Search

 

Cablegate: Codel Hoyer Meets with Gnz Leadership

VZCZCXRO5591
PP RUEHPB
DE RUEHWL #0015/01 0180337
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 180337Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5009
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0377
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0066
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 5073
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0057
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0049
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0174
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0176
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0309
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0708
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0278
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0698
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0061
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 WELLINGTON 000015

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP; OSD FOR JESSICA POWERS
STATE ALSO FOR H - JREDDY AND CAUSTIN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/18/2018
TAGS: PREL KGHG MOPS MARR AF NK NZ
SUBJECT: CODEL HOYER MEETS WITH GNZ LEADERSHIP

Classified By: DCM David Keegan for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (SBU) Summary. On January 9, a 13-member Congressional
delegation led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
and Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) met with Deputy and Acting
Prime Minister Michael Cullen and Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Trade (MFAT) Chief Executive Simon Murdoch to discuss
bilateral priorities and issues of common interest. The
cordial discussion covered NZ/US bilateral relations, global
climate change, trade, the south pacific islands, Asia,
Afghanistan, North Korea, domestic politics and the
respective roles of NZ and the US in world affairs. End
Summary.

Bilateral Relations Growing
---------------------------

2. (SBU) On January 9, a 13-member Congressional delegation
led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Minority
Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) met with Deputy and Acting Prime
Minister Michael Cullen and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Trade (MFAT) Chief Executive Simon Murdoch to discuss
bilateral priorities and issues of common interest. Also
attending were Charge d'Affaires David Keegan, former NZ
ambassador to the US Dr. John Wood, MFAT Americas Deputy
Director Elizabeth Halliday, Poloff, and Codel staff. In
opening remarks, both sides agreed that the two countries
have a close bilateral relationship, that the relationship is
becoming stronger, and that the USG and GNZ have many common
interests. "Though," according to Cullen, "we may sometimes
differ in our approaches."

3. (SBU) Cullen began his remarks to the delegation by
citing the interests which the US and NZ have in common:

- International security (including terrorism, security
within the South Pacific islands, and the growing influence
of the PRC and Taiwan);
- Climate Change (including energy security and development
of alternative energy sources);
- Agriculture and trade (noting that NZ desires greater trade
liberalization with the US); and
- Antarctica

Climate Change and Genetic Modification
---------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Cullen expressed his desire that the US and NZ
should develop a joint perspective on what should happen
after the Kyoto Protocol expires, and that the two countries
should work to resolve climate change issues while allowing
the third world to develop.

5. (SBU) On the subject of genetic modification (GM)
technology and how it could contribute toward resolving
climate change issues, Cullen admitted that there is some
disagreement within New Zealand regarding the use of GM
technology. However, he added that "we will risk losing
traction on research and technology development unless we
take hold of GM technology."

The South Pacific Islands
-------------------------

6. (C) Cullen described the South Pacific as "a region of
increasing political instability, for example Tonga and
Fiji." While the islands in this region may be small --
these states can be channels for undesirable activities, such
as drug trafficking and money laundering. The island
governments lack the resources and personnel to adequately
prevent or investigate such activities and are especially
vulnerable during periods of political instability. "These
small island nations can barely manage their own
governments," he said, "and they have no systems to control
illegal financing opportunities."

WELLINGTON 00000015 002 OF 004

7. (C) With respect to the potential for terrorism, Cullen
suggested that the South Pacific islands are not likely to
provide recruits for terrorists from within. Rather, those
recruits will come from Indonesia and Malaysia, he said.
However, such small island states are extremely susceptible
to being used by terrorist organizations as a conduit for
their finances.

8. (C) Representative Bordallo (R-Guam) asked for the GNZ
perspective on the "dollar diplomacy" occurring in the
pacific island region. Cullen stated that there are two
aspects of the issue. First, there is a growing involvement
in the region by the PRC and Taiwan as they vie for political
support in the UN. Second, there is a broader geopolitical
question: "The Pacific is a large space out there that may be
important some day, and how do we position ourselves?" As a
result, stated Cullen, the GNZ is concerned that the region
is becoming "a place for great power rivalries." That places
a duty on NZ, the US, France and Australia to assist
governments in the region, "particularly in governance and
the infrastructure for governance."

Asia -- NZ and US Roles
-----------------------

9. (SBU) Hoyer asked about the influence of mainland Asia in
the South Pacific region. According to Murdoch, NZ is
finding itself more closely involved in Asia and NZ is
"constantly drawn into the Asian architecture." Australia is
even more involved as a result of its closer geographic and
economic connections with Asia. And that, according to
Cullen, poses a danger for NZ because "unless we're with
Australia, we're very isolated."

10. (SBU) Murdoch credited the past involvement of the US as
the reason for Asia's current development. That demonstrates
what US influence in Asia can do, he added. Moreover,
Murdoch stated that "there is a lot of desire for the US to
be more involved in Asia" and there are "tons of scope" for
further US influence.

Afghanistan
-----------

11. (SBU) Hoyer asked for the NZ perspective on the current
state of affairs in Afghanistan. Cullen stated that NZ
shares Australian Prime Minister Rudd's view that it is
difficult to establish a democracy in a country with such
strong tribal traditions. Murdoch added that NZ established
the first non-US Provincial Reconstruction Team in
Afghanistan and that "our guys have received more fire in the
last four months than in the last four years."

North Korea -- NZ's Supporting Role
-----------------------------------

12. (C) Blunt expressed US appreciation for the GNZ's role
on North Korea. Cullen stated that it was an opportunity to
work with the USG in accomplishing a common goal, which the
two countries have shared for years. Cullen added that it is
also a good example of how the USG can work together with
other countries in a multilateral framework. According to
Murdoch, the DPRK must be shown the "goody bag" of benefits
that could result from normal relations with the world, and
the GNZ is perfectly positioned to fulfill that role, rather
than the US, Russia or Japan, which have less credibility
with the DPRK. "That is the kind of role we see ourselves
playing," said Murdoch. When asked by Representative Granger
(R-TX) how the GNZ came to assume that role with respect to
North Korea, Murdoch replied it was at the invitation and
with the encouragement of the USG and, in particular,
Secretary Rice.

SIPDIS

NZ's Role in World Affairs

WELLINGTON 00000015 003 OF 004


--------------------------

13. (SBU) Cullen commented on the role of the NZ armed
forces, stating that NZ has limited capacity to mount a
high-level, high-tech military force. Consequently, NZ has,
out of necessity, developed a low-tech army with highly
professional special services, and a naval and air capacity
sufficient for patrolling its "own patch" ) i.e., its EEZ,
NZ's associated islands, and supporting its base in
Antarctica. Use of those forces for other purposes has been
limited, such as in East Timor and Afghanistan.

14. (SBU) Hoyer inquired whether NZ sees an opportunity to
engage with the new leadership in Europe, specifically with
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela
Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian leader
Vladimir Putin. Cullen agreed and stated that Sarkozy is not
defensive but rather willing to engage and develop relations
with the US (which is good from the NZ perspective, he added,
as France is a player in the Pacific). PM Clark, he added,
has developed a good personal relationship with Merkel.
Hoyer commented that all four leaders want to play on the
world stage and that engagement with Europe is a must.
Moreover, Hoyer suggested, NZ can play a role in engaging
with those governments.

15. (SBU) Hoyer asked what impact the upcoming NZ elections
may have on NZ foreign policy. Cullen expressed his opinion
that if there is a change of government, there would be
little change in foreign policy. Most changes would be on
the domestic front, he said.

The US Role in World Affairs
----------------------------

16. (SBU) Representative Chandler (D-KY) noted the loss of
US popularity in the world and asked for ideas on how to
reverse that perception. Cullen commented that, as a
historian, he tends to take a long-term view. The US is
number one now, he said, but the chances of remaining in that
position by 2100 are slim. He suggested that the US should
develop and implement international rules and practices "that
will be there when you are no longer number one." He
mentioned, as an example, endorsement of the international
criminal court, which would be "a signal to the world." He
cautioned that the US should avoid being regarded in the same
way as the Australian cricket team, where "the rules are not
quite symmetrical."

Domestic Politics
-----------------

17. (C) With respect to the NZ's current domestic political
environment, Cullen commented that there is a certain
sentiment among New Zealanders that the Labour Party has been
in power long enough and that Johnny (National Party leader
John Keys) "should have a chance at bat." However, he added,
even though the polls seem to be in Keys' favor, "you never
know what rabbits the wily old curmudgeons (i.e., Labour) can
pull out of what hats."

Comment
-------

18. (SBU) The Codel arrived during the peak of the NZ summer
when school was out, most New Zealanders were on vacation and
celebrating the holidays, and the GNZ was, for all practical
purposes, shut down. In spite of this, the GNZ pulled out
all the stops to provide Codel Hoyer with a meaningful
program of meetings and activities ) with some government
officials coming in from planned vacations to meet with the
Codel. This effort illustrates the GNZ's high regard for,
and interest in further development of, its longstanding and
productive relationship with the US.


WELLINGTON 00000015 004 OF 004


19. (U) Codel Hoyer did not have an opportunity to clear
this message before departure.
MCCORMICK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC