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Half Year Report Card:-Grading the Government – 5 – Foreign Affairs

09/05/2018

This is the fifth of several posts looking at individual elements of the report card posted by Newsroom.

There will be a post for each assessment within the Newsroom article.

The scene was set here

Foreign Affairs – C

One of the Government’s weakest areas so far. As some have already noted, it’s difficult to get a sense of Winston Peters’ guiding principles when it comes to New Zealand’s foreign policy. His willingness to defend Russia over its reported involvement in the downing of an airliner and interference in foreign elections raised eyebrows at home and abroad, while a reluctance to condemn the country for the Skripal poisoning forced Ardern to come over the top with a harder line. The coalition agreement commitment to advance a free trade deal with Russia, odd at the time, offered further fodder to the opposition before it was put on ice. For her part, Ardern’s harder line on Australia has appeared to strain relations somewhat without any obvious benefit. Peters’ “Pacific reset” does appear a sensible plan to counter growing influence in the region from other actors (including China), while MFAT looks set for a (relative) windfall in next month’s Budget. But a bit of foreign policy coherence would go a long way – Sam Sachdeva

Under Ardern it is very hard to work out NZ’s Foreign Policy.

Peters appears to have recently secured more Pork to swill around the Pacific.

Adam’s assessment is that C is somewhat generous

Adam’s assessment is C- . Made up as Policy D and Execution C and possibly over generous.

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