The following is an extract from:
Q+A: Winston Peters on China and the Pacific “reset”
Foreign Minister Winston Peters is interviewed by Q+A’s Corin Dann, suggesting New Zealand’s approach to China will change under the Labour-NZ First Government. He says New Zealand must do more to maintain its influence in the Pacific.
CORIN All right. A couple of quick things. I’ve got your coalition agreement here. It’s one of my favourite documents to read. (LAUGHS)
CORIN The last thing on it on foreign policy says you would record a Cabinet minute regarding the lack of progress prior to the National-led government’s sponsorship of the UN resolution on Israel and the occupied territories. New Zealand was criticised a lot from Israel and other pro-Israeli countries. Have you recorded a cabinet minute on that?
WINSTON It’s lack of process, not progress.
CORIN Yes, process, sorry. Let’s be clear.
WINSTON What happened was before Christmas 2016, they got railroaded by interests actually for New Zealand offshore into a pre-Christmas denunciation of Israel without that going – as is required by the Cabinet manual – to go to Cabinet. And then it went to Cabinet, and we were saying straight-up, we don’t like processes which are just ignored when they’re in the national interests of—
CORIN So you’ve recorded the minute? It’s been recorded?
WINSTON We have.
CORIN Just quickly, why? Is it because of the process or is it because you’re concerned that we should never have done that, that that resolution was wrong?
WINSTON Oh, look, you had that happen. You had the claim that we had to make that compensatory statement in Saudi Arabia because we were being sued. That was a lie. We were never being sued in Saudi Arabia, and no one’s being held responsible. I want to know why we’re offshore doing serious foreign policy things without following the process, and we recorded our disquiet about that last week.
CORIN OK, so that’s on the record.
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