NZ Politics Daily: 15 December 2021

NZ Politics Daily: 15 December 2021

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Today’s content

Auckland border, testing, summer travel
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Auckland border testing may only catch a quarter of cases – govt report
Katie Todd (RNZ): Demand for rapid antigen tests ramps up in Auckland as border reopens
Jane Nixon (1 News): Many pharmacies still waiting for rapid antigen tests
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Pharmacies waiting on rapid antigen tests afternoon before rollout
RNZ: Rapid antigen testing: What you need to know
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Hone Harawira says last-minute police decision to vet checkpoint members means half stood down
1 News: Handful turned away from Northland border checkpoints
RNZ: Checkpoint: Police explain how holiday Covid-19 checkpoints will work
Zane Small (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern fires up at National’s Christopher Luxon for opposing COVID-19 checkpoints
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Hone Harawira calls for Northland’s Christmas to be moved to February 25
Denise Piper (Stuff): Northland checkpoint volunteers ‘stand for love of the community’ 
RNZ: Checkpoint: Nervous Northlanders prepare for influx of Auckland travellers
Northern Advocate:  Midnight exodus of Auckland holidaymakers pass through Northland checkpoints
James Halpin (Stuff): Business groups happy with Govt decision to abandon border exemptions
James Halpin (Stuff): Auckland opens and residents spread wings after four-month lockdown
Herald Editorial: Auckland unleashed after a job well done
Laura Smith (Herald): Auckland nurse one of many crossing the border this week as restrictions ease
1 News: Over 20K to travel through Auckland Airport on Wednesday
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Herald): Napier flights set to double as Auckland border reopens (paywalled)
Herald: Police reveal how Northland checkpoints will operate
RNZ: Tairāwhiti community leaders call for Covid-19 checkpoints over summer
Scott Yeoman (Stuff): Checkpoints, please – Gisborne leaders want vaccine, test stops at Tairāwhiti borders
Alice Wilkins (Newshub): Whangamata locals ready for influx of Aucklanders, medical staff on edge
Sam Kelway (1 News): Rotorua ready to welcome Aucklanders back as border lifts
Courtney White (ODT): Consider contingency plans, travellers to South urged
RNZ: Christchurch Airport therapy dogs to assist with busiest week in domestic travel

Housing, Building and construction
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Sweeping townhouse bill passes into law with support of Labour and National, will force councils to allow more homes
1 News: Parliament passes townhouse bill aimed at new builds
RNZ: Resource Management Act amendment passes final reading
Margaret Stanley (Guardian): Mature trees are key to liveable cities – housing intensification plans must ensure they survive
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Brooking in her element in housing Bill process
Eye of the Fish: Three
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Human Rights Commission says Govt not being held accountable for housing ‘human rights crisis caused by decades of neglect’ in new report
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Auditor-General slams emergency housing rentals, says they likely drove rents higher
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Ministry of Social Development didn’t monitor quality of private emergency housing or show it got value for money – report
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Government needs to be held accountable on housing plans: Human Rights Commission
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Government inaction on emergency housing ‘not good enough’
RNZ: Govt use of private rentals for emergency housing questioned by Auditor General
Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): PM ties herself in a housing affordability knot
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): Don’t be taken in by the growing fears about falling house prices
Hannah McQueen (Stuff): The banks’ new lending restrictions are tough on older borrowers
RNZ: Porirua housing project to provide 880 new homes, Ngāti Toa iwi prioritised
Ethan Te Ora (Stuff): Porirua’s newest housing development just got twice as big
RNZ: Kāinga Ora to build ’42 on King’ apartments in Whakatāne
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Kainga Ora buys park site
RNZ: The Detail: Building blows – how much can the industry take?
Anne Gibson (Herald): Look out: Carters warns of building sector product price rises up to 27.5% early next year (paywalled)
RNZ: Structural engineers want stronger penalties for errors within industry

Curia-Taxpayers’ Union Poll
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll December 2021
Claire Trevett (Herald): First poll since Chris Luxon took over National shows boost at Act’s expense
1 News: Christopher Luxon delivers National poll bump; ACT down
Henry Cooke (Stuff): New poll: National up under Christopher Luxon at expense of ACT
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Christopher Luxon reacts to new poll showing National flying as ACT falls
Heather du Plessis Allan (Newstalk ZB): The best Christmas present National could’ve hoped for
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): First Poll since Luxon as Leader – National soar – ACT crash!

Parliament, parties
John Minto (Daily Blog): Don’t let politicians bury political donations’ scandals – put voters in the front seat!
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Luxon’s ‘most worrying’ discovery as an MP
Phil Smith (RNZ): The House: Parliament: last orders please
Phil Smith (RNZ): The House: Gender self-ID: ‘You can change the law’
RNZ: Season 2 | Episode 6: 14th December 2021 – Party People
Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s cheeky Christmas gift for Newstalk ZB reporter Barry Soper
1 News: National MP Chris Bishop expecting first child
Andrew Barnes (Herald):  New Zealand politicians should own up to their mistakes (paywalled)
Herald: National Party leader Chris Luxon apologises to former leaders after Christmas gift outs him

Parliamentary Services, Parliament’s workplace culture
Ben Strang (Stuff): Toxic culture remains concern at Parliament as MPs unwilling to implement enforcement mechanisms
Matt McCarten (Daily Blog): One Union Letter to Mallard

Voting age
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Voting age discrimination case: Court of Appeal declines application for declaration
1 News: Court dismisses case wanting NZ voting age lowered to 16
Newshub: Court of Appeal dismisses case to lower New Zealand’s voting age to 16
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Court of Appeal rejects attempt to lower NZ voting age 

Govt management of Covid-19, Traffic light decision
RNZ: Covid-19 pandemic response ‘clearly tailored to Pākehā’ – Māori Council
RNZ: Ongoing red light restrictions ‘devastating’ for Northland businesses
Peter de Graaf (Herald): Businesses call for split traffic light levels in Northland (paywalled)
David Seymour (Herald):  Families start to notice hidden costs of Covid (paywalled)
Brooke van Velden (Herald):  Government has ignored real New Zealanders in Covid response and costs are rising

Border, MIQ, Omicron
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Omicron uncertainty may put international travel plans at risk – government
John Weekes (Herald): Omicron muddies international travel outlook, MIQ ‘cruelty’ blasted
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Air crew in MIQ close contacts of Omicron case in Australia
Herald: What to know about Omicron and staying Covid safe over summer
Amelia Wade (Newshub): ACT leader David Seymour accuses Government of ‘torturing’ Kiwis with uncertainty over international border
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Border uncertainty over Omicron ‘verges on form of torture’, ACT leader David Seymour says 
Jo Moir (Newsroom): January border reopening is on thin ice – much to Air NZ’s surprise
1 News: Flight crew identified as contacts of Australia Omicron case
Jake McKee (RNZ): ‘Lottery of human misery’: Grounded Kiwis deliver MIQ petition to Parliament
Bridie Witton  (Stuff): Grounded Kiwis hand in 23,000 signature petition demanding changes to MIQ
Mikaela Wilkes (Stuff): How international DJs landed in New Zealand and secured spots in MIQ
RNZ: Covid-19 border restrictions exacerbating vet shortages in New Zealand

Vaccine pass, mandate, rollout
Mike Yardley (Newstalk ZB): Has the Government made a blunder over mandates for accommodation?
Luisa Girao (ODT): No staff vax pass mandate irks
Chloe Blommerde (Stuff): Bakery cops jabs from both sides of the vaccine divide
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Tool launched for workplaces grappling with Covid vaccination decisions
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): ‘Disappearing’ vaccine passes frustrate Android users 
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Taxi Federation takes concerns over carrying unvaccinated passengers to the government
RNZ: Covid-19 booster shot: Investigation after person injected with used needle
Samantha Mythen (Herald): Christchurch resident vaccinated with used needle
1 News: Canterbury DHB apologises after used needle mistake
RNZ: Hamilton mum who fought for life in ICU raises awareness after own disbelief
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Medically vulnerable weigh risk of Christmas with unvaccinated family
RNZ: Nelson, Blenheim vaccination clinics attracting young people with free barber cuts, spot prizes and giveaways

Fake vaccine exemptions, anti-vaxxers, misinformation
RNZ: Covid-19 misinformation probe: Three doctors suspended from practising
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Medical Council cites ‘conduct related to Covid’ for interim suspension of three doctors 
Courtney Winter  (Herald): Fake vax exemption doctor Dr Jonie Girouard reopens North Canterbury clinic
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Medical Council imposes interim suspension on three doctors accused of promoting anti-vaccination views
Herald: Ministry of Health issues warning over fake vaccine information
ODT: Dunedin nurse ‘wholeheartedly sorry’, says fear prompted video
ODT: Public apology for anti-vax video

Economy, business, 
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): What to expect when the Government opens the books (paywalled)
Liam Dann (Herald): Continuous Disclosure: What’s driving interest rates up … and why markets don’t like it 
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Biggest decline in economic confidence since the GFC – survey finds
RNZ: Report reveals performance gap between regions with Covid-19 restrictions and those with fewer
Susan Edmunds (Stuff):  Omicron, house price falls: Economists ponder 2022
Sally Rae (ODT): Otago economic activity forecast to rise
Saphron Moore (Stuff): The restaurant industry will never be the same – so adapt or fade away
Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): Auckland border opening provides glimmer of hope for tourism operators
Katie Townshend (Stuff): Nelson hospitality hangs its hopes on Auckland border opening
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Creating climate-friendly tourism in a post-Covid-19 world

Local government, Three Waters
Richard Harman (Politik): Water wars; Three Waters and the Treaty (paywalled)
Zane Small (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern denies misleading councils over predetermined decision to mandate Three Waters
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Northland leaders support Three Waters protest at Parliament
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Council to appeal Mayor Phil Goff’s controversial bed tax in the Supreme Court
Grant Miller (ODT): Satisfaction with council plunges
Grant Miller (ODT): Poor appraisal of council seen as spur to improve
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Security measures ‘beefed up’ as trespassed councillor misses meetings
Deena Coster (Stuff): Regional council’s representation model under fire from Māori
Felix Desmarais (Local Democracy Reporting): Reynold Macpherson running for Rotorua mayor in 2022 local election
RNZ: Gore District Council and iwi sign off on ‘future-focused’ Charter of Understanding
Gavin Ogden (Herald): Tauranga’s representation review – what’s changed and why
Emily Ireland (Local Government): Stalemate over LGNZ guidelines for good governance
RNZ: Council boss and councillor apologise for ‘derogatory’ emails
Rebecca Ryan (ODT): Council rejects rainbow paint for roundabout
Jared Morgan (ODT): Council refuses to pay $630,000 for underpass
Richard Davison 9(ODT): Mayor to undergo surgery to treat prostate cancer

Transport, Air NZ
David Hargreaves (Interest): What price a national airline?
David Hargreaves (Interest): Crown extends financial support for Air New Zealand up to $2 bln
Grant Bradley (Herald): Analysis: $500m more Government support gives Air New Zealand breathing space (paywalled)
RNZ: Air NZ restructures its support package with government
Joel MacManus and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Transmission Gully public-private partnership contract was wrong call, Transport Minister says
Georgina Campbell and Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Revealed: Flawed chipseal behind latest Transmission Gully delay (paywalled)
Matthew Hooton (Patreon): Brian Roche and Transmission Gully (paywalled)
Justin Latif (Local Democracy Reporting): ‘This is for us’: Māngere sends strong message on light rail
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison resigns

Police, Justice, corrections
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government to review Search and Surveillance Act in 2022 
RNZ: The police don’t know how many times they steal people’s online identities
Anna Leask (Herald): Catholic cover up: Former Christchurch cop lifts lid on Marylands child sex abuse investigation

Foreign affairs, defence, trade
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says officials have ‘some awareness’ of NZ-linked Taliban figure
Audrey Young (Herald):  Peter Dutton and Peeni Henare quietly building defence relations (paywalled)
Gordon Campbell: On why we should oppose the persecution of Julian Assange

Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Private v public CEOs: pay gaps widening (paywalled)
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Bullying inquiry: Netsafe is not safe, say employees

Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Pharmac still stalled on lung cancer drug
Emma Russell (Herald): Cancer delays – 45,000 fewer breast screens due to Covid, prostate backlog also ‘terrifying’
Michelle Cooke (RNZ): Teen shares experience of mental health system: ‘It feels like no one is listening’
RNZ: Healthcare workers reject DHB pay offer
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Ex-Waikato health boss defends Medical Council language policy
Teuila Fuatai (Herald):  Why the Government’s disability funding policy for families is perverse (paywalled)
RNZ: Bill to address ACC cover eligibility passes first reading
ODT: US doctor and influencer settling into South Island life

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
RNZ: Government called to consider environment in budget process
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Sort out your budget – Environment watchdog warns Government
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Wellbeing budgets and the environment: change needed, says Upton(paywalled)
ODT Editorial: The finger of blame

RNZ: Ministry of Education records spike in home-schooling applications
1 News: Fewer teens trying NCEA math test that opens science careers
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): ‘Concerning’ drop in high school students taking algebra, researcher says
Sapeer Mayron (Stuff): University of Auckland to host mātauranga Māori symposium in 2022
Dubby Henry (Herald): Students urged to apply for university, despite lower scores
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Changemaker: The 17-year-old fighting for greener, healthier schools

Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Immigration court ruling ‘life-saving’, but NGO frustrated with slow processing of Afghans
Brijesh Sethi (Stuff): Resident visa scheme creates unfair anomalies for international students

Lake Alice
Aaron Smale (Stuff): Crown Law Office did not provide significant piece of evidence to police investigations into Lake Alice
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Lake Alice hospital: 89-year-old charged with ill treatment of children pleads not guilty
Cushla Norman (1 News): Ex-Lake Alice staffer pleads not guilty to injecting children

Erebus memorial
1 News: Protests as work begins on Erebus memorial in Auckland
RNZ: Erebus Memorial: Contractors begin work after protest disruption

Primary industries
Sally Rae (ODT): Government ‘tone deaf’ to meat industry’s needs
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Food and Fibre exports forecast to exceed $50b to hit a new record, MPI says 

Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): There’s Something Happening Here – Again
Alexander Gillespie (The Conversation): NZ report card 2021: from COVID to housing and happiness, it was a tale of two countries
Steven Cowan (Against the Current): Annus Horribilis
Juliet Speedy (Newshub): Animal safety group calls for Government to ban greyhound racing over number of dogs killed or injured
RNZ: Majority of women report moderate to low financial wellbeing – FSC research
RNZ: Campaign urges Kiwis to dial down abuse and hostility
Stuff Editorial: Them’s fighting words – and they won’t get you far
Eva Corlett (Guardian): A strange time’: letters document Covid lockdown for New Zealand’s elderly
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Mass exodus from RBNZ’s senior ranks (paywalled)
RNZ: RBNZ loses two more senior staff in restructure
Chris Keall (Herald): Freeview cans on-demand service after TVNZ powerplay