We pride ourselves on having an independent foreign policy, but what does that mean and is it realistic in today’s changed geo-political circumstances? Participants engaged in a range of questions, including: As a relatively small and isolated nation, how can we exercise foreign policy agency? How can New Zealand navigate tension between ‘great powers’ like China and the US? Is the defence budget big enough to have the military capabilities we need? What’s the relationship between trade and foreign policy? Do we have a meaningful role upholding international human rights and democracy? What should the ANZAC relationship be in the next few years? What principles should guide our relationship with the Pacific? How important is a rules-based international order in a changing world?
Stimulated by these questions, Dr Paul Buchanan of 36th Parallel Assessments wrote a paper in response which is available on his website.