NZ Politics Daily – 29th December 2021

Today’s content

Government, Parliament, 2021 in review
Jason Walls (Newstalk ZB): Revealed: The ‘eye-watering’ amount the Govt’s spending on contractors and who’s reaping the benefits
Anna Whyte (1 News): 2021 in review: Biggest political moments
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): How 2021 laughed in our face
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Covid response can’t look past lockdown (paywalled)
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): A look back at the stories that created change this year
Jon Johansson (Stuff): This year has been absurd in so many ways, we should embrace the madness
Mike Houlahan (ODT): Report cards for Southern MPs
Steve Braunias (Herald): The Secret Diary of . . . 2021 (paywalled)
Kevin Norquay (Stuff): MPs must help save the economy, starting with the Boxing Day sales 
ODT Editorial: Facing an uncertain world
1 News: Political leaders wish Kiwis a merry Christmas (video)
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): The Basil Awards – the best and worst of Wellington in 2021
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen (Māori TV): Seymour slams PM’s pavlova tactics
Jo Moir (Newsroom): Summer: Sepuloni: The truth behind ministerial lockdown life
Greg Presland (Standard): The Standard’s 2021 political awards
Don Brash (Bassett, Brash & Hide): 2021: Fighting for the very soul of New Zealand
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Which Labour MPs are gone on current polling?
Lillie Rohan (Herald): Former Prime Minister Sir John Key pens a letter to his 25-year-old self (paywalled)
Michele Hewitson (Listener/Herald): Ever the diplomat: What’s next for David Shearer? (paywalled)
ODT: Have you ever?… Ingrid Leary MP

Govt management of Covid-19, Omicron, NZ border, MIQ 
Derek Cheng (Herald):  Preparations into opening Fortress NZ are under way. What will 2022 look like? (paywalled)
Claire Trevett (Herald):  Government caught short in planning for Delta (paywalled)
Sasha Borissenko (Herald): Where does low Māori vaccination rates leave us amid Omicron threat? (paywalled)
Herald Editorial:  Covid game of two halves that’s now into extra time (paywalled)
Pete McKenzie (Guardian): Locked-out New Zealanders outraged as visa scheme for rich foreigners resumes
Emily Clarke (ABC): NZ buys time for Covid-19 boosters, but quarantine changes cancels Christmas for some
Cecile Meier, Natalie Crockett and Bill Hickman (Stuff): Grieving for our family overseas in pandemic New Zealand
Nadine Porter (Stuff): Indian community upset New Zealand labelled an ‘at risk’ Covid-19 country
RNZ: Thousands making most of Christmas in MIQ as Omicron extends required stay
1 News: Kiwis’ MIQ stays extended over Christmas due to Omicron
Herald Editorial: Positive news mixed with clear challenges over Omicron (paywalled)

Delta outbreak
Bernadette Basagre (Stuff): Dip in case numbers down to low testing rates over the holidays
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Delta could be ‘eliminated’ as cases plunge to lowest since October, while border cases spike
Alexa Cook (Newshub): Experts issue warning to Kiwis to not become complacent about getting tested
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Expert urges against complacency over holidays as death toll reaches 50
Nathan Morton (Stuff): 37 per cent of New Zealanders not confident they can isolate at home, study finds
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Almost 1500 Aucklanders self-isolating during Christmas break

Vaccine rollout
Irra Lee (1 News): Covid-19: 80% eligible Māori now fully vaccinated
Sam Olley (RNZ): Covid-19: Ministry of Health’s ‘fear’ over lack of pregnancy vaccination data
Talia Parker (Herald): Covid 19 vaccine booster change sparks confusion in Bay of Plenty (paywalled)
Soumya Bhamidipati (RNZ): Vaccine event for Christchurch’s Chinese community heralded a success

Vaccine mandate, rules
Kirsty Frame (RNZ): Aged care provider Enliven Retirement Homes charging families $10pp for its own form of vaccine pass
John Roughan (Herald):  On the year of the vaccine – how Kiwi is the mandate? (paywalled)
Scott Palmer (Newshub): Man refusing to wear a face-covering ejected from Mitre 10 after confrontation with staff
Herald: Mitre 10 employee praised for trespassing anti-masker shopper
Adam Pearse and Anna Leask (Herald): Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki allegedly threatens to have future mobile vaccination clinics blown up, police investigating
Māori TV: Police investigating ‘blow it up’ Tamaki threat
Katy Jones (Stuff): Unvaccinated teachers in NZ discouraged from offering homeschooling

Auckland border checkpoints, summer travel & activities
D’Angelo Martin (Newshub): Northland settlement of Mitimiti preparing for those wanting to return home
Peata Melbourne (Māori TV): ‘Being ‘disgusting’ to others… I’m enjoying every second of it’
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Herald): Mayor: Māhia’s move to orange light is not a green light for new year chaos (paywalled)
Moana Ellis (Local Democracy Reporting): Whanganui River tribes axe annual tribal pilgrimage because of Covid-19 threat

Economy, business, govt subsidies
Jamie Gray (Herald): The $55b question: Was the Reserve Bank’s QE programme worth the money? (paywalled)
Damien Grant (Stuff): Here’s why I think the Government’s rosy forecasts are an illusion
David Schnauer (Herald):  New Zealand’s disappointing lack of economic ambition (paywalled)
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Boxing Day sales losing popularity, but people are spending more than ever
RNZ: Retailers hope post-Christmas shoppers make up for slow start
Rob Stock (Stuff): Auckland’s battle-weary cafe and restaurant owners hope for better 2022 after miserable year
Carmen Hall (Herald): Rotorua CBD fights ‘ruined’ reputation as businesses hope for a summer rally (paywalled)
Mike Tweed (Herald): ‘Plan, plan, plan’: How the construction industry is battling Covid interruptions (paywalled)
RNZ: Queenstown faces ‘big challenge’ to have less than half of workers rely on tourism
Guy Williams (ODT): Queenstown visitors fail to show up
Susan Edmunds (Stuff): Customer who lost $200,000 in investment scam fails in bid to get bank to pay

Three Waters, water quality
Katie Doyle and Charlie Dreaver (RNZ): Letters between mayors and minister reveal strained relationship on Three Waters reform
Nikitin Sallee (BusinessDesk): Govt ad campaign just water under the bridge
Tatjana Buklijas and Campbell Guy (Newsroom): Let the people have their say on Three Waters
Sinead Gill (Stuff): Anti-Three Waters campaign formalised in new group
Kate Green (Stuff): Three Waters reform punishing those who manage system well, one council says
RNZ: Lake Hāwea near holiday park records high level of E coli
Joanne Naish (Stuff): Water quality in New Zealand: Which lakes have improved and how can we learn from them?
Richard Davison (ODT): Hope village’s water woes will be sorted

Local government 
Matthew Ronsenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Sir Tim Shadbolt’s year in review
Matthew Ronsenberg (Local Democracy Reporting): Questions over Invercargill council’s land sale: Toxic waste, mayoral storage, and forgiven loans
Grant Miller (ODT): A year of thorny problems and big plans for DCC
Sophie Barker (ODT): DCC’s report card begs questions
Stuff Editorial: Democracy needs us to get the questions right
Michelle Cooke (RNZ): What I really want for Christmas: Efeso Collins

501 deportees, crime, corrections, 
Jarrod Gilbert (Herald):  The terrible injustice of Shane ‘Kiwi’ Martin’s exile as 501 from family (paywalled)
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Time to ‘turn the planes around’ on Australian 501 deportees amid exploding gun violence – National Māori Authority
Will Trafford (Māori TV): Ditch 501 Deportees – Māori Authority Chair
Daniel Hurst (Guardian): ‘Turn the planes around’: Māori leader says New Zealand should block Australian deportations
Herald Editorial: Gun violence turns focus on Australia’s problematic 501 policy (paywalled)
Logan Church (1 News): Gangs and guns: ‘Seeing stuff here that you have never seen before’
RNZ: Police ‘concerned at prevalence of firearms’ in society
RNZ: Auckland mayor raises gun violence issue with police minister
Anna Leask (Herald): A decade of violent death: New Zealand’s 158 lost women
Andrew McRae (RNZ): ‘Perfect storm’ of conditions led to Waikeria Prison riot – clinical psychologist
Brittany Keogh (Stuff): Doors at Auckland Prison’s maximum-security unit broke weeks after $300 million renovation
Cate Broughton (Stuff): As Christchurch care and protection home lies empty, what does its future hold?

Environment, conservation, climate change
AAP: Ardern eager to focus on climate change in 2022
Phil Pennington (RNZ): What is the real cost of a switch to biofuels?
Lorraine Mapu (Stuff): Government emissions reduction plan not ambitious enough
Rebekah Cain (Stuff): Reaching net-zero emissions means all hands to the pump for NZ 
Bridget Coates (Stuff): The role of private finance in the transition to net-zero emissions
Logan Church (1 New): Race on to find use for dead EV batteries
Ralph Sims (The Conversation): Convenience, comfort, cost and carbon: what’s the best way to travel, save money and cut emissions?
Geraden Cann (Stuff): A Shore Thing: NZ housing market unfazed by sea rise but Reserve Bank preps for change
Tess McClure (Guardian): Trauma, dislocation, pollution: why Māori leaders want control of the South Island’s water
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Fears for Mangawhai sandspit over seabed sand mining at Pakiri – council
Laura James (1 News): Covid-19 pushes environmentally-friendly habits aside
Vanessa Phillips (Stuff): Discarded Covid-19 masks a bad fit for the environment 
Logan Church (1 News): Project underway to determine pollution on Kiwi beaches
Kethaki Masilamani (Newshub): Department of Conservation rangers working hard to keep Mercury Islands predator-free
RNZ: Department of Conservation trialling ground-based hunters to target Himalayan tahr
RNZ: Forest and Bird raises concerns over deer and pigs in Waitākere Ranges and wetland
RNZ: Eighteen kakī chicks hatch over three days

Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): The Infamous Daily Blog Media Awards 2021
Tim Murphy (Newsroom): Media Person Of The Year
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (1 News): Record high queries about broadcasters’ te reo Māori use
Sally Rae (ODT): Leadership helps causes from media standards to charity
RNZ: The Mediawatch Christmas Bonus (audio)
RNZ: New Zealand media coverage on Muslims mostly use negative language – study
Richard Prebble (Herald):  The Beatles and deregulation of broadcasting (paywalled)
David Skipwith (Stuff): Groundbreaking Newshub presenter Oriini Kaipara makes history again on primetime bulletin
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Dinner with Michael Bloomberg (paywalled)
Andrew Barnes (Herald):  How to fix the damage being caused by social media (paywalled)

Peata Melbourne (Māori TV)): Misinformation is meddling with Māori well-being
Cecile Meier (Stuff): Mental health hospital beds could be closed due to severe staff shortages in Christchurch
Maia Hart (Stuff): Covid patients in Marlborough needing intensive care will be transferred to Nelson or Wellington
Kim Moodie (RNZ): Christchurch charity raising funds for new youth mental health outpatient facility
Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): The Timaru Report: The health of the district with an ageing population
Toni McDonald (ODT): ‘Serious utu’ warning for Vining pounamu graverobbers
Toni McDonald (ODT): Family ‘devastated’ as pounamu missing from Blair Vining’s grave
Jared McCulloch (1 News): Family of cancer campaigner desperate for return of pounamu

RNZ: First-home values up, QV records ‘bumper year’ for property owners
Rob Stock (Stuff): Library fines kept family on sidelines of NZ property market
Keiller MacDuff (Timaru Herald): The Timaru Report: Renters pay more, housing list balloons, homeless living in cars
Keiller MacDuff (Timaru Herald): The Timaru Report: The trials of a first home buyer in a bull market
Gary Hamilton-Irvine (Hawkes Bay Today/Herald): Napier among worst in country for hike in first-home prices in 2021 (paywalled)
Carmen Hall (Herald): Tauranga rental crisis: Aucklanders fleeing lockdown add to pressure on Bay of Plenty rental market (paywalled)
Mike Yardley (Stuff): I fear politicians have made a pig’s ear of rushed housing legislation
RNZ: Housing crisis, climate on agenda at urban planners conference
Liz McDonald (Stuff): Landowners battle Christchurch airport noise rules as housing land runs short

Sally Blundell (Listener/Herald): Back on track: The resurgence of rail (paywalled)
Phil Pennington (RNZ): Civil Aviation Authority’s lengthy legal battle with pilot costs it $500k
Ben Strang (Stuff): Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ‘concerned’ by police’s lack of performance on road safety
Steve Sanderson (Stuff): Wellington tunnels are vital for lower-carbon future
Bernard Orsman (Herald): Covid 19 holding back key motorway projects from opening this summer (paywalled)

Immigration, migrant workers
RNZ: Community group scheme to be used for refugee resettlement in NZ
Corazon Miller (1 News): Family set to be deported on Christmas can stay another year
Dan Satherley (Newshub): ‘Christmas miracle’: Family’s Christmas Day deportation halted, visa issued at the last minute
Herald: Family facing Christmas Day deportation given visa to stay in New Zealand
RNZ: Last-minute reprieve allows Filipino family to remain in Aotearoa
Pete McKenzie (Guardian): Family set to be deported from New Zealand on Christmas Day given last-minute reprieve
Tom Kitchin (RNZ): An RSE Christmas in Aotearoa

Charities, inequality
Edward O’Driscoll (Newshub): Former homeless man inspires $100k donation to Auckland City Mission
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Federated Farmers pitch in to help Auckland City Mission amid high demand

Foreign affairs
Anneke Smith (RNZ): ‘Something has shifted’ in NZ’s security and foreign policy for China, says analyst
Paul Buchanan (Kiwipolitico): The incremental shift
1 News: NZ not convinced Chinese security unit is needed in Solomons
John Minto (Daily Blog): Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Friend of Aotearoa New Zealand and Champion of Palestinian human rights – dies aged 90
Ben Kepes (Stuff): False equivalency – the Holocaust, Palestine, and vaccination

Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Government mulls fix for rushed tax law that looks into who stays at the bach (paywalled)
Terry Baucher (Interest): How Covid-19 has changed the tax world, revisited
David Chaston (Interest): Central government taking sharply increased income taxes from individuals

Primary industries
Rachael Kelly (Stuff): Minister Shaw agrees to meet Groundswell NZ leaders next year
Karen Coltman (Stuff): Beef cattle numbers increase in 2021
Niva Chittock (RNZ): Marlborough Sounds’ marine life improving after mussels project – researchers

Retirement, KiwiSaver
Susan St John (Interest): Time to rock the KiwiSaver boat
Katrina Shanks (Stuff): Retirement finances: The cold, hard facts
Rob Stock (Stuff): Retirement spending: How Kiwis are ‘drawing down’ their nest eggs

Richard Shaw (The Conversation): Learning to live with the ‘messy, complicated history’ of how Aotearoa New Zealand was colonised
RNZ: Contaminated sites in Northland, Manawatū cleaned up
Jake McKee (RNZ): Abuse in care inquiry ‘needs to hear from more’ Pasifika survivors – lead counsel
ODT Editorial: National violence strategy first step
Charlie Gates (Stuff): Iwi wants to protect and own their memories with archive partnership
Jenny Ruth (BusinessDesk): Reserve Bank: Change, what change? (paywalled)
Chris Fowlie (Daily Blog): Cannabis year in review: the referendum’s long shadow
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Covid baby boom: More people turn to fertility treatment in 2021 than ever before (paywalled)
Marty Sharpe (Stuff): Claim for $260,000 backfires into bill of $11,000 for former National MP Aaron Gilmore
Rebecca Moore (1 News): Decline in dangerous synthetic drugs ahead of festivals

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