The Australian reports:
New Zealand has refused to stand with Australia and its other Five Eyes partners to speak out against a much-criticised World Health Organisation investigation into the origins of COVID in China, as it tries to escape Beijing’s wrath.
The shortcomings of the investigation, which has been highly sensitive in China, were immediately pointed out in joint statements released by the four other Five Eyes nations — the US, Britain, Canada and Australia — as well as Japan, South Korea and eight other countries, and in a separate statement by the EU.
So we are almost the only Western nation not to sign on.
But in Wellington, the Ardern government said it needed more time before it would comment on the report, even though it has been circulating among WHO members for days.
“Our technical experts are currently analysing the report,” a spokeswoman for New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta told The Australian.
“As this is a scientific report, we want to make sure we understand the science before making any comment,” she said.
So only New Zealand has been unable to read the report and react in time.