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Geopolitics behind NZ-UK free trade deal

International analyst Geoffrey Miller explains why the free trade agreement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom is not just about building back butter The new Aukus defence pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States will go down as one of this year’s biggest foreign policy surprises. By contrast, only the exact timing of the announcement of a free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the United Kingdom was uncertain. The UK signed a particularly generous agreement with Australia in June, and New Zealand’s diplomats were clearly expecting to secure a very similar deal. Given that...

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Coronavirus: New Zealand faces hard choices فيروس كورونا: تواجه نيوزيلندا خيارات صعبة

في بداية 2019، عندما كنتُ للمرة الاخيرة في القاهرة، اشتريت السيرة الذاتية “خيارات صعبة” وهي كتبت وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية السابقة هيلاري كلينتون، في الترجمة العربية. انا اردت اقرا المزيد باللغة العربية، والموضوع مثير للاهتمام. لم اقرأ الكتاب حتى النهاية (ليس بعد!)، ولكن اعتقد ان فهمت نقطة رئيسة كلينتون: في السياسة احيانا لا توجد خيارات جيدة، وفي بعض الأحيان تكون عواقب قاسية، بغض النظر عما تفعله. افتكرت عن هذا الكتاب اليوم في سياق نيوزيلندا وفيروس كورونا. حتى الان تمكنت نيوزيلندا من تجنب اعداد كبيرة الوفيات والاستشفاء مثل في بلدان أخرى. ولكن هذا يتغير: يرتفع اعداد حالات ونسبة الأشخاص الذين تم تحصينهم...

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Expo 2020 Dubai – will New Zealand’s investment pay off?

International analyst Geoffrey Miller considers New Zealand’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and asks whether it can help to deepen the country’s ties with the Middle East Expo 2020 is a chance to reconsider New Zealand’s relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf. The six-month mega-event on Dubai’s outskirts – the first world fair to be held in the Middle East or Africa – officially opens to visitors today, after being delayed for a year due to the pandemic. It will remain open for 182 days, closing at the end of March 2022. New Zealand has allocated...

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New Zealand could be the big winner of Aukus fallout

International analyst Geoffrey Miller considers the implications for New Zealand of the new Aukus partnership China’s level of anger at the new Aukus defence pact between Australia, the UK and the US was only to be expected. France’s was not. And Paris’s dramatic recall of its ambassadors to Canberra and Washington at the weekend may be just the start of the impact. Even in New Zealand, policymakers will be feeling more than a little miffed – despite Jacinda Ardern stressing that everything was fine. When quizzed about Aukus, Ardern said “we weren’t approached but nor would I expect us to...

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How 9/11 changed New Zealand’s foreign policy

International analyst Geoffrey Miller reflects on the impact that the September 11 attacks had on New Zealand’s foreign policy This week’s anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001 is also an opportunity to recall the impact the tragedy – and the response to it – had on New Zealand’s wider foreign policy. New Zealand immediately supported the US invasion of Afghanistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, with an initial deployment of Special Air Service (SAS) combat soldiers. A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan province followed in 2003. Amidst the recent...

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Covid-19’s impact on New Zealand’s diplomacy continues

International analyst Geoffrey Miller says New Zealand’s latest Covid-19 outbreak has once again delayed the country’s return to top-level face-to-face diplomacy – but this comes at a cost New Zealand’s new outbreak of Covid-19 has also stalled an attempt to restart the country’s top-level diplomatic engagement. Given the Delta variant’s spread in Auckland, a rumoured trip to the UN General Assembly in New York later this month by Jacinda Ardern is now all but off the table. It is the second time this year that the coronavirus has got in the way of the Prime Minister resuming international travel. A...

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Climate change report a reminder of UN’s clout

This week’s hard-hitting report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was a reminder of the influential and inspirational role the United Nations can play. The UN’s Secretary General, António Guterres, called the new assessment – which predicts average global temperatures will be 1.5 degrees warmer by 2040 than they were in the pre-industrial era – “code red for humanity”. The IPCC was founded in 1988 by two UN agencies – the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Its role is to distil and package the scientific evidence for climate change, based on work...

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NZ’s Olympic-sized relationship with Japan may be about to change

As the Tokyo Olympics come to an end, Geoffrey Miller analyses the state of New Zealand’s wider relationship with Japan – and says that a very successful partnership may be about to become a lot more complicated. As New Zealand’s very successful Olympic campaign in Tokyo draws to a close, it’s easy to be equally positive and optimistic about the state of New Zealand’s wider relationship with Japan. If New Zealand’s trading relationships were Olympic sports, Japan would miss out on a medal – but not by much. Japan is New Zealand’s fifth-biggest trading partner – behind only China, Australia,...


How did I learn Arabic? كيف درست اللغة العربية؟

  مرحبا بكم واهلا وسهلا من مدينة دنيدن في نيوزيلاندا! انا اسمي جيفري ميلر. في هذا الفيديو القصير، اريد أن أتكلم أن تجربتي باللغة العربية. كيف وأين درست هذه اللغة الرائعة؟ طيب، حضرت دورات اللغة المسائية هنا في نيوزيلاندا وأيضا في المانيا عندما سكنت هناك. ولكن في حقيقة، فقط عندما سكنت في الشرق الاوسط بدايت احقق تقدما كبيرا. سكنت لمدة ستة أشهر في القاهرة في 2017، وبعد ذلك درست أيضا في سلطنة عمان شهرين. وفي 2018 سكنت ثلاثة أشهر في تونس العاصمة. كان لدي وقت جميل جدا في هذه البلدان المختلفة في المنطقة. وبالطبع انا سعيد جدا ان سفرت كثيرا...

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NZ’s statement on China a shot across the bow

A statement issued by the New Zealand Government alleging Chinese state involvement in hacking goes much further than a simple, pro forma endorsement of the views of New Zealand’s allies. Geoffrey Miller explains the significance. New Zealand joined Western allies on Monday by issuing a statement that called out alleged Chinese state involvement in hacking. The statement, headlined ‘New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity by Chinese state-sponsored actors’, leaves no room for ambiguity. Beijing knows that New Zealand will sometimes make statements that are critical of China. But this statement is unusually forthright. It cannot be easily reinterpreted in a... - Understand the world through New Zealand