NZDF General discussion thread

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
Musushi-Kenshin I am still wanting to see the evidence that the NZIC is blocking the Five Eyes approach on China. Evidence that China has made NZ its puppet other than having a balancing act over trade. Evidence that all the NZIC does is anti-terrorism. And the UK Telegraph or Sky News Australia OpEds as sources wont cut it.

As for Ministerial statements there was a recent one by an Australian minister talking about the drums of war beating in the Indo-Pacific which was certainly not helpful. Might be true - but if one wants to avoid further PRC rhetoric and propaganda coups for domestic consumption and trade retaliation that is not the way to go about it.

Wellington is the political capital of New Zealand and not Auckland.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
And the UK Telegraph or Sky News Australia OpEds as sources wont cut it.
The article I linked to was from the Nikkei, not the Telegraph or Sky News.

This was from the Times a few weeks ago.


Last May defence ministers from Britain, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand endorsed an expanded role with a public commitment not only to meet shared security challenges but “to advance their shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights”.

Mahuta, 50, said she had informed the other Five Eyes members of New Zealand’s changed position.

“It’s a matter that we have raised with Five Eyes partners, that we are uncomfortable with expanding the remit of the Five Eyes relationship, that we would much rather prefer looking for multilateral opportunities to express our interests on a number of issues,” she said.


So not only has New Zealand acted as a roadblock, the government has admitted to backtracking on a previous agreement to expand Five Eyes' remit.

As for Ministerial statements there was a recent one by an Australian minister talking about the drums of war beating in the Indo-Pacific which was certainly not helpful.
Did that cause particular problems for New Zealand, or was that an MP commenting purely on Sino-Australian relations?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@Musashi_kenshin All the glaring about NZG response to the FVEY concerns over the PRC appears to be coming from Murdoch rabble rousing media outlets and their pet zombies. Whilst I may disagree with NZG policies I certainly resent Murdoch and his shitstirrers, who probably don't even know how to tie their shoelaces, from telling us what NZ Foreign policy will be. These are the same arsewipes who think that its fair game to hack into the Royal Families and others private phones in order to gain gossip and stir shit.

WRT to the current situation between Australia and the PRC, NZ is aware of who is most at fault, but Aussie pollies going public about war drums beating doesn't help matters. Sometimes pollies need to know when to shut their mouths and keep their feet out of them. Whatever they say the PRC will quickly turn against them if they possibly can.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
@Musashi_kenshin All the glaring about NZG response to the FVEY concerns over the PRC appears to be coming from Murdoch rabble rousing media outlets and their pet zombies.
Since when did Murdoch control the Nikkei? Or Voice of America?

Besides, the Times article I linked to was not an editorial, it was a news report. Was there any part of it that was factually incorrect - was the NZ FM misquoted at any point?

I have no problem with people arguing that it's not in New Zealand's economic interests to have Five Eyes expand its remit or be seen to be challenging China. However, that doesn't mean NZ's actions don't undermine the organisation.
 
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Gooey

Member
Musushi-Kenshin I am still wanting to see ... Evidence that China has made NZ its puppet other than having a balancing act over trade.
Gents, I can see plenty of evidence that Wellington is both not pulling its weight (blugging-off Australia) and attempting to be too 'balancing'/clever (CCP are very happy with the Minister Mahuta's assessments). This of course assumes that the PM & FM recognise the CCP threat, which you have to wonder based on their temped 6th Form (Year 11?) debating style (good old Ozi bashing). Perhaps our singular addiction to trade and the UF work have done such a good job in hollowing out our Liberal Democratic core believes that the threat is just not honoured because someone else will sort this out and because we are so kind?
For what it is worth, the NZ commitment to FVEY has been raised in both public and in private forums for years so this is not new and you would hope that NZ takes this seriously.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
The article I linked to was from the Nikkei, not the Telegraph or Sky News.

This was from the Times a few weeks ago.


Last May defence ministers from Britain, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand endorsed an expanded role with a public commitment not only to meet shared security challenges but “to advance their shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights”.

Mahuta, 50, said she had informed the other Five Eyes members of New Zealand’s changed position.

“It’s a matter that we have raised with Five Eyes partners, that we are uncomfortable with expanding the remit of the Five Eyes relationship, that we would much rather prefer looking for multilateral opportunities to express our interests on a number of issues,” she said.


So not only has New Zealand acted as a roadblock, the government has admitted to backtracking on a previous agreement to expand Five Eyes' remit.



Did that cause particular problems for New Zealand, or was that an MP commenting purely on Sino-Australian relations?
I am yet to see proof from your points made earlier. Syndicated articles like above are not proof.

NZ is not acting as a roadblock in fact one could cogently argue that by expanding the political pressure beyond the Club of 5 to a broader base of liberal democracies like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the EU et al it is a better way to gain corrective resonance with Beijing.

Also you are incorrect that Ms Mahuta speaks directly to Five Eyes partners - she did not inform anyone - note she used the royal ''we'' as in NZ Govt. Andrew Little who is the minister of the NZIC does as well as PM Jacinda Adern.

There is a clear demarcation between pulling their weight with respect to Defence and we all agree on that - but do not for a minute think that this extends to the NZIC commitment. Far from it.

In fact anymore baseless speculation on the matter or lack of accuracy in the use of language to make points will be treated with what it deserves. Thus I would tread very carefully around this topic if people want to maintain posting privileges.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Excerpt from today's PM Ardern's speech to the Chinese Business Summit.

"As Minister Mahuta observed in her speech to the New Zealand China Council, different perspectives can underpin cultural exchange and learning.
But some differences challenge New Zealand’s interests and values.
With that in mind, earlier I mentioned that I wanted to add a fourth takeaway point this morning.
And that is that:
Managing the relationship is not always going to be easy and there can be no guarantees.
What do I mean by this?
Given our two countries’ different histories, worldviews and political and legal systems, New Zealand and China are going to take different perspectives on some important issues.
We will continue to work through these in a consistent manner, as we have always done.
But as Minister Mahuta said last month, we need to acknowledge that there are some things on which China and New Zealand do not, cannot, and will not agree.
This need not derail our relationship, it is simply a reality.
New Zealand is an open, pluralistic, democracy, with a focus on transparency and the rule of law.
We take a principles-based approach to our foreign policy, and we make our decisions independently, informed by our own assessment of New Zealand's interests and values.
We have shown this quite clearly over the past year by deliberately choosing when we make public statements on issues of concern, and with whom.
New Zealanders expect their government to take a principled stance on issues, particularly where our values are at stake – I know this because I hear it directly from them.
The government will continue to act in a way that serves our interests, reflects our values and maintains our independent foreign policy.
In the past year, for example, we chose to raise some issues with China in private. But alongside this, we also chose to make public statements with a significant number of other countries in multilateral bodies such as the Human Rights Council.
At other times we have chosen to partner with Australia, the UK, the US and other countries that share our views and values.
And sometimes we spoke out alone.
We have commented publicly about our grave concerns regarding the human rights situation of Uyhgurs in Xinjiang.
I have raised these concerns with senior Chinese leaders on a number of occasions, including with the Guandong Party Secretary in September 2018, and then with China’s leaders when I visited in 2019.
You’ll know that, as a government, we have also spoken out about continued negative developments with regard to the rights, freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong.
Alongside areas of cooperation that I mentioned earlier, areas where we disagree form part of a comprehensive relationship.
Areas of difference need not define a relationship.
But equally, they are part and parcel of New Zealand staying true to who we are as a nation.
And it will not have escaped the attention of anyone here that as China’s role in the world grows and changes, the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile.
This is a challenge that we, and many other countries across the Indo Pacific region, but also in Europe and other regions, are also grappling with.
As a significant power, the way that China treats its partners is important for us.
And we will continue to promote the things that we believe in, and support the rules-based system that underpins our collective well-being.
As I said in my recent remarks to the Bo’ao Forum for Asia, New Zealand is a strong supporter of the rules, norms and international frameworks that govern global affairs.
We are active members of the WTO, WHO, the bodies upholding the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, international climate change arrangements, and international human rights treaties, among others.
Rules, norms and institutions provide the basis for our prosperity and security; and they facilitate cooperation on global issues that can only be solved collectively.
I’d again echo the words of Minister Mahuta. We hope that China too sees it in its own core interests to act in the world in ways that are consistent with its responsibilities as a growing power, including as a permanent member of the UN Security Council."​

I think that she's attempting to lay out her view of the relationship, but it's still what I would call somewhat fence sitting. IIRC this is the second time this government has said that the way that China treats its partners is important to them. That and the other comments about NZ being a strong supporter of the rules based order does make Ardern's position clear and it will be interesting to see what the PRC reaction will be, because it is a subtle dig at them.

Another point she made was this "... the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile." Here she could possibly be signalling that NZ is about to make a choice and that it won't be in China’s favour. We can live but in hope.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
Regarding Five Eyes, I won't pursue the point further. I recognise that New Zealand has stated repeatedly it will continue to be a member of the grouping. It's a matter of opinion as to how far it is opposed to expanding its remit.

That and the other comments about NZ being a strong supporter of the rules based order does make Ardern's position clear and it will be interesting to see what the PRC reaction will be, because it is a subtle dig at them.
I expect that Beijing won't do anything at this stage other than give a meaningless statement about hoping to maintain strong Sino-NZ relations, because as you noted she said the following:

The government will continue to act in a way that serves our interests, reflects our values and maintains our independent foreign policy.

"Reflects our values" is sandwiched in between serving NZ's interests and having an independent foreign policy. It may be coincidental, but for such a carefully worded speech I'm more willing to believe it was deliberately phrased to indicate that whilst NZ has values and wants to act on them, not being shepherded to doing something against its economic interests is the priority.

Then there is:

But as Minister Mahuta said last month, we need to acknowledge that there are some things on which China and New Zealand do not, cannot, and will not agree.

This need not derail our relationship, it is simply a reality.


If I was a Chinese politician, I would regard this is as an attempt to satisfy both sides - as you say, sort of fence sitting. So I would wait to see what concrete actions NZ took.

For example, some parliaments around the world have been passing motions recognising China's Xinjiang policies as genocide. New Zealand hasn't done that yet, and although a debate has been called for it's not clear that the motion will pass.

If the Labour Party doesn't bring it to a vote or the motion fails, that would be very encouraging for Beijing.

Another point she made was this "... the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile." Here she could possibly be signalling that NZ is about to make a choice and that it won't be in China’s favour.
It could be.

It could also be a message to the public that the "reality" she referred to is that New Zealand has to accept it can't see eye-to-eye with China on various issues and that political/moral compromises have to be made to keep that trade going. That she ends with effectively a plea for China to play nice rather than a warning means that at this stage I see no reason to believe that this signals a change in policy. If it does, then I think the request for China to play by the rules is too subtle for Beijing to pick up on as being something it needs to actively consider.
 
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Gooey

Member
It could also be a message to the public that the "reality" she referred to is that New Zealand has to accept it can't see eye-to-eye with China on various issues and that political/moral compromises have to be made to keep that trade going.
Thank you Musashi. FWIW, agreed.

Another angle, is that it could also be a political punt that this PM/FM communication is enough to enable continued fence sitting having played off CCP, FVEY and the public. That is, continuing to be too clever by half.
 
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Nighthawk.NZ

Well-Known Member
Excerpt from today's PM Ardern's speech to the Chinese Business Summit.

Another point she made was this "... the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile." Here she could possibly be signalling that NZ is about to make a choice and that it won't be in China’s favour. We can live but in hope.
Interesting point of view in this article for the democracy project

To be clear, the new Ardern and Mahuta foreign policy doctrine is likely to be more nuanced and less enthusiastic than either the pro-US stance driven by foreign minister Winston Peters from 2017-20, or the pro-China stance that National took from 2008-17, under Prime Ministers John Key and Bill English and foreign minister Murray McCully.
But at the end of the day, agrees with what we saying here ... trying to please every one and something for every one. But for how long that will last ...?
 

kiwi in exile

Active Member
I feel that there is nothing in Arderns speech that wasn't in Mahutas speech (least thay are being consistant). I disagree with Geoffrey Millers analysis and Bryce Edwards in the Guardian- Arderns speech does nothing new to 'mollify' critics of NZGs China 'policy'



Parroting the phrase 'independant foreign policy' over and over again is meaningless if you don't do anything.
Ditto 'values based'

Parliament looks set to debate genocide. It will be telling who doesn't pass this motion
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
Actually it turns out that the NZ Parliament will not be debating whether China's Xinjiang policies are genocide or not.

Beijing will be most pleased by this, even if it publicly grumbles about any debate on any "internal Chinese matters". In my personal opinion this is a sure sign that the NZ government's change in policy is towards deferring to China rather than challenging it.
 
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Gooey

Member
Yep. Although hardly surprising.

Seeing the old and new guard of PMs and FM Peters at his weeks CCP Wellington love-in, was embarrassing b/c of the degree of servitude to our economic masters. So much for an independent foreign policy. This only seems to apply if its Anti-Nuc (therefore, completely immaterial nonsense) or Anti-USA (Form 6 level school debates). Sorry also anti-RNZAF.

No mention by NZA political leadership or the Press of Allies concerns, Strategic Competition, Foreign Interference, Cyber warfare or NZDF Force Structure (Hard Power); just "human rights".

In completely unrelated news or timing, Minister Henare has broken cover and "... said it was his expectation that New Zealand would “most definitely” join the carrier group in its travels through the Pacific and East Asia. New Zealand may join the flotilla in visits to Japan and South Korea."
Small issue in that this announcement:
- has not been endorsed by Cabinet as yet, or
- that the RNZN will not have a FOC fighting boat until 2022.

(first time using a link thingy, so hope this works)

WRT the earlier comment about NZIC commitment, I speculate what percentage of NZDF believes its primary mission is to engage in large-state, kinetic operations and correlate that to the Green Slim too.
 

JohnJT

Member
Yep. Although hardly surprising.

Seeing the old and new guard of PMs and FM Peters at his weeks CCP Wellington love-in, was embarrassing b/c of the degree of servitude to our economic masters. So much for an independent foreign policy. This only seems to apply if its Anti-Nuc (therefore, completely immaterial nonsense) or Anti-USA (Form 6 level school debates). Sorry also anti-RNZAF.

No mention by NZA political leadership or the Press of Allies concerns, Strategic Competition, Foreign Interference, Cyber warfare or NZDF Force Structure (Hard Power); just "human rights".

In completely unrelated news or timing, Minister Henare has broken cover and "... said it was his expectation that New Zealand would “most definitely” join the carrier group in its travels through the Pacific and East Asia. New Zealand may join the flotilla in visits to Japan and South Korea."
Small issue in that this announcement:
- has not been endorsed by Cabinet as yet, or
- that the RNZN will not have a FOC fighting boat until 2022.

(first time using a link thingy, so hope this works)

WRT the earlier comment about NZIC commitment, I speculate what percentage of NZDF believes its primary mission is to engage in large-state, kinetic operations and correlate that to the Green Slim too.
From that linked stuff article:
The Te Kaha, a war-making frigate...
Are you kidding me? When China takes over New Zealand, I hope these idiot journalists are the first ones into the detention camps.
 

BigM60

Member
Not withstanding the smirky school boy taunting of Australia by the NZ trade minister, NZ is doing it's best to tread a very difficult path. This is my view on why China appears to be treating OZ a little different from our NZ cousins despite NZ's public position on some of the China issues.

When Australia banned Huawei, other middle powers (including the UK) and smaller countries took note. For China, that's a problem for a country that wants to lead the world in technology. Even if NZ alone had stridently declared that they had banned Huawei (like Australia), I don't believe China or many other countries for that matter would have cared.

Australia looking more carefully at Chinese investment is a problem for a country that wants to completely control their own supply chains. Investing in NZ dairy, timber, wine and fisheries is good for Chinese consumers but having control over the supply of raw materials to continue to drive their massive economy is where China want's to be. Having their investment in these vital economic areas restricted is not in China's interest. Australia today and then it will be other raw material supplying countries tomorrow.

Australia tightening control of foreign interference made many other countries consider what Chinese influence operations were being run in their own countries. China sees Australia as the leading trouble maker in this particular area.

Australia is a very close ally of the US and China see it as an opportunity to test their other "warfare" skills of economic coercion, misinformation & diplomacy ( pitching Australia against NZ) against a strong US ally and middle power.

Australia calling for a COVID enquiry was taken as a personal affront to Xi and the CCP.

Having a whipping boy is always good for the nationalist cause. Australia is just big enough to bring attention but too small to retaliate. It makes a good example to many other countries thinking of taking the same positions with China. Whipping NZ wouldn't be a good look - you would be definitely seen as a bully.

Australia has a defence contribution to the US alliance much greater than NZ. Punishing NZ may push them to increase defence expenditure and their total contribution to an alliance in the future.

Australia's media isn't overly China friendly (or at a minimum are very questioning of China's motives and policies) and this no doubt annoys China. NZ's media appears to be full of the possible effects on trade if NZ offends China. I think China has already won that point in NZ.

All of the above relate to our relative economic and security positions in this world. Australia is a middle power (economic and militarily) with strong security links to the US. For China, punishing Australia ticks all the boxes even at some minor cost to themselves.

For the record, I don't need the "Haka" responses - its not a criticism of NZ but merely pointing out our respective places in the world. Yes, NZ has an excellent efficient economy, good diplomacy and is well liked in the Pacific - perhaps unlike Australia?
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
In my personal opinion this is a sure sign that the NZ government's change in policy is towards deferring to China rather than challenging it.
Good day folks. Can I suggest we wind this idea of the NZ government, deferring to China, back a bit?

I think your reaction is what China, as a rising power, wants — it is valid to be critical of our own government but we need to temper the criticism of foreign governments, as that has a tendency for the locals to rally around the flag. This is why the wolf warrior diplomats from China are such a spectacular failure. We should encourage them to do more self harm. Likewise, let’s avoid the same self harm at the ANZUS, FVEY or FPDA level.


As my colleague said before, “Australia have had situations where comment has been made about New Zealand by a politician that was less than desirable. The relationship between Australians and New Zealanders is pretty good (except where rugby is concerned) and the one between the defence forces is excellent.”

I do not see a NZ divorce at the ANZUS, FVEY or FPDA level on the horizon.
 
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StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Australia and NZ have great relations at all levels. This can occur even when seemingly opposing sides on issues. Let me reinforce OPSSG comment on a lack of NZ divorce.

Until recently Australia had one of the closest relationships with China, of any nation. Having huge trade, joint military exercises, joint civilian programs in Antarctica, exchanges, various state governments had signed up to the belt and road program, Chinese development bank, and a Darwin port had been leased to a Chinese company and there had been more Chinese investment in Australia than the whole of China investment in USA or any other nation.

That is now clearly turning around, it will take NZ some time to change, and that is ok. Its more than ok, it has to be slower, again providing inertia and weight that gives China plenty of options to turn things around. The main aim here is to try avoid conflict and improve relations.

Australia's close contact with China providing many levels of breaking contact and fallen agreements, particularly as Australia is still enduring the Chinese trade war against it. Unsurprisingly, NZ is more in a lag behind this change in Australia's (and the wests position generally)position with China. NZ has been less of a target for China, and there is no reason to jump into the disagreement with China/Australia. NZ had no where near the level of China engagement that Australia had in the first place.

While NZ is extremely close to Australia, they are a completely separate country. Often they will try a different foreign policy in the hope they can be more successful than Australia in that strategy. An alternate reality, where multiple approaches can be applied. Often preferring the lighter approach, the good cop approach to Australia's bad cop if you will. But often ending up at exactly the same spot. NZ governments also have to make decisions in line with popular consensus. Typically that means it takes time to fully understand what is going on and for the reality to set in. Often it rarely makes sense for AU and NZ to apply the same strategy. Rest assured, diplomatically, and politically, both AU and NZ are in immediate frequent contact and comparing notes on every aspect.

NZ can have completely different views to Australia, they banned American warships (well nuclear weapons), they have very different military spending priorities, in FVYE they can vary between agnostic and not interested. It doesn't matter. NZ are our Kiwi brothers. We have weathered bigger shit storms than this.

The whole ANZAC thing has been tested many times. Rest assured, when the shit hits the fan, Australia will have reserved the chair right next to it enabling a very fast change of position, or change in intensity for NZ.

NZ current leftist labor lead government is taking a more cautious, slower and more appeasing road with China.
AU current right conservative government is taking a harder head, go fuck yourself policy with China and has been boosting military spending like no other. While others are still making political statements, Australia is just funding defence capability and warning about imminent war.

Personally I don't see NZ's current actions out of line generally where the UK/Canada are. It just highlights how much further down the road Australia is.

Australia I don't think has voted on labelling China's actions as genocide. Both Labor and Liberals voted against it. Being pragmatic people what is this going to achieve. Given it was bipartisan, I assume there is diplomatic discussions taking place that this motion wouldn't have helped.


We shouldn't jump to conclusions.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Actually it turns out that the NZ Parliament will not be debating whether China's Xinjiang policies are genocide or not.

Beijing will be most pleased by this, even if it publicly grumbles about any debate on any "internal Chinese matters". In my personal opinion this is a sure sign that the NZ government's change in policy is towards deferring to China rather than challenging it.
I am given to understand that the Labour Party watered down the motion. At least the motion is being debated considering that it only takes one MP out of 120 to say no to prevent it being debated. I note with interest that such a debate didn't occur in Canberra. I don't see you ranting and railing against them.

Just FYI I suggest that you read StingrayOZ's post above before launching into print on this thread again. Your continued attacks are growing rather tiresome.
 
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