Foreign Affairs Officials sell us out on human rights


Revelations that foreign affairs officials have approved the sale of military equipment to a host of human-rights-abusing countries, including Israel, is an outrage.

In recent years senior foreign affairs staff have advised successive ministers of foreign affairs to prioritise trade above other considerations such as human rights. They have been given approval, rather than government ministers, to decide which countries will be able to receive New Zealand exports of military equipment.

The tragic outcome was seen in Friday night’s Television One story which includes this:

In the last three years, the ministry has received 256 applications for military exports to 41 countries and territories it has declined just one, that was an export to Saudi Arabia in 2019.

1 NEWS understands that was rejected because Saudi Government assassins had recently murdered the journalist Jamal Khashoggi at their consulate in Turkey.

Among the list of approvals are Indonesia (guilty of murder and mayhem against the indigenous people of West Papua who are fighting for independence and self-determination) Israel (guilty of grave abuses of human rights and war crimes against the Palestinian people) the United Arab Emirates (a medieval despotic regime) and Turkey (its democracy has been seriously degraded in recent years with numerous breaches of civil, political and human rights)

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In Israel’s case the situation is even more galling because New Zealand has also been importing military equipment from Israel which has been “battle-tested” on the civilian Palestinian population.

In 2012 the New Zealand Superfund withdrew investments from Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems Limited, because it was involved in grave breaches of international law through building Israel’s “apartheid wall” which the International Court of Justice declared in serious breach of international law.

Despite this the New Zealand Defence Force continues to purchase military equipment from this violator of international law and human rights.

Meanwhile these same unelected officials pressure successive governments about which human rights abuses around the world to ignore and which ones to highlight.

Their advice has led Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta to go softly on Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians and Indonesia’s bloody campaign against the people of West Papua while continuing to allow the importation of “blood phosphate” from Western Sahara. Ironically these three cases involve struggles for self-determination by indigenous people against colonisation – something Nanaia Mahuta said would be a point of difference for her.

The only human rights abuses these officials encourage the government to speak out about are in China, Hong King and Myanmar because these are the human rights abuses our five eyes “allies”, led by the US, want us to highlight while we quietly ignore the human rights crimes of America’s friends – Indonesia and Israel in particular.

The government needs to wrench control of official advice from the trade-first and US-first-at-all-costs mandarins in the Minister Foreign Affairs.

We should speak clearly against human rights abuses wherever they occur. Ethics and morality should be the guiding principles we follow rather than sycophancy to the biggest schoolyard bullies.


  1. That’s straight up protagonist centred morality. They have to have no elegance to any nation to have to side with people who murder there own for no other reason than so poor low level farmer offended them for wanting a better life. And the UN can go to hell to.

  2. The hypocrisy on display at all levels is chilling.
    The message is you play by our rules or not at all.
    The NZ Government on our behalf is a compliant team member who actively participates in a horrific and deadly game of inhumanity.
    The willingness in which we cooperate will always be a stain on our reputation.
    Speaking truth to power is the only antidote.
    Kia Kaha John Minto.
    Free Julian Assange.

  3. From a moral perspective we should be concerned about what is happening overseas, John.

    But from a pragmatic perspective we need be entirely focused on the shocking state NZ is in, and the government-and-bureaucrats plans to make matters worse faster.

  4. Despite this the New Zealand Defence Force continues to purchase military equipment from this violator of international law and human rights.

    That is horrifying.
    It means that each and every one of us here in AO/NZ are silent participants in the world’s ugliest, live horror movie, snuff movie.

    which has been “battle-tested” on the civilian Palestinian population.

    Yep, ongoing live demos. Women and children the targets.
    WE are buying into that?????
    We are financing it???? (by buying into it.)

    If there were only one thing in NZ that could be changed right now, that would be the one to change immediately.

    • Look at those dweebs tho. They can only take millimetre bites of incremental change. Jacinda has to come in with a reform package.

      • 🙂
        I was just going to post something similar. One is Tim Grocer is it not?
        Anyway, they all look like Harcourts Real Estate salesmen who’ve had imagination and foresight bypass surgery. That’s what they get paid the big bucks for though I ‘spose

    • You really shouldn’t believe all the lies you read about Israel. How about protesting Chinese organ harvesting from the Falun Gong?

      • hey Zionist troll – these are not mutually exclusive and you know it.

        Israel steals Palestinian land and kills children etc with impunity. That’s a fact. China is a despicable communo-fascist state that kills it’s citizens and harvests their organs. Also a fact.

        You keep trying to distract from the despicable behaviour of the Zionist state of Israel using two time worn distraction mechanisms:
        1. call everyone who voices any legitimate criticism of the state of Israel’s behaviour an ‘anti semite’ and
        2. country X is bad so shut up about Israel

        Puerile and transparent.

        • spare your breath @nukefacts.
          Gaby would be better off protesting the latest outrage currently airing on the History Channel and denigrating one or two academics that dare to challenge the narrative. How they ever let that get past I’ll never know.
          I’m anxious to know how Netanyahu’s prospects are in that nasty trial he faces.
          It keeps me up at night

        • What’s puerile and transparent is your continuous fulminations against the world’s only Jewish state to the exclusion of all the genuine human rights abusers…like the Palestinians. This is the hallmark of obsessive antisemitism.

      • How about you protesting about something anything, organise a protest aaah bit tricky when you aren’t a kiwi isn’t it Gaby!

        • I’m a proud Zionist Kiwi who happily takes apart the antisemitic nonsense on this blogsite with consummate ease. Nanaia knows that the real colonisers, the real terrorists and murderers of children, the real cause of the conflict are the volent, racist, rejectionist Arabs. Thank God our Govt ignores the fringe nutters we see here.

  5. What is new?

    NZ business and political links to blacklisted Chinese company iFlytek

    New Zealand school data collected and on-sold to Google, Microsoft

    NZ, Dirty politics against NZ politicians, intellectuals and scientists

    Surprise, surprise – the bloody pigs clear themselves over illegal Hager raid

    New Zealand will miss climate deadline by more than a year

    “Under the Paris accord, every five years countries have to tell the United Nations how much they will do to help keep the world inside 1.5C-2 degrees Celsius of fossil-fuelled heating.

    The current round of pledges is not enough to keep the globe inside that comparatively safe temperature zone. 2019 was the second hottest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

    Countries have the option of updating their self-imposed targets – called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – at any time. But, once lodged, NDCs can only go higher. Countries can’t opt to reduce their pledges.”

    Government suspends financial oversight

    Destroying education in NZ.

    An ‘onslaught of shock and awe’ was supposed to transform Unitec. Instead it sent it into a dive

    NZ – we don’t close universities down we just profit from students without noticing if they are attending their courses or not
    New Zealand university student lay dead in room for nearly two months

    No need to know anything to pass!
    NZ lecturer says half of international students in their class failed for cheating, universities turning blind eye

    Student visa fraud: ‘It’s not about education’

    Widespread fraud found among education agencies representing Indian students

    Student visa scam: Company provided info for five years

    Banning freedom of speech has become part of NZ universities agenda!
    Massey Vice-Chancellor bans Don Brash

    AUT denies cancelling Tiananmen event over China govt pressure

    • That is an impressive collection of links saveNZ, but what have they to do with the topic: ‘Foreign Affairs Officials sell us out on human rights’?

  6. One good thing to come out of all of this is the recognition that a colonialist is a colonialist regardless of ethnicity, and Nanaia Mahuta, having embraced colonialism, must now embrace all the evils which colonialism begets.

  7. Carter foriegn affairs. Putting the long run ahead of the short term. Right but the heart of, to be honest, the whole of life is the short term. Humans’ advantage was to imagine over the hill, but not further.

  8. World Beyond War, Divestment from Weapons

    “Divestment is organizing to remove public and private assets from weapons manufacturers, military contractors, and war profiteers. Grassroots-led war divestment campaigns are springing up all over the world, from students organizing to divest university endowments from weapons manufacturers and war profiteers, to municipalities and states coming together to divest public pension funds from the war machine.”

    “Every dollar currently invested in weapons and war is a dollar that could be better spent on job creation, education, housing, healthcare, food security, and so much more.”

  9. These three men look like the cat that swallowed the canaries, my how the mighty are falling, lets keep calling these people out as NZers need to realize as a country we ain’t as holy than thou.

  10. Problem is, these unethical treasonous bastards don’t give a shit about their actions, providing the equally unethical treasonous government condones their behavior. Also, they and their political mates think when it all goes tits up, they will just hop on a plane and bugger off to to a safe haven. That shouldn’t be allowed to happen. So when a certain major trading rogue nation turns up off our shores uninvited with their shiny new aircraft carriers, these scumbags and political cohorts need to be stopped at the international airports.

  11. It would be a one dimensional life if we were unable to see things from many angles and stand back and consider for a while. This blog raises many interesting questions. What is morally and ethically the way to treat the living planet? Riddle it with microscopic bullet-holes ? Fuse semi-conductors to it’s brain? Engulf it’s airspace with toxic satellites? Elbit systems appears to be doing well at that. Did NZ Super totally withdraw it’s investments or just some tokens?

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