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Editor’s Note: Here below is a list of the main issues currently under discussion in New Zealand and links to media coverage.

Public health strategy
Derek Cheng (Herald): Lockdown ‘not enough’, top professor tells Govt video conference
Derek Cheng (Herald): Just when you thought the Opposition had become irrelevant (paywalled)
James Fyfe (Newshub): Sir David Skegg urges Government to show clear plan to eliminate COVID-19
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): New Zealand still faces ‘major challenge to avoid tens of thousands of deaths’ – Health Minister
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Health Minister David Clark says there’s no evidence community transmission figures being underestimated
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Newshub: Broadening COVID-19 testing criteria applauded by public health expert
Michael Morrah (Newshub): Doctor says the expansion of COVID-19 testing criteria should have happened weeks ago
Te Aniwa Hurihanganui (RNZ): Calls to allow front-line health workers to test patients themselves
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM: ‘We need more testing’ Government orders a big boost in testing
Oliver Lewis (Stuff): Government expands testing criteria, PM says test numbers need to increase
1News: ‘I want more tests’ – Jacinda Ardern says coronavirus test criteria being broadened
Michael Hall (RNZ): Northland woman calls for mobile testing units after Covid-19 runaround
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1News: Government using domestic charter flights to move Kiwis arriving from overseas to self-isolation location

Modelling
Jamie Morton (Herald): Big Read: What you need to know about scary virus projections
Anna Whyte (1News): New modelling shows thousands could die if Covid-19 eradication plan fails
1News: New Zealand could see 8000-14,000 coronavirus deaths if lockdown strategy fails, expert warns
RNZ: Morning Report: 14,000 could die in NZ if control efforts fail
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): New modelling shows scale of Covid-19 threat
Siouxsie Wiles & Toby Morris (Spinoff): Why those bubbles are so important
Herald Editorial: Covid 19 coronavirus modelling is another wake up call

Enforcing the lockdown, government messaging, civil liberties
Grant Morris (Democracy Project): Liberty and Lockdown: Talking about Covid-19
Brad Flahive (Stuff): Why the PM’s repeated ‘stay at home’ message appears to be working
Chris Trotter (Democracy Project): Who does tomorrow belong to?
Annemarie Jutel (Stuff): We need solidarity right now, not judgment
Vera Alves (Herald): Why we should be mindful of dobbing in our neighbours
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): NZ’s becoming a nation of narks – and I welcome it
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): Our PM is the finals MVP we need right now
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): ‘We are in a pretty stringent environment as it is’ – PM Ardern on lockdown curfew
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): Police Association’s Chris Cahill calls for curfew to ease pressure on officers during lockdown
1News: Police Commissioner urges all Kiwis to follow coronavirus lockdown rules ‘to really make a difference’
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush to bow out at Covid-19 select committee
Amelia Wade (Herald): State of national emergency extended
RNZ: State of Emergency extended by 7 days
Juha Saarinen (Herald): New Medtech – Iron fist in a latex glove? (paywalled)
RNZ: Nearly 10,000 reports of suspected lockdown breaches made
1News: ‘Always blow on the pie’ cop returns with new message to stop spread of coronavirus
David Farrar: Government defines “local areas”

Economy, business
Colin James (Spinoff): The Covid aftershocks will upend the global power structure for years to come
Bryan Gould (Herald): Lessons from a global pandemic (paywalled)
Peter Lyons (ODT): Wartime footing requires people sticking together
Thomas Coughlan (Stuff): Coronavirus crash won’t be pleasant, but every crisis is also an opportunity to change
Matt Burrows (Newshub): New Zealand can turn economy around fast, be ‘wealthier than ever before’ – Winston Peters
Michael Reddell: The old world won’t snap back and we shouldn’t make policy assuming it will
Anne Gibson (Herald): Sir John Key on why ‘it’s harder to get out’ than into a lockdown
Rob Stock and Dominic Harris (Stuff): Major projects up for huge cash boost to reverse lockdown downturn
Dileepa Fonseka (Newsroom): A Ministry of Works for post-Covid NZ
Richard Harman (Politik): Construction companies on the brink
Bonnie Flaws (Stuff): Construction sector calls for its own coronavirus alert levels to keep sector afloat
Catherine Harris (Stuff): Unemployment won’t fall back to 5pc for four years: BNZ
1News: Severe recession guaranteed in wake of coronavirus pandemic, economists say
David Farrar: The debt problem
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Time For Grant Robertson To Reveal Package #2?
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Business confidence sinks but ANZ warns the worst may be yet to come
David Hargreaves (Interest): ANZ Business Outlook for March makes for ‘dreadful reading’
BusinessDesk: Pandemic decimates business confidence
RNZ: Business confidence at record lows – ANZ survey
Jamie Gray (Herald): NZ banks should be able to absorb credit losses – S&P (paywalled)
RNZ: Submit tax returns even if unable to meet payments, businsesses told
Damian George (Stuff): Dozens of Wellington businesses granted rent suspension

Government finances
Hamish Rutherford (Herald): Grant Robertson, from fiscal prudence to $1 billion a week (paywalled)
Rebecca Howard (BusinessDesk): Strong NZ govt balance sheet about to blow out (paywalled)
Anna Whyte (1News): Government had $1.4 billion surplus prior to Covid-19 pandemic
RNZ: Government books in surplus before Covid-19

Workers, wage subsidy scheme
Susan Hornsby-Geluk (Stuff): Employers unilaterally cutting pay during coronavirus lockdown are acting illegally
1News: Employers urged to act in good faith, support employees affected by coronavirus lockdown
Glen Scanlon (RNZ): Wage subsidy and workers’ rights: Your Covid-19 questions answered
Eva Corlett (RNZ): Delays and confusion surround wage subsidy scheme
John Anthony (Stuff): Employers encountering obstacles accessing Covid-19 wage subsidy
1News: New Zealand’s minimum wage set to increase today to $18.90 an hour
Amelia Wade (Herald): Renewed calls to defer tomorrow’s $1.20 minimum wage increase
RNZ: Businesses want minimum wage increase postponed
John Anthony (Stuff) :$1.20 minimum wage increase to hit already struggling employers, manufacturing association says
1News: Tomorrow’s minimum wage rise is ‘irresponsible’ amid Covid-19, Simon Bridges says

Supermarkets
Geoff Simmons (Stuff): Give Commerce Commission power to investigate supermarkets
RNZ: Checkpoint: Supermarket staff describe abuse, stress of restocking shelves in Covid-19 lockdown
Anna Whyte (1News): Supermarkets to stay open Easter Sunday, but close Easter Friday to give workers a ‘well-earned break’
Amelia Wade (Herald): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says supermarkets to open on Easter Sunday
1News: Countdown to offer rent relief for tenants, hour of morning shop for essential service workers

Essential services and businesses
Anna Campbell (ODT): Time to reassess our entire food chains to find better ways
Kim Moodie (Herald): The NZ stores selling essential items online during lockdown
ODT Editorial: To be essentially exceptional
Nina Hindmarsh (Stuff): Confusion for vege shops and growers with some open and others forced to shut
Jo McKenzie-McLean (Stuff): Queenstown milkman gives away 1000 bottles of milk rather than let it spoil
Robin Martin (RNZ): Millions of dollars worth of meat headed to landfill due to trading ban
Kristin Hall (1News): Some Kiwi Muslims go vegetarian as lockdown rules see halal butchers close
Henry Oliver (Metro): You can’t always get what you want: An argument about what’s essential during lockdown

Hospitals
Nicholas Jones (Herald): NZ software to help decide who gets intensive care beds
Kim Moodie (Herald): Over 30 ICU beds fast-tracked at Christchurch Hospital
1News: Ministry of Health reveals current number of ventilators available in NZ
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): 533 ventilators available in the New Zealand public health system
Anna Nicol-Williams (1News): Essential health workers happy with new PPE distribution announcement
Emma Russell (Herald): Thousands of doctors and nurses rally for more effective protective gear
RNZ: Getting local companies to help make Covid-19 personal protective equipment
1News: Over 70 staff at Queenstown hospital in isolation after two nurses contract coronavirus
ASMS: Personal fears and frustrations on PPE for hospital healthcare workers – a doctor’s spouse speaks out

Health system
Hannah Martin (Stuff): Flu vaccine not available for at-risk groups due to supply issues
Garth Bray (1News): Some GPs out of flu jabs after coronvirus triggers early start to immunisation campaign
David Fisher (Herald): Cancer and rare disorder patients ‘will die’ if Pharmac doesn’t spend money on medicines (paywalled)
1News: GPs will be able to prescribe more cancer drugs amid coronavirus lockdown
1News: GPs could be forced to close over financial struggles amid coronavirus pandemic
1News: GPs call for urgent financial help from Government as patient numbers drop
Himali McInnes (Newsroom): The doctor will see you now
Andrew Dickens (Newstalk ZB): Covid-19 shows we were not prepared for a pandemic
Hamish McLean (ODT): Outside delivery service blow for pharmacy

Iwi checkpoints, border lockdowns
Collette Devlin (Stuff): Green Party supports iwi checkpoints to ‘ensure protected communities’
Donna-Lee Biddle (Stuff): Iwi enforce ‘level 5 lockdown’ to stop spread of coronavirus in community
Taroi Black (Māori TV): Prime Minister refuses to send personnel and resources to Tairawhiti

Environment and conservation
Jackson Thomas (Stuff): Auckland air quality improves by up to 90 per cent in lockdown
Herald: Dramatic improvement in Auckland air quality
No Right Turn: Saving lives
Brent Edwards (NBR): Green economy should centre on Covid-19 rebuild, Shaw says
Eloise Gibson and Olivia Wannan (Stuff): Emitters offered extra time to report footprints
David Hall (Stuff): Stimulating the economic recovery with climate-friendly projects

Local government
Georgina Campbell (Herald): Covid-19 Campaign leaves Wellington City Councillors embarrassed
Susan Botting (RNZ): Transparency a challenge for Northland during lockdown
RNZ: Gisborne District Council boss gets right to spend $1m at-a-time
Chloe Ranford (Stuff): Covid-19: $1.2m boost could cushion blow for galleries, theatres
Charlotte Jones (RNZ): Whakatāne mobilises pandemic, civil defence teams
Cherie Sivignon and Skara Bohny (Stuff): Nelson and Tasman councils intend to hold virtual meetings

Transport
Daniel Laufer (Herald): Air New Zealand’s response to the Covid-19 crisis (paywalled)
Grant Bradley (Herald): Air New Zealand unions plea over job cuts
1News: Air New Zealand to apply for wage subsidy for its staff amid Covid-19 turmoil
James Fyfe (Newshub): NZTA contractors to get advance payment while work halted during lockdown

Media
Colin Peacock (RNZ): Government rolls back COVID-19 rules for local papers
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Restrictions on previously ‘non-essential’ media eased just a fraction
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Remote community newspapers now considered an essential service
Jarrod Gilbert (Herald): High-quality information has never been more important (paywalled)
Hayden Donnell (RNZ): NZME staff told job losses are coming
Steve Hepburn (ODT): Future for Radio Sport uncertain
Veronica Schmidt (RNZ): How we’re running RNZ from home

NZ-Australia relations
Claire Trevett (Herald): PM Jacinda Ardern gets blood out of a stone from Australia – this time (paywalled)
AAP: Jacinda Ardern to keep pressure on Aussie Government with Kiwis now eligible for wage subsidy scheme there

Housing
RNZ: Property firm apologies for ‘inartful’ advice to avoid rent holidays
Greg Ninness (Interest): QV delivers a grim assessment of the property market after the lockdown ends

Inequality, hardship
Georgina Campbell (Herald): New self-contained units for Wellington’s homeless
Virginia Fallon (Stuff): Heroes of the Frontline: Wellington’s soup kitchen
Nick Truebridge (Stuff): South Auckland food bank demand more than doubles
Rob Stock (Stuff): KiwiSaver providers told to be ‘sensible and practical’ on hardship withdrawals applications

Tourists stranded in NZ and overseas, repatriation
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern says repatriation of foreign nationals will take a while under lockdown
Stuff: UK man stranded in New Zealand laments local TV: ‘It’s like a sixth form experiment’
Lincoln Tan (Stuff): Stranded families running out of money for food and accommodation
Sandra Conchie (Herald): Waihi Beach couple stranded in New Delhi hotel room after lockdown (paywalled)
1News: Kiwi whose elderly parents are stuck in Delhi pleads for Government help

Primary industries
Guy Trafford (Interest): The grass is greener here
Guyon Espiner (RNZ): Fonterra seeing demand spike for some products
1News: Concerns for welfare of surplus pigs as butchers around NZ ordered to close

Alcohol, drugs
Louise Delany and George Thomson (Newsroom): Restrict alcohol to help our hospitals
Southland Times Editorial: Our locked-down problems don’t form orderly queues
Vita Molyneux (Stuff): Cannabis users encouraged to take a break over lockdown period due to COVID-19 health risks
1News: People addicted to drugs or alcohol should ‘maintain their current usage’ during lockdown

Other
Chris McDowall (Spinoff): Every New Zealand case, mapped and charted, March 31
Catrin Owen (Stuff): Parole hearings held over phone for first time during coronavirus lockdown
Kim Moodie (Herald): Ministry of Health error names virus clusters after families
Spinoff: Watch: Auckland in lockdown, from above
RNZ: Figures show dramatic spending drop in first days of Covid-19 lockdown
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Rio Tinto to close one of four potlines at Tiwai Point aluminium smelter
Matthew Mckew (ODT): Hotels in Queenstown could close until end of year

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