NZDF General discussion thread

Rob c

Well-Known Member
They should, but an interesting question is whether they will.

Over the last several months I've read a number of articles talking about how businesses in some countries are ramping up ties with China (despite the fact they're not super-pro Beijing).

It's quite possible NZ companies will be smarter than that, but it's always illuminating how short-termist some people can be, always looking for the easy money rather than making hard choices.
I have my doubts as to whether a lot of companies will follow this advice as in the modern world too many companies are controlled by the "Bean Counters " who tend to concentrate only on the next balance sheet.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
They should, but an interesting question is whether they will.

Over the last several months I've read a number of articles talking about how businesses in some countries are ramping up ties with China (despite the fact they're not super-pro Beijing).

It's quite possible NZ companies will be smarter than that, but it's always illuminating how short-termist some people can be, always looking for the easy money rather than making hard choices.
Yep, some are slower on the uptake than others. There was an oped in one media outlet yesterday by a dairy farmer warning the government about upsetting the PRC because we are only a small country and cannot afford to upset them. I thought it was rather narrow minded and short sighted to say the least. Generally I am quite pro farming although I disdain dairy farming, but this oped was to pithy. My disdain towards cow cockies (dairy & beef farming) is due to my being involved in sheep farming when I grew up. It's a Kiwi thing.
 

Xthenaki

Active Member
I also read the article yesterday and thought what a biased and selfish take. When I am down south often go to the stock sales at either Canterbury Park or later in the week at Colgate.
 

Depot Dog

Active Member
My wife worked for a wine distribution company. She doesn't any more. The China ban hit the Australian wine industry for six. So many wineries were after the easy buck and selling to China. Our China ban was a surprise. Atleast the Kiwi's are getting a government warning. My advise is take heed of this warning and diverisfy
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The world is awash in wine albeit some wines are pretty awful. Difficult to say how easy it would be to diversify. In Ontario the government LCBO has a monopoly on booze and wine. Wine prices for Australian wines are competitive with Canadian wines as well be many vintages from France and Italy. Mind you the LCBO could be playing games with prices being an unaccountable monopoly. Bottom line, China was a quick buck market but at the end of the day an unreliable customer can be a real headache.
 

Xthenaki

Active Member
Yep, some are slower on the uptake than others. There was an oped in one media outlet yesterday by a dairy farmer warning the government about upsetting the PRC because we are only a small country and cannot afford to upset them. I thought it was rather narrow minded and short sighted to say the least. Generally I am quite pro farming although I disdain dairy farming, but this oped was to pithy. My disdain towards cow cockies (dairy & beef farming) is due to my being involved in sheep farming when I grew up. It's a Kiwi thing.
This morning Stuff has posted an article on Nanaia Mahutas (NZ Foreign Affairs Minister) Speech to gathering of NZ/China business delegates. Mentioned is "the eye of the storm" that Australia is facing and that NZ at the moment are on its fringes but with our close association with Australia could also be in its sights. Chinas reply is also stated.
Have attempted to but have not been able to transfer the article from stuff to this forum.


Edit: Link added by Moderator.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Xthenaki

Active Member
This morning Stuff has posted an article on Nanaia Mahutas (NZ Foreign Affairs Minister) Speech to gathering of NZ/China business delegates. Mentioned is "the eye of the storm" that Australia is facing and that NZ at the moment are on its fringes but with our close association with Australia could also be in its sights. Chinas reply is also stated.
Have attempted to but have not been able to transfer the article from stuff to this forum.
Further - I believe a lot more is happening politically behind the scenes than most of us are aware of especially the public in general. We now await the NZ Govts intent and direction towards China taking into account Scotty Morrisons upcoming visit and I believe that a US Official is also paying a visit soon.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I also read the article yesterday and thought what a biased and selfish take. When I am down south often go to the stock sales at either Canterbury Park or later in the week at Colgate.
The great metropolis of Colgate. It's a den of sin and iniquity it is, full of perversions :p
Further - I believe a lot more is happening politically behind the scenes than most of us are aware of especially the public in general. We now await the NZ Govts intent and direction towards China taking into account Scotty Morrisons upcoming visit and I believe that a US Official is also paying a visit soon.
Yes there will be lots happening behind the scenes that we are unaware of and that's the way it should be until an announcement is made, or policy guidance is made public. The problem that I have is this government has a habit of ignoring policy guidance from departmental advisers and officials, and going with purely ideologically based decisions that don't allow for first and second order effects. Meaning that there's a heap of unintended consequences that tend to prove both damaging and costly.

However I think that to do this right they will have to ignore the trade at all costs cabal in MFAT and look at the wider aspects of the situation. I noted that Mahuta said “Trade is – while it is important, so is regional peace and stability.” That I hope is a message to MFAT that the times are a changing. It's also a message that NZ foreign policy is moving beyond a rabid mercantilist approach, which is about time. I also noted that she stated that we will need to strengthen our relationships across the Asia Pacific region in the coming years, which is a change from the governments previous focus on the South Pacific region. I hope that it's not at the expense of the South Pacific, but in addition to it.
 

Depot Dog

Active Member
The world is awash in wine albeit some wines are pretty awful. Difficult to say how easy it would be to diversify. In Ontario the government LCBO has a monopoly on booze and wine. Wine prices for Australian wines are competitive with Canadian wines as well be many vintages from France and Italy. Mind you the LCBO could be playing games with prices being an unaccountable monopoly. Bottom line, China was a quick buck market but at the end of the day an unreliable customer can be a real headache.
I agree China wouldn't have a problem banning our wine. There are plenty of suppliers. During the early days a number of countries were going to support us. In protest they were going to drink our wine and call it freedom wine.
It was good news at the time but I think it didn't go anywhere.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I agree China wouldn't have a problem banning our wine. There are plenty of suppliers. During the early days a number of countries were going to support us. In protest they were going to drink our wine and call it freedom wine.
It was good news at the time but I think it didn't go anywhere.
Just imagine those 200 parliamentarians sipping away to protest Chinese trade practices. The hardships they endure...guessing the Australian wine vendors picked up the tab.;)
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
The financial times have a story on how Australia has adapted to the Trade war with China.

Commodities are very easy to adjust, coal, barley, really not a huge change. Iron ore famously went up in value and volume.

Lobsters, wine and table grapes have been more difficult. But because that market doesn't really exist outside of China. Farmers are already adapting, planting different crops. Fishermen, too are adapting, fishing for different produce or moving on so while a few harsh years are likely to be the result, its unlikely to burn a permanent hole in the economy. Wine is unlikely to invest in further expansion, there is currently a lot of wine hitting the market globally.

Barley was a classic example of ignoring a massive market to chase China. With hindsight, many were too fixed on China being the only market for products, ignoring more, possibly bigger markets.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The financial times have a story on how Australia has adapted to the Trade war with China.

Commodities are very easy to adjust, coal, barley, really not a huge change. Iron ore famously went up in value and volume.

Lobsters, wine and table grapes have been more difficult. But because that market doesn't really exist outside of China. Farmers are already adapting, planting different crops. Fishermen, too are adapting, fishing for different produce or moving on so while a few harsh years are likely to be the result, its unlikely to burn a permanent hole in the economy. Wine is unlikely to invest in further expansion, there is currently a lot of wine hitting the market globally.

Barley was a classic example of ignoring a massive market to chase China. With hindsight, many were too fixed on China being the only market for products, ignoring more, possibly bigger markets.
Yes and that is what needs to happen here. I think exporters who are wise will already be looking to diversify their markets more than they had been. They will have been watching the Australian situation very closely and they will be fully aware that it doesn't take much at all to upset the PRC, especially the bureaucracy.

The other point to note is that two previous PMs, Clark and Key, have been advising the current PM, Ardern, on how to deal with the PRC. Unfortunately both Clark and Key are stuck in the old rut of the PRC is very important and don't upset it. They don't appear to have grasped the fact that the CCP / PRC has changed a lot for the worse since Helmsman Xi has taken over. Whether it is because they are unable to or unwilling to, I don't know. However it doesn't seem to have made much of an impact because I think we are seeing the beginnings of a hardening of the NZ attitude towards the PRC.

In the previous term the attitude towards was driven by Winston the collecter of perks, who ran a virulent anti Chinese platform until it was genetically proved that us Māori originated in the highlands of southern Taiwan. :D He was the Coalition government Foreign Minister, with the Defence Minister coming from the same party. So they named the PRC in the 2018 Defence Policy Statement. However this term, the government is solely NZ Labour so it will be interesting to see where they go with this. I am keeping my mind open because they are travelling on a different path WRT the PRC to previous NZ governments for quite a while, maybe since the Labour government of Norman Kirk recognised the PRC, back in 1972 or 73.
 
I use to work at a big exporter to China and they had been working on diversifying from China for the past 5 years. But the China market just kept growing. I would not be surprised if this warning to our exporters is a signal that NZ is planning on doing some activities that could result in some penalties from China. Perhaps the joining the British Navy on their exercise?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I use to work at a big exporter to China and they had been working on diversifying from China for the past 5 years. But the China market just kept growing. I would not be surprised if this warning to our exporters is a signal that NZ is planning on doing some activities that could result in some penalties from China. Perhaps the joining the British Navy on their exercise?
The RNZN frigate Te Kaha is already joining the RN task force and I believe sailing with the task force on its FON through the SCS. Pretty sure they're doing port visits in the area as well. Think there are two RNZN ships participating but not sure.

EDIT: UPDATE.
Te Kaha and Aotearoa are deploying for the 50th year FPDA exercise.

 
Last edited:

Gibbo

Well-Known Member
Defence Minister Henare talks with Line of Defence Editor Dr Peter Greener about the priorities moving forward.

I can only assume whilst ScoMo (Oz PM) is in NZ he will make the point about NZ defence spending... but rather than expecting us to buy a whole raft of new capabilities I'd imagine he'll just stress the importance of not derailing the 2019 DCP... which is about the best we can currently hope for I guess. It's hard to say what Henare expects from having "...Ministry of Defence and NZDF to take a further look at the 2019 DCP..." but one assumes it will mostly be about deferring some of the plans rather than scrapping them.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Defence Minister Henare talks with Line of Defence Editor Dr Peter Greener about the priorities moving forward.

Hmm. Interesting. They're sending Te Kaha, Aotearoa, and I think Manawanui to join the RN task force. Back in Uncle Helen's day that definitely would not have happened, because she would've avoided it like the plague. I agree that money has to be spent on infrastructure because infrastructure upgrade is badly needed.

I am a bit concerned if they are intending to push the Seasprite replacement further back. Apart from the fact that will cause extra sustainment costs, it also pushs us further into block obsolescence. That is one lesson that I would have thought that Treasury should have well and truly learned by now and passed onto their political masters. Whether or not the political masters would listen or not is not is another story.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
If I was a member of the NZDF I don't think I would take great comfort from this. There is effectively very little discussion of the core role of a Defence Force - combat capability. Rather, the discussion focuses largely on peripheral issues - COVID responses, responses to natual disasters, Antarctic resupply, peacekeeping. And even when it did come close to the combat area, Sea Sprites for example, he ducked it. I suppose he can only answer the questions posed to him and politicians won't normally commit to anything if they can avoid it; but not a strong performance. And what is the significance of Labour not holding the Defence Portfolio for X years? A Labour government was in power for part of it; how they divided up the portfolios with their coalition partners was their decision.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The following is extracted from the Joint statement: Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison issued 31 May 2021.

Indo-Pacific and Global security

38. New Zealand and Australia stand together in facing a challenging global environment. The Prime Ministers discussed responses to increasing pressure on the international rules-based system and rising protectionism, and agreed on the need for coordinated regional and global action on issues such as human rights and climate change.

39. The Prime Ministers reiterated their shared commitment to support an Indo-Pacific region of sovereign, resilient and prosperous states, with robust regional institutions and strong respect for international rules and norms, and where sovereign states can pursue their interests free from coercion. To this end, they committed to continue their close coordination and cooperation, as allies and partners, on current and emerging economic, security and environmental challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

40. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the benefits of open markets and inclusive regional economic integration in the Indo-Pacific. They expressed their commitment to promoting ratification and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as well as to negotiating the upgrade and modernisation of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

41. The Prime Ministers agreed to continue working collaboratively, bilaterally, and with our partners in the Indo-Pacific region, to uphold sovereignty in an era of increasing strategic competition. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their resolve and shared respective approaches to countering foreign interference and agreed the importance of building resilience across all sectors of society, including in education, infrastructure, research, electoral processes, media and communities.

42. The Prime Ministers expressed serious concern over developments in the South China Sea, including the continued militarisation of disputed features and an intensification of destabilising activities at sea. The Prime Ministers further underscored the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight. They emphasised that maritime zones must accord with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and called on all parties to respect and implement decisions rendered through UNCLOS dispute settlement mechanisms. The Prime Ministers reiterated the importance of the South China Sea Code of Conduct being consistent with international law, particularly UNCLOS; not prejudicing the rights and interests of third parties; and supporting existing, inclusive regional architecture.

43. The Prime Ministers expressed deep concern over developments that limit the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and undermine the high degree of autonomy China guaranteed Hong Kong until 2047 under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Prime Ministers also expressed grave concerns about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and called upon China to respect the human rights of the Uyghur people and other Muslim minorities and to grant the United Nations and other independent observers meaningful and unfettered access to the region.

44. The Prime Ministers also expressed grave concerns about the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, and its implications for regional stability. They condemned the violence being perpetrated against the people of Myanmar and called on the military regime to exercise restraint, refrain from further violence, release all those arbitrarily detained, and engage in dialogue. The Prime Ministers underscored their strong support for ASEAN-led efforts to chart a course out of the current crisis and urged implementation of the five points of consensus on the situation in Myanmar, agreed at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on 24 April, as soon as possible.

45. The Prime Ministers agreed North Korea’s continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions posed a serious threat to international peace and stability. They reiterated their commitment to working together and with partners to strictly enforce sanctions against North Korea until it took concrete steps towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation. They urged North Korea to prioritise improving the lives of its citizens over its weapons programs and to return to the path of dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation.

46. The Prime Ministers welcomed the ceasefire in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank and called on all parties to ensure it holds. They also expressed deep concern at the recent violence including the significant civilian death toll, particularly children. The Prime Ministers reiterated the importance of a return to direct and genuine negotiations as soon as possible, with a view to defining a durable and permanent peace agreement that results in a two state solution. The Prime Ministers said it is imperative that the cycle of violence and bloodshed ceases and does not resume.

47. The Prime Ministers reiterated their unwavering commitment to achieving a world without weapons of mass destruction (WMD), recognising the challenges posed to international peace and security by the slow pace of nuclear disarmament and by the proliferation of WMD. They also expressed concern at Iran’s uranium enrichment activities but welcomed the progress of talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which they hoped would lead to a resumption of its full implementation by all parties.

48. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty entering into force, and emphasised the Antarctic Treaty System provides an effective and enduring international governance framework for Antarctica. The Prime Ministers welcomed the continued cooperation between New Zealand and Australia in support of peace, science, and environmental protection in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean,

49. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the enduring strength and breadth of the defence partnership. They reaffirmed the enduring importance of working together as allies and partners to support the international rules-based order and a sovereign, secure, and resilient Pacific. They reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the 2018 Joint Statement on Closer Defence Relations, and acknowledged the mutual support provided during times of crisis. They reiterated their shared commitment to advance interoperability, including through continued collaboration on Defence capability and force design, for combined operations across the full spectrum of our shared security challenges.

50. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the conclusion of Australia and New Zealand’s twenty-year deployments to Afghanistan in 2021. Both nations can be proud of our contribution to the fight against terrorism and support for the development of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. Australia and New Zealand remain steadfast in supporting Afghanistan as the country enters a new phase.

51. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the Christchurch Call to Action and its goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremism content online. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the recent Christchurch Call Second Anniversary Leaders’ Virtual Summit, and reiterated their resolve to ensure a free, open and secure internet, while upholding human rights and protecting fundamental freedoms online.


This is quite a reasonable communique and does set out what NZ's position is, especially WRT the PRC. Para. 43 will elicit an acerbic response from Beijing at some stage. I think today is the day that their Foreign Ministry has its weekly press briefing.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
PRC response to the above communique:

Bloomberg: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern "expressed grave concerns about the human rights situation" in China's Xinjiang and said that the United Nations and others should be allowed to make "meaningful" visits. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We have taken note of and are deeply concerned over the relevant statement. The leaders of Australia and New Zealand, with irresponsible remarks on China's internal affairs relating to Hong Kong and Xinjiang as well as the South China Sea issue, have made groundless accusations against China, grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and seriously violated the international law and basic norms governing international relations. China firmly opposes this.

I would like to reiterate that Hong Kong is China's Special Administrative Region and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs. China will not waver in its determination and confidence to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems" and safeguard the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. Nor will China waver in its resolve and will to reject any external interference in China's internal affairs. Xinjiang related issues are about counter-violence, anti-separatism and de-radicalization, rather than human rights, ethnicity or religion. Xinjiang has not seen a single violent terrorist case in the past four years. Remarkable achievements have been made in economic and social development and improvement of people's livelihood. The rights and interests of people of all ethnic groups, including the Uyghurs, have been fully protected. These are the facts that are recognized by all those without bias. At present, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable. China firmly upholds its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. At the same time, China is willing to properly handle maritime differences with relevant countries through consultation and negotiation to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the region. There is never any problem with the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. We firmly oppose any groundless accusations against China under the pretext of the South China Sea issue.

China maintains that the development of bilateral relations between countries in the region should help enhance mutual understanding and trust among countries in the region, and be conducive to peace and stability in the Asia Pacific, instead of targeting or damaging the interests of third parties, and much less forming enclosed small clique with ideology as the yardstick. It's not justifiable for relevant countries to say and do wrong things on issues bearing on the sovereignty and security of a third country, or interfere in its internal affairs under the guise of human rights. We once again urge relevant parties to stop making irresponsible remarks and act in ways that are conducive to bilateral relations and regional peace and stability, rather than the opposite.


This was access via the PRC embassy in Wellington. They aren't happy chappies.
 
Top