Political Roundup: 8 March 2023

Political Roundup: 8 March 2023

Items of interest and importance today

PUBLIC SERVANTS, CONSULTANTS AND CONTRACTORS
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall says Pharmac chair Steve Maharey has offered resignation, she’s seeking advice
Claire Trevett (Herald): Health Minister Ayesha Verrall fronts on Rob Campbell sacking, says Steve Maharey offered to resign after columns criticising National
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Public sector boss Steve Maharey has offered to resign – Health Minister
1News: Pharmac chairman Steve Maharey offers resignation over columns
Duncan Garner (Today FM): Steve Maharey must be sacked as of yesterday
Lloyd Burr (Today FM): One law for Rob Campbell, one law for Steve Maharey
Rachel Smalley (Today FM): No one wins if we have major instability across our public service
Sharon Brettkelly (RNZ): The Detail: Ashley Bloomfield, the public service and political neutrality
Oliver Hartwich (Newsroom): Germany’s political public service v NZ’s myth of neutrality
1News: Interim Te Whatu Ora board chair appointed after Campbell sacking
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Naomi Ferguson named interim board chairperson of Te Whatu Ora – Health NZ
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Hundreds of public servants earning more than $100k get pay rises despite freeze
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Public servants might get a pay rise, as Chris Hipkins and Chris Luxon try to use fewer consultants
Anna Whyte (Stuff): Public Service Commissioner to be questioned by MPs as pay restraint nears three years
Dita De Boni (NBR): Consultant-using Luxon vows to banish public sector consultants(paywalled0
Heather du Plessis-Allan: The Nats are onto something by targeting the Government’s consultancy spending 
Russell Palmer (RNZ): National targets consultancy spending figures in Question Time
Herald: Question Time: National’s Christopher Luxon, Act’s David Seymour tackle PM Chris Hipkins on consultant use
Fiona Ellis (ODT): Bill for consultants tops $51m (paywalled)
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): RNZ-TVNZ merger board is still working, costing thousands a day
Jane Patterson (RNZ): ‘Ludicrous’ spending on establishment board weeks after RNZ/ TVNZ merger canned

PARLIAMENT
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Government looks set to ditch Jacinda Ardern’s attempt to lower voting age
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): No decisions yet on lowering the voting age – Kiri Allan
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Voting age: Prime Minister Chris Hipkins not ruling out referendum
Audrey Young (Herald): National makes limited progress on new women candidates(paywalled)
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): Fight for Life: Political match-ups we’d pay to watch
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Stuart Nash won’t fight in charity boxing match, but ‘not scared of Mark Mitchell’
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Chris Hipkins formally corrects record in Parliament over tax haul mistake
Adam Pearse (Herald): New MP caught by emotion as he honours ancestors in maiden statement to Parliament

ECONOMY, TAX
Louise Delany (Public Health Communication Centre): Tax policy reform: equity, fairness, and health
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Why the Reserve Bank could be forced to shelve its inflation target
Liam Dann (Herald): Has inflation peaked? The dynamics are shifting around the world, says ANZ (paywalled)
David Hargreaves (Interest): ‘It’s worryingly easy to imagine inflation remaining above the RBNZ’s target over the next few years’
RNZ: Treasury figures show $2.36 billion deficit for seven-month period

EXTREME WEATHER
Adam Pearse (Herald): Cyclone Gabrielle: Police Minister challenges Opposition claim gang members threatened roadworkers with guns
Bonnie Sumner (Newsroom): The toxic mile
Adam Burns (RNZ): Primary sector cyclone fund boost welcomed but more needed, farmers say
Herald: Police uncontactable list from Cyclone Gabrielle reaches zero, Joseph Ahuriri still missing
Tom Taylor (RNZ): Muriwai residents bring in own geotech experts for stickered homes
Louise Ternouth (RNZ): Some ‘spongy’ city properties already soaking up heavy rainfall in Auckland
Rewi Newnham (Stuff): Cyclone Gabrielle highlights landslide at Shelly Bay
RNZ: Two key state highways reopen in Wairoa

CLIMATE CHANGE, ENVIRONMENT, RMA
RNZ: Failing to take decisive climate action could shrink economy by $4.4 billion – report
Richard Prebble (Herald): How to pay the price of climate change (paywalled)
Brigitte Morten (NBR): General agreement RMA reforms are a mess (paywalled)
Jamie Gray (Herald): NZ power generators say RMA’s replacement will stifle investment
Karen Pasco (ODT): Mining exploration decision lawful

TRANSPORT
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Government-commissioned survey suggests replacing fuel tax with wealth tax – and people love it (paywalled)
Dileepa Fonseka (BusinessDesk): Recalculating: government’s transport funding u-turn(paywalled)
RNZ: Emissions still in mix but weather-proofing transport network crucial – Hipkins
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Greenpeace takes aim at Government over transport change, but Michael Wood says there’ll still be focus on emissions reduction
Bernard Hickey: Ford Ranger Man drives over Michael Wood
Asia Pacific Report: Greenpeace accuses Labour govt of ‘robbing’ climate mitigation funds to fix storm damage
1News: Michael Wood says cycleway, bus lane proposal mischaracterised
Michael Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Michael Wood was dragged kicking and screaming back to reality

LOCAL GOVERNMENT, THREE WATERS
Lauren Crimp (RNZ): Wellington City Council turns down $10m funding request for water network repairs
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Ex-ORC chief got $300,000 in ‘termination payments’
Katie Townshend (Nelson Mail): Nelson mayor moves to ‘thwart’ transfer of Nelmac assets under Three Waters
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Fourteen exemption applications made to new water regulator
Michael Fallow (Stuff): Nobby Clark threat leads to reported Audit NZ assurance
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Council CEO says he was ‘surprised’ to learn that people had been playing near wastewater ponds
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Police will not investigate Gore toddler’s death for a third time

HOUSING
Kelly Makiha (Rotorua Daily Post): Rotorua Lakes Council bills Government $420,000 for share of emergency housing hearing costs
Anne Gibson (Herald): $200m plans: Auckland Council, Housing NZ selling Fletcher land for 300+ homes (paywalled)
Malcolm McCracken: Can we afford greenfield growth in our cities?
Rob Stock (Stuff): Here’s why US home loan borrowers can fix for 30 years, and we can’t
Nona Pelletier (RNZ): Industry needs to work together to address critical housing shortages – Property Council
Tom Hunt (Dominion Post): Gang-linked tenant prompts round-the-clock security at Wellington council flats

EMPLOYMENT
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): By the numbers: What does the minimum wage increase really mean?
ODT Editorial: Clarity needed on worker safety concerns
RNZ: Warehouses with potentially dangerous designs getting a closer look

HEALTH
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Ambulances turned away from Auckland Hospital’s full emergency department
Isaac Davison (Herald): Emergency departments under pressure: Ambulance staff called in to help, patient beds overflow into hospital cafe
RNZ: Dunedin Hospital postpones operations due to staff shortages and high emergency demand
ODT: ‘Very busy’ Dunedin Hospital postpones some operations
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Millions of dollars’ worth of measles vaccines among expired doses last year
Hannah Martin and Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Cystic fibrosis drug Trikafta, Keytruda for lung cancer to be funded
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Supermarket vouchers part of push to turn around dire child immunisation stats
Eda Tang (Stuff): World-first digital platform for menstrual health education launched in Aotearoa
Deena Coster (Taranaki Daily News): MP brokers health solution for 60 rest home residents at risk of losing GP
Nicholas Boyack (Dominion Post): Spirit of Sister Suzanne will live on as church-based rest home goes private

CENSUS
David Williams (Newsroom): Everybody counts (but not twice, please)
RNZ: Census officials confident they’ll get almost everyone this time – including Harry Styles
Emma Clark-Dow (Stuff): ‘I’ve done it!’: Harry Styles announces he completed NZ Census at concert

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Damien Venuto (Herald): The Front Page: How the confidence gap stifles women in the workforce
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): The times companies got International Women’s Day so wrong
Eda Tang (Stuff): It’s as important to listen as it is to speak up, says social justice advocate

EDUCATION
Adam Pearse (Herald): Isolation from school leads to 20pc increase in youth court proceedings – Justice Ministry
Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): Kura lays formal complaint over armed police response to toy gun

MĀTAURANGA MĀORI 
Graham Adams (The Platform): Dawkins’ views on teaching mātauranga Māori go viral
Katie Harris (Herald): How mātauranga Māori is being rolled out in schools, Rangi Mātāmua explains the knowledge system

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Andrew Macfarlane (1News): Experts say Australia faces threat of war with China
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Chris Hipkins says ‘I’m just not making a comment’ on whether Govt would back possible US sanctions on China over Ukraine

CO-GOVERNANCE
Mana Wikaire-Lewis (Whakaata Māori): Co-governance the answer for country’s challenges – Waikato professor
Helmut Karewa Modlik (Stuff): We’ve been doing co-governance all along, just look at the Treaty

GEORGINA BEYER
Chris Carter (Spinoff): ‘Georgina had guts’: Chris Carter remembers Georgina Beyer
Tess McClure (Guardian): Sex worker, survivor, Māori TV star: world’s first transgender MP remembered as trailblazer
Louisa Wall (Stuff): Georgina Beyer `an outstanding example of the potential of humanity’
Mana Wikaire-Lewis (Whakaata Māori): Louisa Wall on Georgina Beyer: ‘She smashed stereotypes’
RNZ: Carterton council to consider naming road after late Georgina Beyer

EXTREMISM
Juliet Moses (Plain Sight): Byron Clark’s explanation raises more questions than answers
Juliet Moses (Plain Sight): What Byron “extremism expert” Clark isn’t telling you?
Alexia Russell (RNZ): The Detail: The toxic world of the manosphere

OTHER
Simon Collins (Herald): We need to decolonise our world view and make alliances with movements in Australia, Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Americas
Herald: Whakatōhea will sign settlement on May 27, 2023 – 183 years after signing Te Tiriti
Rachel Stewart: Not everything is about free speech
Zoe Hunter (Bay of Plenty Times): Dozens attend Tauranga library’s Rainbow Storytime despite complaints
Tommy de Silva (Spinoff): Courageous kōrero is the first step to overcoming intergenerational trauma
Leighton Keith (Herad): Another meth-positive dog prompts SPCA to call for end to greyhound racing
Lincoln Tan (Herald): More than 26,000 still waiting for their 2021 Resident Visas, immigration lawyer says delay ‘unacceptable’
Aaron Smale (Newsroom): First torture, now solitary – NZ’s shame
Alex Spense (Herald): Teens, social media and mental health: ‘New Zealand has been incredibly slow to respond’
Lois Williams (RNZ): Reefton turns the lights on again