Blog Link: The unspoken election issue.

Given that foreign policy has rarely been addressed in this year’s election campaign, and then only briefly in the form of PR releases and sound bites rather than genuine debate, I used this month’s Word from Afar column at Scoop to point out why that is not such a good thing.

6 thoughts on “Blog Link: The unspoken election issue.

  1. Hey Pablo you make some excellent points ( I have just emailed your colume to my boss and told him to consider it before he writes his editorial ) but I have come to the opinion that we have been a member of ANZUS by default for some time. The Australian arrangement nails it.

    The NZ Navy did a good will tour of Asia and the American ( continental ) West Coast last year Endevour and one of the frigats from memory. So China, Korea, Canda and the USA. But laughably the NZ Navy had to dock at civilian docks rather than naval docks in the US Navy owened docks. ( I suspect that did not annoy the crew at all ).

    So our warships can not tie up at military docks in the USA but can visitand tie up at civilian docks. Go Figure

  2. Hamish:

    I am not sure that sending an unsolicited essay by someone else to a boss who is an editorial writer is a great career move. But perhaps s/he is in the .0001 percent of NZ bosses who actually take advice from, or at least listen to their subordinates.

    The Wellington Declaration and attendant protocols now allow RNZN vessels to use US military facilities.

  3. Pablo I face no risk at all to my career, that said had I failed to point it out to him and in a few off weeks when the magazine hits the streets and a discussion of the decision to put American military assets and personnel in Australia comes up as it inevitably will and I give your take on it, he would look at me and say source.

    That would earn me a definite kick in the pants.

    Thank You for pointing out that the Wellington Declaration now allows for us to use US facilities I had missed that. I am told that the Australian navy refer to HMNZS Endeavour as their East Coast supply ship. I would expect that role to expand.

    Chris Trotter often uses the image of the anglo-saxon fist and I would say it is not inaccurate, but do we want to be part of it ?

    I don’t believe that Chinese hegemony is such a problem that we need to rejoin the fist.

  4. Besides the lack of attention paid by the major parties, the minor parties have been mostly silent on matters of international import. This includes the Greens, who have previously been the most ardent defenders of an ethical and human rights based approach to foreign policy as well as the staunchest opponents of militarism and transnational corporate greed.

    I do wonder how much of the silence from the Greens is due to their foreign affairs spokesperson Keith Locke being about to retire, and no clear replacement (as far as I know) stepping up to fill the void?

  5. As a young New Zealander I think that the real unspoken election issue is what parties are doing to tackle climate change. This is the issue that is going to really affect the future of my generation.

    I want to see action.

    I will vote for the party that takes action on climate change.

    But who will do it?

    Go to to find out.

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