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OIA reveals Ardern government talked about joining AUKUS alliance despite public denial

Summarised by Centrist

An OIA has revealed that New Zealand’s government under Jacinda Ardern was much more receptive to being involved in the AUKUS pact than it admitted.

A new article centred around an OIA response has revealed that New Zealand’s government under Jacinda Ardern was much more receptive to being involved in the AUKUS defence pact than it admitted. The OIA shows that despite NZ’s government supposedly standing against AUKUS over the issue of US nuclear submarines in Australia, Wellington government and spy leaders met in September 2021 to discuss being a lite part of AUKUS known as Tier 2 / Pillar Two. 

Pillar Two would mean NZ shares information in new cutting-edge defence technologies, such as AI, quantum computing and cyber capabilities. After denial for the first two years, in March 2023 the Ardern government admitted it was talking about possible “non-nuclear” involvement in technology sharing. 

Critics have worried a huge drawback of AUKUS is it could lock members into exclusive US trade controls and jeopardise research independence

The revelations come after an OIA released by Marco de Jong. De Jong is an AUT University law lecturer who is a proponent of Te Kuaka / The NZ Alternative, a ‘progressive’ group which seeks “decolonisation and indigenous rights” and “feminist foreign policy.”

Read more over at The Conversation

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