Inside NZ UN ambassador's $11M NYC apartment

Inside NZ UN ambassador's $11M NYC apartment

3 News was invited into an open home with a difference today – our camera was allowed into the flash, taxpayer-funded apartment bought for New Zealand's ambassador to the United Nations.

The three-bedroom New York pad has already been the venue for some top-level diplomacy, hosting Security Council members for a lunch to discuss getting rid of the controversial veto.

The apartment has floor-to-ceiling windows, with a cracker view of the UN.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has sat next to Russia's ambassador at the apartment's table for a secret, offsite meeting over wine about axing the veto held by permanent Security Council members – ironic given Russia is likely to drop the veto on us tomorrow.

"It just shows we need to get them up here more often," says Mr McCully.

It's the last week of New Zealand's month as president of the council.

We're joining Australia to push for an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for shooting down MH17 over Ukraine last year. Twenty-seven Australian citizens were killed in the crash, and one New Zealander.

There are 15 countries on the Security Council. Five are permanent, with powers to veto almost anything they please.

Nine votes are needed for the MH17 tribunal to go ahead. It's expected we'll get 12. Two will abstain, but Russia's veto will end it all.

Russia has already used the veto once during our presidency. The last time two vetoes were used in a month was 1972.

The veto is considered priceless to the powerful permanent members, but it's a bugbear for almost everyone else.

Mr McCully has made a massive show of opposing the veto - doing away with it is one of his unrealistically ambitious Security Council dreams.

The fact New Zealand is presiding over the use of the veto twice is pure bad luck but also disappointing for Mr McCully, though he'll use that disappointment to push for reform.

3 News