Author: Geoffrey Miller

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Russia’s war on Ukraine puts New Zealand’s refugee policy and China strategy in sharper focus

International analyst Geoffrey Miller puts New Zealand’s new humanitarian visa policy for Ukrainians under the microscope and considers the implications of claims of a potential role for China in Russia’s war against Ukraine With the Russia Sanctions Act now in place, New Zealand this week turned its focus to humanitarian assistance for Ukrainians fleeing the war. UN figures on Monday showed that some 2.8 million refugees had left Ukraine since the war began. On Tuesday, foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta announced New Zealand would provide an additional $NZ4 million in humanitarian aid to UN agencies, while immigration minister Kris Faafoi provided...

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How significant is New Zealand’s new Russia sanctions law?

International analyst Geoffrey Miller considers the wider impact of New Zealand’s new Russia Sanctions Act A new Russia sanctions law is a turning point in New Zealand’s foreign policy. Parliament last night unanimously passed the Russia Sanctions Act. The debate in Parliament underscored just how much Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has transformed the Government’s position when it comes to sanctions. On the one hand, foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta and other Labour MPs were keen to emphasise the Russia-specific nature of the legislation – with repeated references to “targeted” in their speeches on the bill. Yet on the other hand, they...

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Putin’s invasion of Ukraine gives New Zealand a lot to think about

New Zealand’s initial response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been remarkably nuanced. In Parliament this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern again condemned Vladimir Putin’s attack in no uncertain terms – describing it as “the blatant act of a bully – brutal, intolerable, and an act of aggression.” Other party leaders largely echoed the Labour leader – with the National Party’s Christopher Luxon even describing Putin as “completely unhinged” in comments to media. The strong language and condemnation might suggest that New Zealand’s position is indistinguishable from that of other Western countries. This has certainly been an impression that Ardern...

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will change New Zealand’s foreign policy

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changes everything – for the world, but also for New Zealand. The scale and sheer audacity of Vladimir Putin’s aggression leaves little room for nuance. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today that Russia’s invasion was ‘wrong and they will face the condemnation of the world.’ Within two hours of Russia’s strike on Ukraine on Thursday, foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta issued a statement condemning it. Aotearoa New Zealand unequivocally condemns this unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russia on Ukraine. 🇳🇿 stands with the people of Ukraine 🇺🇦 and we are in close contact with international partners on...

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New Zealand’s response to Russia – sanctions or diplomacy?

International analyst Geoffrey Miller considers options for New Zealand’s response to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine Nanaia Mahuta’s visit to Europe this week gained new significance after Russia’s deployment of troops to eastern Ukraine – a development that US President Joe Biden has called “the beginning of a Russian invasion.” New Zealand’s foreign minister had just arrived in Paris to attend an EU-hosted Indo-Pacific Forum when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would officially recognise the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine’s Donbas region. Putin later ordered ‘peacekeeping’ troops into the area. A live TV interview with Mahuta, conducted...

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Ukraine, Russia and China behind Antony Blinken’s flying visit to South Pacific

International analyst Geoffrey Miller explains the significance of Antony Blinken’s whistle-stop tour of the region With the Ukraine-Russia crisis escalating by the day, it might seem a little odd that the US Secretary of State spent his weekend flying around the Pacific. New Zealand was left off an itinerary that included Australia and Fiji, but only because of the current Covid-19 border restrictions. Foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta received a phone call from Antony Blinken on Saturday instead. The State Department later said the pair discussed the “collective challenges of the Indo-Pacific” and “their shared commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial...

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How should New Zealand respond to the Ukraine-Russia crisis?

International analyst Geoffrey Miller examines New Zealand’s positioning amidst tensions between Russia, Ukraine and the West New Zealand’s initial response to a potential invasion of Ukraine by Russia is becoming clearer. Russia has positioned around 100,000 troops stationed close to Ukraine’s borders and the US says that Russia now has the capability to invade if it chooses to do so. Russia denies it has any such plans. New Zealand’s foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta issued a written statement to media last week that said “we call on Russia to act in a manner consistent with international law and to take immediate...

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نيوزيلندا: إنتشار متحور “أوميكرون”؟ New Zealand – is the “Omicron” variant spreading?

Hi everyone – I’ve made another short video to practise my Arabic skills. In ‘New Zealand: is the Omicron variant spreading?’, I talk about the latest coronavirus developments in my home country. English subtitles are available – click the CC button. Thanks for your support!   Video script: Hello everybody from New Zealand, my name is Geoffrey Miller. It’s summer now in New Zealand and politics isn’t normally very important at this time of year…during these final days of the year, after Christmas. Today is 30 December 2021. But of course we’re living in the era of coronavirus right now....

Как я начал учить русский язык / How I started learning Russian

Несколько лет назад я познакомился со многими людьми из Беларуси, когда мы изучали вместе арабский язык в Омане в Персидском заливе. Я помню, что это было очень интересно разговаривать с ними и в следующем году я решил улететь на несколько месяцев в Минск для изучения русского языка. Я ходил там на летние курсы в Минский Государственный Лингвистический Университет. Это был замечательный опыт. Я жил в общежитии со студентами из Туркменистана, они были очень добрые люди. Сами курсы были очень весёлые, но, конечно же, немного сложные, потому что это был первый раз, когда я учил русский язык. Особенно сложно – чтение...

عيد الميلاد في نيوزيلندا / Christmas in New Zealand

انا من نيوزيلاندا. بينما عيد الميلاد في نصف الكرة الشمالي يحدث في الشتاء، في بلاد مثل جنوب أفريقيا وأستراليا ونيوزيلندا هو عطلة صيفية. بشكل عام هذا يعني أنه يمكن للناس الاحتفال خارجا. تشمل الاطعمة الشعبية سلطات ولحمة باردة وحلويات باردة مثلا تريفل. تريفل هو كعكة مع فاكهة وكاسترد وقشدة، ويؤكل ايضا في مصر لأنه طبق من أصل بريطاني. بشكل عام تبدأ العطلة الصيفية في نيوزيلندا من تاريخ عيد الميلاد وكثير من أناس يسافرون لعائلتهم وللوجهات الشاطئية. لتلخيص ذلك الحين، يختلف عيد الميلاد كثيرا في نيوزيلندا عن دول أخرى في اوروبا وامريكا الشمالية بسب الطقس، ولكن هو ما زال وقت خاص... - Understand the world through New Zealand