NZ Politics Daily: 27 January 2022

NZ Politics Daily: 27 January 2022

Govt Omicron strategy
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Government off to slow start with Omicron, but opposition should be careful(paywalled)
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Omicron: Modelling suggests NZ could face peak of 80,000 daily infections
RNZ: Health experts warn of risks in phased approach to tackle Omicron outbreak
Liam Hehir (Patreon): Tide goes out on Covid response (paywalled)
RNZ: Checkpoint: Dr Ashley Bloomfield details Omicron response
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Government lays out three-stage plan to handle Omicron outbreak 
RNZ: Next phases of government’s Omicron plan revealed
Anna Whyte (1 News): More details of three staged Omicron plan released
Irra Lee (1 News): Govt details strict rules for close contact critical staff
Zane Small (Newshub): First look at three phases of Government’s COVID-19 Omicron response revealed
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Government prepares Kiwis for Omicron, but are we ready?
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Māori input lacking in three-phase Omicron plan
AP/1 News: New version of Omicron found in NZ border workers and close contacts
Mike Hosking (Herald): Why do we accept this Covid farce from the Government? (paywalled)

Luke Malpass (Stuff): RATs send Government skittering
Bridie Witton and Thomas Manch (Stuff): Rapid tests shaping up as early pressure point in Government’s Omicron response
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Government should prove it is telling the truth about rapid antigen test supplies, says testing provider
Liu Chen (RNZ): Govt priority in rapid antigen test orders ruins businesses’ pandemic plans – Food and Grocery Council
Zane Small (Newshub): Health Works Group says Government has ‘seconded incoming stock of rapid antigen tests’
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Ashley Bloomfield says Government is taking over incoming orders of rapid antigen tests, but not seizing them
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Govt ‘commandeered’ 100k RAT order – company
Zane Small (Newshub): Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall denies Government ‘requisitioned’ COVID-19 rapid antigen tests
RNZ: Government ‘commandeering’ rapid antigen tests secured by private sector, National Party says
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Businesses warn of bare shelves after Government seizes Covid tests
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog):5 things abut the ridiculous mess the Government allowed the RATs to become
Herald Editorial: RATs have limits but we may have no choice (paywalled)
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Business pleased the Government is heeding calls for rapid antigen tests to be introduced
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): More proof of how unprepared the government is
Wyatt Ryder (ODT): Concerns testing volumes will overrun labs
Rachel Thomas and Bridie Witton (Stuff): Lab boss slams Government’s ‘short-sighted’ testing figures
Michael Daly (Stuff): Newer BA.2 version of Omicron variant found in New Zealand

Bernard Hickey (The Kākā): Covid’s big winners and losers revealed
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Accidentally Pandering To The Rich – On Purpose
Steven Cowan (Against the current): The pandemic: Boom times for the rich, desperate times for the poor
John Anthony (Stuff): Lockdown helped New Zealand households save more than $3.8b, Stats NZ says
Priscilla Dickinson (Newshub): Bank research reveals the regions where customers had the highest and lowest savings ahead of Omicron outbreak
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Benefit increases going to more than half of families with children – report
Michael Neilson (Herald): Benefit increases go to 330,000 families – more than half in New Zealand
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Rising cost of living in Aotearoa may trigger civil disobedience, social service says

Esther Taunton (Stuff): Retailer criticised after P2 mask price increases by 87 per cent
Hanna McCallum (Stuff): More masks sold in three days than all of last year, supplier says
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Everything you need to know about the new mask rules
RNZ: How to adapt to the new mask rules

Health system braces
RNZ: Doctors won’t be able to help everyone when Omicron spreads rapidly – NZMA
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Omicron likely to trigger ‘national emergency’ – nurses union
Emma Clark-Dow (Stuff): Hospital staff may have to return five days after positive test, union says
Māori TV: Omicron: Nurses worried they can’t keep up
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Two Covid-19 drugs to be available in hospitals from Feb 1 – Pharmac
1 News: What are the main symptoms of an Omicron infection?
Jamie Morton (Herald): Why aerosols raise new variant’s indoor risk
Naomii Seah (Spinoff): How to best protect your young children against omicron

Border, MIQ
Zane Small (Newshub): National drops ‘now’ from ‘end MIQ’ petition, home-isolation pause ‘justified’
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Omicron spread could speed-up staged border reopening
Corazon Miller (1 News): Border delays leave NZ family homeless, jobless in Australia
William Hewett (Newshub): Australian billboard takes sly dig at Jacinda Ardern over border closures

Cases, locations of interest
RNZ: 23 new community cases reported in NZ, number of Omicron cases reaches 56
1 News: 15 new Omicron community cases in NZ on Wednesday
James Halpin (Stuff): Auckland’s Indian community rallies after Omicron-linked weddings
1 News: Taranaki records first Omicron Covid-19 case
1 News: ‘A number’ of Covid-19 cases attended Soundsplash festival
Sharnae Hope (Stuff): Positive cases attended Hamilton’s Soundsplash festival
RNZ: New cases attended music festival in Hamilton
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Covid-19-positive Soundsplash attendee says festival was ‘ideal breeding ground’ for virus to spread
Sophie Cornish and Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Person with Covid-19 went to Wellington airport but didn’t board flight
1 News: Tauranga early childhood centre linked to possible Omicron case

Vaccination, Vaccine Pass
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Doctor pleads for cut in Covid-19 booster waiting time to protect Māori
Adam Pearse and Chris McDowall (Herald): Inequity emerging early in Auckland’s 5-11-year-old vaccine rollout
Hannah Martin and Kate Newton (Stuff): The people and places where boosters and child vaccinations are lagging
Jimmy Ellingham (RNZ): Dozens of Corrections staff lose jobs over Covid-19 vaccine mandate
Michael Andrew (BusinessDesk): No covid jab? No access to employment justice (paywalled)
1 News: Auckland DHB becomes second to hit 90% double vaxxed for Māori
Edward Gay (Stuff): No vaccination pass or test required for defendants and jurors as trials resume
Kayla Hodge (ODT): Pasifika community group to host vaccination drive-through
RNZ: Christchurch man charged in relation to making and distributing false vaccine passes
Martin Van Beynen (Stuff): Fake vaccine pass holders offered police amnesty after Stuff sting 
Herald: Canterbury police ask anyone with fake vaccine pass to come forward
1 News: Police offer amnesty to Cantabrians with fake vaccine passes
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Canterbury signwriter accused of making fake vaccine passes

Economy, Business
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Omicron won’t get supermarkets off the hook with ComCom, advocates predict
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Consumer NZ: More than 100 complaints made over supermarket food prices 
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Prices rising at fastest rate in three decades: ‘We’re copping it from all angles’
RNZ: Inflation pressures could push up prices by 10% – Retail NZ
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Consumer goods could be in short supply in an Omicron outbreak
John Anthony (Stuff): Economic outlooks for Omicron outbreak feature both dread and a hint of optimism
RNZ: Checkpoint: Farmers call to be critical workers in Omicron response
Samantha Gee (RNZ): Farmers prepare as closed borders disrupt harvest amid Omicron outbreak
RNZ: Expert expects economic figures to be ‘relatively volatile’ in wake of Omicron
Matthew Littlewood (Stuff): Timaru publican cuts hours again as Covid restrictions bite
Sally Rae (ODT): Another hard year for region
Tina Law (Stuff): Economic confidence in Canterbury takes a tumble but expected to rebound in 2022 
Maiki Sherman (1 News): Kiwi musicians feel ‘used’ by Government over lack of support
Isaac Davison (Herald): Lending changes pushing poorer New Zealanders to loan sharks and crime, credit unions say (paywalled)
Anne Gibson (Herald): New Zealand ranked top country in world for financial freedom, safest in Asia/Pacific (paywalled)
Thomas Bywater (Herald): Omicron travel plans: Is it safe to fly at Red and what to plan for while away
Chris Keall (Herald): The non-traditional players seen seizing 400,000 broadband customers (paywalled)

Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): Now the real pandemic looms for NZ employers
Damien Venuto (Herald): De facto lockdowns’ – impact of the Big Sick on the economy (paywalled)
Charlotte Muru-Lanning (Spinoff): Your rights as a worker if omicron finds its way into your life
Aimee Shaw (Herald): Business groups anxious over working from home return (paywalled)
RNZ: Working at the office at least two days a week is preferred option – survey
Anne Gibson (Herald): Covid 19 creating ‘office nostalgia’ over working from home, survey finds(paywalled)

Cancellations, restrictions
Adam Blackwell (Stuff): All Palmerston North City Council events called off until March
Matthew Hampson (Stuff): Organisers scramble to stop Marlborough events from falling over all together
Adam Blackwell (Stuff): Red traffic light leads to arts cancellations
Stuff: National Touch Championship added to list of red-light cancellations

Protests, Rule breaches
RNZ: Judge grants Brian Tamaki’s bail request
Herald: Brian Tamaki walks free: Destiny Church leader wins appeal against being remanded in custody
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Brian Tamaki released from prison on 24-hour curfew
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Lone Star New Lynn franchisees step down following vaccine mandate breach 
Herald: New Plymouth MMA Studio wrongly claiming customers don’t need Covid vaccine passes
Andrew Owen and Glenn McLean (Stuff): Protest outside New Plymouth Council headquarters

Benedict Collins (1 News): Accommodation supplement not fuelling rent rise – report
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Porirua still home to NZ’s highest weekly rent, Trade Me says
Ethan Te Ora (Stuff): Greens call for Trade Me to adopt tick-box solution to dungeon-like rentals
Priscilla Dickinson (Newshub): Property price growth likely to fall to single digits in 2022, possibly ‘close to zero’ – property economist
Greg Ninness (Interest): CoreLogic expects balance of power in the housing market to tip towards buyers by mid-year
Jake McKee (RNZ): Aspiring homeowners consider cutting essential costs to secure lending for mortgage
Riley Kennedy (ODT): SBS boss happy lending laws under review
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Housing still a key focus for Nelson MP

Parliament, parties
1 News: New data shows threats to Kiwi politicians on the rise
Tess McClure (Guardian): New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern shrugs off car chase by anti-vaccination protesters
Dylan Reeve (Spinoff): A conversation with the woman behind a viral video attacking Jacinda Ardern
1 News: First political poll for 2022 released tomorrow
Richard Harman (Politik): Guns and knitting needles; Nicole McKee’s remarkable political journey(paywalled0

Jin Russell (The Conversation): Despite Omicron arriving, keeping schools open as safely as possible should be the goal
Kirsty Wynn (Herald): Frustration as principals struggle to find clear rules on handling Omicron
Dubby Henry (Herald): Paediatricians say school closures should be last resort
Tom Peters (World Socialists): New Zealand schools and public transport will be breeding grounds for Omicron infections
Ella Stewart (RNZ): School uniforms ‘increasingly unaffordable for most families’ – charity
Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): Teaching of New Zealand history in schools delayed by a year

Child welfare
RNZ: Role of Children’s Commissioner must remain independent to be effective – commissioner
Jan Logie (Stuff): We need a truly independent champion for our children
ODT Editorial: Branding bombardment

Local government
Morgan Godfery (Stuff): The world’s largest Polynesian city might elect its first Polynesian mayor
Todd Niall (Stuff): Auckland mayoralty: Efeso Collins confirms bid for the job
Samantha Worthington (1 News): Efeso Collins to run in 2022 Auckland Mayoral race
Herald: High profile councillor Efeso Collins standing for Auckland Mayoralty
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Mainstream media finally catch up to TDB on Auckland Mayoralty meltdown
Todd Niall (Stuff): Tree charity demands apology and replanting after Auckland Council mowed down 8000 plants
Linda Cooper (Herald):  Criticism of Auckland Council spending is unwarranted (paywalled)
Oscar Francis (ODT): Nasty month for abuse of council staff
Joanne Naish (Stuff): Council offices closed under Omicron threat to protect staff 
Cherie Sivignon (Stuff): Tasman District Council brings in Covid-19 vaccine mandate for all roles
Erin Bradnock (Local Democracy Reporting): Tasman District councillor’s attendance record at 43 per cent
Luisa Girao (ODT): $15 visitor levy plan raises operator hackles
RNZ: Stewart Island/Rakiura visitor levy may triple
Stephen Ward (Stuff): $110m iwi fin fish farming push for Coromandel wins council support

Georgina Campbell (Herald): Let’s Get Wellington Moving: Fruitless search for transport boss after 10 months
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Auckland sitting on $285m fuel tax windfall, with more than half of all fuel tax unspent
Todd Niall (Stuff): No Government cash for Omicron fare slump on public transport
Ben Strang (Stuff): Police, NZTA are failing to deliver on ‘Road to Zero’ – review
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): The utes parked at EV charging stations

Robin Martin (RNZ): New Plymouth mayor wants government involved over Corteva’s exit from controversial plant site
Molly Swift (Newshub): Popular New Zealand beaches infested with faecal bacteria
Oscar Francis (ODT): Funding boost to help hoiho

Virginia Fallon (Stuff): Covid is no excuse for things broken long before the pandemic
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): ACC goes back to drawing board over failed $1.4m navigation service
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): MP pushes for mental health training in Rangiora as part of national strategy
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Autistic young adults are less likely to be charged with crimes, but those charged face tougher penalties – NZ study
Olivia Shivas (Stuff): Disability advocates frustrated over feedback process for accessibility legislation

Foreign affairs
Mike Smith (The Standard): Prisoners of the Narrative #1
Thomas Manch (Stuff): MFAT advises New Zealanders in Ukraine to ‘consider leaving’ due to fears of Russian invasion
Richard Prebble (Herald): Defence, security, climate bigger threats than Covid, review states (paywalled)
Andrew Macfarlane (1 News): Number of successful appeals by 501 deportees revealed

Tonga volcanic eruption, tsunami
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Tonga eruption and tsunami: Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni says some displaced residents may permanently relocate
Torika Tokalau (Stuff): Tonga tsunami: Aucklanders fill 25 shipping containers with $1.6m of donations
RNZ: MP Jenny Salesa confident Tonga government can handle Covid-19 aboard Australian Navy vessel
RNZ: Council, port help Tongan families in Otago ship food supplies

Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Thousands become New Zealand residents under new scheme
1 News: Migrants queue overnight for residency application medicals

Lake Alice
David Williams (Newsroom): Lake Alice doctor’s death puts spotlight on Govt
RNZ: Lake Alice child and adolescent unit former lead psychiatrist Dr Selwyn Leeks dies aged 92
Aaron Smale (Stuff): Notorious Lake Alice psychiatrist Dr Selwyn Leeks dies

Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Police internal review on photographing youth given to independent watchdogs
Bryce Wilkinson (Herald):  The train wreck that is Government policy-making (paywalled)
Laura Hooper (Stuff): Funding to develop new community gardens in Invercargill
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): New Zealand is far ahead on reparations for indigenous – Dame Areta Koopu
RNZ: Broadcasting Standards Authority issues warning over Covid-19 misinformation
Mikaela Wilkes (Stuff): Meet the hosts of the new AM show: Melissa Chan-Green, Ryan Bridges, Bernadine Oliver-Kerby and William Waiirua