New Zealand

  • Cybersecurity
    Cyber Week in Review: December 4, 2020
    EU proposes transatlantic partnership; New Zealand debuts views on international law in cyberspace; North Korean hackers target vaccine makers, State Department launches North Korea bounty program; China drafts guidelines on personal data from mobile apps; and DHS under investigation by inspector general, NSO’s Circles sells location data to twenty-five countries.
  • U.S. Congress
    U.S. Senate Votes on COVID-19 Relief Bill, Bolivia’s General Election, and More
    The U.S. Senate votes on a COVID-19 relief bill; Bolivians head to the polls for a twice-postponed general election; and New Zealand, considered to have one of the most successful pandemic responses, also holds a general election.
  • Asia
    Australia and New Zealand Are Crushing COVID-19; Will Their Reopening Strategies Work for Other Countries?
    New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, declared victory against her country’s coronavirus outbreak last week, stating that “There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand,” and that COVID-19 had “currently” been eliminated from the country. The country of 5 million people has confirmed around 1,200 cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths so for, and had no new infections reported diagnosed on Monday this week.  New Zealand ranks among the world's most successful countries in the global fight against the coronavirus, along with Australia, where the daily number of new cases has plummeted from 460 in late March to only 16 last Friday, bringing the total to just over 6,800. Now, the two neighbors are beginning to relax restrictions on movement and economic activity. While their successful efforts to contain the coronavirus can offer lessons for other countries still struggling with major COVID-19 outbreaks, how Australia and New Zealand reopen—and whether they can do so without causing a spike in cases or sparking a political backlash—will be instructive as well. For more on the lessons from these Pacific countries, see my new World Politics Review article.  
  • New Zealand
    Episode 10: New Zealand’s View of a Changing Asia
    David Capie explains how New Zealand’s perception of China has changed and how it is adjusting to uncertainty over the United States’ vision for Asia.
  • Southeast Asia
    Five Eyes Intelligence Sharing Has Failed to Combat White Nationalist Terrorism
    By Van Jackson New Zealand may appear to be a paradise in the Pacific, but it is afflicted by many of the problems facing other liberal democracies, such as a rising suicide rate and deep socioeconomic inequalities with no clear solution. To this list of shared problems, tragically, one can now add white nationalist terrorism. The terrorist attacks in Christchurch on March 15, in which fifty were killed and dozens more wounded, was the worst such attack in New Zealand history. Focusing on transnational strategic threats, and looking from New Zealand, policymakers generally have not viewed white nationalist terrorism as a strategic concern, though both New Zealand and Australia have histories of white nationalism, including long histories of exclusionary immigration laws. But the brand of terrorism that resulted in the massacre in New Zealand is a strategic threat, and one that has been a blind spot for New Zealand and the national security establishments of its Five Eyes partners—the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, whose bureaucratic-level intelligence sharing was established decades ago. The Five Eyes intelligence partnership among these five states has, over time, been effective in monitoring and responding to the challenges of the Cold War, the threat of Islamist terrorism, and more recently in managing the evolving strategic threat that China poses in the Asia-Pacific and other regions. The threat of terrorism from white nationalists, however, is in some ways a more dangerous threat than either of these challenges, simply because it has been largely ignored by policymakers. Terrorism from white radicals is a transnational threat. Similar attacks to the Christchurch killing have occurred in Canada, European countries like Norway and the United Kingdom, and the United States. More will come, and these extremists view themselves as part of a war that is only just beginning. A manifesto from one of the alleged New Zealand attackers says as much, but white nationalist groups in the United States have discussed the idea of a battle emerging around the world as well. Radical white nationalist terrorism has been a blind spot for the national security communities in many countries. Although law enforcement agencies like the FBI have highlighted the threat—the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security noted in a report in 2017 that white nationalist extremists had committed more attacks in the United States between 2001 and 2017 than any other group—policymakers still often have not taken this threat seriously enough. In part, national security leaders and politicians in many states may have ignored white nationalist terrorism as a transnational threat since white nationalists traffic in theories and ideas that echo rhetoric found in some more mainstream political circles. The extremists express shared beliefs about a white race under threat, the inferiority of other races and non-Christian religions, and other conspiracy theories. White nationalist terrorists are acting on ideas of hate that transcend borders, using technologies, like social media and live streaming, that transcend borders, and celebrating other white nationalist figures from around the world, to create an imagined future (of theirs) that they believe transcends borders. The national security communities of the Five Eyes countries need to work together to combat the transnational ideas and the technologies that can be used to turn extremist ideas into action, and ensure that mainstream politicians’ rhetoric does not dampen a meaningful response to this growing threat, or obfuscate its character. Yet while intelligence officials have noted that Five Eyes partners have created a massive intelligence sharing network regarding other types of transnational terrorism, they also have noted that this intelligence sharing has not generally extended to domestic terrorists and terrorist groups, even white nationalist ones. Indeed, intelligence officials told the Washington Post that while Five Eyes countries might tell a partner state about a potentially imminent terrorist attack by a domestic extremist in that other country, they do not routinely share information about domestic terror threats in partner states. Now, that must change. Van Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, the Defense & Strategy Fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
  • Women and Women's Rights
    Women This Week: Fighting FGM
    Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post, covering July 23 to August 4, was compiled with support from Lucia Petty.
  • Women and Women's Rights
    Women This Week: Ballot Breakthroughs in Mexico and Tunisia
    Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post, covering July 5 to July 13, was compiled with support from Lucia Petty and Rebecca Turkington.
  • China
    Beijing’s Influence Sparks Regional Concern
    Over the past year, both the Australian and New Zealand governments have faced reports that the Chinese government has gained influence within their political systems, universities, and media markets. So far only Canberra has responded firmly. Australia’s domestic intelligence agency [ASIO] wrote in its annual report to parliament this year that it believed foreign governments are trying to extend their influence (pdf) into Australian society, posing “a threat to our sovereignty, the ­integrity of our national institutions and the exercise of our citizens’ rights.” Beijing’s influence campaign within Australian and New Zealand domestic politics also may be a sign of the future. For more on China’s apparent influence strategy in Australia and New Zealand, and its relevance to Beijing’s increasingly assertive attempts to wield power within other states, read my new Expert Brief.
  • China
    Australia, New Zealand Face China’s Influence
    Reports that China has stepped up efforts to gain influence in foreign political systems have sparked concern in Australia, New Zealand, and other states amid signs that the campaign may be shaping debate on regional issues in Asia.