NZ Politics Daily: 26 January 2022

NZ Politics Daily: 26 January 2022

Govt Omicron strategy, NZ moves to red traffic light setting
Richard Harman (Politik): Revealed; the Government’s three phase Omicron plan (paywalled)
RNZ: Next two phases of Omicron response to be revealed
Eric Crampton (Offsetting Behaviour): I hate to say I told you so, but well
Gordon Campbell (Werewolf): On the ethics of Omicron treatment, plus a playlist
Brigid Delaney (Guardian): A letter to New Zealand, from Covid-ravaged Australia
Zane Small (Newshub): 2022 is ‘year of the hangover’ due to COVID-19 lockdown and borrowing – ACT leader David Seymour
Herald Editorial: A case for cautious optimism (paywalled)
Herald: Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas praises Jacinda Ardern’s pandemic response
Herald: Trevor Mallard responds to Dan Wootton’s criticism of Covid response

Isolation rules
RNZ: Isolation rules should ease once Omicron takes off, more rapid antigen tests needed – Baker
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): What’s the strategy behind testing and isolation now that Omicron is in NZ?
William Hewett (Newshub): Guide to COVID-19 isolation: What you can, can’t do if you’re infected or a contact
Jordan Bond (RNZ): Industries warn of expected shortages due to close contact isolation rules
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Some essential workers will be able to get out of isolation with a rapid antigen test; 80 million on order
Zane Small (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern’s critics denounce ‘whopping 24-day isolation rule’
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Businesses will struggle to cover 24-day leave for isolation of Covid contacts – Lawyer
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Isolation rules could ‘cripple’ hospitality, education sectors
Kylie Klein-Nixon (Stuff): A guide to looking after yourself – or someone else with Omicron – at home

Testing; contact tracing
Emma McKay (Newstalk ZB): Australian epidemiologist warns NZ not follow their mistakes when it comes to RATs
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Ministry of Health tells GPs and pharmacies to stock up on COVID-19 rapid antigen tests
Michael Neilson (Herald): PCR testing capacity increased by 20,000 a day with outbreak looming
RNZ: Covid-19 testing capacity increased with rapid antigen and robots
Amanda Cropp (Stuff): After almost 6 million tests, an Omicron explosion will heap more stress on exhausted laboratory workers
Sir Ian Taylor (Herald):  The rapid Covid tests we should be using already (paywalled)
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Without a trace: Contact tracers miss two cases

Kim Moodie (RNZ): New mask rules for Covid-19: Exemptions and resisters still a problem, Retail NZ says
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Restaurant owners slam the Government’s mask mandate policy as an ‘absolute joke’ (paywalled)
RNZ: Checkpoint: Covid Response Minister on new mask rules under Omicron
Thomas Manch (Stuff): ‘No more scarfs, bandannas’: Government to require N95 or surgical masks for workers under vaccine mandates
RNZ: N95 masks ruled out for public as mask policy updated
1 News: Michael Baker wants mask use for children as young as 2
Jamie Morton (Herald): Should we be masking 2-year-olds?

Health system braces
1 News: Little: Health system has ‘capacity’ to deal with Omicron case
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Government urged to fast-track Covid-19 medicine before Omicron surge
Nicole Bremner (1 News): DHBs making plans as they brace for Omicron surge
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Canterbury could get up to 4000 new cases per day at Omicron peak
Joanne Naish and Cate Broughton (Stuff): No cloth masks, separate entrances, testing visitors: How hospitals are gearing up for Omicron
RNZ: Staff at Motueka clinic linked to Omicron cases advised not to isolate
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): South Auckland GPs brace for surge in Omicron cases
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Matt Doocey calls for youth mental health summit

Vulnerable populations
Maxine Jacobs and Mairatea Mohi (Stuff): Māori batten down the hatches as Omicron scratches at their doors
Mildred Armah (Stuff): Fears Omicron will hit Northland Māori hard due to low vaccination rates

Border, MIQ
Emme McKay (NewstalkZB): Fewer than 900 MIQ rooms available for community cases
Nicholas Jones (Herald): Scrapping MIQ for overseas arrivals when Omicron is widespread would ‘free up badly-needed resource’: DHB report (paywalled)
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Border restrictions shouldn’t lift until Omicron wave passes – experts
Katie Scotcher (RNZ): Border reopening plan: Stranded New Zealanders to learn about self-isolation scheme soon
RNZ: Cook Islands travel bubble with NZ stays open despite Omicron

Cases, locations of interesting
RNZ: Covid-19 update: 25 new community cases, including 10 of Omicron
Harkanwal Singh (Spinoff): The Spinoff Covid tracker: live graphs telling the story of the pandemic in Aotearoa
Herald: Pukekohe wedding had up to 500 people, says guest
Herald: Nearly 1000 people isolating after contact with Omicron case
RNZ: Flat Bush rest home residents, staff return negative results after Omicron case
James Perry (Māori TV): Resilient Motueka getting on with life despite Omicron’s arrival
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Third case detected in Palmerston North
1 News: Another Air NZ flight named as Omicron location of interest

Vaccination, Vaccine Pass
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Stuff sting catches Rangiora signwriter making fake vaccine passes
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern unconcerned for safety after anti-vaxxers yell abuse at her car, force it to drive on kerb to escape
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Medsafe decision on Novavax vaccine due in two weeks

Economy, Business
Irra Lee (1 News): Negative RAT will soon allow critical staff to return to work
Katie Todd (RNZ): Red light setting, fewer customers stressing business owners
RNZ: Checkpoint: How power stations will stay running under mass isolation
Riley Kennedy (ODT): Working from home not compulsory under Red setting
ODT Editorial: ‘Don’t panic, don’t panic!’
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Trucking lobby makes desperate plea for more drivers
Riley Kennedy (ODT): No need to move cargo north: Port
Benn Bathgate (Stuff): Mixed fortunes for accommodation providers in wake of red traffic light, Omicron fears 
Vanessa Phillips (Stuff): NZ events sector needs more Govt support, says Nelson mayor as Opera in the Park is cancelled
John Anthony (Stuff): Air New Zealand preparing for ‘bumpy few weeks’ as it braces for Omicron wave
Aimee Shaw (Herald): Gloom looms over capabilities of NZ’s grocery supply chains (paywalled)
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): ‘Pretty dire’: Queenstown retailer hit by border closure plans to open in Dubai Mall (paywalled)
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Are Kiwis financially prepared to face latest variant? (paywalled)
Sinead Gill (Stuff):Cafe owner asks locals not to abandon Omicron-hit businesses
RNZ: Nelson, Tasman residents financially best placed to manage Omicron impact – research
Brent Wilton (Newsroom): NZ needs to move fast to put the ‘S’ into ESG
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Billion dollar Covid spend forces Treasury accounting change (paywalled)
RNZ: Services sector unable to shake contractive tone – BNZ economist
Sarah Robson (RNZ): BNZ finds 12,000 abusive online banking transactions over six months
Andrew Barnes: (Herald):  The outdated legislation hindering economic progress (paywalled)
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Big electricity users fear ‘repeat of last year’ as wholesale prices climb 

Cancellations, restrictions
RNZ: Rātana celebrations pivot to online event in bid to help faithful stay connected
RNZ: Waitangi Day: Treaty grounds will be closed to the public
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Waitangi Treaty Grounds to be closed on Waitangi Day
Eda Tang (Stuff): Move to red disrupts culturally significant events for New Zealand’s East Asian community
Sam Brooks (Spinoff): Turn out the lights: After two years of hurt, can live arts recover from red?
RNZ: Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival cancelled
RNZ: Auckland Lantern Festival cancelled for third year
RNZ: Major Taupō cycle event cancelled again due to Covid-19 red light setting
RNZ: Sport grappling with shift into Covid-19 red light setting
Hayden Meikle (ODT): ‘Massive financial hit’ for Highlanders
ODT: Difficult but ‘right decision’ to cancel Challenge Wanaka

Protests, Rule breaches
Herald: Prime Minister says protesters targeting her van was ‘just another day’
Herald: Video shows protesters target Jacinda Ardern’s van in Bay of Islands
Herald: Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki’s High Court appeal over custody decision looms

Dawn Duncan and Andrew Geddis (Spinoff): The worrying implications of the Tova O’Brien decision
Lydia Burgham (Herald): Tova O’Brien on ERA decision in restraint of trade case: ‘I don’t have any regrets’
David Burton (Stuff): Covid-19 and an epidemic of burnout: Employers have obligations to staff at risk of stress
Vanessa Phillips (Stuff): Pick Nelson-Tasman to work, campaign urges

Parliament, parties
Greg Presland (Standard): Weird stuff Jacinda Ardern has been accused of
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Controversial businessman Troy Bowker makes $35,000 Act donation(paywalled)

RNZ: Government orders portable air cleaners for schools – Minister
Ben Strang (Stuff): Government ‘negligent’ over school ventilation as Omicron arrives
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government orders 5000 air cleaners for schools, but just 500 will be ready by March
Dubby Henry (Herald): 5000 Samsung air purifiers ordered for NZ schools
Chris Keall (Herald): Questions after local firm shunned in school ventilation tender
Wei Shao (Stuff): Young kids at higher risk from Omicron outbreak due to poor ventilation at daycares
Karanama Ruru (Stuff): Keep schools open during Omicron outbreak, paediatricians say
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): ‘Kōhanga kids are changing Māoridom’ – Dame Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi
Graham Adams (Basset, Brash, Hide): Follow the money: matauranga Maori and the millions at stake
Elizabeth Rata (Newsroom): Science or ideology? The NZ university at the crossroads
Jonathan Killick (Stuff): Omicron fears boost new online school roll, attracts 200 teacher applicants
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Hutt Valley High’s ‘toxic’ buildings to be replaced with 26 new classrooms

Anneke Smith and Sam Olley (RNZ): Compensation payouts or behaviour requiring police response not ‘centrally recorded’ by Kāinga Ora
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Trust calls for more social housing in the face of Omicron outbreak
RNZ: Privacy Commission to crack down on landlords collecting intrusive information
Geraden Cann (Stuff): NZ home loan borrowers face doubled interest as 60pc of mortgages up for renewal
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): ‘Meaningful drop’: Conditions in housing market could be ripe for prices to fall(paywalled)
RNZ: Residential real estate value reaches $1.72 trillion in last quarter of 2021

Tonga volcanic eruption, tsunami
John Minto (Daily Blog): Tonga is still being used and abused by New Zealand
RNZ: Covid-19 confirmed aboard HMAS Adelaide enroute to Tonga
RNZ: Concern about psychological trauma amid Tonga’s recovery
RNZ: Forum launches Pacific appeal for Tonga

Local government
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): ‘I think it’s time’: Efeso Collins commits to run for Auckland mayor
RNZ: Unvaccinated Thames-Coromandel mayor chairs meeting remotely
Herald: Thames Coromandel District Council softens vaccine policy, unvaccinated works can attend ‘critical’ meetings
Glenn McLean (Stuff): Council vaccine mandate does not include children
RNZ: Unvaccinated Christchurch council staff lose jobs
Steven Walton and Amber Allott (Stuff): Thirteen Christchurch City Council staff lose jobs over vaccination status
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Whangārei District Councillor apologises after partner’s alleged parking, traffic infringements
Luisa Girao (ODT): Thousands of speed tickets cancelled
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Accusation outside interests hold sway at ORC
Grant Miller (ODT): Public’s view on one-way system is clear, AA says
Anne Gibson (Herald):‘Cliff failure’ seawall proposal raises concern: Civic leaders on North Shore building project
Joel MacManus (Stuff): Porirua council threatens to confiscate bins from shoddy recyclers

Three Waters
Te Maire Tau (Spinoff): Might isn’t always right: What three waters haters misunderstand about democracy
Martyn Bradbury (Waatea News): How to turn Three Waters into a vote winning issue

George Block (Stuff): Bus marshals: Auckland Transport adds onboard safety officers after assault
Nikki Mandow (Newsroom): Air NZ refuses credit to cancelled festival goers
Louise Ternouth (RNZ): Petrol prices get closer to $3 a litre
Stuff: Dunedin Railways backtracks on plan to sell off stock

Nathan Cooper (The Conversation): Covid will dominate, but New Zealand will also have to face the ‘triple planetary crisis’ this year
RNZ: Transition away from fossil fuel vehicles needs more work – expert
Kevin Trenberth (Newsroom): Climate: NZ’s role on spaceship Earth
Andrea Vance (Stuff): NZ Govt’s proposal to overturn ban on trawl gear will ‘kill more albatrosses’, critics say
Tracy Neal (ODT): Helicopters unexpectedly blocked from Abel Tasman
Ethan Griffiths (Herald): Rotorua company fined $27K for allowing pig effluent, carcasses to flow into Lake Rotorua

Mike Houlahan (ODT): ‘Wait and see’ was lethal
RNZ: Multiple hospital staff failures in care of woman who died, inquiry finds
Brooke van Velden (Herald): Why Govt’s health remedy is a fail
Catherine Groenestein (Stuff): Taranaki among DHBs struggling to meet safe staffing accord
Elspeth McLean (ODT): SDHB’s reaction indicates colonoscopy saga not over
Maddisyn Jeffares (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Smoking and vaping ban for Hawke’s Bay beaches, rivers, and outdoor dining proposed
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Pokies association wants better results from gambling addiction services

Foreign affairs
RNZ: Ukrainians in New Zealand call for government to put political pressure on Russia
Thomas Manch (Stuff): NZ calls on Russia to reduce ‘risk of severe miscalculation’, as troops mass at Ukraine border
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): NZ investors win carve-out from US foreign financing rules

Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Rising cost of living in Aotearoa may trigger civil disobedience, social service says
Naomii Seah (Spinoff): What it’s really like to not have enough
Anuja Nadkarni (Newsroom): The immigration reset: ‘The Government waited to see which industries squealed’
Arena Williams & Stuart Smith (Stuff): The welfare of our children is far too important to get wrong
RNZ: Damage assessments underway in Cook Islands
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): Dame Naida Glavish: The country made ‘Kia ora’ acceptable
Māori TV: Ngāi Tahu welcomes national stewardship land panel on to Arahura marae
Esther Taunton (Stuff): ‘Absolutely barbaric’: MPI investigating pigs’ transport conditions