NZ Politics Daily – 20th January 2022

Today’s content

Covid, MIQ, border
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Secret state report reveals swamped ICUs; Omicron will evade face masks
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Callous MIQ Tweet sets Government back after victorious summer (paywalled)
Ben Thomas (Stuff): Whodunit? Mystery border call a clue to new normal
Luke Malpass (Stuff): The only certainty is uncertainty: Labour enters year three of pandemic politics
Jason Walls (Newstalk ZB): We need an Omicron plan now – not in ‘the coming weeks’
Jamie Morton (Herald): Explained: Why the timing of Omicron’s arrival matters
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Govt’s decision limiting access to MIQ in March and April will have ‘no effect’ on Omicron – epidemiologist
Zoe Holland (Herald): Experts praise Government’s decision on MIQ but say more action is needed
RNZ: Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins defends MIQ hold announcement
1 News: Pausing MIQ room release a ‘temporary position’ – Hipkins
Zane Small (Newshub): Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins cites Omicron as justification for postponing MIQ room release
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Chris Hipkins talks to media before Cabinet meets on Omicron, MIQ
BusinessDesk: Hipkins in damage control over MIQ halt (paywalled)
Tess McClure (Guardian): New Zealand closes borders to new arrivals over ‘unprecedented’ Omicron risk
Alexa Cook (Newshub): Kiwi mourning dad’s death while stuck in UK says MIQ room lottery postponement hit her hard
John Weekes (Herald): Covid 19 MIQ halt: Seymour says Omicron leak inevitable, Govt asleep at wheel
Sam Olley (RNZ): Northland’s traffic light setting future to be revealed after Cabinet makes Covid-19 settings decision
1 News: Ardern to announce any changes to traffic light settings
Bryan Betty (Stuff): Omicron is a real danger, but it could also put brakes on the pandemic
Julia Gabel (Herald): What past pandemics like the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ teach NZ about being prepared
Rachel Moore (Stuff): Calm before the storm? Waikato beating down Delta, with zero-Covid-case days and a steady decrease in active cases
Zane Small (Newshub): Response Minister Chris Hipkins stands by date for trans-Tasman Kiwis to skip MIQ but admits ‘everything can change’
Anna Whyte (1 News): NZ will still move to a self-isolation model – Chris Hipkins
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Self-isolation model still on the cards, but no exact dates for border reopening given
Josephine Franks (Stuff): Give MIQ guests N95 masks to keep Omicron out, expert urges
Naomi Seah (Spinoff): Mask exemption loophole puts retail workers at risk
RNZ: MIQ system High Court challenge delayed
Chris Keall (Herald): Omicron outbreak: MIQ rule-dodging family: Customs confirms one point, other agencies scrambling (paywalled)
Chris Keall (Herald): Father fronts, explains how his voucher-less family managed to gatecrash way into NZ
Tudor Clee (Kiwiblog): Guest Post: Are Kiwis too scared to come home? The border is wide open.

Cases
Claire Trevett (Herald): Omicron: Two more cases confirmed, one visited Auckland cafe on Tuesday
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Auckland Airport worker, household contact of MIQ worker have Omicron variant
RNZ: Auckland Airport worker confirmed as Omicron case
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Auckland Airport worker tests positive, being managed as Omicron case
1 News: MIQ Omicron case linked to returning traveller
Hannah Martin (Stuff): 56 new border cases, 24 in community, Auckland Airport worker tests positive
RNZ: Covid-19 update on 19 January: 24 new community cases, 56 in MIQ
Maryana Garcia (Herald): How many of the cases and those hospitalised in Lakes District Health Board were unvaccinated? (paywalled)

Parliament, parties
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern to set out priorities of year to MPs at Labour caucus retreat
Maiki Sherman (1 News): Labour’s Māori caucus meets ahead of party’s 2022 gathering
Michael Neilson (Herald): Māori Party’s Debbie Ngarewa-Packer on confronting white supremacists, vaccinating gang members, surfing and Beyonce (paywalled)
Stephen Ward (Stuff): Te reo skills on the list for National’s Christopher Luxon in busy 2022
Arena Williams and Stuart Smith (Stuff): We are at a critical cross-road as we start to emerge out of the global pandemic

Vaccine rollout, mandate, testing
Hannah Martin and Kate Newton (Stuff): How NZ’s booster roll-out is tracking with Omicron on the doorstep
RNZ: Over 1000 eligible MIQ workers yet to get Covid-19 vaccine booster dose
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Whānau Ora plans to take govt back to court over Māori data for under 12s
ODT: Council has paid $20K for vax pass security
Marena Mane (Māori TV): No mandate or restrictions for child vaccinations – Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Mātihetihe School prioritising reputable info on tamariki vaccine for whānau
Peter McIntyre & Nikki Turner (Herald): Benefits of Covid 19 vaccine greatly exceeds risks at all ages
Amanda Vickers (Herald): Data indicates Covid risk versus jab in Rory Nairn’s demographic over-stated

Anti-vaccination, protests, rule breaches
Tony Wall and Cate Broughton (Stuff): Underground network of anti-vax doctors and nurses continues to issue dodgy Covid vaccine exemption letters
Martin van Beynen (Stuff): Destiny Church pastor Derek Tait has a vaccine pass despite his vows
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Residents near Mt Eden prison accuse Brian Tamaki supporters of blocking streets, revving motorbikes, defecating in bushes
Damien Venuto (Herald): The sad spiral of Liz Gunn down the conspiracy rabbit hole (paywalled)
William Hewett (Newshub): Liz Gunn goes off in furious rant after being asked for evidence of children collapsing at North Shore vaccination centre
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Anti-vaxxer Brad Flutey tasered, arrested after allegedly refusing to wear mask, acting aggressively in Whangārei

Economy, Business, Employment
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): ANZ warns OCR will hit 3 per cent next year ‘painful as that may be’
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): ANZ lifts OCR forecast to 3% by April next year while still hedging its bets
Anan Zaki (RNZ): ANZ forecasts Official Cash Rate to be lifted to 3% next year
Sam Stubbs (Stuff): Inflation? What inflation?
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Truckies, retailers want COVID-19 isolation rules changed urgently to prevent staff shortages as Omicron looms
RNZ: Fuel industry consumer spending up, hospitality down in December
RNZ: Survey finds most SMEs concerned by climate change, but 40% without sustainable processes
Herald: Auckland restaurants continue to collapse from Covid-19 pressures
Joy Reid (1 News): Canterbury businesses grappling with crippling labour shortage
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): How enforceable are restraints of trade?
RNZ: Dairy farmers on track for record payout as forecast farmgate milk price tops $9

Housing
Rob Stock (Stuff): Lenders and brokers challenge minister to publish terms of inquiry into lending law disruption
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): Government’s CCCFA credit crunch is bad for business
Nona Pelletier (RNZ): ‘Incredibly prescriptive’ lending code ruining lives – Mortgage broker
Greg Ninness (Interest): First signs of rain from the dark clouds gathering over the housing market
BusinessDesk: Here come the housing market headwinds (paywalled)
Isaac Davison (Herald): The subtle funding change that has left 1000 Auckland tenants stuck in temporary homes (paywalled)
Anne Gibson (Herald): ‘Bank of mum and dad’ caught by tax trap: National MP decries brightline test catch (paywalled)
Eric Cramptom (Offsetting Behaviour): Building materials
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (1 News): Demand for ‘affordable, warm’ papakāinga housing soars
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): Save for a house deposit with these foolproof tips

Tonga volcanic eruption, tsunami
Lana Andelane (Newshub): How New Zealanders can help Tonga
André Chumko (Stuff): Tonga aid appeals get under way, Kiwis asked to give generously
RNZ: Non-perishables being collected in Auckland for Tonga from Friday
1 News: Mt Smart to be a drop off centre for Tonga care packages
Kim Moodie (RNZ): Aid agencies prepare for Tonga disaster relief
Māori TV: Christchurch mayor says Tonga helped in city’s hour of need, asks locals to pay back the kindness
Kate Lyons and Tess McClure (Guardian): Leaked New Zealand military photos show scale of damage caused by Tonga volcano eruption
RNZ: Hercules expected to leave for Tonga today with water and food – Henare
Thomas Manch (Stuff): Tonga agrees to ‘contactless’ disaster relief amid Covid-19 fears
Lana Andelane (Newshub): Tonga eruption and tsunami: NZ Navy may assist with evacuation of 150 residents on ‘significantly damaged’ outer islands
Barbara Dreaver (1 News): ‘Finally got through’ – Tongans in NZ reconnect with loved ones
RNZ: Repairing Tonga cable no simple process – cable company
RNZ: Progress being made on communications in Tonga: ‘Hold tight, listen to the media’
Eleisha Foon (RNZ): Tongan community welcomes official word from Tonga’s government
RNZ: Relief for Tongan RSE workers

Health
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Pleas mount for Government help, with dental grants not increased in decades
Henry Cooke (Stuff): 2020 saw 20 per cent boost in antidepressant prescriptions, but not people taking them
ODT: Spread of norovirus in hospital hits surgery capacity
George Block (Stuff): St John investigates two ‘heartbreaking’ deaths in Auckland after ambulance delays
Shawn McAvinue (ODT): 24-hour Shear-a-thon to raise money for hospital
Shawn McAvinue (ODT): Shearing pays back those who backed cancer fight

Local government
Bernard Orsman (Herald): New Ports of Auckland CEO Roger Gray’s pay believed to top $1m
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Dunedin’s one-way system reboot canned
Grant Miller (ODT): Council and NZTA at odds over one-way
Hamish MacLean (ODT): Dunedin Railways ‘not a museum’
Send Iasona (Newshub): Mayor Andy Foster hits back at critics of $130k Wellington sculpture missing a letter
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Opinion: Wellington’s new sign looks like a $130,000 spelling mistake
RNZ: Putting the ‘I’ in Wellington – the capital’s new interactive sculpture
Erin Gourley (Stuff): There’s no ‘I’ in Well_ngton: new sign on the capital waterfront

Child welfare
ODT Editorial: More time needed for OT Bill
Luke Fitzmaurice (Spinoff): Are we ready to scrap the role of Children’s Commissioner?

Environment, conservation
1 News: Group of high-profile Kiwis fighting new Coromandel mine
Edward O’Driscoll (Newshub): Comedian Guy Williams joins call for PM to keep promise of no new mines on conservation land
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Moment of truth for Waiheke marine reserve
Wilson Longhurst (1 News): Protect Pūtiki protesters march to Auckland’s High Court
Adam Hollingsworth (Newshub): Battle over sand-dredging off the Pakiri Coast pits old foes against each other
RNZ: Mature lowland forest lost in Wānaka fire – DOC
Ryan Boswell (1 News): Filtration system could hold answer to clean waterways
RNZ: Toxic Algae could pose real risk to humans in future
Samantha Gee (RNZ): Reintroduced bird species establishing populations in Nelson’s Brook Waimārama Sanctuary

Foreign affairs
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): NZ ‘must regain’ foreign policy ground in 2022
Robert Ayson (Newsroom):Russian aggression exposes gap in NZ’s diplomatic toolkit
Shane Te Pou (Herald): US democracy is as important to NZ as it has ever been (paywalled)
RNZ: Former Samoa leader needs medical help in NZ – health officials

Media
Duncan Greive (Spinoff): However the Tova O’Brien case plays out, Three has already lost
Edward Gay (Stuff): Tova O’Brien has no option but to bartend if contract clause enforced – lawyer
Herald: Tova O’Brien v Discovery: three-month restraint of trade would force her to ‘sit at home doing nothing’
RNZ: New RNZ National show to focus on Māori talent and stories

Transport
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Thousands of drivers wrongly fined nearly $140k for failing to pay toll road charges on time over Christmas break
Leah Tebbutt (RNZ): Concerns of oil supply disruption as commentators say $3 per litre fuel to become the norm
Brent Melville (BusinessDesk): Transport fail: ‘we weren’t expecting quite so many of you’ (paywalled)

Education
Tom Hunt and Erin Gourley (Stuff): Teachers buying kids’ stationery and togs as parents struggle
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Border clamps a double-edged sword for schools
Catherine Whitby (The Conversation): Pandemic disruption to PhD research is bad for society and the economy – but there are solutions

Water safety
Jake McKee (RNZ): Government urged to tackle ‘complex’ drowning issues following dozens of deaths in 2021
Māori TV: Māori men over-represented in drowning stats
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Māori perspectives could be the key to curbing high drowning rates, expert says
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Diving lessons called for to cut back drowning deaths

Other
David Fisher (Herald): 10 years of Megaupload, 10 things we learned (paywalled)
Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): The Totalitarian Impulses Driving “Consequences Culture”
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Covid fades Waitangi’s spotlight on Māori inequities
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): How the tax department changed everything and no one noticed
Jem Traylen (BusinessDesk): Immigration will be a tricky balancing act (paywalled)
Lana Andelane (Newshub): 501 deportee with history of assault and family violence returns to New Zealand
1 News: Big Gay Out 2022 cancelled due to Omicron threat
RNZ: Auckland’s Big Gay Out pride event cancelled
Emile Donovan (RNZ): Henry Mance: How to Love Animals
RNZ: New Zealanders need to understand the hazards of volcanoes here – EQC
Katie Doyle (RNZ): Calls for universal accessibility design for Auckland public playgrounds
Jessica Tyson (Māori TV): ‘It is pretty incredible’ – Dame Cindy Kiro’s first months as Governor-General
RNZ: Insurance claims for SI storm damage more than double

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