Australian Foreign Minister setting the standard for Mahuta

Wed, 15 Jun, 2022

“ACT hopes that Australia’s new Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong can give Nanaia Mahuta some tips on foreign diplomacy when they meet later this week,” says ACT’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Minister Wong’s visit to New Zealand will be her fourth overseas trip in her first month in the job, by comparison, Minister Mahuta has only made three overseas trips in two and a half years.

“Good Foreign Affairs Ministers of the past have been known to barely set foot in New Zealand they’re so focused on international relations. The borders are open, she needs to get moving.

“The pandemic can’t be used as an excuse anymore. The rest of the world has moved on and is partaking in face-to-face diplomacy. New Zealand is a small export nation reliant on our trading partners, we can’t take them for granted and risk being left out of discussions.

“The Minister claims she isn’t distracted by her Three Waters agenda but that’s clearly not the case. She needs to forget her unpopular and anti-democratic Three Waters programme and focus on foreign policy.

“Earlier this week the Prime Minister had the chance to show leadership and strip her of the Local Government portfolio so she could focus on New Zealand’s role in a dramatically changing geopolitical environment. She did nothing.”