Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with staff at the Center for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) in Suva. Photo/Michael Neilson
Now that politicians have been able to leave the country to develop diplomatic relations for a while, what have they done?
That’s the subject of this week’s edition of the New Zealand Herald podcast. On the tiles. Senior Political Reporter Thomas Coughlan spoke to his former boss, Sam Sachdeva, the Newsroom’s National Affairs Editor, about the escapades our MPs have been on.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently made trips to Singapore, Japan, the United States, Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Fiji and twice to Australia. The international jet set still has its troubles, with many members of the press gallery catching Covid-19 while covering the Pacific Islands Forum.
The Chinese government remains a challenge for many Western countries, with Ardern not fully addressing his government’s position if China goes to war with China.
Coughlan pointed out that a conflict initiated by China could play out differently from Russia’s war against Ukraine.
“China is obviously much richer and much better equipped than Russia, but Taiwan is also much richer and better equipped than Ukraine. .
“I guess the big difference is Russia’s centrality in the global trading system compared to China.”
Australia’s relationship with much of the world is being renegotiated by its new government.
One way to signal this was Australia’s acknowledgment of climate change during its participation in the Pacific Islands Forum, a stark contrast to Scott Morrison’s previous administration. Ardern was even asked if Australia could spend more than New Zealand on climate change policy. The Prime Minister replied that this type of competition could only be positive.
Of the Australian delegation, Sachdeva said: “There has been a lot of talk about Australia’s refreshing change of approach, which speaks volumes about the previous government and what it brought to the table. “
“People love having a drink at Scott’s. Do I feel bad for him? I don’t know if I am. He kind of made his own bed in terms of climate policy”