NZ Politics Daily – 3rd February 2022


Today’s content

Unemployment insurance scheme
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Income insurance will prove one of the Government’s toughest sells
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Grant Robertson proposes decent scheme at a bad time (paywalled)
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Grant Robertson’s huge expansion of ACC will be his political legacy, if he can pull it off
No Right Turn: Labour throws the poor under the bus
CPAG: Social Insurance proposal would likely bake-in existing inequities and drive inequality, says anti-poverty organisation
Herald Editorial: Income insurance will cost those who benefit the most (paywalled)
Richard Harman (Politik): Robertson breaks Labour’s “no new taxes” pledge while Luxon breaks with business (paywalled)
RNZ: Checkpoint: Income insurance scheme not a job tax – Business NZ boss
Rob Stock (Stuff): Businesses want a cheaper, redundancy-only unemployment insurance scheme
Duncan Bridgeman (Herald): Don’t be shy: Businesses urged to consult on income insurance scheme (paywalled)
Don Franks (Redline): Unemployment insurance scheme: deepening the class divide
Henry Cooke and Glenn McConnell (Stuff): National attacks unemployment insurance proposal as ‘job tax,’ Greens say it creates ‘two-tier’ welfare system
Zane Small (Newshub): Greens fear income insurance scheme will ’embed two-tier system’ of rich and poor
RNZ: Income insurance scheme proposal should be scrapped – National
Heather du Plessis-Allan (Newstalk ZB): Labour keep breaking their ‘no new taxes’ promise
Grant Duncan: Labour’s income insurance proposal
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Unemployment insurance the price CTU has to pay PSA to get Helen Kelly’s Fair Pay Agreement
Amelia Wade (Newshub): How much Kiwis could end up paying towards income insurance scheme
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Income insurance: Grant Robertson responds to criticisms over cost, fairness and incentives
Jenée Tibshraeny (Interest): Govt proposes giant income insurance scheme; National would abolish it
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Government unveils plan to offer billions in coverage for workers who lose job
Anna Whyte (1 News): 80% pay for 7 months under proposed unemployment insurance scheme
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Government proposes unemployment insurance scheme funded by 1.39% tax
Zane Small (Newshub): Government proposes ACC-style income insurance scheme for New Zealand
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): $3.5B a year income insurance proposal unveiled (paywalled)

MIQ, border Charlotte Bellis
Henry Cooke (Stuff): Border reopening to begin from late February, to proceed in five stages, Stuff understands
Herald: MIQ requirement dropped from transtasman flights from February 28
Michael Plank, Audrey Lustig, Georgia Vattiato and Shaun Hendy (The Conversation): New Zealand’s border quarantine has intercepted thousands of COVID cases, but is it time to retire the flawed system?
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Letter from MIQ: It’s imperfect, but it’s still needed
Eric Crampton (Newsroom): Too little method, too much borderline madness
Audrey Young: NZ’s international reputation suffers over MIQ distress (paywalled)
Luke Kirkness (Herald):  Why today is make or break for the Government (paywalled)
Stuff Editorial: When justified frustrations lead to nastiness, it’s time for self-reflection
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Government expected to allow returning Kiwis stuck in Australia to self-isolate from March
Claire Trevett and John Weekes (Herald): February 27 reopening start mooted, expert says long game crucial
Jane Nixon (1 News): PM hints at changes to MIQ amid public plight of Charlotte Bellis
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Border opening and future of MIQ to be revealed
Katie Todd (RNZ): Frustrations mount over MIQ stays lasting over a month
Jane Nixon (1 News): Lawyer for Charlotte Bellis issues open letter to Chris Hipkins
Herald: Charlotte Bellis’ lawyer disputes claim emergency MIQ path exists for pregnant Kiwis
Sophie Trigger (Herald): Kiwi hero living in limbo with family of five awaiting MIQ spot to see dying mother
Anne Gibson (Herald): Ministry of Social Development wants $16k back from Kiwi couple
Mike Hosking (Newstalk ZB): Doesn’t the Government see the damage it’s doing?
Johann Go (Stuff): It is time to remove the border restrictions and abolish MIQ 

Migrant workers
Corazon Miller (1 News): 20K workers excluded from fast track residency scheme
Melanie Carroll (Stuff): Which migrants earn the most in New Zealand?
RNZ: Research reveals stark differences in salaries for migrant workers

Vaccination rollout
Zane Small (Newshub): ‘Likely’ that ‘people will need a booster’ for vaccine passes – COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins
Jamie Morton (Herald): Booster change gives NZ a bigger head-start against Omicron
RNZ: Shortened interval for Covid-19 vaccine booster key to limiting Omicron outbreak, experts say
Kate Green (Stuff): Be kind and expect to wait: Surge in boosters expected after interval reduced to three months
Te Rina Kowhai (Newshub): Additional 100,000 Māori eligible for booster, but major inequality concerns remain for rural regions
Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): Extra 100,000 Māori become eligible for booster shots on Friday, PM announces
Zane Small (Newshub): A million more eligible for COVID-19 booster in New Zealand as interval reduced to three months
Bridie Witton (Stuff): Booster dose interval cut to three months to lessen hospital strain
Claire Trevett (Herald): Booster vaccines gap shrinks from four months to three months
Anna Whyte (1 News): Covid booster gap lowered to three months from Friday
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Health Ministry working on fix after people turned away for boosters
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): ‘A lot of catching up to do’: Vaccine rates for Māori kids are already lagging
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Kids only partly vaccinated as school resumes, how protected are they?
Hazel Osborne (Open Justice Journalism): Judge rejects bid to halt tamariki vaccine rollout
Adam Pearse (Herald): Cost of Covid vaccines revealed – report
Herald: Chris Hipkins says he regrets accidental release of vaccine payment data
Adam Pearse (Herald): Manurewa Marae false vaccination allegations shot down

Chris Trotter (Daily Blog): Kitset Solutions: Imagine Housing The Homeless For $15,000 Per Unit
Michael Rehm (Newsroom): A greedy actor behind our housing market
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): Couple stunned as bank takes half of home sale profit without consultation
Greg Ninness (Interest): Housing is now a buyer’s market – Tony Alexander
Miriam Bell (Stuff): First home buyers’ exodus from the market hits new record – Tony Alexander survey
Rob Stock (Stuff): IR reports sharp drop in first home withdrawals from KiwiSaver
Jonathan Killick (Stuff): Borrowers concealing their spending from banks to get a mortgage, brokers say
Ethan Te Ora (Stuff): Man lived on white bread to qualify for home loan, then had his pre-approval yanked anyway
Anneke Smith (RNZ): Minister steps in to change Kāinga Ora complaints process for unruly tenants

Omicron outbreak, cases, public health measures
Matthew Hobbs, Anna Howe and Lukas Marek (The Conversation): The most challenging phase of the Omicron outbreak is yet to come, but New Zealand may be better prepared than other countries
Kate Newton (Stuff):Omicron is coming, get boosted
Peter Davis (Stuff): NZ deserves more respect for keeping Covid deaths so low
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): Isolation rules for household contacts for phase two under review
Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff): Community Covid-19 case lives off leftover bread, hummus for two days as she waits for test results, and MIQ
Herald: PM returns to the Beehive, millions of Rapid Antigen Tests on their way
John Weekes (Herald): New rapid tests ordered, Govt says nine million a week might be needed
Samantha Worthington (1 News): NZ has outbreaks of new Omicron sub-variant – Bloomfield
1 News: 142 new Covid-19 community cases in NZ on Wednesday
1 News: Advice from doctor who treated world’s first Omicron patient
Māori TV: 10 days for Māori to prepare – Taonui
1 News: Person admitted to Wellington Hospital positive for Covid-19
Julie Bennett (Newsroom): Opening the window against Omicron
Chris Schulz (Spinoff): With omicron here, are office sneezes OK?

Protests, anti vaccination, rule breaches
Philip Chandler (ODT): Resort market welcomes unvaccinated, unmasked
RNZ: Napier venue pulled up by WorkSafe over gathering in red light setting
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): Claim protesters ‘frightened’ cafe employees, customers
Stuff: Amnesty for handing in fake Covid-19 vaccine passes extended
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Canterbury Police extend amnesty for public to hand in fake vaccine passes

Economy, Business, Employment
Liam Dann (Herald): Good times for jobseekers but inflation risk looms (paywalled)
Liam Dann (Herald): Unemployment lowest since 1986 – falls to 3.2 per cent
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Unemployment falls to 3.2%, wage rises lag inflation
1 News: Unemployment in NZ drops to 3.2%, lowest it has ever been
RNZ: Unemployment hits record low as wage inflation peaks
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Inflation to keep pressure on interest rates, lifting cost of borrowing: Centrix 
Aimee Shaw (Herald): Mood of the Sales: Survey reveals optimism among corporate sales leaders despite ongoing Covid disruption (paywalled)
Jo Cribb (Stuff): Is this Victorian England? How we continue to devalue our workers with old-fashioned values 
RNZ: Tiwai Point closure: Transition plan for Southland revealed
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): ‘There is going to be carnage soon’: Cafes and restaurants struggling to survive in red traffic light setting 
Frances Chin (Stuff): Motueka businesses worry for future following quiet weeks 
Vicki Anderson (Stuff): Who pays? Concern major event insurance scheme is too ambiguous
Herald: Survey shows business frustration with red-light rules
Jonathan Killick (Stuff): Eden Park spent more on sports events in 2021 than it made, records $4.3m loss
Grant Bradley (Herald): Tourism sector’s $16b question – when will borders reopen?
Melanie Earley (Stuff): Auckland Pride 2022: Festival goes virtual to celebrate 50 years of Pride
RNZ: Wildfoods Festival cancelled for first time in 34-year history due to Covid-19
Duncan Allan (Spinoff): Your employer’s legal duty to keep you safe from omicron at work, explained
Kurt Bayer (Herald): Hokitika Wildfoods Festival cancelled for the first time in 34 years

TDB Recommends

Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Former Green MP Nándor Tánczos takes aim at Jacinda Ardern over Government commitment to addressing ‘growing inequality’
Steven Cowan (Against the current): New ways of seeing
Daniel Dunkley (Stuff): OECD report highlights New Zealand’s inequality. Who wants to fix it?
Whatitiri Te Wake (Māori TV): Māramataka master on a mission to feed the masses

Parliament, parties, polling
Gordon Campbell (Werewolf): On Luxon’s second-hand clothes / Bellis, Fortissimo
Peter Dunne: So far, so good
Ben Thomas (Stuff): Luxon finds familiar ground ahead of 2023 election
Thomas Coughlan (Herald):  Christopher Luxon turns leaf for National, but old problems linger (paywalled)
Roy Morgan: New Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon boosts support for National by 5% points – highest since March 2020 (pre-pandemic)
RNZ: Only half of MPs to be allowed in Parliament chamber under Omicron rules
1 News: Luxon: National to use education, economy to alleviate poverty
RNZ: National Party to allow conscience vote on conversion therapy ban bill
Thomas Manch (Stuff): National Party will allow conscience vote on conversion therapy ban, after block voting against it under Judith Collins
Michael Neilson (Herald): Conversion therapy: National Party to conscience vote on bill after initially opposing
The Standard: And what have they done anyway?

Mike Houlahan (ODT): Wakari ward 10A slammed
Maddy Lloyd (1 News): Chief Ombudsman scathing of environment at Wakari Hospital ward
Hamish McNeilly (Stuff): ‘That mixture should not happen’: Ombudsman issues scathing report on psychiatric ward
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Construction-focused mental health service sees a busy first year, minister promises support
Kushlan Sugathapala (Herald):  Youth suicide is not going to fix itself (paywalled)
Debbie Jamieson (Stuff): Two-thirds of doctors at burnout point, before Omicron ‘tsunami’ hits
Rachel Thomas (Stuff): ‘Our manager said we don’t have to’: Claims of incorrect mask use at hospital
Mike Houlahan (ODT): SDHB’s million-dollar error missed by everyone
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Students may be called in to help Southern DHB
RNZ: Overloaded health system remains biggest threat to Southern DHB – chief executive
Louisa Steyl (Stuff): Ophthalmologist: ‘We’re facing a tsunami of follow-up patients
1 News: Covid ‘icing on pretty horrible cake’ for health worker shortages
Jane Matthews (Stuff): GP shortage ‘the worst’ long-term Taranaki mayor can recall
Jane Patterosn (RNZ): New Zealand competing with other countries to recruit ICU nurses – National
Adam Blackwell (Stuff): Man says concerns about healthcare worker who stole from him ignored
Cecile Meier (Stuff): How do masks affect babies’ development?
Peter Griffin (Listener/Herald): Could cheap, everyday drugs be used to treat some of the deadliest cancers? (paywalled)
Kendall Hutt (1 News): Fullers360 to provide free tampons, pads for passengers, staff

John Gerritsen (RNZ): New home-schooling surge after mask mandate surprises principals
Nikki Preston (Herald):Six-year-olds in some composite classes told to wear masks
Eric Trump (ODT): Uni awaits Govt advice before Omicron plans finalised

Local government
Shane Te Pou (Herald): Mayoralty bun fight could be an own goal for Labour (paywalled)
Luisa Girao (ODT): Frustration over Sir Tim help group
RNZ: Invercargill council holds mayoral support group in public
Adam Jacobson (Stuff): Three Waters reforms: Aucklanders back council opposition to plans, survey shows
Yashas Srinivasa (Stuff): High levels of manganese confirmed as main culprit of Timaru’s water discolouration
Susan Botting (Local Democracy Reporting): Vaccination status of Northland’s elected representatives
Grant Miller (ODT): Spat over stadium’s rates
Conor Knell (Stuff): Tararua council notifies property owners of potential earthquake proofing
Grant Miller (ODT): Landfill fees to jump due to cover levy
Grant Miller (ODT): Grey Power launches one-way petition
Adam Burns (Local Democracy Reporting): Hurunui Council confident in systems should Omicron outbreak occur
Sela Jane Hopgood (Spinoff): Yeah yeah! The true story of Efeso Collins’ council campaign song

Environment, Climate Change
Matthew Littlewood (Stuff): CSI Fish and Game urge ECan to test water in Lake Opuha and Ōpihi River
Stephen Ward (Stuff): Fish farm applicants aim to protect their pātaka
Ngarimu Blair (Stuff): Rāhui not a tool to be used for political agenda
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): Climate change pulls strings on coastal property values
Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Gas stoves bad news for household health and the climate, researchers say
Naomi Arnold (RNZ): Nelson’s Blue Lake dubbed clearest in the world facing lake snow threat

Māori spectrum agreement
RNZ: Māori interests in the radio spectrum: ‘Start of a new era
Chris Keall (Herald): Māori to be allocated 20pc of airwaves, at no cost – but Treaty claim persists (paywalled)
Henry Burrell (BusinessDesk): Māori spectrum agreement ‘a meaningful milestone’ (paywalled)

SIS, Foreign Affairs
Thomas Manch (Stuff): SIS twice received intelligence from suspected case of torture or severe mistreatment
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Kiwi spies receive intelligence linked to torture
Natalie Akoorie (Herald): Extended family of Afghan defence force assets out in cold
Jamie Ensor (Newshub) Ukraine crisis: New Zealand’s top diplomat in Moscow directly raised concerns with Russia, more talks anticipated
RNZ: The Detail: Ukraine is NZ’s ‘us too’ moment
John Minto (Daily Blog): Government must pull out of Agritech seminar with apartheid state

Jonathan Milne (Newsroom): Auckland property owners to be levied up to $3 billion to build light rail
Todd Niall (Stuff): Developer of south Auckland ‘city’ heads to court over train station site
Matt Lowrie (Greater Auckland): Sooo…Tunnelled Light Rail

Barbara Dreaver (1 News): Tonga to enter 5-day lockdown as more Covid cases recorded
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Concerns Tonga’s lockdown could disrupt distribution of much-needed supplies to tsunami-hit nation

West Coast flooding 
1 News: State of emergency declared in Buller as heavy rain hits
RNZ: State of emergency declared as heavy rain moves up West Coast
RNZ: Engineers rule out West Coast flood prevention tactic
Tess Brunton (RNZ): Otago Regional Council trying to ensure flood protection scheme viable in long-term

Will Trafford (Māori TV): Whakaata Māori commemorating Waitangi with all-day, virtual coverage
Annabel Cooper (Newsroom): Waitangi week: The Pākehā wars

Ian Llewellyn and Oliver Lewis (BusinessDesk): Private ownership for pumped hydro? (paywalled)
Jo Moir (Newsroom): ‘By Māori for Māori’ ideas hit funding brick wall
Daniel Dunkley (BusinessDesk): NZ news publishers sign up for Facebook funding (paywalled)
Marena Mane (Māori TV): Mana whenua collaborate on new Archives New Zealand building
Herald: The great separation: Rising divorce rates set to outnumber marriages in New Zealand
Dylan Reeve (Spinoff): What’s the privacy cost of your ride across town?
Suzanne McFadden (Newsroom): Taking the daunting leap from stadium to desk

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