Given that all the recipients of this newsletter either have, or should have a keen interest in NZ external affairs, the position of Foreign Minister in the new government is of particular interest. Immediately on her taking up her new appointment, Nanaia Mahuta was dealt a more that tricky ball by our gallant allies in the Waihopai venture. As a new-comer to foreign relations, one assumes that she has to rely heavily on the advice of her ‘supporting’ civil servants.
If that is so, they will have done her no favours by allowing NZ’s involvement with the Five Eyes (an involvement that was imposed on NZ with no public consultation or parliamentary debate) to lead us into a stoush with China, our major trading partner.
The Five Eyes have excelled themselves. Talk about unwarranted mission creep! If this is the standard of advice offered, and Nanaia doesn’t find a supplementary source of counsel, NZ is likely to find itself in very deep water. The smoke signals coming from Washington indicate that the Biden administration will be putting even more pressure on NZ to support the USA in its propaganda and cold war campaign for the containment of China.
Newstalk 4 minute listen.
RCEP Our region’s trade relationships are about to change. If the USA and India persist in ignoring RCEP their economies will miss out. 5 minute read
COVAX Scheme This is a detailed briefing. A shorter update is below. While Russia and the USA remain outside the scheme, the fact that China, with its enormous manufacturing capability, has since joined, greatly enhances the chances of the COVAX project’s success. 5 minute read
Peace & Conflict Resolution
Tigray Trying to understand the latest outbreak of violence in Ethiopia: another Nobel Peace Prize fiasco. 5 minute read.
Nonsense Hardly news, but a reminder of just how this year’s US deployment of low yield nuclear weapons increases the risk of nuclear war. 3 minute read.
Environment & Climate Change
Concrete proposal Relax: the planet is about to be saved. 2 minute read.
Transition Transition Engineering: even in hydro-rich NZ, society will have to curb its expectations of consumption as usual. 7 minute read
Human Rights & Justice
Vanishing trick Israel’s Salami tactics continue and the world daren’t murmur a protest. 3 minute read.
Suffer the children Child abuse – a traditional Israeli approach to winning hearts and minds of the coming generation . 4 minute read.
Victory in sight Money makes the world go round: the achievements of the Saudi-USA-UK alliance and the Military Industrial Complex, in Yemen. 1 minute read.