EVENT REMINDER: TODAY 6pm at the Glover Cottages. For most of the time since their establishment as far-flung outposts of the British empire, Australians and New Zealanders have looked at the world through the same lens. The Tasman partners were particularly close in the post-World War II years of the Menzies and Holyoake governments.
There’s no doubting the bonds that still remain across the Tasman. There is a free-trade agreement, and we can choose to live in each other’s country, though Australia is less charitable towards New Zealanders then vice-versa. Yet, there are differences in our approaches to the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia has a free-trade agreement with the United States, something New Zealand has been unable to secure. That said, New Zealand has a free-trade deal with China, which Australia is still struggling to negotiate, despite China being our leading trading partner. The New Zealanders have done a brilliant job at promoting their agricultural produts to Asia, and also enjoy good relations with most Pacific nations. Meanwhile, Canberra has closer ties to Washington than does Wellington.
So how is New Zealand changing to adapt to the Asian century. Does its experience hold lessons for Australia? How does New Zealand plan to contribute to the region’s peaceful and prosperous evolution?
Few people are as qualified to talk about this as John McKinnon. The AIIA in NSW is delighted to welcome to Sydney the former secretary of defence in New Zealand and current executive director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
John McKinnon has been a New Zealand diplomat and government official for most of his working life. He is a Mandarin speaker and served in Beijing, (1978-80), Washington (1985-1986), Canberra (1986-1990) and New York (1992-1995) – the latter as deputy permanent representative during New Zealand’s term on the United Nations Security Council.
In 1995 Mr McKinnon moved to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as director of the External Assessments Bureau, similar to Australia’s Office of National Assessments.
He was then appointed New Zealand’s ambassador to China and Mongolia, and was stationed in Beijing from February 2001 to November 2004. After returning to New Zealand he became a deputy secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where he was responsible for New Zealand’s relations with Asia and the Americas.
Entry: AIIA NSW members: $15.00; Senior/student members: $10.00
Visitors: $25.00; student visitors: $15.00