Green MP Golriz Ghahraman calls for New Zealand not to go back to 'Cold War allegiances', focus on Asia-Pacific

  • 02/07/2022

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ended four years of tough negotiations and secured a free trade deal with the EU this week - worth about $1.5 billion annually.

The deal came after Ardern's trip to Madrid, where she became the first New Zealand leader to speak at the NATO leaders' meeting.

But her speech didn't go unnoticed by China. After her speech, in which she called out a "more assertive" China, the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand accused the Prime Minister of making "misguided accusations against China". 

Speaking about Ardern's NATO attendance, Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said she was concerned the Russia-Ukraine war was taking New Zealand back to "Cold War allegiances", instead of focusing on the Asia-Pacific region.

"It's OK to have those connections with Europe - we have to have them, we have to have our connections with the US and the like as well as China - but NATO is a military alliance, so we are really going back into that old-world thinking," she told Newshub Nation.

"[Being] aligned is one thing but I think once we start to appear on the stage at a NATO summit, we have to ask ourselves what allegiances we're undermining, as well."

She noted Ardern attended NATO instead of the Commonwealth summit in Rwanda. 

"I think it's important to have conversations about whether we want to be part of a military allegiance or a diplomatic one, and that's the question when it comes to NATO," Ghahraman said.

On the Russia-Ukraine war, she said New Zealand's response had been more "militarised" than the Greens would have liked.

"The focus on the humanitarian relief could have been stronger," she said.

"There are millions displaced - are we better to be working out those aid corridors, as an independent state, that can negotiate them?"

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