Whaleoil Transcript: Mike Hosking & Jacinda Ardern on China

Mike Hosking.

Newstalk ZB recording starts at 7:07

Mike

The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, is with us. Good morning.

Jacinda

Good morning.

Mike

Let?s start with China if we could. The implication, says Philip Burdon, former trade minister of course, and chairman of the Australia New Zealand Foundation, the implications for New Zealand are dangerous at every level. Is he right?

Jacinda

Oh, (indistinct) our relationship with China is incredibly important, um… economically, people to people, um… but I guess my question to him would be? um? ah? you know essentially what is he seeing here that he thinks that is putting that at risk? We are making? continuing to conduct our diplomacy and ah… place focus on our relationship with China as we? you know? as previous governments have done. At the same time facing some challenges, but in a way that I think preserves New Zealand?s independent foreign policies.

Mike

What are the challenges you face?

Jacinda

Oh, well look, there have been some questions raised. For instance, um… around the Huawei decision – actually that decision hasn?t been completed yet. We have legislation in New Zealand that was actually bought in by the last government which means that? any significant ah… question, for instance if you are going to expand into a 5G network, has to go through a process. Ah… that involves the GCSB, it?s not about the vendor, it?s agnostic as to the country, um… but it just goes through a series of checks to ensure that we preserve New Zealand?s data and security.

Um… Spark put in a notice, um… GCSB have gone back to them and said, ?we?ve got a couple of things we want you to mitigate?, that?s where the process is right now. Actually, that?s incredibly important. I? I wouldn?t ah… want New Zealand to step away from ah… that process. We do have to make sure we ah… protect New Zealand?s data and security, ah… and ah… so if that is the issue here then I think we have to stand by the way that – that we are doing things.

Mike

Why aren?t you going to China?

Jacinda

I? oh, again, nothing?s actually changed there. I saw a piece speculating that something had. I?ve had an invitation, we just simply haven?t set a date yet.

Mike

When will you set a date?

Jacinda

Um. I wouldn?t – I wouldn’t want to speculate on that, that only just, you know, sets up um… arbitrary time lines. It?s something that?.

Mike

This year?

Jacinda

It?s something that officials are still working on and when I spoke to them yesterday it?s still an ongoing conversation.

Mike

John Key went every year.

Jacinda

Yeah, yeah, he did. I wouldn?t actually set that expectation. For instance, you know, I haven?t been to the United States. Um? I have been to some significant um… ah… stops within Europe, um… notably because of our EU negotiations, but I wouldn?t have an expectation of visiting somewhere um… every, every, year. But as I say…

Mike

Not even Australia?

Jacinda

Oh. Oh? we have? they are our closest um? ally?

Mike

So, you would go to Australia, but not our biggest trading partner?

Jacinda

There?s a longstanding tradition, Mike, that we have an exchange where they come to us and then we go to them, and that?s been going on for some time. Um… we have, of course, the closer economic partnership. We have that with no other country.

Mike

Would the tradition be set by John Key who went every year, but now you?re not?

Jacinda

Ah? that was?. you know? John Key?s decision. I?ve got a particular way of approaching, um… foreign policy visits. I try not to be away too much, um… and so I haven?t set down an expectation that I will go to any one country. Yes, events. APEC of course, um… and I?ve had bilaterals with the premier, I?ve met the president, we?ve had a number of ministers visit China in the last year. Um, and so those exchanges are happening with our government, it?s just I don?t want to set an expectation that I go somewhere every single year.

25%
×