NZ Politics Daily – 24th December 2021

24 December 2021

Today’s content

2021 in review, Parliament, parties
Matthew Hooton (Herald): My reflections of 2021 – and why John Tamihere is my New Zealander of the Year (paywalled)
Spinoff: Politics in 2021: How to describe the year in one sentence?
Paul McBeth (BusinessDesk): Here comes the year of adaptation (paywalled)
Jo Moir (Newsroom): ‘I don’t have that lived experience’ – Luxon’s difficulty with new role
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): The annual Interesties Awards have landed
Matthew Rilkoff (Stuff): Covid dominated conversations but life went without too much fuss
Herald Editorial: Counting our blessings at Christmas in this difficult time (paywalled)

Omicron, NZ border, MIQ, Govt management of Covid-19
Eva Corlett (Guardian): New Zealand ends 2021 with one of world’s best Covid outcomes – but it wasn’t all good news
Bill Ralston (Listener/Herald):  Government needs to begin steady process of easing restrictions (paywalled)
1 News: Ardern rules out charging unvaxxed Kiwis for Covid treatment
RNZ: Māori health experts welcome protection plan, although ‘little bit late’
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Waitangi Tribunal utterly misses the vaccination politics of NZ
Dubby Henry (Herald): Christmas in quarantine – family’s plans dashed by Covid but grandma says they’re ‘lucky’
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Herald): Hawke’s Bay student slams MIQ system as border closures extended
Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): From A Smug Hermit Kingdom

Vaccine rollout, mandate, pass
Jake McKee (RNZ): Covid-19 boosters after four months already available
Denise Piper (Stuff): Four-month vaccine booster roll-out a shambles, vaccinators say
RNZ: Timeline for Covid-19 vaccine booster shot causing confusion – ‘I was verbally abused’
RNZ: Māori vaccination rates still dangerously low – health advocates
1 News: Bay of Plenty iwi accused of funding threat over Covid jabs
Kate Newton (Stuff): Vaccinating Aotearoa against Covid-19: How a stroll became a sprint
Dr Noelyn Hung (Herald): Data indicates Covid 100 times riskier than jab
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Disabled community ‘an afterthought’ in NZ’s vaccine roll-out, expert says
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Concerns lax hospitality venues not scanning vaccine passes 
Herald: Oliver MMA gym fined thousands after knowingly letting unvaccinated staff work
RNZ: Oliver MMA gym in Auckland fined $12,000 over unvaccinated staff
Herald: Thames-Coromandel mayor refuses to comment on whether she’ll abide by jab policy
Nicholas Boyack (Stuff): Upper Hutt does u-turn on Covid-19 vaccine passes 
Vita Molyneux (Herald): Upper Hutt City council will require vaccine passes for all council facilities after case found in Wellington region
Logan Savory (Stuff): ‘Agitated’ group air vaccine passport concerns with Invercargill council leaders
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Martial arts centre fined $12k for not meeting vaccine requirements
James Halpin (Stuff): Great Barrier Island vaccinates less than one person a day on average in past month
Cecile Meier and Lee Kenny (Stuff): Congratulations Canterbury – 98 per cent of you have had a Covid-19 vaccine jab
Newshub: A reminder of what the unvaccinated can and can’t do this Christmas

Auckland border checkpoints, summer travel, Delta outbreak
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Man told to pay $140 for Covid test despite colleagues testing positive
RNZ: Case numbers would be higher if people only stuck to traffic light rules – modeller
RNZ: Epidemiologist says more caution required in suburbs of low vaccination
Matai O’Connor (RNZ): Tairāwhiti locals say Covid-19 community cases inevitable after ‘lucky’ year
Scott Yeoman (Stuff): ‘Huge concern’: Covid-19 in Murupara, one of the least vaccinated areas in the country
Tumamao Harawira (Māori TV): Murupara sticks to local GP’s advice as Covid-19 numbers rise
Craig Ashworth (Herald): Iwi prepare for Covid spread in Taranaki
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Fears south Auckland could be hit hard in event of Omicron outbreak
Julia Gabel (Herald): ‘It is real’ – Man’s message after battling virus in hospital
Craig Kapitan (Herald): How William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley’s now infamous Wānaka trip unfolded (paywalled)
Laura James (1 News): NZ’s busiest travel day of the year has regions on edge

Economy, business, govt subsidies
Tina Morrison (Stuff): Landcorp should return focus to pastoral farming, report says 
Grant Bradley (Herald): Queenstown Airport boss Glen Sowry sees traffic move from bust to boom (paywalled)
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Pukekohe New World closing on Boxing Day in recognition of ‘challenging year’ for staff
Glenn McLean (Stuff): NZ Post hoping to clear the floor before Christmas
Gianina Schwanecke (Stuff): Ongoing Te Urewera closure due to Covid-19 risk frustrates Wairoa mayor
Newshub: Farmers tells family of Māori teen called ‘undesirable’ it doesn’t think the incident was racist
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): Complexity of international banking a major deterrent for Kiwi businesses to go global – survey shows
Reweti Kohere (Spinoff): Auckland businesses struggle with ‘hoop-jumping’ Covid funding process

Amanda Cropp (Stuff): Doctor challenges seizure of ivermectin, the unapproved Covid-19 drug he imported for patients
Nathan Morton (Stuff): Ministry of Health apologises to midwives after ‘insulting’ email error over pay
Boyd Swinburn (Newsroom): The cost of excess weight in NZ
Nikki Preston (Herald): The outbreak that could hit New Zealand once our borders open
Katie Stevenson (1 News): Concern NZ could be at risk of whooping cough outbreak
Dan Satherley (Newshub): Expert warns whooping cough outbreak due, more likely once borders open
Nicole Bremner (1 News): Kiwis with postponed elective surgeries now face long wait
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Union wants controversial chemical banned immediately, ahead of kiwifruit harvest
Robin Martin (RNZ): Children suffering while waiting for dental treatment – parents
Andrew Marshall (ODT): Concerns about supply of carers
Māori TV: Record number of enrolled staying off the smokes for longer
ODT: First stage of hospital build granted consent

Environment, conservation, climate change
Emma Hatton (RNZ): Govt decision to delay Clean Vehicles Bill will cost $40 million
No Right Turn: Climate Change: Dragging their feet again
Māori TV: Two Māori on Climate Commission board
RNZ: Kaimaumau fire labelled an ecological ‘catastophic disaster’ for near-extinct species
George Heagney (Stuff): Recycling plants offer ‘solution’ to e-waste problem

Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Mediawatch: The Spin-off’s oil propaganda leaves sour taste
Herald: Kerre McIvor apologises for ‘poor choice of words’ in Newstalk ZB opinion piece
Qiuyi Tan (Herald): Media Council upholds complaints against Indian news site

Education, science
Andrew Owen (Stuff): Witt overseas student numbers unlikely to recover until 2023
Point of Order: Royal Society’s handling of complaints against two fellows could shape the future of NZ science – and of Kiwi reality
Meriana Johnsen (Spinoff): A different way of seeing: Decolonising science through mātauranga Māori

Police, Justice, corrections
Melanie Earley and Lucy Xia (Stuff): Police officers breached lockdown rules by going hunting in bush
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Victims feel let down by Hawke’s Bay iwi justice process over demolition of old family home

Local government, Three Waters
Bay of Plenty Times: Tauranga City Council to pay nearly $30m in Pacific Apartments settlement 
RNZ: Tauranga City Council’s to pay $30m over historic defective building claim
Stuff:  Out-of-court settlement on ‘defective’ apartment building in Mt Maunganui
André Chumko (Stuff): Libraries try to increase diversity in workforce
RNZ: Boil water in Banks Peninsula, don’t swim in Lake Ellesmere say health officials
Marjorie Cook (ODT): Former harbourmaster turns down offer of role
Kate Green (Stuff): Four-metre sinkhole in garden growing after years of inaction over burst pipe
Steven Walton (Stuff): Stormwater basins cause ‘awful’ stink for Christchurch suburb

Miriam Bell (Stuff): Wellington leaps to number two in world house price rankings 
Andrew Marshall (ODT): House building booming

Rob Stock (Stuff): Call for independent review of $12 million City Rail Link hardship fund
Daniel Smith (Stuff): Bluebridge ferry services sold to US investment bank
Caroline Williams (Stuff): Auckland Transport spends $2.6 million to monitor transit lane with 99pc compliance
Andrea Fox (Herald): ‘Year of the surcharge’: More costs coming for New Zealand shippers next year? (paywalled)

John Minto (Daily Blog): “Māori and Pasifika” the new bywords for “working class”
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Harmful sexual behaviour among children in care rising fast
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Exit interview: Rob Everett on cleaning up NZ’s already ‘clean’ act (paywalled)
Steve Cowan (Against the current): Neale Jones: Let them eat cake
Māori TV: Whakatōhea Deed of Settlement to be initialed – 23 years after first go
Robyn Walker (Stuff): Busting the five common myths about tax in NZ
Bill Hickman (Stuff):  ‘Violating’: Transgender passenger upset by pat-down or no-fly call at Wellington Airport

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