The true price of a NZ Independent Foreign Policy in the shadow of AUKUS


AUKUS provides a first strike capacity option against China using nuclear subs armed with hypersonic missiles.

It’s an aggressive posture response aimed at removing Chinese strategic naval dominance by 2040.

That leaves 16 years before China lose military advantage.

That’s a pressure cooking 16 years.

Fuck getting dragged into another American war, we just lost Afghanistan but I’m not fighting for China either!

Both are human rights abusing Empires fighting it out for top dog dominance in late stage capitalism with the biosphere on verge of collapse.

Now more than ever we must reconsider our loyalties and look to isolate our interests to defending our sustainability & helping our Pacific neighbours.

We need an independent foreign policy to navigate between America and China.

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If we are serious about an Independent Foreign Policy, we have to accept it is going to cost us a lot more.

I believe that the climate crisis means we need a vastly larger military to cope with civil disasters and if we are attempting to distance ourselves from China and America, we need to make a decision to dramatically lift what we spend on the military for purely defensive capacity.

How would we go about defending the realm of NZ and all our economic exclusive zone?

Currently we spend 1.1% of GDP on our entire military, to defend the full realm of NZ and pursue an independent foreign policy, I argue we need to push that up to 3%.

Note – NZ should only build up its military to defend our full territory (NZ islands, EEZ, Ross Dependency, Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue). Any upgrade of our military is for purely defensive purposes, not for military adventure or invasions.

We can’t pull away from America and China and pretend there is no cost to being Independent.

With the climate crisis looming, we need that debate now. Looks like we have 16 years.

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  1. I doubt China sees Oz getting 8 subs as changing the strategic military balance with the USA, what it really does is secure the Americans a reliable base point long term for their own operations for the ASEAN/South China Sea theatre.

    Which is supposed to send a message to Beijing about not having any intention to fade away to the third outer chain – Hawaii and leave China with the western Pacific, ASEAN and the Indian Ocean under its hegemony.

    Which is the Oz purpose in seeking the deal.

    It does also give potential teeth to the Orion sub hunting in the South Pacific as well (if we do detect Chinese subs there).

    We need the new Hercules, modernise sea transport (coastal shipping included) and most likely we’ll buy some new Oz built frigates and we’ll replace the LAVS in a range of ways … .

    If that takes us to or above 1.5% GDP, so be it.

    Our Enzed Oz lager lite, behind their Oz-US Cold War “draft” is good for us.

    We are not hawks, we are multilateralists of a UN collective security aspect.

    We can place some of our operational armoured vehicles and other transport capability in Oz (use that here for domestic training purposes) for exercises and as a transit point for OE activity. We could also send air force personnel to the RAAF in (training roles/helicopter air support exercises) secondment or to fly in fighter squadrons.

    For mine, otherwise coastal shipping and the refinery, come before huge increases in defence spending.

    If we have 2% spare that goes to health (hospitals, primary care and aged care failing) and housing …

    • Don’t forget advanced education including philosophy, much needed, and skills training for everyone so we aren’t just crumpled balls of scrap paper blowing in whatever winds roar over us.

  2. Do as little as possible and let the neoliberal system take it’s toll on China.

    China’s dominance is built more on economic wealth than a more wholistic structure of long term alliances and shared ideals (aka democracy). NZ should not be quick to throw away it’s traditional alliances, nor should NZ be a slave to them.

    China’s dominance built on money, might come to an end. Although I am critical of China in terms of the global imperial expansion. With such a big population, it is so difficult to control and get that level right. With power, there becomes a fall. Centralised power can easily become a dictatorship or misused by corrupt officials.

    Chinese housing giant unable to pay debts and could wreck global economy

    China’s sharemarket has been very hot. Sadly this makes some business owners very greedy and doing debt scams, in addition ‘the markets’ also hate regulation, so when the ponzi stops, the ordinary folks lose their shirts. (And when there could be 1.4 billion of them in China alone, there will be a mob!).

  3. Back in the day (1990s) Australia was afraid of its overpopulated neighbour Indonesia as the bogeyman, and now they have a new ‘threat’. But a physical threat is not quite the threat it once was. We need a stronger defence force for certain, but what we really need is a highly trained technically advanced cyber security force. The first attacks we see from any direction will be economic and electronic ones, our internal security paramount to avoid internal collapse and covert outside influence. We have already seen that mercenary hackers are have flexed their muscles on targets in NZ, consider even the silly notion -is NZ being used as a easy training ground for players in a future cyber war? Currently Planes, tanks and ships are not the weakest link in our defences.

    • The most basic tech is not working well in NZ. Tech in NZ is largely run by people who are mangers and somehow fell into tech, sat there for years without doing much, and still don’t have much technical knowledge of tech. Thus the amount of cyber attacks in NZ and growing. Sadly, cyber attackers are targeting health care now.

      There is a war for talent, but NZ is still in 1995 and thinks they can go to the international labour warehouse and pick up a bargain, they are outraged that their $60k tech guy from overseas now gets $120k. Meanwhile only a few hours away by flight, OZ is paying $225k for IT graduates. Thats grads not experienced people who know what they are doing.

      In a normal economy the government would want higher wages for more taxes, but weirdly in NZ, they seem to want and cherish criminals or non/zero income taxed, as their most prized imports. Not looking good as a long term strategy as life get more complex or war (economic/cyber/terror/conventional) breaks out.

  4. The only thing that is going to prevent China invading New Zealand when the World War III kicks off (most likely over oil) is a nuclear deterrent – which means 3 state of the art stealth submarines (so one is always at sea and can’t be detected) armed with thermonuclear warheads. Otherwise we will move from being an American colony to a Chinese colony. I suspect the latter’s control will be less sophisticated than the former’s, i.e. control at the end of an AK47 instead of an iPhone.

    New Zealand will also become far more strategic if they find significant oil reserves in the antarctic. Anyone who thinks they won’t drill is kidding themselves. No one will will be campaigning for the environment when there are rolling blackouts and all that entails (no water, no refrigeration, no food, no medication). No matter how hot it is. This is assuming we haven’t come up with an alternative to oil (for energy at least) AKA nuclear fusion.

    It’s possible that China will also be wiped out by WWW III in which case the threat will come from (initially) conventional armies in the Southern hemisphere who will eye up New Zealand’s food growing and Antarctic oil infrastructure with envious eyes. This would no doubt include Australia (assuming they survive – they are now a target) with whom I assume we would be diplomatically encouraged to have ‘stronger ties’.

    This all assumes we don’t get nuked too. John Key allowing nuclear equipped destroyers into Wellington harbour probably means the North Island is now on a target list. Not entirely sure why no one realises we are NOT a nuclear free country now. That was a massive foreign policy shift that the MSM totally ignored.

    Finally, there is no point building a military if you don’t possess the ability to survive day to day, e.g. no fuel because we closed our oil refinery, no metal because we closed our metal refinery, no basic medication, no machinery because we don’t even make ball bearings and grease.

    • Why would China “nuke” NZ?? If they want NZ intact for food, water etc. then they won’t nuke it first. In the unlikely event that China wants to acquire NZ then it will have to invade with soldiers and guns. Kiwi’s would be terrible enemies on their own soil if decently tooled up. This fits with @MB Fortress Aotearoa and introduce compulsive military training for all and maybe we can give an invader the own Vietnam experience. We should invest heavily in the defence of our country but not for offence.

  5. With Nuclear subs and their capabilities basically this has future proofed Australia from any military aggression from China and boy do they know it. This is also an ever-so-subtle fuck you to New Zimbabwe from the Liberal’s right faction as Dutton is donkey deep in this deal.

    New Zimbabwe (Aotearoa) and Australia are moving on different trajectories. These will become more pronounced with the benefit of time.

    • Makes Aussie first target – just as on the Western Front, Germany is first target.

      Cannon fodder – they were called during Napoleon times and before.

      Slow learners – but Labour has demonstrated the contrary.

  6. Martyn

    Your latent capitalist instincts kick in.
    Well done.
    Policies which ensure NZ’s access to a market we cannot ignore does not mean NZ supports China’s domestic of foreign policy, any more than it means NZ supports Russian or American or Iran domestic and foreign policy – merely because we trade with them.

    And yes! I agree – with the need for NZ to upgrade its capacity to protect is Economic zone and sustainable fisheries. But that does not require a nuke sub.

    If you stood for parliament on this policy, you might be surprised how many denizens of Remers voted for you?

    • What needs a National Security Plan & within that a National Economic Plan similar to what Bill propose with plan his economic plan “The Quest for NZ’s Economic Security. NZ can do this, but is there a willingness in NZ do it? Because it’s going to effect everyone, every Sector as we have to make sacrifices and our political parties/ politicians to swallow a few dead rats.

  7. If NZ can’t stop a fishing boat with a frigate, it’s doubtful we would be sinking 60+ Chinese submarines with a few Orions.
    A cheaper but similarly effective option would be to give Rimmer’s crew their semi-auto .22’s back.

  8. To spell this out. In a conventional battle between New Zealand and a super power invading force there are 2 results:

    1. We push them back, either with our military or by running an armed resistance. Assuming we some how defeat a conventional force orders of magnitude greater than anything we will ever be able to build, they leave and nuke us so no one else can have the resources and/or just because they are pissed off.
    2. We don’t push them back. They stay and run the country for their own interests – like the British and then the Americans.

    Conclusion: Get a nuclear deterrent or learn a new language.

  9. Where are we going to get our military gear from ?
    Whoever we get it from, we are then dependent on them supplying replacement parts, therefore we have to toe a geopolitical line
    We mostly get our killing stuff from Israel(field tested) and the US, so that our military is compatible with that of the US
    Care to name a non aligned country heavily into weapons manufacture?

    • Sweden, Finland, Switzerland & Brazil for starters.

      That’s why NZ must have a National Security Plan & with that plan a National Economic Plan like what “Bill Such” has envisioned with his “The Quest for NZ’s Economic Security”. Which meant diversifying NZ’s reliance on its MPI Sector for Export earnings, more investment on its Manufacturing Sector & Industrial Research by the DSIR.

      Which meant our Manufacturing could easily tool up should there be another War, plus with Industry & conjunction with Defence a lot of the NZDF support equipment can be built in NZ with a license to also manufacturing key equipment like for example if the Navy gets Ships equip with Danish Stanflex Modules, with ability to build Corvettes & Mine Counter Measure Boats etc.

      • None of those countries is a member of the non aligned movement
        Seriously!Sweden! after what they did to Assange on the behest of the US?
        At best Brazil is an observer.

  10. Get not war is the way forward. You can’t bash China or Russia or much else and nether can Oz or Britain or America. The arms war porn thing is over .The 30 companies in N Z that make war shit need to pack up and start making something useful.

  11. Get real .you can’t and neither can Oz britexit failed state Britain or the that mad house America bash China or Russia even if Oz gets its subs with o so fast missiles. Just not going to happen. So stop with the war porn and get back to trading real stuff that people need .The 32 Companies that make war shit in NZ need to pack up and make real stuff


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