NZ Politics Daily – 21 September 2021

NZ Politics Daily – 21 September 2021

Today’s NZPD testimonial from Ros Rice, Executive Officer Community Networks Aotearoa

“Community Networks Aotearoa has been subscribed to NZ Politics Daily for some time now, and it is one of the most regularly read items in the office.  It enables us to instantly get feedback on media views on topics of the day.  Also, we can see by the number of links, if a subject of interest to us, is receiving much attention by media and politicians or not. Bryce and his team do a fantastic job of collating media and political commentary and we already recommend it to other NGOs on a regular basis.”

Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at:

Today’s content

Government gambles with Level 3 move
Matthew Hooton (Herald):  Jacinda Ardern rolls the dice on level 3 (paywalled)
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Level 3 ‘till Christmas’: Government’s great gamble
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Jacinda Ardern’s elimination gamble, as 300,000 people head to work(paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): If Auckland isn’t in level 2 in two weeks, elimination will have all but failed
Barry Soper (Stuff):  Don’t expect Govt to admit elimination strategy has been scrapped
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Whole country could see restrictions until Christmas if virus isn’t stamped out in Auckland
Michael Plank and Shaun Hendy (The Conversation): New Zealand government takes a calculated risk to relax Auckland’s lockdown while new cases continue to appear
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern says it’s ‘within our power’ to ensure freedom from tight COVID-19 restrictions at Christmas
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Experts say Auckland moving to alert level 3 is a risk – but PM says Covid-19 can be eliminated
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Moving Auckland to alert level 3 a ‘calculated risk’ – experts
Emma Russell (Herald): Experts on Auckland’s move to alert level 3
Michael Neilson (Herald): Auckland moves to level 3, PM Jacinda Ardern urges ‘caution’
Danielle Clent (Stuff): Eliminating Delta from community hard but still feasible, experts say
1 News: ‘Only takes one case’ – Michael Baker issues warning as Auckland eyes Level 3
1 News: Dropping Auckland to Level 3 ‘a calculated risk’ – Covid-19 modeller
Herald Editorial: A measure of relief for Auckland, but Waikato was let down
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): This lockdown isn’t working
Todd Niall (Stuff): Aucklanders show the power of community commitment
Ben Leahy (Herald): Mayor says move to level 3 relief for strained Aucklanders
Ben Leahy (Herald): Auckland’s lockdown compared to Sydney and Melbourne
RNZ: What you need to know: Updated alert levels for Auckland, Waikato, rest of NZ
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Auckland is heading into alert level three. How do the rules change?
Emma Russell (Herald): Auckland moves to level 3 – what does that mean for you?
RNZ: Covid-19 wrap for 20 September: Auckland to leave alert level 4
Philip Hill, Tony McFall and Kurt Krause (Newsroom): A ‘next level’ plan for Covid in 2022
Richard Harman (Politik): Government reviewing Covid strategies (paywalled)

Waikato outbreak
George Block (Stuff): Corrections deemed Black Power member who caught Covid-19 unsuitable for bail
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Timeline: How Covid-19 left Auckland with a man on bail
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Prisoner at centre of Waikato COVID outbreak appears to have breached multiple bail conditions
Herald: Infected prisoner made four stops before arriving at bail address
George Block (Stuff): Covid-positive prisoner made four stops on way to bail address, Corrections says
RNZ: Remand prisoner likely infected en route to Firth of Thames residence
RNZ: Evidence Waikato Covid-19 cases likely linked to current cluster – Robertson
RNZ: Bailing prisoner outside region ‘totally irresponsible’ – Waikato District Mayor
Lawrence Gullery (Stuff): Waikato leaders angry at Government officials for allowing man to bring coronavirus across border
Taroi Black (Māori TV): ‘Man did not have Covid-19 while he was in prison’ – Correction says
Herald: Ministry of Health believes prisoner was infected in Auckland
John Weekes (Herald): Mt Eden prisoner mysteries continue – but Auckland infection likely, officials say
1 News: ‘How the heck?’ Mayor frustrated after Covid case let out of Auckland
Newstalk ZB: How did this happen? Waikato Mayor and Corrections Vice President both have questions on how a remanded prisoner got Covid across the border
Amy Williams (RNZ): Waikato community waiting anxiously for Covid-19 test results after remand prisoner crosses Auckland border
1 News: Strong testing turnout in northern Waikato after Covid cases detected
Mina Kerr-Lazenby (Stuff): Mangatangi School is Waikato location of interest in Delta outbreak
Lana Andelane and Lydia Lewis (Newshub): COVID-positive remand prisoner likely not isolated on arrival, immediately isolating prisoners ‘ideal’ but not ‘practical’ – CANZ
Robb Kidd (ODT): Report finds multiple Covid protocol failures at Otago Corrections Facility

Border, MIQ, immigration
RNZ: Checkpoint: Thousands more MIQ vouchers to come – MIQ deputy CEO
RNZ: Tears and cheers as thousands miss spots in MIQ offering
Tom Hunt and Charlie Gates (Stuff): November and December MIQ spots gone in 67 minutes, thousands miss out
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): One of the lucky ones – Napier man secures one of 3000 MIQ spots for his wife 
Luke Robinson (Newshub): Frustration sets in for Kiwi athletes after missing out on MIQ spaces
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): MIQ system ‘solves nothing’: 25k people for 3,200 rooms (paywalled)
Brittney Deguara (Stuff): MIQ booking system a ‘joke’, leaving family in Melbourne heartbroken, hopeless
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Queue for ‘virtual lobby’ MIQ booking system tops 22,000
Daniel Faitaua (1 News): Massive demand for MIQ lobby system: ‘Bloody nightmare’
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): The desperate 27,000 in the MIQ lobby
Brent Thomas (Herald): Fixing the MIQ booking system – let’s use more of travel agents’ expertise(paywalled)
Anne Gibson (Herald): 18,500 extra NZ hotels rooms should be used – expert (paywalled)
Chris Keall (Herald): Boss of Larry Page-based air taxi startup Wisk has answer to MIQ scramble
1 News: MIQ spot granted to family of man whose daughters were killed in Timaru
Daniel Smith (Stuff): MIQ difficulties forcing workers out of the country
Herewini Waikato (Māori TV): Whakarewarewa Village Rotorua: ‘No MIQ on our back door-step thanks’  
Michael Gebicki (Stuff): The countries where unvaccinated travellers are banned
Alan Granville (Stuff): Air New Zealand’s Australian quarantine flights sell out in three minutes
Dan Lake (Newshub): Australian MIQ spots sell out in three minutes, with some flights only having 10 seats available

Vaccine rollout
Stephen Croucher, Doug Ashwell, Jo Cullinane (The Conversation): New Zealand has ramped up vaccination rates, but too many people remain concerned about vaccine safety
RNZ: Auckland could reach 90 percent first dose vaccination milestone in two weeks – Ardern
Bridie Witton (Stuff): 90 per cent or higher vaccination coverage will bring fewer restrictions, Jacinda Ardern says
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Fewer than 27k doses given on Sunday amid push to get Akl jabbed
RNZ: Māori King and other leaders endorse Pfizer vaccine
Oriini Kaipara (Newshub): Māori King Kīngi Tūheitia, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu join chorus for Māori to get vaccinated amid efforts to lift Māori vaccination rates
Māori TV: Waikato-Tainui, Tuwharetoa leaders call for Māori to get the jab
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): Unvaccinated over-65s asked to stay home when Auckland drops alert levels
Rod Jackson, David Thomason and Paul Catmur (Herald): The 90% Project – Behaviour change experts: 21 tips to help NZ get vaccinated
Herald: One Auckland councillor’s finger lickin’ idea to get Aucklanders vaccinated
Karina Cooper (Northern Advocate): Northland doctors sign letter alongside 5000 Kiwi health experts backing vaccine
RNZ: Mandatory vaccination order under spotlight in High Court
Stuff: Sacked border worker didn’t give a reason for not having vaccine 
Herald: New vaccination bus Shot Cuzz hits Auckland streets
Lucy Craymer (Stuff): Vaccine diplomacy swings in Pacific nations’ favour

Contact tracing, testing
Herald: Waikato DHB to fast-track Covid test results
Jo Lines-MacKenzie (Stuff):  ‘Level 4 anxiety’ as Waikato residents line up to be tested

Alert level rules, compliance, enforcement
RNZ: Gang associates nabbed by cops on border run with cash and KFC
Herald: Gang members caught at Auckland border with $100,000 cash – and KFC
Dubby Henry, Zoe Holland and Craig Kapitan (Herald): Judith Collins filmed without mask at Queenstown business
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Face mask exemptions ignored in their hundreds due to ‘lack of awareness’
Katie Harris (Herald): Pair who allegedly absconded from Auckland to Wellington granted interim name suppression
Stuff: Man charged over travel from Auckland to Wellington in lockdown denied bail
Vera Alves (Stuff): Neighbours dob in family over gathering that turned out to be Zoom birthday party
Sarah Templeton (Newshub): Wellington homewares store owner says sign ‘welcoming’ maskless shoppers wasn’t ‘discouraging’ mask use
RNZ: Cutting through the back paddock – ‘isolated’ border breach attempts
Amy Wiggins and Zoe Holland (Herald): Grieving aunt told she would be arrested if she attended niece’s funeral
Stuff: Anger over Auckland students heading to class in Tauranga
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Police investigating door-to-door vaccination scam 

Business, economy
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Business leaders should be cautious giving prescription for Delta 
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Business leader calls for ‘flexible’ level 3 in Auckland to boost economy, experts wary
Liam Dann (Herald):  Level 3 brings big drop in economic cost … and a lifeline for business (paywalled)
Jason Walls (Newstalk ZB): Not a single cent more for podcasts, poetry and picture books in the name of ‘Covid recovery
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Business groups welcome Level 3 in Auckland
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Business: ‘Relief cannot be overstated’
Andre Chumko and Nadine Porter (Stuff): Hospitality, arts sectors breathe ‘sigh of relief’ as 50-person cap raised to 100
Nadine Porter (Stuff): New gathering limit under ‘Delta level 2’ a mixed bag for businesses 
Verity Johnson (Stuff): No one can afford to be complacent about helping Hospo 
Herald: Level 4 has been a ‘nightmare’ for small businesses
Anne Gibson (Herald): Auckland construction workforce back on tools by Wednesday (paywalled)
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Alert level changes bring little relief to Southland
Justin Connolly (Newsroom): Wellbeing budgets not a PR exercise
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Commerce Commission charges against Bunnings dismissed
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): The battle of Highland Park: Supermarkets in stand-off despite public promise
Marine Lourens (Stuff): Booze baron Harjit Singh’s company stripped of liquor licences after underpaying staff

Rebecca Macfie (North & South): The Great Divide
No Right Turn: Expropriate the house hoarders
Cass Marrett (Renews): How the housing market got so cooked
RNZ: Hundreds apply for fixed-price homes at Wainuiomata housing initiative
RNZ: Hastings state housing project delayed by squeeze on construction supply chain
Carmen Hall (Herald): Rising cost of Tauranga land, higher materials prices add $130k to average new home cost (paywalled)
RNZ: Unconsented work being overlooked in hot property market
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): RBNZ to clobber first-home buyers with new LVR restrictions (paywalled)

AUKUS, foreign affairs, trade
Chris Trotter (Interest): A coalition of the waning
Robert G Patman (Stuff): Why Aukus is unlikely to halt China’s assertive foreign policy
Robert Scollay (Herald):  China and the CPTPP – right move, wrong timing? (paywalled)
Charles Finny (BusinessDesk): China’s CPTPP bid: What is Beijing up to? (paywalled)
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): The quiet figure behind New Zealand’s APEC success

National Party
1 News: Judith Collins ‘on her way out’ as National leader – commentator
Herald Editorial: Collins is an uneasy fit for National in these pandemic times
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Three senior staffers departing Judith Collins’ office
Claire Trevett (Herald): National MP Todd Muller on a ‘tough period,’ Judith Collins and his return to Parliament (paywalled)

Bridie Witton (Stuff): Grant Duncan, the academic behind Stuff-Massey University Election Survey, wins top Australasian award
Piers Fuller (Stuff): Labour MP Kieran McAnulty’s famous old red ute put out to pasture 

1 News: Families of Afghan interpreters ‘scared and in hiding’
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Desperation grows as Government yet to make decisions on plight of Afghans 
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): David Seymour leads accidental ice cream-centred anti-Taliban protest

Janine Rankin (Stuff): More than one in 10 emergency department patients do not wait
Stuff: Waikato DHB taking ‘cautious approach’ restricting visitors and services

Susan St John (Daily Blog): Working for Families isn’t working for poor families
Justin Latif (Local Democracy Reporting): Closing the digital divide requires ‘constant attention’, say education experts

Justice, corrections
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Judges can be appointed without ever attending an interview
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Fears more judges presiding over cases of people they know
RNZ: The Detail: When Name Suppression Plays Favourites

Environment, Climate change
Lizzy Carmine (Guardian): New Zealand is not as clean or green as we think – plastic waste is polluting our land
RNZ: NZ criticised for abstention in vote on deepsea mining
Newstalk ZB: Disbelief from National that James Shaw intends to travel to Scotland
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Water takes on the upper Mataura River are over-allocated
ODT: Mataura River above Gore over-allocated, ES says
Andrew Wilks (Newsroom): Three lockdown lessons for the environment
Maja Burry (RNZ): Invasive seaweed detected on Aotea/Great Barrier Island

Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Outdated Views? Andrea Vance On Sean Plunket
Gavin Ellis (Knightly Views): Trashing journalists is not in the public interest

LynMall attack
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Anti-terror law back before Parliament today, but faces opposition
Jennifer Foster (Herald): New Zealand should reflect on why it tried to deport the LynnMall terrorist(paywalled)

Julie Bennett (Spinoff): Why improving air quality is key to preventing Covid outbreaks in schools
Daisy Hudson (ODT): OUMSA apologises for offensive jokes

Primary industries
RNZ: Ikea owner buys 5500ha of Otago farmland for forestry
Gianina Schwanecke (Herald): Forestry leaders slam study of impact by Wairoa and Tararua councils(paywalled)
Chloe Ranford (Local Democracy Reporting): Waste ‘footprint’ concern sees NZ King Salmon farm request rejected
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Lack of immigrant workers leaves farmers to rely on family
Sally Rae (ODT): Mother of All Protests on November 21

Local government
Tina Law (Stuff): Council seeks clarity over Government plans to manage three waters debt
Grant Miller (ODT): Gathering thoughts on water a struggle
Mike Yardley (Stuff): Suspend the Three Waters reforms. The numbers look ropey
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff):New Plymouth District Council to consider feedback over Government’s Three Waters reforms
Paul Mitchell (Stuff): Tararua council working to resolve erosion and resource consent issues with Mangatainoka weir
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): The council, the killer worm, and the legal stoush
Logan Savory (Stuff): Controversial recycling contract back on table for Invercargill City Council
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Federated Farmers lays complaint with the Ombudsman over Environment Southland rates increase
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): ‘My kids work hard’ – Ashburton deputy mayor defends district’s young people
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Whanganui film office set up to boost economy, support local talent
RNZ: Destination Wairarapa stays put
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Dunedin’s heritage buildings receive $763,855 in funding
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Parking tickets earn council a pretty penny
ODT: Responding to public submissions
Craig Ashworth (Local Democracy Reporting): Iwi signs up with South Taranaki council for better relationship

Dave Armstrong (Stuff): The future is not more parking 
Jake Kenny (Stuff):Campaign for discounted student bus fares in Christchurch gathers pace
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Auckland light rail: Trackless trams, rapid buses ‘not right’ for CBD to Māngere route
Simon Wilson (Herald):  Government’s really hard call for Auckland light rail (paywalled)

Christina Stringer (Newsroom): Modern slavery: Time for NZ legislation
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Demand jumps for job applicants who can speak te reo Māori
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Big power users turn up heat on Electricity Authority to deliver lower prices
Liu Chen (RNZ): Auckland single mum loses $200k to scammers posing as Chinese officials
Emma Hatton (RNZ): More supply chain woes as ferry capacity shrinks
RNZ: Man convicted of people trafficking and slavery takes case to Supreme Court
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): America’s Cup defence campaign: Mark Dunphy sees $40m shortfall part filled by more Government cash
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): America’s Cup: details of the Dunphy deal emerge (paywalled)
Craig Ashworth (Local Democracy Reporting): Cameras set to catch Pukerangiora Pā raiders