WikiLeaks cable: Visit of EAP Das Davies to NZ

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

August 22, 2006
Visit of EAP Das Davies to NZ


date:2006-08-22T01:02:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:06WELLINGTON655
destination:VZCZCXRO6796 PP RUEHPB DE RUEHWL #0655/01 2340102 ZNY
CCCCC ZZH P 220102Z AUG 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE
WASHDC PRIORITY 3174 INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 4514
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY PRIORITY 0596 RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA
PRIORITY 0500 RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
PRIORITY
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:06WELLINGTON536|06WELLINGTON627|06WELLINGTON655
?C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000655

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EAP/RSP, EAP/PD, AND EAP/ANP
N...
?C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000655

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EAP/RSP, EAP/PD, AND EAP/ANP
NSC FOR VICTOR CHA
SECDEF FOR OSD/ISA LIZ PHU
PACOM FOR JO1E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2016
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NZ, US
SUBJECT: VISIT OF EAP DAS DAVIES TO NEW ZEALAND

REF: A. WELLINGTON 627
B. WELLINGTON 536

Classified By: Ambassador William McCormick,
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: New Zealand is eager to continue to
identify areas of future US-NZ cooperation, GNZ officials
told EAP DAS Glyn Davies during his August 17-19 visit. But
PM Clark and other senior officials are wary of riling the
Labour party's left, and prefer that we gradually signal our
dialogue through individual actions and a series of senior
level public meetings rather than unveil a sweeping new
initiative. DAS Davies and GNZ counterparts reviewed Pacific
Island, regional security and counter-terrorism issues, and
existing US-New Zealand defense and intelligence cooperation.
All meetings were very cordial. Embassy Wellington and
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) staff will in
the coming days draw up a list of the items flagged at the
meetings for possible cooperation. The New Zealand side
endorsed DAS Davies' suggestion for a second bilateral
interagency meeting early next year.

2. (C) The nuclear issue was barely raised by any GNZ
official during the visit. DAS Davies' off the record
discussions with local journalists and his August 20 TV
interview were similarly forward looking. A brief article in
the August 21 New Zealand Herald focused almost entirely on
Davies' observation that the US had much to learn from New
Zealand's experience in the Pacific Islands and shares NZ's
concerns over the influence of checkbook diplomacy in the
region. End Summary.

------------
GNZ Meetings
------------

3. (C) MFAT CEO Simon Murdoch told DAS Davies that PM Clark,
FM Peters and Def Min Goff are all "broadly comfortable" with
the Bangkok process and want it to succeed. But in order not
to raise opposition from Labour's left they would rather have
actions precede rhetoric and avoid presenting the initiative
to the public as a package. Murdoch said the GNZ hopes for a
series of senior-level encounters to show we are cooperating,
for example a brief meeting between PM Clark and POTUS or S
on the margins of the UNGA or November's APEC leaders'
meeting in Hanoi. Davies welcomed the low-key approach
towards increasing cooperation, but noted that at some point
New Zealand's political leadership will need to make a public
expression of support for the relationship. He also
cautioned that high-level meetings at the UNGA and APEC could
prove difficult due to pressing commitments on the U.S. side.


4. (C) Murdoch said GNZ officials have gone over the Aide
Memoire from the Bangkok meeting and have identified areas of
"low-hanging fruit" for possible cooperation, as well as some
more difficult options for them and/or us. He said the
officials had also identified some initiatives as having the
most benefit for the GNZ, recognizing some would be difficult
to achieve. Among these would be for GNZ's terrorism threat
assessment group (CTAG) to participate in assessments with
the "4 eyes" and US-NZ consultations on the implications of
the Pacific Island Countries' (PICs) improving
peacekeeping/military capability. Murdoch also acknowledged
that Secretary Rumsfeld's meeting with DefMin Goff was "not
great" but said GNZ hopes we can still look for a process
that will afford NZDF greater predictability of what it can
and cannot do with US counterparts. He stressed this again
during the working lunch held later in the day.

-----------------------
The PICs and the Region
-----------------------

5. (C) At an inter-ministerial roundtable on Pacific Island
issues and regional architecture, MFAT Deputy Secretary Alan
Williams said that GNZ remains very concerned about the
potential for international crime and instability in the
PICs. In addition to stepping up aid to the region (now 50%
of all assistance), NZ now has 20 government agencies working
on outreach to the PICs. It is also increasing its

WELLINGTON 00000655 002 OF 002


engagement with partners such as Australia, the European
Union, and Japan and welcomes the chance to do the same with
us. NZAID officials said that competition between China and
Taiwan is increasingly undermining good governance. However,
GNZ has begun dedicated talks with China on PIC issues, for
example during the recent visit to Wellington by Chinese
Assistant FonMin He Yafei (ref B). GNZ has also visited
Taipei to voice concerns on Taiwan's checkbook diplomacy in
the region.

6. (C) Williams said GNZ expects to be in the Solomons for 10
years or more. Although GNZ agrees that Melanesia is an "arc
of instability," there are bright spots, with economic growth
continuing in Tonga and Tuvalu, and Vanuatu reasonably
stable. GNZ officials are not as gloomy as their Australian
counterparts about PNG, but worry that corruption there will
undermine economic growth. GNZ is focusing on sector support
and donor harmonization for the PICs, which they think will
be more effective than traditional development assistance and
will create a "demand side" for good governance currently
lacking in the region. NZ officials are also trying to
identify the next generation of PIC leaders. They and Davies
agreed there is a need to improve the interaction of external
partners with PIC leaders around the Pacific Islands Forum.

7. (C) On E. Timor, GNZ believes a new police force must be
formed from scratch. The judiciary must be reconnected with
the people as 90% of its business is conducted Portuguese,
which most Timorese don't speak. GNZ and Australia are in
broad agreement on most E.Timor issues, but GNZ does not
believe an Australian-led force would be insulated from
domestic political machinations in the way a UN-led force
would be. On East Asian architecture, Williams said that GNZ
regards WTO as its most important economic and trade forum,
with APEC as the best regional vehicle. GNZ has expended
considerable diplomatic effort to enter the East Asian Summit
and remain "in the tent," but is asking questions about what
the organization will do and whether any trade aspects will
reflect NZ values.

8. (C) At a roundtable on Security issues, MFAT Acting
Deputy Secretary Dell Higgie said GNZ is funding security
capacity building in SE Asia, and is also helping to fund
"soft end" CT efforts in the region such as a regional
interfaith dialogue among clerics from ASEAN, E. Timor, PNG,
Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand, to meet in NZ next year.
Higgie reviewed New Zealand's efforts to help the PICs meet
their Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and other
global counter-terrorism (CT) obligations. GNZ is for
example working with Australia to develop a PIC CT response
plan. Higgie noted that the PICs are nervous about CT
resource commitments and it would be helpful for USG
officials to help reassure them. New Zealand has also helped
the Cooks and Niue develop financial intelligence units and
continues to monitor their effectiveness. GNZ will host a
PSI Operational Experts Group in March or April 2007. It
would like to host a full exercise in 2008 and sees this as a
possible Bangkok process discussion for Washington early next
year.

McCormick

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 02 Oct 2014 09:59:51 Processing Time: 388ms