Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Australia Beware

Australia Beware

Thursday 14 Aug 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT New Zealand Defence Spokesman Ken Shirley today cautioned Australia to use more subtlety in its dealings with our Pacific neighbours, in an address to the Australian Defence College for Defence and Strategic Studies.

"While some countries may regard many Pacific Island nations as non-viable, crass, overt hegemony from a major player will inevitably prove counter-productive," Mr Shirley said.

"Formalising co-operation and mutual support is of importance in our region but balance and subtlety is critical. The Pacific Forum meeting in Auckland this week has long been considered a low-key annual gabfest. This is changing fast, and the Forum's significance is growing.

"The Biketawa Declaration authorises Pacific Forum members to act against member countries that breach accepted standards of governance, human rights, democratic processes and law.

"The failure of democratic processes in Fiji and the lawlessness of the Solomon Islands are two examples underpinning the need for such a Declaration.

"Here in New Zealand we have our own tensions, with a growing division in our society based on the challenge to Crown sovereignty.

"Over the past 20 years we have reinvented tribalism as a means of addressing indigenous claims - but the incompatibility of collective tribalism with a modern market economy, based on individual property rights, is problematic and condemns this pathway to failure.

"Successive New Zealand governments have failed to provided the country with adequate military strategic frameworks, direction and resources.

"This is a responsibility of democratically elected governments. In the absence of a clear directional strategy, New Zealand has tended to indulge in naval gazing. We have indulged ourselves with hardware purchase debates and endless structural reviews, when a lack of a clear vision and direction has meant that those debates occur in a vacuum," Mr Shirley said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election