Buzz from the Beehive
Safety and security were the common theme in the latest statements – just two – from The Beehive.
The first – headed Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety – tells us this is Rail Safety Week.
Transport Minister Michael Wood grabbed the opportunity to maintain there is a need for a renewed focus on rail safety because …
Wait for it
Because additional trains are operating across the network,
“… powered by the Government’s investment in rail.”
We trust this is an environmentally friendly power source.
The second announcement came from Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, thankfully – but all too briefly – focussing on matters other than Three Waters and local government electoral rearrangements. Continue reading “Focus on safety and security – Mahuta tackles the Myanmar menace while Wood warns of the danger from more trains” →
“AUKUS logic is morally repugnant, and NZ must resist it” ran the headline over a leader- page feature in the Dominion-Post recently.
In the article beneath that advice, Thomas Nash, co-director of the independent think-tank, New Zealand Alternative, argued the AUKUS alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States has triggered a dangerous line in commentary questioning this country’s nuclear-free status.
Nash says many of the opinion writers appear to prioritise a militarist worldview but he contends if we are to enjoy a peaceful future, we should do the exact opposite “and forge closer relations that share our anti-nuclear values”.
NZ should resist pressure to fall into line with the military power of the US, the UK and Australia.
Instead of focusing our diplomatic and security efforts on the Five Eyes, he argues, we should strengthen our relationships in Asean countries, Latin America, and in our neighbouring nuclear-free Pacific Islands. Continue reading “AUKUS – it’s all very well expressing our moral repugnance but that won’t halt China’s bullying” →
Australia’s defense and foreign affairs ministers have begun a four-nation tour to press economic and security relationships within the Asia-Pacific region as tensions rise with China.
Peter Dutton and Marise Payne are visiting Indonesia, India and South Korea and will end their travels in the United States. In Washington DC they hope to conclude a raft of major defence and strategic agreements, including the provision of new missile technology.
This raises the question of New Zealand’s Defence Minister, Peeni Henare, and his handling of those sorts of issues. Apart from issuing the occasional media statement, he seems to be missing in action.
True, he does have other portfolios – Minister of Whanau Ora and associate minister of Health, Housing and Tourism. Beehive insiders say he seems to pay little attention to the Defence portfolio.
As with his mentor, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, he is said to be reluctant to travel. This seems at odds with the demands of both portfolios because each of them requires a network of personal contacts, which is impossible to sustain by Zoom. Continue reading “Aussie ministers head overseas on defence and security mission – their Kiwi counterparts seem to prefer foreign affairs via Zoom” →