Why I’m OK With NZ Not Being In New Anglo Alliance

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3 meatballs looking for a sub

Look, I’m no fan of the PRC – but I can’t help but recall how NZ’s previous entanglement in ANZUS worked out.

That is to say – we got pressured into fighting in Vietnam, and then left high and dry over the Rainbow Warrior attack because “France is more important than you”.

I’m not necessarily opposed to a good working relationship with the Americans (or the UK, or the Australians) – in fact, quite the contrary, I’m very much in favour of diversifying both our trade and diplomatic links precisely to avoid the consequences of National’s over-egging of the Chinese-held basket.

It’s also definitely the case that we have good history together with all three powers in both multilateral and bilateral terms.

But at the same time, we’ve seen some pretty unimpressive behavior from all three over the past few decades – and I remain to be convinced that being part of a military alliance with them would avoid being tangled up with more of the same.

I’m not even talking about Australia’s attitude toward sending us 501 and/or ISIS-linked Australians unannounced. I was more thinking about things like the Americans, circa 2003, attempting to put the economic screws on us in order to compel us to join the so-called ‘Coalition of the Willing’ that was to undertake their illegal invasion of Iraq.

We’ve also seen, just this past year, how even through the relatively loose intelligence sharing network that is the Five Eyes, considerable pressure can seemingly be put upon New Zealand to march in absolute lock-step with these other countries .. even where our policy, preferences, and principles don’t exactly agree.

It wasn’t enough for New Zealand to issue separate declamations of purported PRC conduct – we had to sign up to the ‘collective’ statement or risk the wroth of foreigners up in arms about us being “New Xi-land”. And who knows what was waved about behind the scenes.

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New Zealand’s foreign policy independence has been a hard-won thing. Both in terms of external factors – yet also, importantly, in terms of convincing our own population that it’s actually a worthwhile thing to have. Once upon a time, after all, “Where She Goes, We Go” was the watchword. And even after we were betrayed by Britain some two decades later, people here still didn’t quite get the message that really … we’re on our own.

It took, as I say, the tangible and irrefutable demonstration of these things over several decades to really get most New Zealanders on board with the notion that NZ foreign policy being run in New Zealand’s interests rather than Washington’s or London’s or even Canberra’s … was the ideal way for us to go.

It’s great that we’ve got improving relations with the US and UK – and I’m vaguely hopeful that maybe, just maybe, those long-dangled trade-deals with each of those spheres might finally start to eventuate … eventually …

But I do resolutely believe that it’s possible for us to continue to strengthen our friendships with them without tying ourselves to their ankles as the proverbial third (or in this case, fourth) wheel in a three-legged race which occasionally seems to lurch cliffward with reckless aplomb.

As for the Australians, as we so often like to say on both sides of the Tasman – “we’re family”. Even if it occasionally feels like they reckon us to be rather more distant cousins than close-relations.

Having a positive and co-operative regard for each others’ interests does not mean we have to be bound into approving of every single thing they might so happen to do.

In terms of our foreign policy – I genuinely believe that we’re far better served by pursuing just exactly that: our foreign policy, not someone else’s.

We recognize that some certain states are both something to be wary of – and an opportunity for useful engagement. As, funnily enough, do the Australians when they are being honest (seriously – check out the sheer size of their trade with China if you don’t believe me).

And we also recognize that merely because one is powerful does not necessarily make one right or wise – as proven, again, via the Americans’ (and UK’s and Australians’) previous enthusiasm for the invasion of Iraq.

By remaining outside the formal ‘tent’ of AUKUS (a name which, I noted earlier, is apparently phonetically equivalent to ‘Orcus’ – perhaps ominously for a figure of Oaths, Pacts, and the Nether Regions) we do not lose the ability to co-operate and engage productively with those who are inside said tent where it would clearly be both principled and of use to do so.

We don’t stop being friends (and/or family) with various of these polities simply because we’ve not chosen to join the group-marriage.

It simply means – we don’t give up our freedom to do the right thing as we perceive it, when we perceive it to be so.

A situation and scenario wherein, both in our own terms and in broader terms than ours, I do suspect that New Zealand’s critical judgement has proven rather more reliable than certain other powers of far greater heft from time to time.

43 COMMENTS

  1. We are moving in a different direction to Australia. As per we won’t notice it until there is significant changes to our visa requirements and unskilled NZers suddenly have their rights to work pulled. This will happen under the next Liberal government in 2-3 election cycles via PM Dutton or Cash.

    This is not the fault of this government although they have placed a turbo charger into the acceleration process

      • Yes I must agree they love our taxes more than they like the idea of a reasonable path to citizenship and a welfare net to catch any ex pats who fall through the cracks.

        Mind you, – it was Jonny Howard who offered a better path to citizenship and it was Aunty Helen who declined the offer.

        • ” it was Jonny Howard who offered a better path to citizenship and it was Aunty Helen who declined the offer.” Put up some proof of that, or stop talking shit just to see yourself in print.. I was in Australia during the period of Howards time, and this didn’t even make the blog sites, let alone the msm there.. Not a single word here in NZ on the “informed” columns, and blogs either, so if you can back that up, then do so, otherwise keep your fantasies to yourself… I’m guessing that you have simply not understood what was really going on there, so have assumed your “intelligence” has merit.. Please let this not be more of the ego stroking that infests the blogs here to a degree that makes them utterly pointless..

          • Calm down buddy, it was a historical fact Howard did offer an easier path and it was Clark who declined it.
            ————–
            ”…Irked by the growing welfare costs of New Zealanders living in Australia, Howard sought to present then-Prime Minister Helen Clark’s Labour government with the bill.

            That led to a revised migration agreement, and a two-tiered approach to Kiwis across the ditch.

            Those who arrived before the 2001 announcement were classified as protected SCV holders, entitling them to the same welfare rights as Australian residents and giving them a pathway to citizenship”…
            —————

            Anzac spirit soured by citizenship changes for Kiwis in Australiahttp://ozkiwi2001.org › News

            PM admits tradeoff on Aussie welfare – NZ Heraldhttps://www.nzherald.co.nz › nz › pm-admits-tradeoff-on-…

            Clark rejects ‘Kiwi cull’ of migrants to Australia – NZ Heraldhttps://www.nzherald.co.nz › nz › clark-rejects-kiwi-cull-..

            It was because of the rukus caused by New Zealanders frequently going over and going on the dole and not working that became a political issue even though the numbers were small and most who went worked. Clark rejected the offer and the rest is history. We, or a small number of us wrecked it for the rest, unfortunately. Despite Aussie politics.

  2. It’s not an “alliance” – the UK still has no formal commitment to come to the aid of Oz militarily, as the US does – or we do for that matter.

    The politics

    The UK included (US sub tech to UK onto Oz) is supplying frigates for building in Canada and Oz – and we will be expected to join this by buying some (and probably as many as 4) built in Oz to replace the ANZAC frigates. That and the sub hunting planes we have ordered means we remain active ANZ’US partners (albeit outside the nuclear powered military equipment orbit).

    The UK has a post EU policy of trying to look like a globally relevant and connected nation (FTA with Oz and us).

    One wonders what developments will occur at the next Quad meeting (India, Oz, Japan and USA), the other NATO extension in our area of the world?

  3. It actually doesn’t matter whether we are formally in the pact or not because we won’t have any choice in the matter if AUKUS decide to undertake military action or economic sanctions against China.
    No-one seriously believes that we can chart on independent economic or foreign policy from AUKUS – they would effortlessly crush our economy without a second thought. If I was a NZ dairy farmer right now I’d be very worried about the long term future of the industry.

  4. This is where Countryboy will probably step up and suggest we tell the aussies to get stuffed and to take their bloody Banks with them, and I couldn’t agree more.

    • You do know that in the last few years several Chinese banks have set up in NZ too, as well as at least one Indian bank too. Many Chinese & Indians here being patriotic to their homeland and ethnos by banking with their homeland banks and doing all their business here with only their ethnos as staff and trading only/mostly just with other businesses of their ethnos. Meanwhile Kiwis just throwing their money at offshore banks, US online giants/foreign-owned chains and the businesses of the parasite colonisers getting rich exploiting their own ethnos workers and profiting from peddling alcohol, cigarettes, unhealthy food or smuggling tobacco, ephedrine/meth etc to the local yokels. Even our indigene gangs are just under the thumb of the international gangsters of China, India, Mexico etc

  5. Kia ora Curwen
    I have my doubts about the all encompassing “we” that you use in your post. New Zealand is not that united. It is not really a “team of five million”. The intelligence community and the armed services will be desperately unhappy that New Zealand has been left out of this latest and numerically diminished manifestation of the Five Eyes alliance of white Anglo-Saxon nations, while the Labour government will be very awkwardly sitting on the fence.
    Those of us who despise the Five Eyes and everything that they stand for – I suspect the great majority of our people – will be relieved at the turn of events, but we should not lower our guard.
    Of course Australia is being shamefully used by Britain and the United States. The ostensible rationale for this alliance is for two great powers from outside of the region, the US and UK, to provide security to a minor power, Australia, which is in close geographic proximity to the PRC.
    The real purpose, as was the case with such unequal alliances in the lead up to the First World War, is to present the minor power as a hostage to fortune.
    The US is in effect saying to China “Here, if you want to strike, you can strike Australia first, but you will pay a price because we are giving Australia nuclear strike capability.”
    If China does strike Australia, the US might or might not join the fray. On its past performance, if it does join the conflict it is more likely to wait until Australia and China have done the maximum damage to each others civil and military structures before stepping in as a belligerent on its own account.
    New Zealand was precluded from the unenviable Australian role by its anti-nuclear legislation, a fact for which many may be grateful if Canberra becomes the target of a nuclear strike.

    • Kia Ora Geoff
      I don’t believe either China or Russia are in the least interested in war except the need to be prepared to defend themselves. Which is a possibility they can hardly ignore under the circumstances.
      China has been making hay out of the peace; why would she want a war?
      I think both of those countries have leadership with the level of wisdom that is appropriate for the significance of the positions they occupy in the world. Thank god . Because if they had the leadership demonstrated in some other countries of similar significance we would all be in deep shit.
      If China has erred it is by competing pragmatically but perfectly legitimately with the US too successfully to the point where globalisation and laissez faire economics has backfired and left the US facing ruin. She should perhaps have seen what was happening and acted to save the US from itself by not allowing all their manufacturing to be taken over except for the arms industry and let them keep some of their economic base. In the desperate state of indebtedness they are now in they are dangerous to everyone.
      However I don’t believe they are quite stupid enough to do anything but blather and threaten either Russia or China . There would be no winners. Especially not the US.
      As for NZ defending ourselves against any of these powers, by military means , c’mon! Our only course is to maintain our integrity with everyone. No one is going to risk an all out war with either China or Russia to defend us that’s for sure.
      Cheers D J S

      • Id argue you are wrong about China wanting war, you have to keep in mind that China is committing genocide on its own people. Its population is exploding, as China reaches out trying to claim water, food and more to sustain their growth. China will go to war, its the inevitable fact that their growth is unsustainable, its one factor everyone seems to forget, their one child policy was a failure, just this year they promoted having 3 children. Within 20 years we will see a very aggressive China dominating the world, by 2050 they will have attempted to claim Taiwan.

      • I’d say you are correct, they will avoid war if they can albeit pushing the boundary’s as they all do. Yet they are not stupid and keenly aware of all the goings ons and the attempted containment by AUKUS. They’d be fools not to. Prosperity might be seen as coming after a major war but I hardly think China wants to be the recipient of that war.

      • Kia ora ano David
        States usually go to war when they anticipate a quick and decisive victory. There should be no such anticipations on either side in the case of a war between AUKUS and the PRC. Never-the-less AUKUS are clearly upping the ante and we for that reason alone we cannot rule out the possibility of war. If the US/UK are able to manipulate the Commonwealth of Australia into acquiring nuclear capability targeted at the PRC, then they are probably capable of engineering tensions and provocations in which the PRC feels obligated to launch either a pre-emptive or retaliatory strike against the CA.
        My point is that if there is to be a nuclear exchange, or even a conventional weapons conflict, the belligerents are now much more likely to be the CA and the PRC than the US/UK and the PRC. This is because US/UK have set up the CA as a proxy power, and proxies always make or take the first hit. That is their purpose and reason for being.

  6. These 3 morons have been watching far too many yooful influencers on tictok and have taken up the challenge of who can get an erection first! To bring that on they have to go to war.

  7. Let’s all get used to not buying stuff from China as much as possible until the CCP ends. This is how the average person can help. Make it so that if there’s a catastrophic global financial collapse their economy will be stunted for as long as the CCP is in power, forcing the chinese to turn against the government

    Economic prosperity is the chinese carrot. Withhold the carrot!

  8. I agree with Curwen on this. Not being in the alliance takes the heat off us with the combined mouthing off against China to a degree. The biggest threat to Aus is China invading us, so the Alliance isn’t going to let that happen. We will be expected to do our part with the purchase of a few Aus frigates as SPC suggests but apart from that we get off relatively lightly. We will get hurt the most if things fall apart economically with China if or when the Alliance have a real spat with them and we support in principle. If we take a moral stand against China we have to ask ourselves why that doesn’t apply to our Alliance buddies and ourselves in that we all have questionable human rights records..If it came down to a Nuk fest we are expendable being a healthy distance from Beijing so let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. What we have isn’t a bad result in my opinion.

    • I kind of agree, I favor an aggressive trading nation approach , pulling out of the five eyes and developing our military so that in no way would it ever compete against the big boys, but yet it is efficient for our defensive purposes, civil emergency’s, patrolling of our waters and that of our Pacific obligations. I believe that can only be achieved with a fit and proper social democratic style Keynesian govt. For example, back in the 1930’s many large company’s in NZ were given a leg up to produce whitewares for example, well todays modern ‘ whitewares’ are computers and their componentry.

      There are many other examples of course. But what it does do is provide employment, and produce something to trade with. And all the while we skirt around the big boys spats and enrich ourselves. And gets us away from having all our eggs in one basket which makes us vulnerable.

      I think its time we stood on our own two feet, scary as that may sound while maintaining cordial and friendly relations with as many nations as we can and make trade our big thing.

  9. When England lost its Empire, it latched onto America to reclaim its lost Glory & former Empire, living vicariously through American Imperial designs of World domination? If you examine the facts, America has taken on all the Imperial ambitions of England & I might add, is being influenced & driven by English, Anglo Saxon desires to dominate & plunder the World! Australia, being part of the Angloshere, is nothing but a little sheriff lackey with delusional ambitions, way above its Station & a convenient idiot & canon fodder for the Americans & English to take advantage off. I’m so glad NZ is not a part of this Dealthcult Empire that is going down in a screaming heap! In 10 yrs time, the American Empire will not exist, its heading for a massive collapse like the former Soviet Union & Australia & the UK will go down with the US! The 20th Century was the American Century but the 21st Century will be a Chinese one!

    • Do you look forward to that? Do you welcome your Chines overlords? There is another option or two other than simply choosing neutrality or USA bloc or China. While UK and Australia pursue being/becoming the 51st & 52nd states of USA and many in the Nats (and some in Labour) pursue becoming a Chinese colony we could instead align more closely with E.U.hell, call for E.U. to expand to become the Earth Union. We could play a key rol role in resurrecting the Non-Aligned Nations association at UN. We could make a bilateral agreement with India &/or Pakistan or we could even get into bed with Putin hahaha! …Point is US and China ain’t the only power players and it’s not impossible for a third pole to arise as a counter. If EU & Russia can stop beefing …together they’d be a formidable third (super)power. E.U. On it’s own still pretty strong if it grows balls, depowers Nato, makes peace with Russia while standing itls own army. It has twice as many people as USA, about half that of China. If NZ, Canada, India join the EU pole then hallelujah! I don’t think Britain Brexit will last more than 10-20 years given most younger Brits and London voted remain. If EU makes big moves to woo Scotland for indepence referendum/joining EU then incentiding Wales to follow suit to join EU camp, England might capitulate to reintegration into Europe.

      • It’s sufficient for the EU to leave NATO and heel the breach with Russia (broker a deal over Ukraine without US involvement).

        Without the EU, there is just the Anglo-American NATO rump defence relationship, without any theatre of confrontation with Russia.

        That isolates super power rivalry, US and China, to the indo-Pacific region.

    • …”When England lost its Empire, it latched onto America to reclaim its lost Glory & former Empire, living vicariously through American Imperial designs of World domination”…

      —————–

      Partially true, but after WW2, England was pretty bust. But they recaptured the global economic dominance by passing discreet laws which involved multiple layers of trusts and front company’s with a strong emphasis on ‘discretion’ regarding disclosure and the use of many, many locations which were , in effect, tax havens. The Caiman Islands, for example. That was how they did it and that is why the Federal Reserve Bank answers to the ‘Square Mile of London’…the heart of the Western banking system.

      It was the Europeans who sold Woodrow Wilson the idea of the Federal Reserve,… he knew that would be deemed as ‘ un-American’ so he waited for Congress to dissolve in 1917 for their Christmas break and then signed it.

      Afterwards he regretted it until his dying day proclaiming if he had known what would transpire , and that the U$A would forever be indebted to Europe via interest on every dollar minted he would never have done it.

  10. Well said Curwen. I wonder if the Oz move to nuclear fuel is to limit disruption of defence capabilty due to future oil supply scenarios.

  11. This defines a statement made for the sake of making an assumption.. None of the real reasons for this deal being not only short sighted, and utterly wasteful.. It will also hamstring Australias submarine capacity to the point where they may not even have a viable fleet at the most likely time frame for any actual aggression between the USA and china, will will end up costing more, and makes Australia dependent on The US and UK to be able to run, and maintain these new subs, which, of course puts this part of the world back in the high risk zone.. This is rank stupidity, and incompetence on a grand scale by the federal government, and the NZ publics attitude to the policy of strict neutrality is utterly irrelevant, as we will be nothing but collateral damage whichever way we go… Do not assume for a second that the Americans, or the Australians wouldn’t throw us under the bus in an instant if it suited their agendas… The best we can hope for is that all sides in any conflict consider NZ to be just a prize for the winners to use as they see fit… If either side decide we would make a good strategic staging post for attacks on each other, then we are all fried, no matter who we were barracking for…

    • And if that’s the case then NZ becomes a southern fulcrum of strategic worth. I think your fears are a little unfounded but there is some validity. None of us have a crystal ball to peer into the future and the future could be vastly different globally than it is today in 50 years.

      But just because we are deemed a fulcrum of strategic worth , albeit a minor one, does not mean that we should sit on our hands. We can do much to quietly extricate ourselves to a more neutral position whereby we are not seen as a direct threat ( which we are not ) because of crazy adherence to greater powers wants via ‘agreements’.

      NZ has fought in every major engagement on the behest of someone else during the 20th century. It is time we stopped with the little kid brother act and stated clearly and emphatically where we stand . We have one major advantage to that stance most other country’s don’t: our oceanographic isolation.

      And that means invasion, -and the simple act of having to spread the supply lines so thinly for relatively negligible gains, under war time conditions, – cancels us out as a major ground to take. All we are to anybody is a convenient staging post subject to potential ongoing sabotage and guerilla style tactics to hamper and impede.

      It took 20 years for the Americans to learn that lesson and almost as much in Vietnam.

      So if that is our strengths, lets get on and start taking advantage of them.

  12. China could destroy the NZ economy with one simple order telling all Chinese with property in NZ to sell immediately thus crashing our one trick pony economy.

    • And we, – if we so wanted to be vicious,- could re nationalize and commandeer those property’s , turn ’em into productive uses for trade or on sell to our own people. Its time we stopped the victim mentality thing.

  13. I have a different outlook on this. For an island nation far away from the action, we had best not disconnect ourselves too much. It’s heading that way. This is all very well for those relying on the govt for income and wellbeing and fulfillment of their dreams. But it’s bad news for anyone with ambitions beyond that…it’s bad for international relations and it’s bad for business.
    And bad for business is bad for everyone here in NZ.

  14. To say NZ was left out was a lie, the thing is, this is about Australia defending Australia. What the media in NZ and indeed the world is spinning a story to be about this or that. Australia is incapable of building leading edge submarines, guess who isn’t? and in any future conflict, its really a matter of sea power and how you use it. Australia is a massive country which takes days if not weeks to react to aggression of enemy task forces, this procurement gives them a fighting chance to defend themselves. Like i said, NZ was not left out, but ultimately it has nothing to do with us, so stop crying about it.

    • Stop crying about it? – You’ve got many of our people over there working and your quite happy to take their taxes but not give them easy path to citizenship if they lose their jobs or have illness, you say ‘tough luck, cobber!”. Meanwhile you send your Aussie learned crim’s back here to NZ aka the 501’s because your too cheap and runty to put them in your own prisons, you slime up to the U$A’s arse and go all nuclear and put us at risk,- and you have the colossal cheek to say we are crying about it?

      Guess what, – we never needed you lot and your B.S or your U$A sycophancy and your roll over like a whipped dog mentality and if anyone’s doing any crying?- its YOU.

      It wasn’t us who slimed up the U$A’s arse like a tapeworm with no balls and ate shit.

  15. One thing i will highlight, is the H-20 Stealth Bomber has the range to bomb New Zealand with nuclear payloads from the Chinese Airbase on Manus Island just North of Papa New Guinea. Helen Clark scraped our fighter program which saw our pilots training with and against a range of partners in South East China, they were very highly skilled, experienced and we just destroyed that program. This capability came to light after NZ upset China, if you want peace, prepare for war, the day will come where NZ is vastly unprepared to defend itself from even a single lone bomber, question is, whos to blame? For the time being, im going to keep learning how to fly, so when our allies flood our shore with hardware, there are some of us capable of flying it against enemy carrier task forces coming here to take my country.

  16. Lastly, i just want to say that NZ cannot be trusted with highly sensitive information such as that will be shared within AUKUS, first and foremost we don’t need it, the fact we want it is very odd, our intelligence agency, unlike our other five eyes partners hires residences and not citizens, filling it with everyones rejects under WOKE diversity polices. Our higher education system is a joke, obvious when we can’t even train and retain a skilled workforce in any domain, so we resort to migrants and honestly, i feel like universities refuse to promote kiwis to those later years of research simple because they want the slush fund from migrants, while receiving huge government payouts. We really have nothing to offer the scientific community, but a massive security challenge which we are failing at as highlighted by ongoing terrorist attacks our director generals are incapable of preventing, another by product of quotas for 50% woman in top 3 tier public jobs, just look at how hypocritical our covid19 experts are.

  17. While not a Ponzi scheme ,,,, AUKUS and the ‘nuclear subs’ looks like a right wing scam ,,,,

    Politics dressed in weapons Drag ,,,, three old Dominatrix Queens putting on a show.

    A Trans-Defenseual farce for war-swingers … ‘Going Down’ on money and sucking like a submarine.

    #AUKUS
    Mainstream Media running propaganda for PM https://youtu.be/PuP4jOc4ibo

    Why you pay more tax than billionaires https://youtu.be/jbxYoXJY-uQ

  18. In fact it has always been NZ that has pissed in the punchbowl as regard our relationship with Aussie:

    It was Lange who played fast & loose with the ANZUS alliance in order to get re-elected.

    It was Clark who scrapped the fighter squadrons without even informing the Aussies. This was particularly irksome because one was based in Northern Territories at the time and provided a measure of cover in the top end. The response just a few weeks later was to deny Kiwis access to welfare over there, .

    More recently it was Ardern who publicly lectured Morrison on their policy on illegal immigrants, and not just once either. For that we got the 501s dumped here, and a subsequent gang war back home.

    In the latest spat over the new subs, did Ardern really have to say she refuse to let their subs in our territorial waters? (as if she could prevent it!) What did she achieve by that, other than her usual narcissistic grandstanding? And what penalty will we pay this time? Loss of automatic visa rights maybe?

    What successive Labour governments have failed to see is that military deals go with deals in other areas such as trade. The result is that we become more isolated, less able to trade and poorer.

    • Two lies and the warning about making a third one up

      1. the squadron decision resulted in the loss of welfare for Kiwis in Oz.
      2. 501’s got dumped here because of something Ardern said.

      Now you warn us that if Kiws require visas to visit Oz, you’ll claim its because Ardern noted we have had a nuclear free policy since the 1980’s …

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