TVNZ posted an interview segment with Ardern and Peters recorded at the APEC summit in Port Moresby.
Our relationship is unique, I think we have a role to play in working alongside our Pacific counterparts to ensure that, actually, a whole range of global players understand some of the significant challenges here and we work to raise the profile of those be it with China, be it with the EU, be it with the UK. End quote.
I tried reading between the lines but there was nothing there either. What are these ‘significant challenges’? We don’t know, as we weren’t told.
Of course, our relationship (to whom or what?) is unique; just like every other country’s relationship is unique.
So Ardern looked to Peters who took up the dialogue:
In times of uncertainty and potential economic chaos as a result of a conflict between the Chinese and the United States, nevertheless there is an enormous opportunity arises from the fact that other countries are looking at New Zealand with fresh eyes now and that’s dramatic, whether it be Vietnam, whether it be Indonesia, whether it be countries like Brunei. All of a sudden they have got a different perspective about New Zealand and some of the things that go back to this country’s long term character and integrity when it comes to the Pacific is starting to show through so I think that is something I wouldn’t have seen before and I’m seeing it now and I think it offers us enormous opportunity to have a far more profound influence in the shape of the Pacific than we hitherto have had. End quote.
Peters’s opening statement, “In times of uncertainty and potential economic chaos as a result of a conflict between the Chinese and the United States,” just hangs there unfinished.
We are then told that it is dramatic that other countries are looking at us with fresh eyes. Why? Are they thinking of mounting an invasion?
They could well have a different perspective about New Zealand now. They could see us as being led by a dysfunctional bunch in Wellington for all we know from Peters’ statement.
Photoshopped image credit: Technomage
Was anything really said by either of them?
Was APEC a bust, diplomatically?
After Ardern’s meeting with the PNG Prime Minister was cancelled, Ardern said that, if she were able to have spoken with Mr O’Neill, she would likely have raised the issue of female representation in the PNG government.
Was Ardern hoping to export some of ours? Or was she going to speak from a position of strength with her party having 14 men and 5 women ministers? We will never know because the meeting was canned.
I guess we will have to read between the lines.