says opposition
Eric Crampton (Newsroom): What we now won’t know about Covid
Zane Small (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admits ‘errors have been made’ with COVID-19 test backlog of 32,000
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Ashley Bloomfield apologises for ‘overestimating’ PCR test capacity, delays
Hannah Martin (Stuff): ‘A bit pointless’ to process tens of thousands of days-old PCR tests
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Pressure on Ashley Bloomfield with PCR testing system overwhelmed
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Overwhelmed GPs urge patients to keep calm over RATs and ‘self-manage’ Covid-19 
Cherie Howie (Herald): Demand for Rapid Antigen Tests soars as outbreak grows
Rob Stock (Stuff): Price war beckons as The Warehouse starts selling rapid antigen tests
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Bloomfield puts pressure on DHBs to ramp up rapid antigen test distribution as queues top 1 kilometre
Eric Trump and Grant Miller (ODT): Southern Rat race on as competition for stock rises
Emile Donovan (RNZ): The Detail: How RATs change the Covid-19 testing game
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Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Data from Delta and Omicron outbreaks show 1 in 15 unvaccinated cases were hospitalised – significantly more than vaccinated
1News: Novavax Covid vaccine approved for use in NZ
Adam Pearse (Herald): Novavax approved in New Zealand
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Herald: Over 200 Navy personnel isolating after outbreak
Shea Turner (Stuff): Oubreak at Auckland navy base sees 216 personnel isolating
Herald: Auckland Harbour Bridge hit by Covid-related staffing issues
Alice O’Connell (Stuff): ‘I literally cannot afford to get Covid-19’ Where to go for support right now

Govt response to Omicron outbreak, Cases
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Covid-19 hospitalisations to hit 800 in under a week at current rate
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Pandemic measures saved 2750 lives, caused life expectancy to rise 
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Omicron’s potentially bumpy peak
Herald: ‘Tough few weeks’ predicted but rapid tests, mask use should help, Bloomfield says
David Farrar: No Covid-19 antiviral drugs until April!
RNZ: Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield provides a Covid-19 update
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): How pattern of symptoms has changed and what children particularly show if infected
Teanau Tuiono (Stuff): The recovery from Covid must focus on strengthening communities
Nikki Preston (Herald): Nearly 20,000 new community cases, 373 people in hospital – Ashley Bloomfield
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Three months of high cases

Border
John Anthony (Stuff): Border reopening: ANZ predicts 20,000 Kiwis a year will leave for Australia
Grant Bradley (Herald): Crunch time for airlines nears despite easing of New Zealand border rules (paywalled)
ODT Editorial: Opening time

Health
Herald: DHBs ask Employment Court to stop 10,000 healthcare workers from striking
RNZ: DHBs go to court to try and stop planned one-day strike by health staff
Miriam Burrell (Herald): St John Auckland workload up 31 per cent, 150 staff unwell
Megan Wilson (Bay of Plenty Times/Herald): Tauranga Hospital at 93 per cent capacity as Omicron surges (paywalled)
Olivia Shivas (Stuff): Omicron: How disabled people manage the health system, hospital visits during outbreak
Nikki Preston (Herald): Aged-care centres around the country locked down to protect residents
Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): One in 10 visitors to Ryman Healthcare rest homes return positive test at entry
Stuff:  Reports of atypical ‘tummy symptoms’ in children with virus
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Health and mental wellbeing can be influenced by where you live, health experts find
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Southern DHB cancer specialists have highest workload in NZ
Mike Houlahan (ODT): More staff needed to reduce cancer lists
Gabrielle McCulloch (Stuff): Most medicinal cannabis users buy on the black market – report
Oscar Francis (ODT): ACC age discrimination claim

Employment
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Workers at large Auckland pallet supplier go on indefinite strike
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Can you be fired for attending a protest?

Parliament, MPs
Graham Adams (The Platform): Can a government die of laughter?
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Hybrid Parliament lets MPs deliver important speeches and boring questions
RNZ: ACT Party’s offices at Parliament relocated due to ‘security issue’

Housing
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Banks issued a blunt warning that vulnerable customers would be most impacted by CCCFA (paywalled)
John Bolton (Stuff): Will the review of responsible lending laws bring the changes we need?
Geraden Cann (Stuff): CoreLogic say buyer-seller standoff developing as house prices fall
Miriam Bell (Stuff): It’s been the biggest renovation boom in decades, but it’s winding down
Herald: House price growth rate lowest since Sept 2020 as property market loses strength
Chris Schulz (Spinoff): ‘I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach’: One flatter’s Wellington nightmare comes true
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Where angels fear to tread? (Paywalled)

Local government
Glenn McLean (Stuff): Report slams New Plymouth District Council’s contractor management as weak and open to fraud
Georgina Campbell (Herald): A Capital Letter: Wellington mayor’s leadership on the protest better late than never (paywalled)
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Confusion over whether Wellington mayor was a close contact at occupation site
Stephen Ward (Stuff): Councils split on push for Gulf co-governance model
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Tasman District Council boss to head up local government reform team
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Oh happy day! Auckland Establishment Left forced to back Efeso Collins as Mayor
Anne Gibson (Herald): Council wants answers from Ali Williams, Anna Mowbray on helicopter application (paywalled)
Isaac Davison (Herald): Auckland Council accidentally throws out man’s disability aids after mistaking them for inorganic collection
Stephen Ward (Stuff): Stalwart of Waikato local government hanging up his chains after 12 years as mayor
Jo Lines-MacKenzie (Stuff): Collection of Hamilton City Council’s food scrap bins paused due to Omicron
Olivia Caldwell (Stuff): Christchurch QEII closes some pools over Covid-related staff shortage
Logan Savory (Stuff):Invercargill deputy mayor’s museum collection push voted down
Logan Savory (Stuff): Invercargill City Council to review vaccine mandate policy in April

Education
1News: Bloomfield calls start of uni – ‘nationwide super-spreader event
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Teachers’ union criticises Victoria University as Covid-19 sweeps through halls
RNZ: Checkpoint: Tertiary union disappointed at VUW’s handling of Covid-19
Mairatea Mohi (Stuff): Kura kaupapa ‘jumping through hoops’ to acquire rapid antigen tests
Avina Vidyadharan (Herald): Northland education leaders frustrated on the frontline by lack of critical worker status (paywalled)
Lee Kenny (Stuff): Mum pays $270 a week to retain preschool place as she keeps daughter home due to Omicron
Chlöe Swarbrick (Herald):  Tertiary education pathway far steeper climb for New Zealand’s poor
George Heagney (Stuff): Education group makes funding plea for refugee children

Economy, Business
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): The S word that has businesses and bankers worried
David Hargreaves (Interest): The return of the old enemy – inflation expectations
RNZ: Omicron, worker exodus point to testing times ahead – economic reports
1News: Countdown addresses supply shortages as 1000 staff in isolation
Nathan Morton (Stuff): A thousand Countdown staff out with Covid, food shortages at Auckland stores
Andrea Fox (Herald): No quick relief for big-paying cargo shippers in return of aviation (paywalled)
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Border reopening uncertainty making it ‘nigh on impossible to operate’, tourism players say
Esther Taunton and John Anthony (Stuff): National leader Christopher Luxon in favour of creating hospitality portfolio
Katie Townshend (Stuff): ‘Domino effect’ starts to hit hospitality suppliers
Aimee Shaw (Herald): Grocery business: Comings and goings in NZ’s supermarket scene (paywalled)
Laura Smith (Herald): Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs will close and its animals be rehomed by September (paywalled)

Environment, Climate Change
RNZ: Climate change will increase existing social inequalities – James Shaw
No Right Turn: Climate Change: Our future is on the line
Anne Salmond (Newsroom): IPCC report condemns forestry use planned by NZ
Eloise Gibson (Stuff): Why baby steps won’t be enough to defend our farms and cities 
Bruce Glavovic (The Conversation): IPCC report: Coastal cities are sentinels for climate change. It’s where our focus should be as we prepare for inevitable impacts
Mirjam Guesgen (Spinoff): The climate crisis isn’t just about the environment, it’s about people
Stuff Editorial: Amid kaleidoscopic problems, climate change is still the big picture
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): 5 + 13 = 3: Climate Commission relies on “irrational” maths to justify advice, lawyers argue
David Williams (Newsroom): Deloitte reviews DoC’s mess in the Mackenzie
Doug Sail and Brooke Black (Stuff): Investigations a waste of public money, Opuha Water says

Child welfare
Katie Harris (Herald): ‘Oranga Tamariki is failing’: Young person who tried to die in state care urges Govt to act
Veronica Schmidt (RNZ): Child sex abuse claimants need more support in court – experts
Carrie Leonetti (Newsroom): How the Family Court rewards abusive behaviour rather than recognising it

Media
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): Departing TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick: ‘If I had my time over again, I’d have gone faster’
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Gutless censorship by Sky TV is outrageous

Other
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Public service bullying data: ‘out of sight, out of mind’?
Stuff:  Challenge to use of pepper spray that prisoners call ‘excruciating’
Karl du Fresne: Does the right to say what we think still apply when we do it anonymously?
Jem Traylen (BusinessDesk): Record 10,000+ resident applications crash INZ’s system
Oscar Francis (ODT): ‘Out of touch’: INZ’s visa message shocks family

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