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New Zealand is Outside the Intelligence Club

New Zealand is Outside the Intelligence Club

The revelation that Australia knew of a possible terrorist attack in Kenya but didn't inform the New Zealand Government provides more evidence that the Prime Minister was wrong when she assured the country we are a member of the best intelligence club in the world, ACT Foreign Affairs and Defence Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"Clearly, New Zealand is not in the loop. Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff's defence of our outsider status by saying the intelligence was of a `general nature' is a red herring. Most intelligence is of a general nature - very rarely will information identify a specific, localised threat.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark says New Zealand is part of an exclusive intelligence community including Australia, Canada, Britain, and the US. Yet on several crucial occasions since September 11 2001, it has been clear that New Zealand officials have not been passed information from the US and Australia.

"In December 1988 it was reported that all United States military assistance to New Zealand, including intelligence information, was cut off as a result of the ANZUS breakdown, and that Australia regularly receives United States intelligence information although it officially does not pass it on to New Zealand.

"It appears that the relationship has not thawed to the extent that the Prime Minister claims. Travel warnings New Zealanders receive are of little value unless our officials have access to the best information, something that will not happen unless New Zealand re-establishes a close relationship with other Western nations. The most sensible way to achieve that would be to refresh our connection with ANZUS.

"We are not in the best intelligence club in the world. Unless we make some foreign policy changes, New Zealanders are going to suffer the cost of not being an ally of the United States," Mr Shirley said.

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