Key right to say cables would 'embarrass'
Mon, 20 Dec 2010 12:43p.m.
By Tova O'Brien
Cables leaked by WikiLeaks have offered a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at New Zealand politics as seen through American eyes - how and why some deals are done and the contrary stories told to the public.
Of the 250,000 secret documents obtained by WikiLeaks, about 1600 relate to New Zealand.
Prime Minister John Key pre-emptively said they might lead to embarrassment, and he was right.
"I think it'll make people a bit more cynical about foreign affairs," says political commentator John Pagani. "I think it's exposed that there is some cynicism in the Government." Most of the cables were sent when Labour was in power, and one suggests that then Prime Minister Helen Clark sent troops to Iraq to maintain Fonterra's lucrative United Nations dairy contract.
"The real reason the troops were sent and claimed by America was to help advance the trade deal," says the Greens' Keith Locke. "That is unprincipled politics and the Labour Party should be ashamed of it."
Ahead of the 2008 election, Mr Key committed to meeting the Dalai Lama. But cables show Mr Key assured the Chinese premier that neither he nor his ministers would meet the exiled spiritual leader when he visited last year.
"It's a history of duplicity and fooling the public who is very much supportive of the Dalai Lama and would like our Government to meet him," says Mr Locke.
Other cables show that senior Government officials undermined New Zealand's nuclear-free policy, suggesting to Washington that it could be reversed.
"There's a perception that it's anti-American and those perceptions are wrong," says Mr Pagani, "until people understand that we're not going to move past it, so that's a big failure for our diplomatic core."
The cables have given New Zealanders a unique insight into the workings of Government, and although they may come as a shock to some people, political commentators say they're not likely to cause any long-term damage.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
23/12/2010 4:32:17 p.m.
No shock here. I would love to argue that the public WONT forget the cables but the snoring in this country is so loud I often cant get an afternoon nap for this aging body.
23/12/2010 4:14:25 p.m.
The truth is they are all kow towing to some they shouldnt while trying to maintain an `impression' they are working for us. Did any see that Nick Smith behaving like a MORONIC PEA BRAIN over the Chemtrail subject....& he still didnt attempt to deny they exist. He thinks he was clever.
20/12/2010 6:56:13 p.m.
we will not worry about china,the delhi lama is welcome in nz that is my promise.hello leaders of china, oh no the delhi lama won't be welcomed in nz.oh sorry did I get that around the wrong way.john key I live me taking everyone for a mug again.
20/12/2010 2:06:49 p.m.
Cynic 1 wrote:
aint it the truth.
Key's defence of Pansy Wong, his putting National Party before our country, this grinning politician's two faced promise to meet the Dalai Lama Whilst telling the Chinese he would not, or allow his minister to meet the Tibetan leader, shows John Key is just another con artist of a Politician who,like most politicians, cannot believed.
Helen Clark has been shown to be two faced, our national anthem should be "God save us from our politicians"!!
Good on you Wikileaks, keep em coming!!
20/12/2010 1:32:42 p.m.
Shows Labour had a little bit of business acumen after all.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.