Wikileaks: Key Govt hides resumption of NZ/US Intel links

Green MP Keith Locke has condemned John Key’s Government for hiding the fact that last year the United States had resumed full intelligence exchanges with New Zealand.

Wikileaks documents made public in today’s Sunday Star-Times show that both the US and New Zealand Government decided to keep secret the full restoration of intelligence collaboration in August 2009.

“Such critical information on our relations with the world’s superpower should not be kept from New Zealanders,” said Mr Locke, the Green Party’s foreign affairs spokesperson.

“It seems the Key Government wanted to avoid any public backlash following such an announcement.

“Kiwis are proud of our nuclear-free stance, and our refusal to join the invasion of Iraq, and don’t want us to get fully into bed with the United States Government.

“It is unacceptable that the resumption of intelligence ties took place behind the backs of the New Zealand people – and was even kept from Parliament.

“The Wikileaks cables also confirm that the Waihopai spy station feeds communications intelligence into the ‘Five Eyes intelligence community’ [which also includes the US, UK, Australia and Canada].

“The US is able to filter this information to meet its own needs, which includes spying on UN officials – including UNDP head Helen Clark – as exposed in Wikileaks documents made public earlier.

“Hopefully, the Wikileaks documents will provoke a more open discussion on the nature of our intelligence ties with the United States, and whether operating a spy station at Waihopai is consistent with New Zealand’s independent foreign policy.

“We should also be wary that our current Prime Minister John Key, who US Embassy staff describe as having a ‘strongly personal pro-American outlook’ doesn’t succumb to pressure to weaken our anti-nuclear policy.

“The Wikileaks docucuments indicate that this pressure will continue,” said Mr Locke.