McCully’s response to Indonesian executions cautious as one of our own fights drug charges.

New Zealand has not ruled out recalling its ambassador from Indonesia in protest at the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

The deliberations come as United Future leader Peter Dunne warns that a different approach to the "uncontrolled bullying" efforts of Australia is needed if a Kiwi facing the death penalty in Indonesia is to be spared.

Antony de Malmanche of Whanganui is fighting drug charges in Bali.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on the cover of Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on the cover of Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said time was needed to decide what further action could best steer Indonesia away from executions.


"I think this is a situation where we should just absorb the information that is coming in and reflect carefully. We will want to influence Indonesia's future actions, and we will make sure that we calibrate our actions accordingly," Mr McCully said.

In the hours after yesterday's executions, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the unprecedented move of withdrawing its ambassador to Indonesia.

Said Mr McCully: "I don't want to comment on that possibility [New Zealand withdrawing its ambassador]. What I will say is that we perfectly understand the Australian response.

"We are intent now on shaping the future process without looking at individuals. We want to make sure that we persuade Indonesia to abolish capital punishment."

In the House yesterday, Mr McCully put forward a motion that was unanimously passed by all parties, expressing dismay at the executions and urging Indonesia to reconsider its use of the death penalty.

Labour Party foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer said New Zealanders did not support the death penalty under any circumstances.

Under international law, drug trafficking was not considered serious enough to warrant that penalty, he said.

The Government's response on Tuesday to the then-impending executions was not strong enough, Mr Shearer said.

However, he would not say recalling our own ambassador would be the right move.

"[It's] not beholden on us to turn around and do the same thing. What we should be doing is saying exactly what we are saying in private, publicly ... Up until last night and certainly this morning, Murray McCully was being rather weasly worded."

Mr Dunne said lessons should be learned from Australia's failed efforts. He excluded Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop from his criticisms.

"I think the rest of them acted like a bunch of uncontrolled bullies, and as a result two lives were needlessly lost.

"First of all threatening Indonesia over aid, and then just two days ago, commentators in Australia saying that this showed really how weak the President of Indonesia was.

"I think that they bullied and behaved in a way that made it almost impossible for the Indonesians to offer any way out ... We need to be starting to talk quietly but clearly to the Indonesians, not in the three months before he [Mr de Malmanche] is [to be] executed, but right from now."

De Malmanche fears he'll die too

The New Zealand man on trial in Bali is said to be traumatised after the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Antony de Malmanche's lawyer says his client knew the two Australians.

"He's horrified, traumatised and worried about his own position as well," Craig Tuck said yesterday.

De Malmanche, 52, from Whanganui was arrested in December at Bali's Denpasar International Airport. He is accused of smuggling methamphetamine into Indonesia. His supporters have said he was duped.

Mr Tuck said de Malmanche, in custody in Bali's Kerobokan Prison, knew the executions were inevitable, but the aftermath was still devastating.

"He knew both Andrew and Mayu quite well. And they had supported him."

Mr Tuck spoke to de Malmanche yesterday. "We always knew it's a dangerous situation and this just backs up that the Indonesians have the political will to carry out the death penalty."

Mr Tuck said diplomatic or political attempts to strongarm Indonesian authorities over the Bali Nine were obviously ineffective, even counter-productive. He said any situation where Indonesian authorities felt they were being "stood over" by a neo-colonialist power could backfire.

Yet Mr Tuck said Indonesia's perceptions of Australia were very different from its view of New Zealand.

He said his client's health was deteriorating and de Malmanche faced the prospect of several more weeks of prosecution evidence at the trial.