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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

New Zealand has for too long had a narrow economically-orientated foreign policy in which morality has had to take second place to trade interests. The narrowness of New Zealand's perception of its interests was sharply criticised by Arnold Smith, The Commonwealth Secretary General, at a seminar for Commonwealth diplomatic corps in Singapore in 1970. But the criticism was made in closed session and was never made public. This country must try to recapture the progressive and principled foreign policy it fleetingly displayed in the immediate post-war period.

In spite of gradual improvement the underdeveloped countries are falling further and further behind the affluent western societies because of the difference in growth rates between the two. To ensure a more stable international system in the future and simply out of brotherly concern we should increase the foreign aid target from one per cent to five per cent and forgo some of the more useless consumer products forced on us by the industrial system. We should threaten to break diplomatic relations with France over nuclear testing in the Pacific. We should ban the Concorde from flying into New Zealand even at subsonic speeds as part of the international campaign to get this noisy technological monster scrapped.

There are in fact a host of constructive policies a New Zealand Value Party could adopt. We have new and old social problems which fresh minds with new values are singularly equipped to handle. The very limited policy plank I have briefly outlined is meant only as a basis for discussion. There are gaps, such as education etc, that you can fill in.

If you want a hand in the creation of a party with a real future come along to the Union Hall on Tuesday 30th May at 7pm. Bring some ideas, and talk them over. If enough people come and if there is sufficient enthusiasm we can appoint policy committees and have this thing on the road in time for the election. Bring friends along from outside the university to make the group as broadly-based as possible.

We are not institutionalising the generation gap; that's already been done by National and Labour. We must, in fact, throw the party open to people of any age.

It will have to be stressed that the Value Party represents not so much an age-group as a state of mind. But we've got to have a label that throws some light on the essence of the party. We've got to get away from traditional labels like Socialist, Conservative, Liberal, Labour, Social Credit, National, Social Democrat and so on, which can be identified with outdated ideologies. They are irrelevant to our present needs. Where in the hell do you fit a party which wants to bring technology under control on the conventional political spectrum?

For too long this country has been governed by outdated aims and attitudes. Now it's our turn.