NZ Politics Daily – 23rd December 2021

Today’s content

Omicron, NZ border, MIQ, Govt management of Covid-19
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): The border will open despite Omicron (paywalled)
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Lightning-fast Omicron set to break traffic lights
Katie Todd (RNZ): Fresh warning about Omicron variant after cases skyrocket in NSW
Ian Powell (Second Opinion): Responding to omicron
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Govt had no backup plan if elimination failed
Herald Editorial: Border delays amount to careful caution at unpredictable time (paywalled)
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Covid armour beefed up before Omicron seeps in
Rowan Quinn (RNZ): Omicron could force more changes to NZ’s contact tracing system
RNZ: Omicron ‘spreads faster than Delta’ but definitive data on severity is a waiting game – researcher
RNZ: Ex-pat Kiwis fund legal challenge against Govt over border delay
RNZ: Returnee who left hospital without completing isolation returns to MIQ
1 News: Covid-negative Auckland hospital escapee returns to MIQ
1 News: Quarantine-free Cook Islands-NZ bubble to open as planned
Nik Dirga (RNZ): Going home in the age of Omicron
Nikki Preston (Herald): Stranded Kiwis heartbroken, uncertain when they will ever get home
Herald: Cook Islands travel bubble still all go for January
1 New: 2021 in review: The year of travel that never was

Vaccine rollout, mandate, pass
Deena Coster (Stuff): Change in strategy finding success in thwarting anti-vax campaigns
1 News: How and when to get your 4-month Covid vaccine booster shot
Scott Palmer (Newshub): COVID-19 vaccine map: 55.8 pct of New Zealand’s areas break 90 pct target
RNZ: MidCentral District Health Board reaches 90 percent vaccination milestone
Ellen O’Dwyer (Stuff): Bureaucracy blamed for stalling vaccination efforts in deprived area
RNZ: Vaccine pass won’t be required of people required to physically attend court
Lee Kenny (Stuff): All Ara students and staff must be fully vaccinated from February 14
Jane Nixon (1 News): Cafe owner abused by man over vaccine pass pleads for help
Karina Cooper (Herald): Far North cafe owner’s plea to Government after death threats  (paywalled)
Tim Newman (Stuff): Vaccine mandate covers Nelson City Council staff
Florence Kerr (Stuff): The financial burden of supporting unvaccinated family members
ODT Editorial: Rare side-effects under spotlight
Juliet Speedy (Newshub): Woman whose fiancée likely died from COVID-19 vaccine calls for more clarity around risks and symptoms of myocarditis
Megan Wilson (Herald): Bay of Plenty DHB Covid-19 pamphlet: Businesses should hire Māori cultural advisors, Māori MP says (paywalled)

2021 in review, Parliament, parties
Herald: On the Tiles: As politicians take a break, what’s on the horizon for them in 2022? (podcast)
Jo Moir (RNZ): The political year everyone would rather forget
Ben Thomas (Stuff): Who knows what next year holds. Let’s seize on summer while we can
Shane Te Pou (Herald): A shout out to our Māori MPs (paywalled)
Rino Tirikatene (Stuff): A year of Delta, determination, and a darned good deal

Auckland border checkpoints, summer travel, Delta outbreak
Rawiri Taonui (Waatea): Cases decline as younger Māori deaths increase
Herald: 56 cases revealed as Covid confirmed in Wellington region
RNZ: Ministry posts locations of interest in Hutt Valley after positive case
Rachel Thomas and André Chumko (Stuff): Positive case confirmed in the Hutt Valley, five locations of interest 
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Virus detected unexpectedly in wastewater in holiday hotspots, Ministry of Health says
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Third positive wastewater test in Napier in six days
Hannah Martin and Kate Newton (Stuff): The Delta outbreak and hospitalisations in 12 graphs
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Expert urges vigilance as testing numbers across Auckland, NZ trend down
RNZ: Covid-19 pill for patients at home may be reviewed for approval early next year
Daisy Hudson (ODT): Changes catch out pharmacists
Craig Kapitan (Herald): William Willis, Hannah Rawnsley still potentially face consequences for lockdown Wānaka trip

Economy, business, govt subsidies
Gareth Vaughan (Interest): Five predictions for 2022: Covid-19, climate change, bank lending, the RBNZ & rising interest rates
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Business confidence down as supply constraints continue to bite
Keith Woodford (Interest): Inflation has become a wicked problem, with no painless solutions. Demarcation between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is increasing, with societal consequences
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): You know what’s really ‘undesirable’? Racial profiling
Kelly Makiha (Herald): Farmers Tauranga incident: Company says unlikely there is any basis for allegations of racism (paywalled)
Michael Reddell (Croaking Cassandra): Reviewing immigration policy
RNZ: Consumer confidence remains marginally pessimistic
RNZ: Sales figures show small businesses on the up
Herald: Christmas retail spending up but a warning some businesses are still suffering due to pandemic
Nona Pelletier (RNZ): Mixed year for KiwiSaver investments reflects flat NZ share market – analysts
Herald: Supreme Court dismisses Pizza Hut franchisees’ appeal in delivery drivers case
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Supreme Court sends Pizza Hut franchisees’ delivery driver case back to ERA
Stuff Editorial: Holidays Act: when the law is a morass
Andrea Fox (Herald): Chilled meat exports take a chop in favour of frozen product in shipping crunch (paywalled)
Liam Napier (Herald): New Zealand Rugby forced to completely remodel Super Rugby Pacific’s draw (paywalled)
Māori TV: No dividend for Sanford, higher dividend for Moana NZ

Foreign affairs
RNZ: China accuses New Zealand and Five Eyes of interference over criticism of Hong Kong legislative elections
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): China wags finger at Five Eyes (paywalled)
Bruce Munro (ODT): Global Insight: Right stance to looming problems?

Health
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): ACC apologise for failing to tell woman she was eligible for financial compensation
Robin Martin (RNZ): Children on general anaesthesia waiting list akin to abuse, says dentist
Brian Easton (Pundit):Promoting The Health Of The Nation
Tom Hunt and Nathan Morton (Stuff): Christmas without pay for midwives after warning email lands 34 minutes late
Evan Harding (Stuff): Healthcare company slammed for ‘not answering calls’
Herald: Drug checking could save lives this summer
George Block (Stuff): Auckland ambulance no-show after drunk passenger bashes bus driver during trip

Inequality
RNZ: Food parcel demand quadruples over lockdown: ‘People don’t have a safety net anymore’
Liu Chen (RNZ): Struggling Auckland families get seasonal lift with $2000 gift packs
Claire Dale (Herald):  How to take the interests of future generations into account (paywalled)

Education
Thomas Mead (1 News): Teaching Council hugely understated extent of privacy breach
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Excavation of school’s asbestos-laced soil to begin amid continued fallout from fire

Police, Justice, corrections
John Anthony (Stuff): Final Supreme Court ruling clears path for decision on Kim Dotcom extradition
Joanne Naish (Stuff): Lawyer ‘disappointed’ over dismissal of complaint about police officer who hunted for trial notes in bin 

Environment, conservation, climate change
Brianne West (Stuff): Why we can’t let big business hide behind distant tree planting goals
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): ‘Nonsensical’ – Greens smarting after Labour delays climate change fixes
Hamish Cardwell (RNZ): Climate change: Government delays council consents deadline, coal-fired boilers ban
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Weather-related insurance claims hit record $300 million
Rotorua Daily Post: Ngāti Whare invokes rahui on Whirinaki Conservation Park

Local government, Three Waters
Gillian Blythe (Newsroom): Three Waters reforms: The secret shame of how we treat our wastewater
Matthew Ronsenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Mixed messages: Mystery surrounds Tim Shadbolt’s work phone
RNZ: Vehicle access to popular Auckland beach to close over holidays

Housing
Felix Walton (Spinoff): Can they really ask me that? How invasions of privacy have become the norm for renters
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Home loan borrower told: You spend too much on your dog
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): 2022: A buyer’s market? Only if you’re on the ladder

Media
Stuff Editorial: Ombudsman content with the sound of silence over PM’s Groundswell NZ advice
Newshub: Jenna Lynch named Newshub’s political editor
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): NZ has lost one of its best journalists, Jim Eagles (paywalled)
Anne Gibson (Herald): Environmentalist, publisher, author, journalist Jim Eagles dies
Tamsyn Parker (Herald): ComCom outlines issues for bid by media to collectively bargain with Facebook, Google

Transport
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Auckland City Rail Link: Covid-19 delays put 2024 completion date back months
Ashleigh Yates (Newshub): Auckland’s City Rail Link tunnel boring machine breaks through into Aotea station
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Auckland’s City Rail Link tunnel boring machine breaks through after 7-month underground journey
RNZ: City Rail Link: Tunnel boring machine breaks through to Aotea Station
Wilson Longhurst (1 News): Video shows milestone in Auckland City Rail Link construction
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Signs of few options for air freight to New Zealand next year – Govt officials
Adam Blackwell (Stuff): Councillor petitions NZTA to review planned roadworks restricting access to state highway

Immigration
Anneke Smith (RNZ): ICU nurse’s residency limbo forcing her to rethink staying in country
Josephine Franks (Stuff): No home, no job, no visa: Canadian caught in two-year immigration limbo in New Zealand

Other
Sally Murphy (RNZ): Union calls for ban on hydrogen cyanamide due to ‘possible carcinogen’ exposure
Diane McCarthy (Local Democracy Reporting): Whakatōhea to initial Deed of Settlement
Arena Williams & Stuart Smith (Stuff): A Government more interested in expanding public service rather than delivering services
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): NZ’s child abuse internet filter suffered outages
Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Governments risk throwing good honey after bad

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