NZ Politics Daily – 7th January 2022

Today’s content

Michael Morrah (Newshub): Covid-19 warning: Omicron will overwhelm us within a week if it takes hold in New Zealand, experts say
Miriam Burrell (Herald): Expert modeller predicts Omicron outbreak could occur in ’18 days not 180’
Troels Sommerville (Stuff): NZ has likely dodged an Omicron bullet, but experts warn it can’t be kept out forever
Matthew Hooton (Herald): NZ Covid defences no more ready for Omicron than we were for Delta  (paywalled)
RNZ: NZ must stock up on rapid antigen tests, ‘boost like crazy’ before Omicron spreads – epidemiologist
Hamish MaClean (ODT): Warning: things will get ‘ugly’
Jean Edwards (RNZ): Call for govt to clearly communicate Covid-19 Omicron outbreak plan
RNZ: Omicron variant: Concern over workforce crisis if EDs see patient influx
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): ‘Be very, very careful’: Emergency departments already dealing with overload brace for Omicron 
RNZ: Rapid response Covid-19 teams grapple with shortage of nurses
Reuters: ‘It is killing people’: Stop calling Omicron ‘mild’, says WHO
Susan Heydon (Newsroom): Making vaccination programmes work
RNZ: Covid-19 vaccine boosters shortage at some Wellington sites after high demand
Rachel Thomas, Cate Broughton and Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): Hot demand as walk-in booster shots become available
Janine Rankin (Stuff): Booster queues form as more people become eligible
Stuff:  Mask exception should be rigorously controlled to stop exploitation, says health expert
Riley Kennedy (ODT): 50 breaches reported
University of Otago: A Covid future free from stigma
Tina Law (Stuff): Christchurch City Council makes vaccine mandatory for all staff
Steven Walton and Tina Law (Stuff): Jobs on the line for unvaccinated Christchurch City Council staff
RNZ: Christchurch City Council introduces Covid-19 vaccine mandate for staff
Megan Wilson (Herald): Twenty-five Lakes DHB staff terminated (paywalled)
Esther Ashby-Coventry (Stuff): Fonterra workers at Clandeboye factory protest against proposed vaccine mandate
RNZ: Covid-19 update: 19 new community cases reported in New Zealand today, 43 cases at the border
Vanessa Phillips (Stuff): Nelson stamps out Covid-19 outbreak, with no active cases
Hawkes Bay Today: Auckland link to Napier infection found

Border, MIQ
Georgia Forrester (Stuff): Another day, another increase in MIQ Covid-19 cases. Here’s a look at the risks involved
RNZ: Changes to pre-departure testing to come into effect from tomorrow
Gill Bonnett (RNZ): Uncertainty over trans-Tasman travel, dismay about MIQ rooms
Craig Kapitan (Herald): Covid-19 Omicron scare: Interest in MIQ lottery triples, but most lose out
Piers Fuller (Stuff): More than 16,000 people vie for 1250 rooms in MIQ facilities
1 News: Couple’s 3 week Australia trip turns into 6 month ordeal
Alexa Cook (Newshub): Kiwis stranded in Australia losing hope after being locked out of MIQ room release
1 News: Kiwis stranded in Aus owed apology over MIQ exclusion – ACT
Herald: Christchurch Airport’s Malcolm Johns on how NZ’s world could open up (paywalled)
Ruwani Perera (Newshub): #HotelPredictions: Online tool helps you find out how good your MIQ stay will be
James Nokise (Stuff): Out of touch with our feelings, so we’re lashing out
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Experts warn ‘brain drain’ may return as border rules set to ease
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Mercy mission aboard NZ Navy ship for couple with dwindling funds in Singapore
Laura Walters (Stuff): DJ Dimension ‘minor breach’ only rule-breaking during self-isolation programme

Parliament, government, 2021
Stuff Editorial: How will history recall this time?
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Herald): PM, your opponents aren’t racist (paywalled)
Jennifer Eder (Stuff): National MP Stuart Smith rejects retirement prophecy
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Summer off politics: Jetty jumping and sweetcorn for National’s Shane Reti

RNZ: More signs of a cooldown in country’s hot housing market – expert
Richard Prebble (Herald): Will we have a property price correction in 2022? (paywalled)
Don Brash (Bassett, Brash & Hide): Are we really among the wealthiest people on the planet?
RNZ: Kiwibank backs off from avocado on toast references
RNZ: First home buyers ‘hellbent’ despite need for compromise, lending difficulties
Devon Bolger (Herald): Kāinga Ora spends almost $2b buying state homes in five years
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Yet another horror story from NZ’s worst landlord
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Post-lockdown freedoms don’t do much for young and homeless
Anne Gibson (Herald): Power list: NZ’s seven busiest house builders ranked by number of places completed annually (paywalled)

Environment, conservation
Jamie Morton (Herald): Climate changed: Why scientists are redefining ‘normal’ in NZ (paywalled)
Michael Daly (Stuff): NZ swelters through more extreme temperatures than expected, Niwa says
RNZ: Kaimaumau fire putting cultural, ecological sites at risk
Keiller MacDuff (Stuff): The Timaru Report: Little things boost environmentally conscious mum’s beliefs

Simon Wilson (Herald): Safer roads: Making city streets safer – by making driving harder (paywalled)
Frances Chin (Stuff): Zero deaths following speed lowering on Blenheim to Nelson highway 
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Officials cold on $85m train workshop
Newshub: Clown protest at Auckland Harbour Bridge demands cyclist and pedestrian access

Nicholas Jones (Herald): Vaccination against meningococcal disease could save your child’s life. But in New Zealand it costs hundreds of dollars
Adam Pearse (Herald): ‘We are human’ – Behind the phones at Healthline (paywalled)
Michael Barnett (Herald): Attention on Covid-19 recovery must turn to our children (paywalled)
Cate Broughton (Stuff): Australian recruiters try to poach Kiwi nurses as Omicron drives staffing crisis

Economy & Business
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Auckland’s volcanoes among reasons not to mess with supermarkets, says Countdown
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Supermarket Duopoly so frightened of regulation they conjure up Auckland Volcanos
Karen Coltman (Stuff): Supermarket shortages: ‘Lumpy’ supply chain likely in 2022
Ben Strang (Stuff): Government officials expect NZ moon launch to create huge opportunities in space sector
Rahul Bhattarai (Herald): No sign of slowing down, Kiwis spend millions in New Year sales

Dubby Henry (Herald): Chris Hipkins wants kids back in school fulltime – but expert warns Omicron could force rethink
Liu Chen (RNZ): International PhD students call for longer student visas
Gerrard Eckhoff (ODT): Wealth disparity can only be ameliorated by education

Local government
Chris Tobin (Stuff): The Timaru Report: Local body governance faces major shake up
Emma Turton (Newshub): ‘It smells’: Timaru resident fed up with brown water coming out their taps
RNZ: New Plymouth fire damage could cost ratepayers thousands

Water safety
Leah Tebbutt (RNZ): Drownings in New Zealand: A ‘horrific, unprecedented loss of lives’
1 News: Drowning deaths over holiday period climb to unprecedented 14

Chris Trotter (Bowalley Road): Majority Overruled
Juliet Speedy (Newshub): Christmas Island chaos: Kiwi detainee says rioters tired of being treated like animals
Rebecca Moore (1 News): Riot at Christmas Island after inmates denied knives, forks
Jon Stephenson (Stuff): Former Afghan vice president ‘given safe haven’ in New Zealand 
Lorna Thornber (Stuff): New Zealand not such a star on new passport index
Frances Chin (Stuff): Director to capture activist’s dawn raids experience in her own words
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): NZ Antifa Swatting tactics against Islamophobic Paster generates counterproductive propaganda
Karl du Fresne: On Thomas Nash and the hundreds of other troughers embedded in the public sector

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