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Covid 19 coronavirus response a chance to reshape our foreign policy

The Covid-19 crisis is shaking up our thinking in a number of areas, not least on foreign policy.In the 1980s we were excluded from the Anzus alliance for daring to declare New Zealand nuclear-free. Since then we have supposedly had an "independent foreign...

Keith Locke: Our defense policy and exercises align us with the US against China

With so many New Zealanders put off by Donald Trump and his maverick foreign policy, I had expected a Labour/New Zealand First Government to keep its distance. However, with its ban on Huawei's involvement in the 5G network our Government has shown a willingness to align more closely with...

Keith Locke: Parliament’s watchdog committee has no teeth

Parliament's intelligence and security committee was in the news recently when Labour's Andrew Little nominated Winston Peters for membership. Little also proposed expanding the committee to include a Green member by amending the Intelligence and Security Bill currently before Parliament. In practice, the intelligence and security committee is a toothless watchdog...

Keith Locke: Let’s honour centenary of those we jailed for opposing wartime conscription

(An opinion piece published in the New Zealand Herald, 13 December 2016.) Most of us know there were conscientious objectors who refused to fight in World War I. Many were sent to jail for their stand. Less well-known are the 107 New Zealanders who were convicted for "sedition", simply for...

Keith Locke: Hard to spy gains from Five Eyes

The intelligence services report by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy sheds more light on the GCSB's work with the Five Eyes network, but it also leaves several questions unanswered. Since the Snowden revelations there has been a concern that our Government Communications Security Bureau is involved in...

Keith Locke: The downside to a child sex offender register

It's difficult to have an adequate discussion of sex offender legislation because anyone taking a critical stance risks being labeled as soft on sex crimes. The Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill is a case in point. There has been little public debate even though Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says it offends our Bill of Rights.

Keith Locke: Take on extremists with words not war

Countering the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq requires solutions that are mainly political, not military. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11345416 New Zealanders are right to be concerned about the rise of the Islamic State (Isis), but our best contribution would be to provide more humanitarian support, rather than play a military role. In Syria...

Keith Locke: There’s nothing great about Great War

WWI was a disastrous struggle for imperial power rather than a fight for freedom — and we must share blame Read this article on the NZ Herald website Over the next four years we will learn much about World War I and the suffering that went with it. The war was a...

Keith Locke: Key jumping the gun over passports

Read this article on the NZ Herald website The Government may well have acted beyond the law in cancelling the passports of New Zealanders intending to join rebel groups fighting the Assad regime. Under Section 18 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, "Everyone has the right to leave New...