Before addressing the content of PM Ardern's meeting with Biden, I would like to address the article about her attendance at NATO, which has been a hot topic.
This article points out that since Ukraine, Ardern has begun to talk frequently about geopolitical moves. This may have led to her visits to Japan and the US. It should be noted that this is the first time a New Zealand prime minister has been invited to NATO, but that is incorrect: Helen Clark visited NATO headquarters in 2007 to discuss the issue of Afghanistan.
As Ardern stated at Chatham House, the Ukraine issue has a direct link to New Zealand and the Pacific. And although Aotearoa is a small country, they support the Ukrainian military through the UK and NATO.
Nina Obermaier, the European Union's ambassador to New Zealand, tells Newsroom the invitation reflects the role Ardern's Government has played to date in standing up against Russia's war.
Absent from the Commonwealth Conference in Rwanda (where the Foreign Minister is participating) and joining NATO, Green Party lawmakers "argued that it would undermine New Zealand's non-nuclear status and independent foreign policy."
In response, Robert Ayson, a professor of strategic studies at the University of Victoria, Wellington, pointed out. It is also why Helen Clark visited NATO headquarters in 2007.
"New Zealand's ties to Nato haven't appeared overnight, ...
New Zealand took part in the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force’s mission to Afghanistan in 2001, while in 2012 John Key signed a “partnership cooperation accord” with the organisation’s secretary general Anders Fogh New Zealand took part in the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force's mission to Afghanistan in 2001, while in 2012 John Key signed a "partnership cooperation accord" with the organisation's secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen."
Professor Eyson further states that the relationship between NATO and New Zealand has existed for some time.
“It’s not like Nato and New Zealand have suddenly discovered each other – it’s more that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provided a new purpose for what had at one point with the Afghanistan commitment become quite a close partnership,”
As for Prime Minister Ardern and her visit to the United States, which I will cover next time, Professor Ayson says, "the warming in that relationship has taken place over years rather than overnight, as the result of an increasingly volatile international environment" partnership,"
As for Prime Minister Ardern and his visit to the United States, which we will cover next time, Professor Ayson says, "The warming of that relationship, as a result of an increasingly volatile international environment, has occurred not overnight, but over many years.
I know this well, having followed Pacific security in the field and on the desk for 15 years. But what moved Aotearoa, as Ardern stated at Chatham House, would be China's concrete moves to forcefully change security norms and rules.
Professor Ayson further states that Ardern's visit to NATO is also due to Prime Minister Kishida's proposal for a four-party meeting between Japan, South Korea, Australia, and NZ, after a strong speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue. Although New Zealand does not appear in PM Kishida's Shangri-La speech, the "Indo-Pacific" framework may have resulted in bringing New Zealand and NATO even closer together.
Kishida's Shangri-La speech is one of the results of the maritime security project that I have been working on in the field since 2008. Don't laugh at my pride. It has been a real life risk to get to this point. It is the result of many sacrifices.