The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, confirmed yesterday that she did not see Winston Peters’ major speech on NZ-US relations before he delivered it in Washington, DC, on Saturday.
The speech has raised questions about whether New Zealand is moving its foreign policy closer to the Trump administration and away from the independent stance it has pursued since the ANZUS breakdown in 1985.
It has surprised observers in Wellington that such a major speech could be delivered without at least the Prime Minister’s prior approval and probably that of the Cabinet as a whole as well.
Once again the PM is out of the loop. She finds out about major changes to housing policy through the TV news and didn’t even see an advance copy of a speech signalling a significant change in foreign policy.
New Zealand likes to claims we have an independent foreign policy. This Government has taken that to a new extreme – the foreign policy is independent of the Cabinet also!
Personally I support Peters in allying ourselves more closely with the United States. I’m somewhat surprised the Greens do though.