Thursday, May 11, 2017

No, Minister

"Premature" ejaculation definitely not on:

"[New Zealand] Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee says he's an 'excellent student' when it comes to learning diplomatic speak. The newly-appointed Minister is being tutored by his officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade after comments which appeared to undermine a New-Zealand-sponsored UN Security Council resolution [2334] condemning the building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

"Brownlee admits the comments were his mistake. 'The Government's position hasn't changed. What we are trying to do is re-establish diplomatic relations with a country that we've had a long relationship with. Under the intense scrutiny of a Radio New Zealand journalist, I used some language that perhaps made that less than clear,' he said. In that interview, Brownlee described the resolution carried out under his predecessor Murray McCully as 'premature' and suggested NZ should not have moved forward with it unless Israel agreed. 'It's something I've got to take a little bit of a lesson from my friends at MFAT who are currently giving me various pieces of advice about appropriate diplomatic language.' But Brownlee gave an assurance: 'I'm an excellent student, a great learner.'

"His comments came after Prime Minister Bill English yesterday said he had spoken with his Foreign Minister and was confident they were the comments of someone still 'trying to find the right language'." (Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee learning the diplomatic lingo after Israel gaffe, Stacey Kirk,, 10/5/17)

[See my 5/5/17 post, Brownlee Blinked First.]


Anonymous said...

From an Australian living in beautiful Napier, NZ, the Art-Deco City:

Brownlee has long been 'on the nose' in NZ and that is just among his own cabinet colleagues. The public have stronger views. There is an opinion that he was given the Foreign Affairs portfolio simply to get him out of the country. Brownlee was responsible for the rebuilding of Christchurch following the earthquake. This has been a disaster.

Recently Australia has introduced a new series of restrictions on New Zealanders living in Australia. This is always in the news. Brownlee has incurred the wrath of the public by not standing up for New Zealand when bullied by the likes of Julie Bishop and Turnbull. Australia thinks it is doing NZ a favour rather than having a reciprocal arrangement.

Even more arrogant is Australia attempting to lecturing NZ about the honest and constructive UNSC resolution and then further public lectures during Netanyahu's visit to Australia.

Turnbull was ill advised to assume NZ had a servile foreign policy like Australia and could be bullied. Turnbull needs a course in diplomacy too. NZ has self respect and a genuine sense of fair play. By contrast Australia talks the talk about "a fair go" and then supports a rogue 'state' like Israel.

The NZ public is delighted that Brownlee has been publicly humiliated.

There is no organised Israel Lobby or advocacy journalism of the Murdoch press kind here. Letters and articles highly critical of Israel, the kind that would never be published in Australia, are routine. The freedom and honesty is refreshing.

The average New Zealander could be forgiven for thinking that Australia's best mate is not New Zealand but Israel. That is Australia's loss and Australia's shame.

MERC said...

I'm thinking NZ could start something here: NZ government speaks up for Palestinian rights and the rule of international law at home and in the UN; Netanyahu predictably responds with 'how dare you declare war on us' and withdraws its representatives in a huff; former Israeli embassy building becomes a de facto Palestinian embassy, flying the Palestinian flag; NZ leads the world by moral example.

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip for the next journalist interviewing NZ Prime Minister Bill English or any minister in the government.

Question: Did Foreign Minister Brownlee seek cabinet approval to write to PM Netanyahu?

The caption of the following story could well be: " Rogue Minister wrote to Rogue State without Cabinet Approval"

Anonymous said...

Successive Australian governments have lacked the integrity shown by New Zealand and its politicians. New Zealanders are proud of their indigenous culture and the Maori are at least recognised by a treaty, unlike the wonderful land of Oz. Turnbull, Bishop and Netanyahu are really in no position to hurl stones at the Kiwis, who demonstrate they value both human and indigenous rights, not just by their words, but by their actions.