NZ Politics Daily: 27 August 2021

NZ Politics Daily: 27 August 2021

Alert levels decision
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Experts warn of sticking points for alert level drops
Rachelle Binny, Michael Plank, Shaun Hendy, Siouxsie Wiles (The Conversation): Auckland is likely to remain in strict lockdown for several more weeks to stamp out NZ’s Delta outbreak
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Every case must be found before Level 3
Dan Satherly (Newshub): Auckland likely to stay at level 4 two extra weeks, rest of NZ probably just a few days – Michael Baker
1 News: Michael Baker hopeful South Island can move down Covid alert levels ‘soon’
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Lockdown likely to be for weeks, Prof David Skegg says
Herald: Auckland likely to remain in strict lockdown for several more weeks
Derek Cheng (Herald): Level 3 outside Auckland ripe for the choosing – but carries political risks(paywalled)
1 News: Expert lays out locked-down NZ’s roadmap back to Level 1
Michael Neilson (Herald): Lockdown and alert-level decision day – experts urge Jacinda Ardern, Government to be cautious
Zane Small (Newshub): National MP fears ‘massive psychological change’ for Kiwis after epidemiologist David Skegg admits COVID-19 elimination ‘may fail’
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand could be split into North and South Island bubbles, Covid modeller suggests
Herald: Majority vote for South Island alert level change
Jonathan Guildford (Stuff): Slim hope for level skipping in South Island all but dashed 
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Hopes alert level drop now possible
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Southern hopes for level drop
Stuff Editorial: We’ll leave lockdown changed, for changing times

Government management of outbreak, expert advice
Laura Walters (Spinoff): In defence of those who hold the government to account on Covid-19
Peter Dunne (Newsroom): Govt needs a new story on Covid
Gordon Campbell: On how Delta has changed the endgame for the pandemic
Richard Harman (Politik): The elimination game (paywalled)
Jane Clifton (Herald/Listener): Delta joins a catalogue of issues the Govt is struggling with (paywalled)
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Lockdown now, then what? (paywalled)
Peter Dunne: Hospitalisation figure should be the key driver for the development of future policy, not an incidental extra
Claire Trevett (Herald): We don’t expect perfection, Prime Minister, but drop the defensiveness(paywalled)
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Delta Lockdown: Political Winners & Losers
Rawiri Taonui (Waatea News): How the Government ignored the warning signs of a Delta OutBreak
Hannah Kronast (Newshub): Fox News host mocks Jacinda Ardern, slams NZ and Australia’s COVID-19 response
Siouxsie Wiles (Spinoff): Ignore the uninformed windbags. Lockdowns really do work
Nick Wilson, Matthew Parry, Leah Grout, Michael Baker (Public Health Expert): More Wastewater Testing Could Guide Optimal Covid-19 Control on the Path Back to Elimination
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says patterns behind new COVID-19 case numbers show lockdown is working and elimination is the right strategy
1 News: ‘Delta showing itself as Delta’ — Bloomfield hoping Covid cases will begin to level off
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand Covid update: Ardern rejects criticism of elimination strategy after 68 new cases
RNZ: Covid-19 lockdown day 9: How it unfolded

Vaccine rollout
Cushla Norman (1 News): Vaccinating 90% much safer than 70% – modelling results ‘stark’
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Prioritising Auckland for vaccines would have put us in ‘better situation’, experts say
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): “No Jab, No Job!” – Preventing The Injury Of All By One
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Minister rejects mandatory worker vaccines for wider New Zealand
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Employers can’t fire employees for refusing vaccination, but can refuse to hire them
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Employers cannot sack existing staff over jabs
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Waikato DHB plays ‘catch-up’ with staff vaccination records in an inappropriate way — union
Dr Graeme Jarvis (Herald):  Covid-19 vaccine procurement: Counting our blessings (paywalled)
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): Napier MP Stuart Nash says Collins’ ‘anti-vaxxer’ claim doesn’t dignify response
1 News: Essential worker shocked at being part of vaccine botch-up
RNZ: ‘Unacceptable’ not all police officers vaccinated – National Party
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): National’s vaccination plan
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): The Ministry of Health is dishonest
Kate Hawkesby (Newstalk ZB): The Saline Scandal shows a lack of transparency
Karen Pasco (ODT): Concern over closeness of vaccinations
Jody O’Callaghan and Cate Broughton (Stuff): Frustrated over vaccination booking delays? Keep shopping around
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Iwi collective urges Māori to take whānau to get vaccinated
Herald: Should New Zealand health officials consider booster shots?
Herald: What rights do children and parents have when giving consent to be vaccinated?
Stuff: Ministry of Health surveying vaccination side effects 
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Walk-in vaccination clinic at stadium for students
Justin Giovannetti (The Spinoff): Comparing NZ’s vaccine rollout to the world
Andy Fyers (BusinessDesk): Vaccine tracker: how NZ’s rollout is progressing (paywalled)
Florence Kerr (Stuff): Covid vaccines, health insurance and ACC: yes, you’re covered

MIQ, border, immigration
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Second Auckland hotel named for quarantining Covid-19 cases
Herald: Novotel Ellerslie Ibis Auckland’s newest facility to house positive cases
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Two more Auckland hotels to take Covid-19 patients as Jet Park nears capacity
Herald: Second quarantine facility for Auckland, options for Wgtn, Chch
Kiri Gillespie (Herald): Government eyes Rotorua for extra MIQ despite city’s plea for ‘no more’(paywalled)
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Crowne Plaza works to be completed tonight, no new arrivals until mid-September
Ankur Sabharwal (Stuff):Is Covid really to blame for our immigration problems?
Heather Roy: Cave Too Small for All 6 Million Kiwis
RNZ: Pregnant NZ woman declined MIQ emergency spot six times
Gaynor Reid (Stuff): I spent $40,000 and five weeks in quarantine to not see my Australian family
Andy Leake (Stuff): Locked down in New Zealand whilst my home country enjoys freedom

Contact tracing, locations of interest, testing
Charlie Gates, Sam Sherwood and Hanna McCallum (Stuff):New wastewater tests in Christchurch could show if virus is in community
Sam Sherwood, Hanna McCallum and Charlie Gates (Stuff): Wastewater data shows virus in Christchurch, but it could be from MIQ
Devon Bolger (Herald): Virus detected in Christchurch wastewater
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Airborne transmission of Covid-19 more widespread than previously believed – study
Jamie Morton (Herald): Airborne virus spread ‘vastly underappreciated’
Geraden Cann (Stuff): Staff member at retirement home tests positive for Delta variant
Luke Kirkeby (Stuff): Anger follows news that council staff withheld place of interest alert 
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Nearly 12,500 close contacts yet to return a COVID-19 test as officials scramble to find outbreak’s edge
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Why 800 new contact tracers were brought on since Monday
Hannah Martin (Stuff): 68 new cases in Delta outbreak, 277 in total, ‘completely justifies’ lockdown
Derek Cheng (Herald): Possible link between Crowne Plaza index case to church group
Vaimoana Tapaleao (Herald): Churchgoers told to ‘keep the faith’ as new testing clinic opens
Cate Broughton (Stuff): How our testing capacity stood up to the Delta variant
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Call for government to consider cheaper, quicker testing for Covid-19
Adam Pearse (Herald): Testing centre workers speak from the frontline
Herald: What exactly goes on during a supermarket deep clean

Wage subsidy, business
Bernard Hickey (The Spinoff): The rich got richer in last year’s lockdown – and now it’s set to happen again
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): ‘Four inquiries a day’ about potential price gouging during lockdown: MBIE
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Government finances strong, despite outbreak, say ratings agencies(paywalled)
1 News: Robertson answers FAQs about Covid financial support
Rob Stock (Stuff): Mixed evidence on whether Lockdown 2020 changed money habits
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Ministry’s error would have denied businesses wage subsidy
Anan Zaki (RNZ): Some small firms have ‘incredibly low’ cash reserves
Brian Fallow (Herald): Jobs market showing the signs of strain (paywalled)
Sarah Templeton (Newshub): Auckland gym requests ‘loyal’ members pay throughout lockdown, or cancel membership
Jacqui Dean (Stuff): With this Gov’t, the devil is in the lack of details
RNZ: Christchurch International Airport considering bond offer to help finance
RNZ: Kiwibank reports $126m net profit with strong lending growth
RNZ: Pāmu reports a $29 million after tax profit
RNZ: Māori authorities exports rose by 1.8% to $755m in 2020 – Stats NZ
Sally Murphy (RNZ: China’s ban on two Sealord plants having ‘significant impact’
Esther Taunton (Stuff): ‘Come on, bro’: Supermarkets urged to show compassion for elderly shoppers
Philip Chandler and Tracey Roxburgh (Mountain Scene): Next few months ‘horrific’ for Queenstown
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Kiwibank boss Steve Jurkovich: How this lockdown is different (paywalled)
Catherine Groenestein (Stuff): How a Foursquare is helping a small rural town in lockdown
Nicholas Boyack (Stuff) :Frontline heroes: Funeral directors still have work to do in lockdown
Maia Hart (Stuff): Daffodil drop-off planned for essential workers if alert levels allow

Case demographics, Pacific communities
Emma Russell (Herald): Pasifika 13 of 15 hospital cases
Sela Jane Hopgood (RNZ): ‘We want Covid-19 eliminated’: Pasifika community in Auckland test in hundreds
Johnny Blades (RNZ): Pacific outreach seeks out people missed by health system

Parliament suspended
Brent Edwards (NBR): Is Jacinda Ardern really a dictator? (Spoiler alert – no she isn’t) (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Parliamentary staff wary of return to work amid Delta outbreak
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Politicians show off their lockdown outfits for virtual meetings

Level 4 rules
Newstalk ZB: ‘Divisive legislation’ only Maori can go fishing under level 4 health legislation
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Families grapple with how to mourn loved ones during lockdown
Karen Coltman (Stuff): Pubs and clubs annoyed at ‘onerous’ Covid-19 rules

Lockdown compliance, enforcement, checkpoints
Molly Houseman (ODT): Lockdown movement analysed by Google
1 News: ‘Large number’ of cars turned around in Northland – Coster
Imran Ali (Northern Advocate): Northland police clarify checkpoint confusion
Peter de Graaf (Northern Advocate): Iwi ‘sidelined’ over police checkpoints (paywalled)
RNZ: No support from emergency management minister Kris Faafoi for Tairāwhiti checkpoints
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Security guard allegedly punched and had trolley hurled at him during incident at Wellington New World
George Block (Stuff): Labour lockdown ads: PM ‘disappointed’ after deliveries 
Zane Small (Newshub): National MPs want police to pursue Labour’s lockdown leaflet breach equally to anti-vaxx distributors
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Why are the Police not prosecuting Labour?
George Block (Stuff): Police slap Auckland MMA gym with lockdown breach warning notice
Karina Cooper (Northern Advocate):Far North freediver’s death sparks warning on lockdown rules
Jonathan Guildford and Sam Sherwood (Stuff): Police warnings for beachgoers flouting lockdown rules 
Claire Trevett (Herald): Policing lockdown – Commissioner, minister brief MPs
Jane Matthews (Stuff): Seven Taranaki people fined for not staying home during lockdown

Lockdown inequality
Max Rashbrooke (Stuff): We put too much faith in big events to usher in real change 
1 News: South Auckland students going hungry in lockdown
Jamie Searle (Stuff):Lockdown driving up food bank need in Invercargill

Tess Brunton (RNZ): Staff at DHBs anxious after being told they can’t work from home
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Auckland DHBs seek to curb lockdown impacts on elective surgery
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Specialist medical colleges back postponing elective surgeries in surges
Andrew Young (Herald): The other long Covid impacts – on lifesaving cancer research (paywalled)
Emma Russell (Herald): Daffodil Day – fighting cancer during lockdown
Denise Piper (Stuff): Anti-Cancer Society leaflets disappoint after Covid-19 cancels Daffodil Day
1 News: Impacts of Covid-19 on Kiwis who had virus to be studied
Hamish Clark (Herald): The debilitating effects of long Covid
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Ongoing staffing concerns at ED despite new hires
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Recently opened Hutt birthing centre to be mothballed
Imogen Wells (1 News): Lower Hutt birthing centre to close next month
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Head of Suicide Prevention Office quits after just two years, the second recent health ministry departure

RNZ: NCEA exams pushed back, ‘Covid credits’ on the cards
1 News: Targeted support ‘helped Auckland NCEA students in 2020 lockdown’
John Gerritsen (RNZ): NCEA exam delays: Relief and frustration for students

Geoffrey Miller (RNZ): Afghanistan political crisis and implications for New Zealand
Bex Rillstone (Newsroom): Covid no reason to ignore Afghanistan
Tess McClure (Guardian): New Zealand stops taking visa applications from Afghans who assisted troops
Dan Satherley (Newshub): New Zealand cuts off applications for Afghans to resettle here
RNZ: Afghanistan evacuation delay not due to ‘processing’ – Ardern
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Two NZ visa-holders caught up in brutal Kabul attack
Thomas Manch (Stuff): New Zealanders told to stay away from Kabul airport due to terror threat
RNZ: Afghan interpreter says New Zealand has left his family to die at Taliban’s hands
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Afghanistan: Desperate pleas for Government to help Afghans under threat from Taliban
Lucy Craymer (Stuff): Can New Zealand do more for the world’s refugees?

Local government
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Three waters: Kaipara district councillors slam Government’s proposal
Skara Bohny (Stuff): Better communication called for to clear muddied Three Waters proposal
John Leggett (Stuff): Concern over Three Waters reforms will see Marlborough ratepayers consulted
Damian George (Stuff): Wellington City Council votes against establishing “at-large” councillor seats
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Let’s Get Wellington Moving loses director after less than four months
Molly Houseman (ODT): Dunedinites get to keep $2 bus rides — for now
Laurel Stowell (Whanganui Chronicle): Seven tāngata whenua appointed to Horizons Regional Council’s climate committee (paywalled)

Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Rents rocket to all-time high, record biggest annual increase with warning for after lockdown
Rob Stock (Stuff): Housing affordability a ‘wicked problem’, Kiwibank chief executive says
Newstalk ZB: Is it time to see rent controls?
Miriam Bell (Stuff):Power imbalance in relationship with property managers
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Is affordable housing sexy enough for developers? (paywalled)
Mikaela Wilkes (Stuff): Gaping hole in the ceiling is last straw for longtime Wellington renter
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Exclusive Auckland Royal and Grange Golf Club stops development plans for housing

Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): NZ Inc calls out gentailer’s $3.5b ‘super-profit’
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): ‘Big five’ power firms increase annual profit by 26% to $821 million
Carl Hansen and Matt Burgess: (Herald): Power blackout no case for electricity reform (paywalled)
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): August blackout ‘an early warning’ as Genesis warns Huntly will be needed for a long time (paywalled)
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Genesis Energy charts cleaner future, after coal use more than doubles to 1.5m tonnes
ODT Editorial: When the heaters don’t work
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Coal exports and jet fuel down, green energy up in pandemic NZ

RNZ: Transport Agency says safety a priority as it eyes lockdown exemptions
Andrea Fox (Herald): Auckland port’s new promise on full container terminal automation delivery(paywalled)
RNZ: Residents vow to fight after panel recommends Wellington Airport expansion plan go ahead
Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): KiwiRail rejects cleaner fuel option for new ferries (paywalled)
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Bump in the road: What the Delta outbreak means for Transmission Gully opening

Air NZ
Katie Bradford (1 News): Air NZ CEO can’t rule out job cuts if lockdown extended
RNZ: Air NZ reports $289m loss amid closed borders
1 News: Air NZ reports $289 million loss amid Covid-19 disruption
RNZ: Air NZ soars to record July domestically
Grant Bradley (Herald): Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran on the future for the airline (paywalled)

Primary industries
RNZ: Government defers introducing tougher winter grazing rules – again
Laura Hooper (Stuff): Proposed winter grazing regulation changes a win for farmers
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Farmers consider what would happen should they get Covid-19

Whakaari White Island
Sarah Robson (RNZ): All Whakaari defendants plead not guilty to charges laid by WorkSafe after deadly eruption
Edward O’Driscoll (Newshub): All agencies charged in Whakaari/White Island explosion plead not guilty

Kate Lyons (Guardian): Samoa’s former PM accuses Jacinda Ardern of plot to replace him with a woman
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Former Samoa Prime Minister who refused to concede election bizarrely blames Jacinda Ardern for defeat
RNZ: Kiribati restates decision to leave Pacific Forum

Emily Brookes (Stuff):Patrick Gower: On Hate: Why his new doco is a mea culpa for a ‘terrible mistake’
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Mission Impossible?
RNZ: Privacy Commissioner John Edwards announced as preference to be UK information commissioner
Chris Keall (Herald): ‘Facebook hating’ NZ Privacy Commissioner John Edwards lands top UK role after Boris Johnson sign-off (paywalled)
Phil Pennington (RNZ): New Zealand’s biggest fire trucks keep breaking down with no new ones on order
Mike Smith (The Standard): The rise and rise of David Seymour’s ACT
RNZ: The Detail: Questions over the new Scott Base
Andrew MacFarlane (1 News): Alarming wave of extremist content detected on Tiktok
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Just as media firms were seeing hope …
John Bishop (Stuff): Meet the Bewildered: They’re not ignorant or deplorable, just confused by change
Kate MacNamara (Herald): Suppliers on edge as Foodstuffs delays dreaded product cull (paywalled)