Foreign Minister Murray McCully says it is "regrettable" his electorate office was vandalised by people opposed to New Zealand's sponsorship of a UN Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And while he understood some people felt strongly about it, there was nothing new in New Zealand's position.

"Obviously we have had a significant number of communications from people who are concerned about the issue," he told the Herald today before his meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.

"But it is very difficult to get past the fact that it is long-standing New Zealand policy to support the two-state solution, to condemn incitement and violence, and to call for a halt to the settlements process.


"These are not new New Zealand policies."

Vandalism at Murray McCully's electorate office on Auckland's North Shore.
Vandalism at Murray McCully's electorate office on Auckland's North Shore.

It was unfortunate if anyone portrayed him or New Zealand as anti-Israel.

"We have a longstanding friendship with Israel and our foreign policy positions have been very balanced and fair on these matters.

"It is simply incorrect to assert that we are anti-Israel in any shape or form.

"The fact is that there was a particular resolution before the council that our longstanding policy positions support, and so we supported it."

McCully's East Coast Bays electorate office was spray painted this week with the words "traitor" and "Jew hater."

He would not comment on whether Israel was likely to escalate its response to New Zealand for co-sponsoring the resolution - after Egypt was pressured to drop it.

"We hope that a normal friendly relationship with Israel will resume soon."


Nor would he comment on calls from a One Nation senator in Australia for reprisals against Kiwis living in Australia.

Ambassador Itzhak Gerberg has been recalled from Wellington to Israel and New Zealand Turkey-based ambassador Jonathan Curr has been denied access to Israel.

Senegal, another co-sponsor, has also had diplomatic relations suspended and aid halted.
A United Nations Security Council resolution passed on December 24 (NZ time) condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 as a "flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."

With the United States abstaining, the vote was passed 14-0.

McCully visited the Middle East in November to discuss a possible Security Council resolution, including with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu telephoned McCully hours before the Security Council vote and according to the Haaretz newspaper said that from Israel's point of view, it would be seen as a "declaration of war".

McCully today refused to confirm that those words were used.

"All I'll say is I was left in absolutely no doubt about his views and [those] I had heard previously on that topic."

McCully said a report in The Australian newspaper that Netanyahu had been planning a trip to New Zealand was incorrect, as was a suggestion that he did not discuss a Security Council resolution with Netanyahu on his last visit to Israel.

Netanyahu is expected to visit Australia and Fiji in the coming weeks.

McCully rejected a suggestion that New Zealand would start its relationship with the Trump Administration, from January 20, on the back foot, given Trump's vehement opposition to the resolution.

"The United States will elect its own leaders and will develop their own policies and we will absolutely respect that and we will always hope that other countries are going to respect our policy decisions and the election of our own leadership."

McCully is heading to London and Berlin next week to accompany Bill English on his first overseas trip as the new Prime Minister.

His talks with Reynder would be focusing on the proposed free trade talks between the EU and New Zealand.