Not my words but those of George Friedman, an American political scientist and author in an article in the NZ ‘Listener’ magazine. The article appeared in the 5-12 June issue but has only recently become available for viewing on-line.
His warning message is that New Zealand’s economic security is at risk because of its decision to isolate itself from powerful countries – in particular the United States of America.
New Zealand’s perception is that it can take whatever position it wishes to in relation to the United States, but the United States will continue to guarantee New Zealand’s interests in international circles, whereas that may not be the case. An example of this is the United States’ decision to reintroduce subsidies on dairy products, much to the chagrin of John Key who complained that it was a “very disappointing move and its unhelpful because frankly it runs the risk now it sets off even further subsidies from Europe”
Friedman says “New Zealand takes a look at itself and realises it is very far away, and quite prosperous, but what New Zealand doesn’t realise is that it is enormously vulnerable because it is an island nation that survives by export and import. It requires a stable world system in which it can do this. Should anything disrupt that system, New Zealand could have a catastrophe. In addition to that, the rules of the international trading system are set by other people. New Zealand’s problem is that its entire economic existence depends on a trading regime over which it has no control, and very little influence…..”
“I love New Zealand, I have come here many times. It’s the kind of place I’d like to retire to, I just wouldn’t like my children to grow up here. It is scary. It’s a scary place. I don’t know how the world will shape itself in the next 50 years, but I’m not as confident as New Zealanders are that it will leave New Zealand untouched.”
Read the full article here : “Heads in the sand?”