NZ Politics Daily: 16 December 2021

NZ Politics Daily: 16 December 2021

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Today’s content

Govt finances, economy, govt subsidies
Thomas Coughlan (Herald):  Two political fault lines open for 2022 (paywalled)
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Robertson’s Budget Policy Statement sets up economic battle of 2022
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): The Treasury uncloaks super-hero scenario for the economy
Richard Harman (Politik): Sunshine superman (paywalled)
Zane Small (Newshub): Government spending is more than tax intake and inflation will continue outpacing wage growth
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Treasury upgrades outlook: lower unemployment, more tax, less debt
Zane Small (Newshub): Government spending is more than tax intake and inflation will continue outpacing wage growth
RNZ: Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown hits government coffers
RNZ: New Zealand’s balance of payment deficits reach record high
Anna Whyte (1 News): ‘One-off’ $6 billion spending boost for Budget 2022
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Budget 2022 to be a whopper, with Grant Robertson saying he’ll allocate a record sum to support the Government’s health reforms
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Far bigger debt buffer to become permanent (paywalled)
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Climate change and health funding priorities for 2022 budget (paywalled)
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Govt announces $4.5b climate response fund
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Grant Robertson’s $6b Christmas present
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Grant Robertson announces new climate emergency fund and $6 billion in new spend for 2022 Budget
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): China slowdown casts a dark cloud over New Zealand
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland’s $9m recovery voucher package open for bookings to activities like the zoo and Kelly Tarlton’s
Matthew Theunissen (RNZ): Northland’s tourism industry raises concerns over traffic light red setting
Jo Cribb (Newsroom): Pay transparency is the best Christmas gift
Stuff:  Covid blamed as Cycling NZ confirms closure of four development hubs

Housing, Building and construction
Craig McCulloch (RNZ): Sepuloni pleads ignorance over MSD spending on private rentals
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Ministry of Social Development’s largesse has landlords ‘printing money’ – social worker
Stuff Editorial: MSD emergency housing scandal shows why the high-trust model isn’t always trustworthy
RNZ: Christopher Luxon calls for accountability over $37m on inflated rentals for emergency accommodation
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): The emergency housing debacle
Michael Reddell (Croaking Cassandra): Price/income ratios
Zane Small (Newshub): Treasury predicts house prices to increase more than 10 pct in 2022
Miriam Bell (Stuff): House prices have doubled over the last five years – Trade Me 
David Hargreaves (Interest): All five major banks now expect house prices to fall in 2022
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Auckland quickly intensifying as apartments, townhouses make up bulk of consents
Aaron Leaman (Stuff): River city’s pushback on new housing density rules
Eva Corlett and Caitlin Cassidy (Guardian): New Zealand has adopted a radical rezoning plan to cut house prices – could it work in Australia?
Anne Gibson (Herald): Survey of building suppliers reveals staggering inflation (paywalled)
Lloyd Burr (Magic): We need to embrace the new housing reforms
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Winton v Kāinga Ora, housing minister dragged into spat (paywalled)
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): $400m proposed development on track for former Dargaville racecourse

Auckland border, testing, summer travel
Michael Neilson (Herald): More Kiwis support local border restrictions than oppose (paywalled)
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Border opening puts nearly half the Māori population at risk, children could be biggest spreaders
Emily Writes (Spinoff): Why should only the unvaxxed benefit from rapid tests?
Caley Callahan (Newshub): Rapid antigen testing off to bumpy start, pharmacies unable to report online test results
Heta Gardiner (Māori TV): Te Tai Tokerau MP backs iwi against police over vetting border volunteers
Helen Castles (1 News): Northland checkpoint coordinator ‘gutted’ at vetting denial
Nita Blake-Persen (RNZ): Checkpoint: Northland checkpoints start smoothly as border reopens
Denise Piper (Stuff): Northland checkpoint volunteers concerned not every car is being stopped
Nikki Preston (Herald): Waikato mayor warns Aucklanders are coming, Covid cases could reach up to 640 a week by the end of January
Courtney White (ODT): Consider contingency plans, travellers to South urged
Courtney White (ODT): Early testing is key: health leader
Vaimoana Tapaleao and Lynley Ward (Herald): Tearful reunions as families and friends reunite after travel restrictions lift
Nick James and Sophie Trigger (Herald): Aucklanders touching down in Wellington describe ‘surreal’ feeling after months apart
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Auckland border lifts as wild weather hits the North Island
RNZ: Auckland borders reopen: Travellers rejoice as they resume work, reunite with family
1 News: ‘Buzz’ at Auckland Airport as 12,000 to fly in and out

Abuse in care
David Williams (Newsroom): Nowhere to hide for NZ, a place of abuse and torture
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Abuse in care victims appalled at way complaints of abuse, rape torture were handled
Andrew McRae (RNZ): Abuse survivors says devil will be in the detail when it comes to redress
David Cohen (RNZ): Will abuse in care inquiry’s interim report spur reformation of political culture?
Stephen Winter (Spinoff): A turning point for abuse in care survivors – but the work is just beginning
1 News: Advocate: Redresses ‘meaningful’ to abuse in care survivors
Marine Lourens (Stuff): Abuse in care: Disabled survivors put into care as ‘containment from society’, inquiry finds
Sophie Cornish and Edward Gay (Stuff): ‘National disgrace’: Abuse in care survivors failed by state, inquiry finds
John Weekes (Herald): Churches could be made to join inquiry, compensation scheme
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Abuse redress too late for some
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Royal Commission inquiry into abuse in care releases interim report on redress
Daisy Hudson (ODT): System ‘failing’ abuse survivors: Royal Commission report
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV):Holistic redress for state abuse survivors urged

Three Waters
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government seeks cross-party promise not to sell-off water assets, as Three Waters opponents organise for battle
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Three Waters consultation was in good faith – Mahuta
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Three Waters dissidents descend on Parliament in attempt to stop reforms
John Weekes (Herald): Three Waters: Mayors’ coalition hopes to unchain reforms, talk about alternatives
Grant Miller (ODT): Joining water campaign group would mean funding ‘futile’ legal action: mayor
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Northland joins 22-council national campaign to fight Three Waters
Karl du Fresne: That accountability thing that Susie Ferguson doesn’t seem to get
Lloyd Burr (Magic): ‘Three Waters’ means fewer poo-namis, and more swimming at the beaches we love
Tim Dower (Newstalk ZB): Three Waters reform is not the answer

Local government
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Auckland Council looks to create three Māori seats in time for 2025 local elections
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Auckland Council pursuing three Māori seats, but not until 2025
Craig Ashworth (Local Democracy Reporting): Last-ditch push for two Māori regional councillors for Taranaki
Helen Harvey (Stuff): One regional councillor not enough to represent the eight iwi of Taranaki, commissioners told
Liz McDonald (Stuff): City council and hapū will co-govern Christchurch’s riverside red zone
Sandy Eggleston (ODT): Gore District Council-runanga co-operation agreed on
RNZ: Wellington council allowed to strengthen quake-prone Toomath’s Buildings – High Court
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Wellington City Council wins landmark appeal to take possession of quake-prone buildings
Diane McCarthy (Local Democracy Reporting): Ōpōtoki councillor Barry Howe’s conduct to be investigated
RNZ: Petition signers fight to retain carparks in Wellington’s Thorndon Quay
RNZ: Nelson resource consents delayed by council staff shortage
Skara Bohny (Stuff): City council consent process delayed by worker shortage
Scott Yeoman (Stuff): Options revealed for future of historic reserve land in Tauranga, home to golf course and racecourse

Parliament, parties
ODT Editorial: Unparliamentary behaviour
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): An arduous year – end-of year interview with the PM
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): MPs describe 2021 in one word as Parliament wraps up with $6 billion spend-up tipped for 2022
1 News: Jokes exchanged as Parliament breaks for summer
Thomas Coughlan (Herald):  Tax cut pledge not exempt from Chris Luxon policy review
1 News: Luxon taking Bill English social investment welfare approach
Justin Giovannetti (Spinoff): Nicola Willis on National’s reset and its plan for next year
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): David Seymour rates Christopher Luxon 6/10
Mike Hosking (Herald): Why this year was worse than last – and my politician of 2021 (paywalled)
Roger Partridge (Herald):  Government starting new year with a litany of headaches (paywalled)
Jacqui Van Der Kaay (Democracy Project): The occupational backgrounds of politicians
1 News: Luxon chuckles at John Campbell’s Collins, Bridges-themed Xmas gift
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Ranked: the best political party merch for Christmas
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Doodle by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern up for grabs for $20 on Trade Me

Govt management of Covid-19
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): The 1pm Covid-19 updates are changing. Here is what you need to know
Henry Cook (Stuff): Christopher Luxon – NZ shouldn’t be afraid of reimposing restrictions if it means more freedom sooner
Arena Williams & Stuart Smith (Stuff): We needed to lock down the country to prevent Covid deaths … but
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): What now for south Auckland as the country changes pandemic approach?
Sophie Cornish (Stuff): Large protest to be held at Parliament against vaccine mandates
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Wellington public servants advised to stay home or conceal their identity during freedom protest

Vaccine rollout, mandate
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Buying the vaccine: Was New Zealand too slow?
Zane Small (Newshub): Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine ‘prevented any New Zealander entering ICU’ – Chief Medical Officer
Matthew Rilkoff (Stuff): Protecting children the next stage of the pandemic
Herald Editorial: Promising signs for Covid vaccine doses for children (paywalled)
Audrey Young (Herald): PM declares NZ has reached 90 per cent double-dose vaccination
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern says country has hit 90 per cent fully vaccinated and ‘bloody deserves’ a holiday, in final speech of the year
William Hewett (Newshub): Vaccine map: New data shows over 93 pct of New Zealand’s areas close to or over target
RNZ: Counties Manukau DHB hits 90% fully vaccinated target
Herald: The 90% Project – Counties-Manukau DHB reaches 90% fully vaxxed, what next?
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Vaccination clinic yet to explain how woman was vaccinated with used needle
Samantha Mythen (Herald): Husband speaks out after Christchurch woman given vaccine with used needle
Cheree Kinnear (Herald): Police warn of ‘major repercussions’ as unvaxxed officers face being stood down
RNZ: Relief as anti-vax psychiatrist suspended
Herald: Teacher caught informing the unvaxxed how to bypass vaccine pasport rules
Courtney White (ODT): Anti-vax graffiti concerning
Katie Townshend (Stuff): Testing station closed after threats to staff ‘escalate’
Herald: Corporate staff Christmas parties in Covid era: From big blowouts to online catch-ups (paywalled)

Health, ACC
1 News: Twenty-four hospitals around NZ to get upgrades
Michael Neilson (Herald): 36 hospitals to be upgraded in $644 million health funding boost
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Hundreds of beds converted, dozens of new beds in nationwide hospital upgrade next year
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): Report reveals some sexual assault survivors ‘spent years unaware they were even eligible to make a claim’
RNZ: Drug and alcohol agency suggest vaping not fit-for-purpose
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Mammographers take stand on pay
Neil Reid (Herald): Auckland woman gets apology from Ministry of Health after ‘appalling’ home-isolation experience

Border, MIQ, Omicron
Conan Young (RNZ): Translator raises alarm about fraudulent vaccine exemption
RNZ: The Omicron Covid-19 variant: What you need to know
BBC: Omicron spreading at unprecedented rate – WHO
Herald: 16 flight crew, two pilots who are Omicron contacts await test results

Cases, demographics
Herald: Person in 30s youngest in NZ to die from virus
Robin Martin (RNZ): Taranaki’s Eltham Covid-19 cluster expected to grow
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): 15 new cases in South Taranaki, new cluster centred around primary school

Reserve Bank
Michael Reddell (Croaking Cassandra): The Reserve Bank appears underwhelming
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr defends senior staff departures, bank’s Covid-19 strategy
Michael Neilson (Herald): Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr grilled by MPs over senior staff departures
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): The Reserve Bank confirms 10 of its 26 most senior staff are leaving, but says three leadership appointments will be announced on Thursday
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): RBNZ denies 10 of 25 senior staff have left since June (paywalled)

Public Service
Oliver Lewis (BuinessDesk): Expectations of public service CEOs kept under wraps
Nikitin Sallee (BusinessDesk): For public service CEs, ‘the stakes are pretty high’

Peter Dunne: Pass the Parcel over Transmission Gully
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Attempts to fix Transmission Gully made it worse, reports show
Joel MacManus and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Transmission Gully public-private partnership contract was wrong call, Transport Minister says
Kate Green (Stuff): Government announces biofuel mandate for transport sector
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Mainfreight investigation reveals logbook, work time breaches

Police, Justice, corrections
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Police Minister Poto Williams schooled by Speaker Trevor Mallard as National criticises time taken to introduce new firearms Bill
John Weekes (Herald): New firearms bill a sluggish response to gun mayhem, Act and National say
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Laws not fit for modern blended families: Law Commission
Laura Walters (Stuff): New sexual violence law gives better protections to survivors in court

Environment, conservation, Climate Change
David Williams (Newsroom): Legal threat looms over ECan’s hidden river report
Andrea Vance (Stuff): International agreement to stop the killing of endangered Antipodean albatross
Rachael Kelly (Southland Times): Southland councils want a regional approach to climate change policies
Logan Tutty (Herald): Whanganui records second hottest December day since 1978
Herald: Wallabies found in Greater Wellington region prompt appeal for public to report sightings
Deena Coster (Stuff): Committee set up delayed as Waitara river remains unswimmable
Simon Moutter (Herald):  Five things that need to be done about waste (paywalled)

Graham Adams (Kiwiblog): The philosopher stoned for his defence of science
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): A good move from Auckland University
Stuff:  Victoria University appoints acting vice-chancellor
RNZ: High school NCEA exams attendance below half in Auckland

Rob Stocks (Stuff): KiwiSaver fee focus: Top fund manager says it was ‘never interested’ in being a default provider
RNZ: Lower KiwiSaver fees do not result in better performance – report
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Research firm questions govt’s decision to choose KiwiSaver default providers based on low fees (paywalled)

Foreign affairs, defence, trade
Robert Ayson (Incline): Wanted: Scary Pacific Trends for New Zealand’s Defence Assessment
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government’s new national security priorities reveals growing concerns about ‘strategic competition’ 
Reuben Steff (Newsroom): A wake-up call for Aotearoa as global instability grows
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Govt eyes ‘Pacific preference’ in immigration to boost region
Craig Tuck & Greg Barns (Stuff): Time for NZ Government to stand up against US over-reach on Assange
George Block (Stuff): Kiwi Defence Force personnel return from Solomons early after tensions ease
Logan Church (1 News): Killer robots ‘threat against humanity’ Government says
Barbara Dreaver (1 News): New Tongan Prime Minister elected after secret ballot vote
RNZ: Tonga elects new PM: Siaosi Sovaleni

Primary industries
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): Water take attempt in Central Hawke’s Bay about ‘personal gain and greed’
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Student Job Search helps fill vacancies in agriculture, fishing and forestry
RNZ: Seafood sector report recommends more formal industry training
Maja Burry (RNZ): Primary sector exports tipped to exceed $50bn in 2022 – report
Andrea Fox (Herald): OIO approves Waikato’s 15th dairy plant, clears Singapore’s Olam to build
Sally Murphy (RNZ): New Zealand producers’ effort to trademark words ‘Manuka honey’ rejected by UK
Mostafa Rachwani (Guardian): ‘Manuka honey’: UK rules term can be used by Australian producers in blow to NZ
RNZ: Meat Industry Association appeals for more halal butchers to be allowed into NZ

Sahiban Hyde (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Forestry fatality in Hawke’s Bay ‘sad, unnecessary’ reality of industry, says union
Heather du Plessis Allan (Newstalk ZB): Increasing the minimum wage again is the wrong move

Mike Grimshaw (The Conversation): Prior’s warning: what would NZ’s greatest 20th century philosopher have said about civil liberties in the COVID age?
Meg Foon (RNZ): ‘What unites us is stronger than what divides us’ – Race Relations Commissioner
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Progress, Or Restoration? Which Way For The Left?
Chris Keall (Herald): Do we need to panic over the ‘Jacinda Ardern’ deepfake clip? (paywalled)
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Coronavirus: Growing amount of content online that will make your ‘hair curl and fall out’ – NetSafe
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): ‘Kind and loving’ man killed trying to take down Christchurch terrorist gets top NZ bravery award
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): After 30 years of negotiations, Maniapoto settlement passes first reading
Cameron Bagrie (BusinessDesk): Screech! That’s the sound of the credit brake (paywalled)
Anuja Nadkarni (Newsroom): Youths waiting for residency granted study and work rights
RNZ: Meridian Energy to build solar farm next to Marsden Point refinery
RNZ: The Detail: Our second ‘year like no other’ – how we unravelled
Toby Morris (Spinoff): The Side Eye’s Two New Zealands: Ella remembers the Spanish flu
Newshub: House Speaker Trevor Mallard’s tribute to Tova O’Brien
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Thanks for reading – especially those of you who think I’m wrong