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Wikileaks NZ cables

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, December 19th, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: International, john key, labour, national - Tags: , ,

Odd timing as everyone powers down for Christmas, but The Herald (emulating papers elsewhere) has published the Wikileaks cables relating to NZ. Brace yourselves for a lot of wallowing in ancient gossip, and spin as left and right sift through the entrails looking for something that they can use against each other.

The Herald got their own early start, with a piece yesterday: “Nuclear stance sacrificed for votes”. If that nonsense (which Eddie immediately took to task) is the worst they have on Helen Clark then a lot of frothing righties are going to be pretty disappointed!

More recent, clear, and significant, a good old fashioned case of broken promises and misleading Parliament, which The Herald reported today here:

Key exposed over Dalai Lama

Prime Minister John Key is facing tough questions as details from leaked US Embassy cables appear to contradict statements made in Parliament.

The embarrassing details are contained in a cable which has revealed secret details of his meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. … Among the cables is a briefing which stated that Key told Jiabao in April last year neither he nor any of his ministers would meet the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The statement broke a promise Key had made before the election – and reassured the Premier almost eight months before the New Zealand public was told.

But the statement might also have landed Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully in trouble after he assured Parliament that there was no boycott. On November 19, Green MP Keith Locke asked McCully: “Is it government policy that no minister will officially meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits next month?” McCully answered, “No”. He also said he had discussed the issue with Key.

But the US Embassy cable quoted Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomat Grahame Morton as stating: “PM Key had earlier conversed with Premier Wen Jiabao concerning the Dalai Lama’s December 4-7 visit to Auckland, saying that neither he nor any of his ministers would meet with the Dalai Lama.

“Morton said the Chinese ‘obviously registered’ this. Morton added that the PM … made this decision without any consultation, but others in the Government are still obliged to respect it.” …

Labour leader Phil Goff said: “That’s a very clear contradiction. Murray McCully appears to have misled the House.” …

Key had left the country and was unavailable for comment yesterday. Spokesmen for acting Prime Minister Bill English and McCully did not respond by deadline.

Timeline

April 2009: John Key tells the Chinese Premier neither he nor his ministers will meet the Dalai Lama.

November 2009: Murray McCully tells Parliament there is no ban on ministers meeting the Dalai Lama.

December 2009: The Dalai Lama visits. No ministers meet him.

Broken election promises are a dime a dozen for the Nats, but McCully should be held to account for misleading the house. But by the time Parliament reconvenes this will likely have been forgotten. (Hey – maybe the timing of the release makes sense after all! Just kidding.)

Still, if these are the headline issues that The Herald’s intrepid sleuths have uncovered in the cables then I’m guessing that politicians on both sides, past and present, will be vastly relieved.

52 comments on “Wikileaks NZ cables”

  1. McCully should be held to account for misleading the house …

    Still, if these are the headline issues that The Herald’s intrepid sleuths have uncovered in the cables then I’m guessing that politicians on both sides, past and present, will be vastly relieved.

    R0b you are too kind. If this was a Labour Minister this issue would have been thrashed by the RWNJs within an inch of its live and offered as conclusive proof that the aforesaid Labour Minister is just as bad as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Ghengis Khan on a bad day.

    • r0b 1.1

      Yeah I know they would. And I know it works. But I still can’t bring myself to be like them. I reckon we on the Left should save our anger for the big stuff. After all, there’s plenty of that to go around…

  2. Anne 2

    It seems that John Key made the promise to the Chinese Premier without discussing it first with his cabinet colleagues. I’m no defender of Murray McCully, but my pick is he didn’t know about the promise when he made the statement in parliament in Nov. 2009.

    • r0b 2.1

      In that case we have smile ‘n wave making up foreign policy on the hoof, and not telling the Foreign Affairs Minister. I’m not reassured!

    • DeeDub 2.2

      Except this:

      “He (McCully) also said he had discussed the issue with Key.”

      So either he lied about talking to Key about the issue OR he lied to the house.

  3. burt 3

    rOb

    It’s a disgrace isn’t it. But on the subject of the Dalai Lama, I wonder if similar details will be released showing Clark planned to meet the Dalai Lama in Sydney airport while saying it was a serendipitous meeting in NZ. If so do you still think politicians on both sides, past and present, will be vastly relieved?

    see: It’s really just karma as Clark meets Dalai Lama

  4. Anne 4

    The plot thickens Deedub.

    Either he (McCully) did know about it and lied to parliament, OR he had discussed the issue with Key but Key forgot to tell him what he said to the Chinese Premier? Whatever, Mickey Mouse has nothing on this lot. 😉

  5. Sanctuary 5

    “…Prime Minister John Key is facing tough questions as details from leaked US Embassy cables appear to contradict statements made in Parliament…”

    Or he would be, if he hadn’t already swanned off to his Hawaiian gated community.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Typically dodgy of Key to be telling the Chinese one thing and the voters another. He really is a bit of a prick. It’s just a shame that this is coming out while he’s laying low in Hawaii.

    • burt 6.1

      So as the leaks continue will all NZ politicians shown to be saying one thing to the Chinese (or any other govt) and another to the public be ‘a bit of a prick’ ?

  7. Gina 7

    Does anyone have a dossier on John Key’s trips to America (Hawaii)? How often does he swan off and for how long? Dates anyone. Who’s the traitor meeting and whats he up to over there? He creeps me out big time. We are not allowed to swear on The Standard are we.

    • Alwyn 7.1

      You must be VERY new to this site. It is a rarity for any of the comments, including mine I fear, NOT to include swearing.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        Yep. I only object to pointless abuse, ie where there isn’t a clear and stated reason why someone is being advised of their personal defects.

        • Alwyn 7.1.1.1

          I’ve reread what I wrote and it could be misinterpreted.
          It could be read as suggesting that this site is unique in the amount of swearing that goes on.
          That is certainly not the case. Almost every Blog is the same. I imagine it has to do with the almost complete anonymity that is adopted by people commenting.
          I wonder what we would all be like if we did use our real names? I suspect that most of us, including me, would very quickly shut up.

    • Bob Stanforth 7.2

      So, its OK to call the PM a “traitor” but for example, if I was to question the sexuality of current or past members of both sides of the house, that would get me what, banned? Ignored? Slapped with a wet bus ticket?

      Let me guess, cos its JK, calling him a traitor = OK. But calling, oh, lets pick one, the ex-PM a closet lesbian is not OK? Come on, discuss and justify, Im intrigued 🙂 I would have thought that calling the PM a traitor wasnt OK? Really?

      ASW: living, as in living a lie…

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Let me guess, cos its JK, calling him a traitor = OK. But calling, oh, lets pick one, the ex-PM a closet lesbian is not OK? Come on, discuss and justify, Im intrigued 🙂 I would have thought that calling the PM a traitor wasnt OK? Really?

        A hypothetical PM who hypothetically undermined his own country to favour foreign powers could be described as a “traitor”. A direct tie in to the job of PM and whether or not you would want that person leading the country.

        Now do you reckon that Clark’s sexuality has the same relevance. At all.

        • joe bloggs 7.2.1.1

          how about a hypothetical former prime minister who hypothetically undermined her own country to favour foreign powers? Something like this for the sake of an hypothesis:

          The United States Government quietly approved eight new areas for military co-operation with New Zealand in 2007
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10695451

          Any competent firefighter can tell you, here’s no smoke without fire. Looks like plenty of smoke here – clearly there’s been a bit of a fire as well.

          Evidently there have been favours granted to USA by the last Labour govt. All very shady and well under the radar despite Clark’s observed “penchant for seeking out press opportunities”.

          Ironically this fits CV’s description of tratorous activities, and fits it a darned sight better than Gina’s incoherent outburst of pallid green jealosy.

  8. Gina 8

    Thanks Alwyn now I can blame you should Iprent have a go at me for any dodgy language that might somehow find its way into my comments.

  9. Gooner 9

    From a cable:

    The Charge told Goff that the Embassy would have appreciated a head’s up that Mallard would be making these remarks. Goff said that as was well known, Goff has
    very favorable feelings towards the United States…But, he went on, the Government believes that these issues do resonate with the New Zealand public and it would therefore be foolish not to
    pursue them. There will be more campaigning on issues related to U.S. policy in the weeks ahead, he cautioned. The Charge said…if further false claims were made the Embassy would respond. Goff…endorsed the idea of our making a press statement refuting Mallard’s claims.

    But I guess there is nothing to see here. Move along everyone. No issue with Mallard telling lies and Labour repeating them for electoral purposes, while all the time Goff has favourable feelings towards the US.

    Hey, that’s just politics, if Labour practices them. However if Nact do the same…….

    • burt 9.1

      It’s rOb posting, anything Labour do will be different and excusable under the over arching ‘good intentions’ the glorious Labour party have for the glorious socialist state NZ should be.

      I think rOb’s just tried to front foot this issue but the end result is most likely that he has his foot extended far enough to shoot it right off as the leaks continue. What possessed him to take on the subject of politicians being two faced using the Dalai Lama as an example. The best he can achieve is that Key acted like Clark did, but I guess in the mind of an apologist “they did the same” is a move on and that’s better than saying sorry.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        What possessed him to take on the subject of politicians being two faced using the Dalai Lama as an example. The best he can achieve is that Key acted like Clark did, but I guess in the mind of an apologist “they did the same” is a move on and that’s better than saying sorry.

        You mean when HC had a meeting with the lama that the chinese couldn’t have a whinge about without looking precious? The worst you can say is that HC bullshitted the chinese.

        That’s exactly the same as JK of course, who told the Chinese he wouldn’t meet with the lama while secretly that was the truth, and what he was saying in public to kiwis was bullshit.

        • RobertM 9.1.1.1

          I ignore all comment about the Dalai Lami. I just believe all justice would be to hand Tibet and Taiwan back to China. Same as the British did over HongKong. Generally I am a Reaganite Libertarian but I find no justice in the neo cons dispute with China. Its not a basis for picking a fight and I am far more sympathetic to the Chinese who are just a power not a global presence unlike Japan.
          I was with Helen on the anti nuclear dispute. It was absurd,outrageous and criminal for Muldoon to invite the latest USN nuclear attack submarines here. They were strategic weapons and then and now they should not be in NZ ports.
          The real US anger seems to be about Helens blocking of access to NZ of the latest US pharmacuticals and the creation of Pharmac. Sad to say from a red perspective I think all new drugs should be available for people who can pay for them. Pharmac and the exclusion of the last 15 years of big pharmas psychiatric drugs has meant many New Zealanders are on ghastly drugs like Lithium and has driven NZ doctors and psychiatrists away from an orientation to US medicine and DSM5 back to following British and European leads that I think 30 years behind the times and far crueler. Yes drugs should be used in minimum and in far lower doses than is generally seen as desirable by the psychs. But I don’t think the Micheal Laws abstitence perscription will do any good.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            I just believe all justice would be to hand Tibet and Taiwan back to China. Same as the British did over HongKong.

            Nobody’s handing Tibet back to China. Not needed. China got their hands on it many decades ago.

            As for handing Taiwan back to China, sorry, the US and Japan aren’t about to let that happen, the only people who will decide on that are the Taiwanese. And there is no consensus there, even as business ties between China/Taiwan are strengthening all the time.

            The British/Hong Kong example is irrelevant. Taiwan is a sovereign country (ahem, briefly discounting the China view), not some kind of protectorate.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Meh, a little paragraph taken out of context, written as the opinion of one official. Why don’t you try posting a fuller excerpt next time so we have some idea of what you are trying to say.

      Oh yeah and a link plz

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      The Charge said…if further false claims were made the Embassy would respond. Goff…endorsed the idea of our making a press statement refuting Mallard’s claims.

      I note the selective editing so, Got link?

      The Charge told Goff that the Embassy would have
      appreciated a head’s up that Mallard would be making these
      remarks. Goff said that as was well known, he (Goff) has
      very favorable feelings towards the United States and close
      family connections there. (Goff’s sister is an Amcit and has
      two sons serving in the U.S. military (one of who is in Iraq)
      with a third on his way to West Point.) But, he went on, the
      Government believes that these issues do resonate with the
      New Zealand public and it would therefore be foolish not to
      pursue them. There will be more campaigning on issues
      related to U.S. policy in the weeks ahead, he cautioned. The
      Charge said that was Labour’s call to make, but if further
      false claims were made the Embassy would respond. Goff
      agreed that it was in the Embassy’s right to do so, and
      endorsed the idea of our making a press statement refuting
      Mallard’s claims. The Charge then released to the media the
      following statement, which has also been cleared by
      Washington:

      Reads slightly differently when you put the whole thing in.

  10. Gooner 10

    Here’s your link:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10695146

    Here’s another:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/12/more_wikileaks.html#comment-778049

    What I’m trying to say is that Helen Clark said in parliament on 22 June 2005 that National’s policies were written in Washington. Very shortly after that, Trevor Mallard made the same statement to the media. Helen Clark said she was angry he made that statement (didn’t want to be seen pissing off the yanks), but she made the same statement in parliament herself. Then Goff, as Foreign Minister, became involved, and endorsed the US Embassy’s response to Mallard. The US Embassy notes Goff as “very favourable to the US”, but a little earlier in the same year, Goff visits the Middle East and is pictured holding hands with notorious terrorist, Yassar Arafat.

    Now, take your rose tinted glasses off, and imagine if the names here were Brash, Brownlee, Key and McCully. I could feel the spit on your keyboard!

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Now, take your rose tinted glasses off, and imagine if the names here were Brash, Brownlee, Key and McCully. I could feel the spit on your keyboard!

      Nah, not worth bothering about. Thats just low level electioneering noise whether National or Labour was doing it.

      What would be really fascinating is knowing what US diplomats were saying about Peter Jackson, Warner Bros and John Key. And whether or not Warner Bros execs were in communication/co-ordination with the US Govt in any way.

    • burt 10.2

      Hey look over there… La la la not listening …. National did it too….

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Did Warner Bros and the US Govt co-ordinate in any way to get more NZ tax payers monies from John Key? Now that would be a fascinating wikileak.

        • burt 10.2.1.1

          FFS Colonial Viper… did the same happen when the Lord of the Rings was filmed…. You don’t get this do you?

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1.1

            And I’d love to know if the US diplomats had a view on Jackson’s role in Warner Bros securing an increased level of tax breaks. Their interpretation of Jackson’s actions around the CTU and Helen Kelly, the timing of the lifting of the global boycott, what he likely did know and when etc. would be of huge interest.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.3

      Then Goff, as Foreign Minister, became involved, and endorsed the US Embassy’s response to Mallard.

      I see where he endorsed the idea of them making a statement. Which is completely trivial. All he is doing is saying that the US has the right to make a statement. Where do get him endorsing the statement itself?

  11. Gooner 11

    Yeah, what’s said during an election campaign is hardly important, aye.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      I remember hearing something about “NO GST INCREASES” in the last election campaign.

      So how did that work out?

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    Key Plays Power Games with Obama

    US Embassy staff were pressured to set a date for Prime Minister John Key to meet President Barack Obama – because media had already been told the meeting was on…

    The cable shows Key pushing for a firm meeting date with Obama after
    speaking with him at the 2009 APEC meeting in Singapore….

    “Expectations in NZ were set, Key said, and the matter potentially could turn into a political embarrassment for him…”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10695363

  13. RedBaron 13

    I found the Wikileaks cable of 6 Dec 2009 interesting. Mr Morton of Mfat seems to have disclosed all the details of an Mfat report? on the visit of Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang. I don’t know too much about internal Mfat workings but is this appropriate? After all I think the NZ taxpayer pays Mr Morton’s salary.

  14. RedBaron 14

    Hi. Linking is beyond me but it is on the NZ herald site – sorry.!

    captcha: Keys.

  15. RedBaron 15

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=10695199 Bilateral relationship with China

    Don’t know if this will work!

  16. Deadly_NZ 16

    http://rightwingnews.com/2010/07/the-cia-should-kill-julian-assange/

    Oh you gotta love Sarah palin and all her fellow nutters .

    But if you want a read while shaking your head and hoping like hell these Nutters never get thier fingers on the Button..

  17. arandar 18

    “The cables also reveal how the US uses its embassy to influence public opinion on issues as diverse as defence spending, Pharmac and antinuclear legislation.”
    From that same link – thanks Infused – is this para.
    And this really bothers me. How does the US embassy ‘influence public opinion’ without the cooperation of our msm?

    • pollywog 18.1

      The greatest trick the devil ever performed was convincing us he didn’t exist…The easiest way to fool the public is to hide the truth in plain sight

      The story on the surface makes for a script for a new Oliver Stone Hollywood thriller. A 39-year old Australian hacker holds the President of the United States and his State Department hostage to a gigantic cyber “leak,” unless the President leaves Julian Assange and his Wikileaks free to release hundreds of thousands of pages of sensitive US Government memos. A closer look at the details, so far carefully leaked by the most ultra-establishment of international media such as the New York Times, reveals a clear agenda. That agenda coincidentally serves to buttress the agenda of US geopolitics around the world from Iran to Russia to North Korea. The Wikileaks is a big and dangerous US intelligence Con Job which will likely be used to police the Internet.

      http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/US_Con_Job/us_con_job.html

      This “redacting” role of The New York Times is candidly acknowledged by David E Sanger, Chief Washington correspondent of the NYT:

      “[W]e went through [the cables] so carefully to try to redact material that we thought could be damaging to individuals or undercut ongoing operations. And we even took the very unusual step of showing the 100 cables or so that we were writing from to the U.S. government and asking them if they had additional redactions to suggest.” (See PBS Interview; The Redacting and Selection of Wikileaks documents by the Corporate Media, PBS interview on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross: December 8, 2010, emphasis added).

      Yet Sanger also says later in the interview:

      “It is the responsibility of American journalism, back to the founding of this country, to get out and try to grapple with the hardest issues of the day and to do it independently of the government.” (ibid)

      “Do it independently of the government” while at the same time “asking them [the US government] if they had additional redactions to suggest”? M

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22389

      oooh i feel so tittilated…seems like the hard core stuff has all been redacted to protect the guilty though.

  18. si 20

    Seems Auntie Helen went further than the nucleat stance. You seem to very quiet on the troops for milk leak.

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