New Zealand one step closer to joining AUKUS
The National-led coalition government is off to a fast start internationally. In envisioning a more central role for the ANZAC alliance with Australia, and possible involvement in the AUKUS security pact, it is recalibrating New Zealand’s independent foreign policy.
At the inaugural Australia-New Zealand Foreign and Defense Ministerial (ANZMIN) meeting in Melbourne earlier this year, the focus was on future-proofing the trans-Tasman alliance.
Detailed discussions took place on the defense and security aspects of the relationship. This included global strategic issues, the Indo-Pacific region, and the relevance of the partnership in the Pacific.
But the stage for this shift in New Zealand’s independent foreign policy had already been set by the Labour government in 2023.
In his foreword to the country’s first National Security Strategy last year, then-prime minister Chris Hipkins wrote that New Zealand “faces a fundamentally more challenging security outlook.” The strategy document called for a “national conversation on foreign policy.”
Christopher Luxon’s administration is taking the logical next step by increasing cooperation with Canberra.
In or out of AUKUS?
New Zealand’s independent foreign policy emerged in the mid-1980s from the debris of the ANZUS alliance. It flourished in a historically rare era of muted great power rivalry and unprecedented economic globalization.
It is abundantly clear that our holiday from history is over.
New Zealand’s independent foreign policy has to be redefined in response to present strategic circumstances rather than past interpretations, however well they may have served us. These historic positions, recently put forward by former National leader Don Brash and former prime minister