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New Zealand and the US – friends again?

New Zealand and the US – friends again?


From ostracism in 1986 to a US Navy ship visit in 2016, New Zealand’s leaders have managed a sometimes troubled relationship with Washington skilfully, says Stephen Hoadley, an associate professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland.

When he published his book New Zealand United States Relations in 2000, diplomatic, defence and intelligence relations were curtailed and several trade disputes loomed.

Sixteen years later, the two countries are “very, very, very close friends”, according to the-then Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

In the interim, two succeeding Secretaries of State - including Hillary Clinton - and US Vice President Joe Biden have made visits to Wellington.

New Zealand has not compromised its no-nuclear-ship-visit policy, and there is no prospect of re-joining the ANZUS alliance, so why has the relationship warmed? Professor Hoadley believes the answer lies in pragmatic diplomacy, mutual interests and shifting geo-politics.
“Despite some public scepticism of United States policies, the Clark and Key governments have independently assessed New Zealand’s national interests and concluded that a good working relationship with Washington is beneficial, on balance,” he says. “Also, the Obama administration has included New Zealand in its ‘rebalance to Asia’ initiatives and I believe the US navy ship visit symbolises this convergence of interests.”
Professor Hoadley will be launching the second edition of New Zealand United States Relations in Auckland on 11 November.
Editor’s notes



• Stephen Hoadley is an experienced media commentator and regularly appears on radio, television and in print.

• In 2016 to date he has commented on Brexit, the US elections, ISIS, the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the mounting tensions between Putin’s Russia and Western governments in the NATO Alliance and challenges facing the new US president, whether Clinton or Trump.

• He is currently available to discuss any and all of these topics as well as the 75th anniversary celebrations of the NZ Navy, the US Navy ship visit and the other events relating to defence and security planned at the Viaduct in Auckland in November.

• His particular areas of expertise are the foreign and security policies of New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific, the United States, Europe and the Middle East, including the politics of trade and international human rights.

• New Zealand United States Relations will be available at $40 by mail order from the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, c/o Victoria University, PO BOX 600, Wellington. GST and postage are included.


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