Waatea News Column: Mahuta’s ‘dragon and taniwha’ redefines NZ Foreign Policy


Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s speech to China was groundbreaking in many ways.

By using Tikanga, Nanaia has reassured our largest trading partner that NZ will not cause China to lose face in any disagreement over human rights.

She was emphatic on this, “Different perspectives can be positive, and underpin cultural exchange and learning, but some differences challenge New Zealand’s interests and values. There are some things on which New Zealand and China do not, cannot, and will not, agree. It is important to acknowledge this, and to stay true to ourselves, as we seek to manage our disagreements mindful that tikanga underpinning how we relate to each other must be respected.”

For a culture as obsessed with saving face as China, the diplomatic promise of respect as articulated by tikanga is incredibly smart and highlights why Nanaia’s promotion as Foreign Minister was a masterstroke of diplomacy.

For those however still critical of China’s human rights record, Nanaia didn’t disappoint by noting that NZ would actively engage in finding replacement markets so that we are not reliant on China moving forwards.

Nanaia confirmed the existing relationship, reaffirmed our right to disagree while culturally promising respect and signalled a strategic economic realignment.

Mahuta is redefining New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs in a dynamic and exciting way.

First published on Waatea News.

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  1. And…there will be a host of career diplomats, military attaches, state snoops and Ministry insiders, who almost filled their pants when they heard her speech or read the transcript of Nanaia giving 5 Eyes a serve.

    There is the glimmer of a revived more independent NZ foreign policy in her words, will the Caucus back her up? Will Carmel Sepuloni realise you do not have to be your Ministries “bitch”?

    Nice to be able to genuinely praise a Govt. Minister.

    • Amongst the things the Five Eyes intelligence group is not is a foreign policy block, economic zone, free trade group or defence pact.

      It’s closest to but not quite a security alliance. Largely because the purpose of the intelligence sharing is for common security purposes – such as cyber security and counter-terrorism.

      Speaking truth to power on behalf of the smaller nations and the righteous cause (economic zones, human rights, fair play in trade – WTO etc) is what we like to see ourselves doing. Doing so for ourself, as a member of the Five Eyes group, is one place to demonstrate this.

      As a long term member of the UN, with a proud tradition of defence of the rights of member states and the rule of international law, this will impact on how we relate to China – not the blathering entitlement to leadership of 4 boys on a quad bike.

  2. I see some of the British media have come out swinging saying the five eyes has turned to four eyes as NZ are more interested in trade. Well they might not have any eyes if the Chinese poke them out like they said they would do. And we should not let ourselves be bullied by the other four eyes aren’t the eyes all about security and intelligence gathering not telling the other eyes what to do on other issues.

  3. LOL. You would think she has successfully provided a Palestinian-Israeli 2-state solution. We promote a bark first behavior with Australia and yet a softy, softly approach with China. What this does say is that Labour and the Government have gone the way of the last National government and rolled over on its back and let China scratch it.

    We have now effectively ‘picked’ sides. Time will tell if we picked correctly. But a masterstroke of foreign relations diplomacy it is not.

      • Cutting off your face to save your nose isn’t a great strategy. This move pisses off our traditional allies who like it or not, are our strongest advocates on the world stage. When push comes to shove – will China support democratic ideals?

        In fairness Clark started this move; Key cemented it and the Blairite has continued it. China will use us for as long as it’s beneficial to do so. There is no altruism nor goodwill in their behavior – it is pure business and strategically we are in a worse position than when we were reliant on the UK for our exports. In the interim we remain effectively quiet on ethnic concentration camps. Would we sell to the Nazis if they had nuclear weapons?

        • Democratic ideals is an interesting phrase. Which ideals are you referring to.
          You may be aware that Chinas govt is voted for by the Chinese public but in a tiered system providing stability. that we don’t have. Ethnic concentration camps OK, so you buy that. Have you heard of Adrian Zenz.

    • LoL frank ?. You were obviously laughing at your own joke about a ‘Palestinian-Israeli 2-state solution’ ,,,, there is now around 500,000 hard core land stealing Zionists living illegally on the land which you would need for the mythical second state ,,, and Unlike non-Jewish Palestinian homes / Villages,,, Israel will never bulldoze these illegal settlements inhabited by the worst of it’s citizens.,,

      ,,,and its corrupt leadership must appreciate the ‘2 state’ useful idiots who let the sick ‘2 state pretense rumble on while they actually work to colonize and destroy any possibility of Palestine
      existing again as a smaller country within its own borders ,,,

      Israel is enacting the ‘no right to exist’ extremism,,,,, that they point the finger at Hamas for ,,,
      “11 Jan 2021
      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered that plans be advanced to construct approximately 800 homes for illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/11/israel-announces-new-illegal-settler-homes-in-occupied-west-bank,,,, “Israel’s ( Illegal )West Bank settler population has grown at a far higher rate than the country as a whole over the last four years,,,,” “,,,a period that coincides with the Trump administration’s unprecedented acceptance of its( Illegal ) settlement activity.”

      NZ does not bark at the Aussies at the diplomatic level ,,, and our mainstream news media are 5 eyes pets ,,, a vicious pack of back biting war hound mongrels ,,,, who get excited by the smell of blood money.,,

      5 eyes ,,, where Democracy / umbrella’ protestors’ ,,,,are in reality violent racists who beat up, set on fire, intimidate and kill ,,,,citizens / civilians who peacefully oppose them https://youtu.be/hv3H9PNw4eQ?t=314 ,,,, with no remorse.

      And this section of Video clearly shows ‘peaceful protestors’ trying to seriously injure, burn or kill police …. Imagine how many people in the usa would have died if BLM protestors were as violent as the hong kong umbrella of N.E.D ( National endowment for democracy ) racist shit stirrers / protestors………….. https://youtu.be/hv3H9PNw4eQ?t=732

      ……….. BLM protestors in the Usa were extremely peaceful in comparison ,,,but despite there being no BLM mobs trying to beat, burn or kill police ,,, up to 25 people died ,,,, usa cops collusion with “right wingers” caused a few of these deaths ,,, and there was a lot of violence directed towards protesters and reporters ,,,,, “At least 950 instances of police brutality against civilians and journalists during anti-racism protests have occurred in the past five months” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/29/us-police-brutality-protest

      “U.S. police have attacked journalists at least 140 times since May 28” https://www.niemanlab.org/2020/06/well-try-to-help-you-follow-the-police-attacks-on-journalists-across-the-country/

      Has Israel been training everyone’s police forces ??? ,,,, to teach them how to be moral … https://youtu.be/-2Rr8hZK2aQ?t=639

      p.s Andrew Zeng and Rushan Abbas are NED sponsored Uyghur Frauds ,,, https://youtu.be/LT1a-dCmv_I?t=1622

      The Usa and 5 eyes pirates do not give a fuck about democracy and human rights ,,, to pretend otherwise is demented.

      The usa is the biggest threat to world stability, peace and prosperity ,,, they starve / sanction children as foreign policy.

      Domestically they are growing homelessness poverty and inequality for their citizens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDqk2AxvooI&t=34s ,,,

      why would anyone follow them??. ,,,,, Threats from them perhaps ??

      America’s True Goals and Upcoming New Propaganda Push https://youtu.be/Sa0WcEOn6zo?t=426

      • You tube has R18 censorship on the violence carried out by the non-peacful non-democratic hong kong protesxtors I linked to .

        So I’ve uploaded them to a site that does not require an account or log on to view.

        5 eyes ,,, where Democracy / umbrella’ protestors’ ,,,,are in reality violent racists who beat up, set on fire, intimidate and kill ,,,,citizens / civilians who peacefully oppose them https://www.bitchute.com/video/m0rFo9W6pdj0/ ,,,, with no remorse.

        And this section of Video clearly shows ‘peaceful protestors’ trying to seriously injure, burn or kill police …. Imagine how many people in the usa would have died if BLM protestors were as violent as the hong kong umbrella of N.E.D ( National endowment for democracy ) racist shit stirrers / protestors………….. https://www.bitchute.com/video/VLRFt71C8yAp/

        • Good work Reason.
          Utube censors with strong political bias and wipes anything anti Israel out of hand.
          NED is in NZ as well as most countries infiltrating organisation and particularly student groups.
          Russian had banned the congress funded NED and some of NED affiliate off shoots.

  4. “Nanaia didn’t disappoint by noting that NZ would actively engage in finding replacement markets so that we are not reliant on China moving forwards.”

    Hopefully sooner rather than later! The glaring evidence is that China will use its financial leverage to suppress free speech and corrupt trading partners . So we need to quietly tip-toe away from any reliance on them.

    • Oh haha. As if no one will notice NZDF budget doubles to better define an independent foreign policy. Cause you can’t go running to Murica either. There’s that word again. Let’s do this.

    • Suppressing free speech you say Andrew ?????? ,,, have you ever spoken up for Julian Assange ?.

      “The western world does not value truth.
      If the western world valued truth, there wouldn’t be a journalist languishing in Belmarsh Prison for publishing it.”
      If the western world valued truth, Julian Assange would be free. He never would have been imprisoned in the first place. He would be a celebrated hero.”

      The western world does not value freedom.,,,, .If the western world valued freedom it would not be gravely imperiling press freedoms around the world by making a public example of what happens to an award-winning journalist. ,,,,US prosecutors are arguing the 1st amendment doesn’t apply to foreign journalists;”

      The western world does not value democracy…….
      If the western world valued democracy, it would not be persecuting a journalist for trying to create a more informed voting populace. Without an informed populace, democracy has no real existence. As long as public perception is being manipulated and obscured by government secrecy and propaganda, then people aren’t casting their votes based on a clear and educated perception of reality,

      The western world does not oppose the tyrannical oppression of political dissidents….. If the western world opposed the tyrannical suppression of political dissidents it wouldn’t be punishing a journalist for embarrassing the most powerful government on earth.

      The western world purports to value truth, justice and freedom and to oppose tyranny and oppression, but if you look at how that same western world has been treating a journalist whose only proven “crime” is publishing inconvenient truths about the powerful, you see this is a lie.”

  5. Mahuta’s ‘dragon and taniwha’ was a smart concept for prose, though the poetic structure could have been improved. Granted it’s diplomacy not the Dead Poets Society

    It would have made a significate difference had she illustrated the similarities in mythology between the ‘dragon and taniwha’. Perhaps next time.

  6. “noting that NZ would actively engage in finding replacement markets so that we are not reliant on China moving forwards.”

    wishful thinking, methinks

    • Well. If maori are to be considered an equal treaty partner or at least relative to tangata triti, the moari economy is undervalued by about 20 billion on a per capita or undervalued by about $260 billion as a truelyvequak treaty partner. And about $100 billion undervslued per capita if we lump the south pacific into the treaty infrastructure. That would be a bases for a new security arrangement.

  7. That sounds like a post-2017 plastic kinda Tikanga to me? Forgot the Manakitanga bit I think. You need two willing parties for it to work. They may not accept the Maori culture because, well it is China.

    Back to the drawing board. Sounds like bullshit to me.

    • “They may not accept the Maori culture because, well it is China.” and what is it about our culture that a country that is at least 2000 years old, and has exported it’s own cultures all over the world would not accept? Even if they are indifferent to it, the words Mahuta spoke would be easily grasped by the highly intelligent people within the administration there… So, apart from reaching for a reason to be critical without expending any energy doing it, what are you trying to say?

      • the words Mahuta spoke would be easily grasped by the highly intelligent people within the administration there


      • Get down to your local Marae and ‘participate … it will take years for you to be accepted, probably. Listen and speak only when you’re invited to. My advice is don’t at that point.
        A few more years later after getting to know your Maori community, you just might have learned a little about ‘Tikanga’, and not the kind you learn from a short course or academia.

  8. Nanaia’s promotion as Foreign Minister was a masterstroke of diplomacy.


    Mahuta is redefining New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs in a dynamic and exciting way.

    Yes, for sure.

  9. The statement by the Minister sounds too much like appeasement to me. Hundreds of thousands of people in Xinjiang are being detained and treated very badly and I think NZ should be taking a stronger stand – e.g. in relation to the Minister’s statement by not using words like respecting the Chinese Govt position and coming out more strongly in public – including in support of Canada. (The Chinese govt has detained Canadians and referred to Trudeau as a ‘running dog’). The illegal Chinese Govt actions in the South China Sea are another grave concern. (Illegal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS). To support the Ministers statement to poke at the 5 Eyes alliance is a bit off target – I think we should focus on the suffering of the Uighur people.


    And we should do more to ensure less Chinese Govt influence in NZ politics by e.g. reforming electoral donation law.

    As an older NZer who protested against apartheid and the Indonesian invasion of East Timor I find the references to ‘respecting’ the Chinese position disturbing.

    • Why focus on the Uighur people? Because it is the cause promoted by Trump and now Biden? Why not those of the West Bank or Gaza (there’s some cultural “genocide”/suppression), the Kurds of Turkey (more), the Moslems of Kashmir (more), Western Papua (more), the woman of Afghanistan (US withdrawal is a threat to their very lives), the secular women of southern Iraq being placed on kill lists (written up in Teheran to be enacted by the militias they arm)?

      You don’t think the US arming Taiwan, when it is internationally recognised (UN) as part of the one China ia the primary cause of of tensions (recently exacerbated by American promotion of democracy in Hong Kong during the 1997-2047 transition to direct Beijing rule)? You and I may not like the fact that China is both now willing and capable of being the bully – South China Sea – but that did not occur in a vacuum.

      You seem to be buying the drum beat (last time the democratic regime kool aid of 2002-2003) a little too easily.

    • David I could throw up a half a dozen links that are from various sources giving hard evidence that the Uighur genocide and related claims just don’t hold water.
      But you are convinced obviously so test your own beliefs
      Are you not suspicious of the sources of the propaganda.

      I too am an older Kiwi and learned a lot from the WWII. Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Timor, and a raft of other propaganda campaigns including the US excursions into the Middle East over decades.
      Detecting the lies is pretty straight forward but to be sure then research is needed to test what you have. .
      Uighurs 12 million population and growing much faster than the Han or Hui populations. Genocide you would have to expect more evidence than hearsay.

      Religious persecution to some degree no doubt but 23 Muslim nations have sent delegations into Uighur communities and found none. Over 40 UN countries sent a joint communication to China praising the handling of the Uighur terrorists returning from Syria after fighting the Syrian Govt using US arms and tanks.
      China has got on top of the local terrorism from these returning Uighur US trained fighters, and restored calm after many hundreds of Uighur and Han Chinese were killed by the returning US sponsored terrorists.
      Xinyang is a bit more complicated than what crap is published in the Western propaganda.

  10. I liked the distinction between the intelligence of 5 eyes and 4 boys on a quad bike accountable for their own words and behaviour.

  11. This was item no 2 on RT when I looked this morning. They ay attention all over the place.
    Very pleased to see Nanaia ‘s statement , and pleased by the general reaction to it here.
    The US at the moment is looking dangerous to friends and enemies alike. And the other 4 eyes seem to go along with whatever enemies she makes.
    The UN and otherwise independence is where we should look for how we engage with the world.
    D J S

  12. Less than a day.

    New Zealand is a real beneficiary of the arrangement and will continue to actively engage with the Five Eyes alliance as we always have.

    • Yeah, NZ can do business and profit from creating concentration type disease and deaths for children.,,,

      They look the same,,,they starve the same ,,, they suffer the same,,, and they die the same. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/50/Zw%C5%82oki_dzieci_getto_warszawskie_05.jpg/1280px-Zw%C5%82oki_dzieci_getto_warszawskie_05.jpg
      “The poor little dead bodies were just left on the stairs, even their clothes were taken from them… Others were waiting to be transferred, constantly sitting on their chamber pots… their bowels hanging and full of flies…” Budisavljevic wrote in July 1942. This gruesome description of a combination of malnutrition, parasite infection and intestinal disease betrays sincere shock at the conditions in which the children were held. ”

      Although our 5 eyes partners who are more advanced than us and also blow children up ,,, burning and shredding their little bodies with high tech weapons ,,,

      Air NZ only involved NZ in the siege and starvation side of the bizo ,,,,

      Our beneficial alliance conducts actions which produce results upon children and others ,,, that are indistinguishable from the Nazis ,,,, committed with the same foreknowledge of the results of our doings ,, as the Nazis had too.,,,,

      ….. we should rubber stamp our victims hands with the beautiful Koru ,,, and use the old Air NZ jingle tune to softly sing ,,,,, ” it’s a great way to die “.

      Such a beautiful lullaby proves our superior respect to humans ,,,, that comes with 5-White’ys Humanity ,,,,,

      However the chinks are sneaky slitty eyed bastards,,,, and I urge all posters who know how dangerous they are,,,,,, to search the web, and send me all the untold tens of thousands of images of the children and people that China is purposely starving to death ,,, like our 5 White’ys alliance does and attempts to do,,,,,, to enemy children in multiple countries all over the world.

      Sneaky chinks using our dead victims as ‘human shields’ for their much worse crimes ,,,, would turn them into nothing less than tragic victims ,,,

      Frank the Tank speaks about concentration camps with great knowledge and certainty ,,, and I’m sure he will share his evidence / ammo ,,, proving the superiority of our decency and democracy.

      But The chinks are pretty good at hiding their crimes , and we can’t blame Franky for that ,,,

      So If he can not get his hands on evidence to prove what he knows to be true ,,,,, I call on him to join our compassionate Koru stampers ,,,, and write ‘free the Urghurs’ on our little victims heads .

      This will protect them from the ultimate horror and fate worse than their being dead…. of being used for propaganda, by subhuman slope-heads ,,, against our western democratic values.

      Two wongs don’t make a white ……. the truth of christianity protects us from others primitive superstitions 😉

      Make 5-white’ys manifest Adrian Zeng great again ,,, the buck of our god stops against their buck teeth https://youtu.be/8yURIS7S9zg?t=927

  13. Are our other trading partners fooled by Mahuta’s comments. No. We are not going to publicly shame China for any perceived human rights issues. We are going to make an example of China in a dignified and non insulting way. Masterful? really. Are we fooled. No We know the Government doesn’t want to offend China as we might lose trade at present, but are actively looking for other trading partners. Masterful, oh OK, we’ll tell China we soon won’t like trading with them and are looking elsewhere. We are pathetic so why doesn’t Mahuta pull her foot out of her mouth and close it.

  14. Frank the Tank we (NZers) do not like being bullied we stood up to the Americans before. The trouble with our Aussie mates is at the moment under the current regime they are like a scatter gun spraying all their venom that seems to come flowing out of their mouths and its not good diplomacy nor does it show respect. We only have to look at their (Aussies) deportation policy of NZ born Aussie raised so called crims being sent home during the covid. Now what does their actions say about their diplomacy, for me it says they don’t have any.

    • Ozzie need to look at its own history and the current treatment of their indigenous population. Not many years ago Aboriginal were being shot for sport in the North of Western Australia and when reported to the police with names the police just ignore the reports. Turned a blind eye and the advised the Kiwi complainant to mind their own business.
      The treatment of the boat people is also monstrous and the Ozzie mouth pieces bad mouth NZ. Get a grip.

  15. None of this PR bullshit means anything. The CPTPPa is still in play and the CTEP/TFA agreements too.
    So, this is really a climb down from Nanaia because she’s been told to pull her head in because of the obvious trade consequences and fiscal damage.

    Who’s keeping count!?

    • They both create thousands of jobs and add billions of dollars to GDP when you take into account Tourism, Travel, Hospitality. A money-spinning myth is worth consideration.

  16. Nanaia Mahuta-a true stateswoman. Kudos to her for being staunch and poetic, qualities the missing from the west’s political lexicon.

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