PM Jacinda Ardern heads into a world that has become more challenging, divisive and complex when she jets off to the World Economic Forum in Davos and a round of European calls. Rarely has a NZ PM been confronted by such a confusing global situation.
First, Europe is convulsed by two major challenges, the future of Brexit and the slow-down in the European economy which has given nationalists fresh ammunition.
Second, China and the US are inching towards an economic and strategic confrontation.
At home US President Donald Trump is facing incoming tides of confusion and uncertainty. The New York Times has put the focus on his five meetings with Russia’s Vladimir Putin of which no substantial record exists. Continue reading “Confusion and complexity characterise the world into which our PM is headed”
Hard on the heels of our previous post about political globe-trotting, let the record show Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to visit the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, at the end of the month.
She’s a tyro in global economics, sure, but the conference should be worthwhile for her, particularly given its focus this year on aspects of globalisation and their consequences. Moreover, she will move among the major global economic and foreign policy players, including (probably) President Donald Trump.
Her attendance would also reinforce her policy platform against some of the less global trade-minded and economically illiterate members of the Coalition government. Continue reading “Globalisation focus at Davos (among other things) should lure Ardern to Europe”
If they are not hard at work in their Beehive offices, as we regularly observe at Point of Order, our Ministers will be busy with engagements here and there around the country – or engaged in very important business overseas.
But the Point of Order monitor of Beehive press statements over the past week or so suggests ministerial globetrotting has been on hold during the Christmas-New Year holiday period.
This doesn’t mean taxpayers are being spared the cost of political jet-setting. Look what we found in a statement from the office of the Speaker, Trevor Mallard.
Yep. Mallard has announced a junket for a select few back-benchers. Continue reading “Our flyaway MPs should grab the opportunity to promote the welfare of a runaway Saudi teeneager”
With the Black Caps in magnificent record-setting form is there any need to worry about 2019? Well, yes there is and we have harnessed the resources of our world-wide network of correspondents to assess prospects for the next 12 months.
In a three part series Point of Order pushes up its periscope to scan the horizon.
First, how does it look internationally?
Global trade, European security, China-US relations all cloud the scene. Continue reading “Up periscope – and let’s take a peep at the 2019 global outlook”
Chris Seed has been confirmed as Secretary of Foreign Affairs & Trade, as Point of Order earlier foreshadowed. An experienced diplomat, he succeeds Brook Barrington who the State Services Commission named as CEO of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.
Seed, who recently returned to NZ after serving a five-year term as High Commissioner to Canberra, is expected to work closely with Foreign Minister Winston Peters on his Pacific Reset policies.
His appointment is understood to have been extremely well received by senior staff in MFAT, whose morale was severely bruised during the era of John Allen as CEO. It is known that Peters has been keen to return MFAT to the slot it enjoyed before the Allen era as one of the key sources of advice to Cabinet, not just on foreign and trade policies but in other areas of national security. Continue reading “MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed”
Left-wing blogger Chris Trotter, in one of his recent essays, questions whether PM Jacinda Ardern is really running the government or is merely its figurehead.
He cited several examples of the PM appearing to be unaware of key policy decisions and questioned whether allowing her leading Cabinet Ministers to simply get on with the job is a central feature of her management style.
“I hope not. It would suggest that Ardern has chosen the role of figurehead rather than leader. That her job is to supply the warm and sympathetic face of the Coalition Government while the heavy-hitters of her Cabinet – Winston Peters, Grant Robertson, David Parker, Phil Twyford, Meagan Woods and Shane Jones – carry out the day-to-day business of governing the country”. Continue reading “Pacific Reset – what Labour really thinks about it will be seen when US ships arrive”
Before flying out on his Washington mission, Deputy PM Winston Peters announced (in his role as Disarmament and Arms Control Minister) that NZ will take up the chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime later next year.
Peters says NZ’s emerging space industry makes it particularly relevant at this time that it works on effective international control of sensitive missile-related technologies. NZ will host the annual plenary meeting in Auckland in October 2019, which is expected to attract over 200 delegates.
The issue may be high on the agenda for his talks in Washington, where Peters has appointments with key figures of the Trump administration, including Vice-president Mike Pence, Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Continue reading “NZ’s role in missile control gives Peters a boost on US mission”