WikiLeaks cable: EAP/ANP director Krawitz's February meetings in New Zealand

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

February 28, 2006
EAP/ANP director Krawitz's February meetings in
New Zealand

date:2006-02-28T04:06:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:06WELLINGTON157
destination:VZCZCXYZ0000 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHWL #0157/01 0590406 ZNY
CCCCC ZZH R 280406Z FEB 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE
WASHDC 2451 INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0037 RHEHAAA/NATIONAL
SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0040
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC RHHJJAA/JICPAC
HONOLULU HI RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000157

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP - DAN RICCI; D - FRITZ
DOD/OSD FOR LIZ PHU
PACOM FOR J01E...


?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000157

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP - DAN RICCI; D - FRITZ
DOD/OSD FOR LIZ PHU
PACOM FOR J01E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ
NSC FOR VICTOR CHA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2016
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NZ
SUBJECT: EAP/ANP DIRECTOR KRAWITZ'S FEBRUARY MEETINGS IN
NEW ZEALAND

Classified By: POL/ECON COUNSELOR KATHERINE B. HADDA
FOR REASONS 1.4 B AND D

1. (C) Summary: Discussions during ANP Director Krawitz's
February 8-11 visit to New Zealand addressed PRC activities
in the Pacific, Pacific Island issues, regional stability,
counter-terrorism, Antarctica, U.S.-New Zealand relations,
bilateral military ties, and launch of a new U.S.-New Zealand
Partnership Forum. Bilateral differences over New Zealand's
nuclear law, while discussed, did not dominate the visit.
Suggestions on how to improve bilateral cooperation led to
general agreement that more Washington visits by New
Zealanders from all walks of life would do much to strengthen
ties and improve relations.

2. (U) Key meetings were with Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Trade (MFAT) Deputy Secretary John McKinnon,
Counter-terrorism/Security Policy Ambassador Dell Higgie, and
Defence Ministry (MoD) Deputy Secretary Chris Seed. Other
meetings included MFAT's directors for the Pacific Islands
and Antarctic programs, Parliament Foreign Affairs Select
Committee Chair Dianne Yates and Parliament Member Jill
Pettis, National Party Foreign Affairs Spokesman Murray
McCully, American Chamber of Commerce CEO Mike Hearn,
Wellington Chamber of Commerce CEO Charles Finny, academics
and journalists. End Summary

Bilateral Issues
----------------

3. (C) Both sides agreed that despite differences, we can
and should maximize cooperation in areas of common interest.
Encouraging good governance in the Pacific Island States and
expanding U.S. work-study programs for New Zealand students
were examples. The New Zealanders accepted our point that,
unlike the many Australian officials, politicians, business
people, academics, even students who visit Washington and the
State Department every year, relatively few Kiwis come to
town or show interest. Most people with whom we spoke agree
New Zealand would benefit from sending more visitors to
Washington. They are also optimistic that the new U.S.-New
Zealand Partnership Forum, planned for April, will be
productive, and share the view that a broad cross-section of
New Zealanders must participate for the forum to succeed.
Phil Goff will lead the New Zealand delegation, in his role
as Trade Minister (he is also defense minister). National
Party leader Don Brash will also attend as part of a New
Zealand Government-sponsored trip to the United States.

4. (C) MFAT's McKinnon called his recent Washington visit a
success, expressed hope A/S Hill would visit New Zealand in
March, and said Foreign Minister Peters may visit the United
States soon. (Peters' office later said early July might be
doable.) McKinnon said he is committed to making the
U.S.-New Zealand relationship work, despite continued
differences over the nuclear issue. Turning to trade, he
said New Zealand officials know chances for getting an FTA
with the United States in the near term are slim, but new
Ambassador Roy Ferguson will continue to make the pitch, if a
bit more quietly. McKinnon wants to see a U.S.-New Zealand
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement meeting before much
more time passes. Switching gears, he advocated for good
contact and communication on peacekeeping, counterterrorism,
defense, and Asian development issues. McKinnon expressed
surprise, given our interest in East Asian Architecture
issues, that U.S. officials had not attended the Singapore
Global Forum conference on Asia and the Future. McKinnon
stressed that there must be a U.S. voice in this, saying some
countries wonder whether Washington has lost interest in the
region. We assured him this is not the case.

China
-----

5. (C) MoD officials expressed concern that China-Taiwan
resource and diplomatic competition contributes to political
instability in Pacific Island nations. International Policy
Division Director Paul Sinclair described Peoples Liberation
Army (PLA) aid to defense forces in the region, especially to
Tonga and Fiji, adding that the PLA outspends New Zealand by

wide margins in PNG. (Reportedly, PNG may transfer its
Wellington Defense Attache position to Beijing.) Equally
troublesome are reported PLA links to paramilitary forces in
Vanuatu. Mod's Seed said PLA activities in the Pacific
Islands pose real security problems for New Zealand. He
added that New Zealand Forces have no direct dialogue with
the PLA on this issue, because the PRC tightly controls
military visits to New Zealand. These have declined from
five or six to three visits a year.

6. (C) MFAT Americas and Pacific Island Director Riddell
focused on how China's rapacious quest for natural resources
undermines good governance, sustainable development, and
environmental protection in Pacific Island states like PNG,
Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. For island states like
Kiribati, politics and excessive fishing are the issues.
Riddell said China pushes to restrict Taiwan's participation
in the new Regional Fisheries Management Organization.

7. (C) McKinnon reviewed East Asian Summit (EAS) issues and
how New Zealand's, Australia's and India's presence counters
Chinese efforts to control the EAS. He promised to keep us
advised about how things go in the EAS.

Counter-terrorism
-----------------

8. (C) Counter-terrorism Ambassador Higgie said New Zealand
is committed to the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
but frustrated by confusing signals from Washington. U.S.
officials urge New Zealand to take part, even as U.S. policy
requires waivers for U.S. forces when New Zealand forces are
present. New Zealand would host a PSI exercise or planning
meeting but fears embarrassment should the U.S. military
decline to take part. We explained U.S. policy, including
provisions for case-by-case waivers, adding that Washington
agencies may later review waiver rules for PSI activities.
We also made the point that overstating the significance of
waivers or high-level military visits when such occur does
not help New Zealand's case. Higgie then praised U.S.-New
Zealand cooperation on the Container Security Initiative and
on counter-terrorism capacity building in the Pacific. She
said New Zealand screens Polynesian exports to the U.S. that
transit Auckland (much does) and talked of possibly setting
up in American Samoa a regional training center for Pacific
Island customs officials. She stressed U.S. involvement is
important. The President's appearance at the 2003 meeting of
Pacific Island Leaders secured counter-terrorism buy-in in
the region. So will the USD 1.5 million Washington gave the
Pacific Island Forum to set up an anti-money laundering
training center in Suva. If successful, this could be a
pilot for similar U.S. assistance for customs training.

Pacific Islands
---------------

9. (C) MFAT officers called A/S Hill's planned March visit
to New Zealand and his possible participation in a June event
with Pacific Island States in Washington good ways to boost
U.S.-New Zealand Pacific region cooperation. The June event
could set the stage for the Pacific Island Leaders
Conference, on hold until 2007. Promoting democratization in
Tonga and rule of law in Fiji surfaced as other areas for
cooperation. Pacific Affairs Director Riddell noted that
Foreign Minister Winston Peters (winding up a successful
visit to Fiji at the time) has a special interest in the
region and close ties to many Pacific island leaders.

10. (C) Assessing other regional trouble spots, Riddell said
the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
(RAMSI) will have to remain for some time, although it is
evolving from a law enforcement/pacification process to a
capacity building/nation building process. Still, given all
left to do, it is unclear when there will have been enough
progress to begin holding senior officials accountable for
their actions. Upcoming elections will be the first held in
peaceful circumstances in some time. Riddell called PNG
"deeply dysfunctional." She thinks Australia's
institution-building initiative is failing. Ironically, the
fact that PNG institutions are limping along rather than

collapsing makes things more difficult -- it's harder to
repair than rebuild. AIDS is also approaching crisis
proportions in PNG. One bright spot, Bougainville, which is
finally coming out of its decades-long conflict, is promising
if fragile. Recent elections went well, but financial fraud
is on the rise.

Antarctica
----------

11. (C) January 2007 kicks off Antarctic events related to
the International Polar Year. The upgrade of New Zealand's
C-130 fleet has decreased logistical support for the U.S.
Antarctic program temporarily. Support will return to 12
flights a season in a few years. In late 2007, New Zealand
will test a 757 refitted to carry passengers to the ice.
This could free up cargo space in USAF C-17s. New Zealand
test flew a P-3 Orion to the ice, opening up possibilities
for the plane's use as a back-up for medical evacuation
flights. Other plans for the P-3 include exploring how it
might be used to assist scientific research. But MFAT's very
enthusiastic Antarctic Director voiced some worries during
the meeting. He said the lack of clear arrangements for
addressing the effects of land-based tourism -- such as
hotels on an Antarctic Treaty signatory's base -- will create
problems if not addressed soon. More commercial fishing by
non-treaty members, Chinese- and Togo-flagged vessels, for
example, is also a concern. New Zealand, which is
encouraging China to sign the Antarctic treaty, clearly
considers it important to voice displeasure to flag-issuing
states if "their" vessels are caught fishing illegally.

The Nuclear Issue
-----------------

12. (C) The long-time U.S.-New Zealand dispute over nuclear
law, the focus of a roundtable with local journalists, did
not dominate. When the topic came up, the U.S. message was
that we do not seek to dictate policy but will not redefine
our definitions of "ally" and "friend" to suit New Zealand's
domestic politics. Still, the question of nuclear power as
an element of New Zealand's economic future led to some
interesting exchanges. At an MFAT-sponsored lunch, academic
Nigel Roberts said Kiwis are unlikely to come around to an
acceptance of nuclear energy even though New Zealand will
face energy shortages in the coming years. Kiwis will have
to adapt to wind power and coal, energy generation methods
that run counter to New Zealand's green image. John McKinnon
believes young New Zealanders are even less likely than their
parents to favor nuclear power. The most direct exchange
about nuclear issues came during a meeting with the National
Party's Murray McCully, who traveled from Auckland for a
lunch
meeting. McCully said his own party's recent decision to
reverse position and support retaining the ban does not mean
less interest in strong relations with the United States.
National's thinking is that by removing this contentious
issue from discussion, National would be better able to press
the Government more forcefully to strengthen bilateral ties.
As McCully put it, New Zealanders will oppose any effort to
eliminate the anti-nuclear legislation, and National would
only be "shooting itself in the foot" to push for change
without public support.

Military Upgrades/Public Attitudes to Defense
--------------------------------------------- ---

13. (C) MoD officials gave details on defense upgrades that
will fully motorize the army and improve naval command and
control capabilities. New Zealanders see their country as
being far from trouble spots. They continue to regard their
military as an expeditionary force. MoD expects to continue
this tradition of global deployments but anticipates having
to do more in the Pacific, as transnational crime, China, and
other regional threats increase. A telling statistic: New
Zealand forces have deployed in the South Pacific on missions
unrelated to disaster relief at least six times since 1990,
compared to no military deployments in the previous 30 years.
MoD expects this trend to continue, if not worsen.
Recognizing the importance of law enforcement and related

missions in the region, New Zealand has backed away from the
view that its military should only focus on its core mission.


14. (C) Academic Nigel Roberts said New Zealanders believe
RAMSI plays a positive role in regional peacekeeping. They
support New Zealand's participation because RAMSI is well
run, and there have been no New Zealand casualties. MFAT
Australia Director Bede Corry agreed: New Zealanders also
supported actions in Bougainville, a larger operation, for
the same reasons. New Zealand will be able to sustain its
participation in RAMSI for some time because it involves a
mix of civilian and military assistance. Academic Jock
Phillips added that Kiwis like to be seen as contributing to
global military efforts, especially in peacekeeping roles,
because, at times, this makes them feel morally superior.

McCormick

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