web analytics
The Standard

NRT: Shifted

Written By: - Date published: 6:07 pm, June 18th, 2014 - 21 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn on our already secretly changed foreign policy.

Yesterday, we learned that the government was reviewing its future contribution to peacekeeping missions, with an eye to turning us into an American footstool. As I pointed out, this would be a major shift in our foreign policy, and one we need to stop. Unfortunately, we’re too late: Cabinetagreed to the change last October (see ERD Min (13) 11/3). In secret, without consulting the people on behalf of which those troops will be deployed.

Reading that paper, there’s also another bombshell: they want to send spies on peacekeeping missions. The new criteria ask:

peacekeepingspies

Which agencies are so sensitive that their possible presence needs to be redacted for “national security”? (Hint: it is unlikely to be the Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

so, National has – in secret – completely changed our foreign policy, removed a major check on foreign troop deployments, and agreed to deploy spooks on peacekeeping missions. Given that latter bit, the UN would be wise to reject any contribution we offer as a trojan horse for US intelligence gathering.

21 comments on “NRT: Shifted”

  1. emergency mike 1

    This is a shocker, thank goodness we have intelligent public informed by our upstanding media who focus on the important issues:

    TV1: “Cunliffe: ‘I did not tell a lie’ about Liu”

    TV3: “Does Labour remain confident in Cunliffe?”

    Stuff: “Cunliffe: ‘I didn’t lie'”
    “Is Cunliffe finished?”
    “Cunliffe’s catastrophes”

  2. blue leopard 2

    I would have thought this spells the end of National’s chances of getting re-elected.
    Surely New Zealanders won’t stand for this.

    • karol 2.1

      Unfortunately, I suspect a lot of Kiwis aren’t very interested. Sending spies on peacekeeping missions, and as puppets of the US, just isn’t something they take very seriously.

      Spying on private citizens might exercise them a bit more.

      But, of course, a lot of the cause of apathy is the way the media have been feeding people senasationist trivialities, celebrity culture gloss, etc.

      I don’t know what it will take to show a lot of Kiwis the seriousness of this shift.

      • blue leopard 2.1.1

        This is how the right-wing operate – or should I say the elite – they slowly shift the guidelines and rules behind the scenes and people don’t notice. If they do, it is so small as to seem innocuous, however each step takes us further away from our interests. I have downloaded the document referred to in this thread’s article, however sadly it isn’t clear to me what they have changed.

        I would, however suggest paying a lot of attention to this type of backdoor activity by the National party. This is so totally the way they shift the power to favour the elites’ interests and it is how we lose, slowly but surely, our interests/rights/democracy.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Unfortunately, I suspect a lot of Kiwis aren’t very interested.

        They may be concerned about it – if they heard about it and the majority haven’t. Government by secret cabal.

  3. Will@Welly 3

    Anyone reading this would surely veto a vote for us on the Security Council.
    We are the American’s dirty little lap-dog.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    You know, this new Pope is actually starting to grow on me:

    “But since we cannot wage the third world war, we make regional wars.

    “And what does that mean? That we make and sell arms. And with that the balance sheets of the idolatrous economies – the big world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money – are obviously cleaned up.”

    And we have a money trader for a PM.

  5. Molly 5

    I understand that the rebuilding aspect of past Defence Force work is going to be diminished as well. As the US and Australia is unable/unwilling to come on board, rebuilding/infrastructure work in the Cook Islands is not going ahead.

    However, we do have enough money to play a couple of war games with our allies in PNG. Since National’s deliberate disaster of a civilianisation project the culture and the focus of our Armed Services continues to change – from peacekeeper, civil defence and rebuilding efforts to assisting one of the most bullying nations in the world.

    • Wayne 5.1

      Molly,

      I think the change is derived, at least in part, from the experience of the NZDF in Bamiyan province. The problem (which was very evident to me on my visits to Bamiyan) is that the NZDF does not do development aid very well. Their expertise is security. Sure the NZDF can build clinics and dig wells, but they don’t really have a longer term perspective. That really is best done by NZ Aid.

      So if there is a shift, I take a certain amount of responsibility for it. From about late 2010 NZ Aid took the lead in Bamiyan on reconstruction.

      So the plan is for the NZDF to focus more on security issues (even in the context of peacekeeping). After all the military never gets deployed unless civil order has comprehensively broken down. And in the more secure environment that the intervention is intended to bring about, civil aid organizations will get on with civil reconstruction.

      I had not heard about the issue in the Cooks, but I can’t imagine that it ever had much to do with the NZDF. In fact I thought that NZ and China were doing a big water purification project there. There was intended to be a joint NZ, Aus, US project on sustainable electric power (as I recall). But all of this is done by NZ Aid.

      • Molly 5.1.1

        Wayne, – your visits to Bamiyan province do not quantify the success or otherwise – as experienced by those who live there – of rebuilding efforts. And NZ does do rebuilding extremely well – see past projects in the Pacific, where NZ had complete control.

        Working alongside the frankly unapologetic invader of Afghanistan is going to put more than a few problems in the works when trying to get projects done that actually help inhabitants of an occupied country. Don’t you think?

        The current divisive and violent scenario in Iraq was predicted by many – even as the war there was being promoted. That is how obvious the long-term use of predicated warfare is to many.

        The current focus on “security” will have a similar effect. Our country will not be made more “secure” as a result. If we lose our ability to decide where our troops should be sent, we will continue to provide cannon fodder – for those whose intentions are hidden, and often in direct contrast to the NZ public’s position on sovereignty and human rights.

        You forget how security is achieved by allowing people in their own countries to feel secure.

        Rebuilding and civil aid does this effectively. Aligning with countries that use indiscriminate use of drones to perform remote acts of terrorism does not.

        Why is this so hard to understand?

      • Ennui 5.1.2

        You have to answer a basic question: what the hell is a Defense Force doing performing civil aid / engineering etc? Their job is as enforcers, gun men on steroids! Armed men don’t go to “war” zones to be nice!

        • Bastables 5.1.2.1

          @Ennui
          Winning hearts and minds, engendering Civilians to look on our presence as a “good” and for them not to switch to insurgency and kill UN and NZ defence force pers.

          Being the Good guys in fact as well as name, being a “New Zealander” should not stop when you pop on a uniform.

          It’s why you have CMA dets (civil military assistance detachments). We’re supposed to be there to help, not conduct live fire exercises on random “natives”.

          That’s why we have Civil aid and Engineer’s on peace keeping missions.

          • Ennui 5.1.2.1.1

            Sounds that we are “lovely guys” Bastables: if so why do we need the uniforms and guns? Lets just wander into war zones like lovely Franciscan monks doing good. Obvious answer I suppose. A little cynicism may be required….why do we need to win hearts and minds? Is it because we turn up with a pack of uninvited uniformed men carrying and using heavy ordinance?

            • Bastables 5.1.2.1.1.1

              @Ennui

              Yeah you sort of miss the point that in combating insurgency we have to be seen, perceived and actually win hearts and minds by avoiding shooting randoms, detaining randoms and generally avoid pissing off the people we’re obstinately helping.

              I like how you miss my first sentence that simplistically describes why we have to be seen and act as good guys. Unlike Franciscan monks we’re not involved in suckering people to converting to our faith either.

              I think you find we’re not supposed to just randomly wander into available war zones so chicken hawks such as your self can indulge in jingoistic masturbation fantasies, which is the point the blog by Notice and features is highlighting.

              Speaking as a ex NZ army per that actually had carry out peacekeeping. We were quite good at achieving our mission while managing to be lovely guys and avoid being “gun men on steroids.” Why don’t you tell me about your warcrime tendencies and breeches of ROE’s chicken hawk.

              Edit you might want to check the history of NZ peace keeping, it includes incidences of a Signals Sqn being deployed unarmed overseas. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/36091/peacekeeping-in-bougainville-new-zealand-way
              http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/peacekeeping/page-4
              Of course that NZ army was not run by govt focused on becoming the US’s attack hamster.

              • Ennui

                so chicken hawks such as your self can indulge in jingoistic masturbation fantasies lovely imagery, can you describe in detail please what doing that is?

                If it upsets you that I “denigrate” the concept of being “good guys”and doing good it is not because I don’t think we should be doing it. I just don’t think it is what the military is for. As a soldier you might consider that wrong, my family, all of us for four generations have been Navy so we might consider ourselves equally qualified to comment.

                What I agree with you on is, Of course that NZ army was not run by govt focused on becoming the US’s attack hamster..

    • blue leopard 5.2

      @ Molly,
      I will just warn you in case you are unaware of it (but you probably are anyway), that despite Wayne’s work experience (or perhaps because of it) he appears challenged in understanding the complexities involved with international politics.

      A few days ago he wrote:

      “But as you will recall from Kosovo, a UN mandate is not always essential for international action.

      As you can see, he fails to acknowledge that if UN decisions are ignored this undermines the UN’s legitimacy and that leads to less ability for States to cooperate and make collective decisions with the aim to avoiding conflict than is already the case.

      I consider this a fairly serious omission to have made.

  6. Bastables 6

    It might be a expansion to include the GCSB, but the NZ army has previously operated overseas with it’s own Intelligence pers and Electronic warfare detachments from the Signals Corp as part of “peace keeping forces.” Uniformed “spooks” have been integral to the army depending on threat level or more correctly; our appreciation of the threat level. Army int tends to be focused on external threats as opposed to our inwards facing GCSB but one presumes the information collated by NZ army finds it’s way up command chain to our Allies.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ response must reflect scale of humanitarian crisis
    The Government’s response to the refugee crisis must reflect the scale of the massive humanitarian disaster unfolding in Europe, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. UNHCR spokesperson Ariane Rummery this morning told The Nation that the New Zealand Government has agreed… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Dangerous environment supports Commissioner’s report
    An OIA revealing more than 600 dangerous incidents at a CYFs run youth justice facility in Christchurch, Te Puna Wai o Tuhinapo, is proof of last month’s damning report by the Children’s Commissioner, but also shows that Ministers have known… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Nathan, seize the opportunity and change direction
    Yesterday, I called for a complete ban on herbicide-tolerant (HT) swedes, which have been implicated in the deaths of hundreds of cows, and compensation for stressed out farmers who have lost stock. HT swedes have been developed using a… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 day ago
  • NZTA blows a year of roading funding on flyover
    On the day that NZTA has finally given up on the Basin Reserve flyover it has been revealed that they have wasted the same amount of money on it as NZTA spends on local roads in the Wellington region in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Emergency bill could save 750 refugees
    Labour will on Tuesday introduce an Emergency Humanitarian Response Bill to Parliament to bring an additional 750 refugees into New Zealand this year, Andrew Little says. “We cannot stand by and wait for a review. This is a crisis and… ...
    1 day ago
  • Cable failure on Great Track walk huge potential risk
    Tourism Minister John Key and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry must act urgently and decisively to assure trampers on all Great Walks that every bridge will be checked as soon as possible for safety, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It… ...
    1 day ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter September 2015
    Attachmentsseptember2015_web.pdf - 2.64 MB ...
    2 days ago
  • Rough-Shod Approach to Iwi Housing
      "The Governments rough-shod approach to social housing in Auckland has forced the Minister to clarify and uphold his Treaty Settlement obligations to Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui," says Labours Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.   “While it's a positive undertaking… ...
    2 days ago
  • More housing humiliation for Nick Smith
    Nick Smith has been completely humiliated once again – this time by Ngāti Whātua who have used his blunders to their full advantage to extract an excellent deal for Aucklanders that the minister would never have developed himself, Labour’s Housing… ...
    2 days ago
  • PM must stop making excuses for offensive MP
    John Key must stop dismissing the highly offensive behaviour of his Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson and publically reprimand him, Labour’s spokesperson for Woman Sue Moroney says. “Maurice Williamson’s behaviour at an Eagle Technology dinner was completely unacceptable. ...
    2 days ago
  • Charter application skew assists rich American
    The Government has skewed the latest round of charter school applications to assist an American millionaire’s goal of ‘revolutionising” New Zealand’s education system, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ACT Leader David Seymour and Ngāi Tahu’s Sir Mark Solomon in… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s refugee response at odds with Kiwi traditions
    John Key’s response to the current refugee crisis is out of step with New Zealand’s tradition of pulling its weight internationally, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 1999, under a National Government, New Zealand accepted more than 400… ...
    2 days ago
  • Coromandel rallies against the TPPA
    On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • John Key: where is your conscience?
    The Prime Minister’s refusal to raise the refugee quota in the face of an international humanitarian crisis shows a lack of empathy and moral leadership, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “There are times in politics when you are faced with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Report highlights National’s poor funding decisions
    The Government’s poor coordination between its transport strategy and the needs of the regions has been highlighted in a new report by Local Government New Zealand, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Local Government was forced to write its Mobilising… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government wakes up to Opotiki Harbour
    John Key is expected to finally announce Government support next week for the Opotiki Harbour development, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. "While it is astonishing that it has taken seven years for the Government to commit to this… ...
    3 days ago
  • New figures show speculators rampant
    New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank data shows mortgage lending was up 6 per… ...
    4 days ago
  • Spring is here – not pollen your leg
    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    4 days ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    5 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    5 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    1 week ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    1 week ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    1 week ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    1 week ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    1 week ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    1 week ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere

x
The incoming RSS feed is currently turned off. It caused commenting humans to be blocked from the site. Now unblocked. Press the X to turn this notice off.