Is spying wrong?
Well not when it is the left-wing doing it to political opponents, and using criminals to enable it.
But widely, no it is not. I almost never agree with Michael Field, especially over Fiji, but this may well be a watershed moment for both of us because I happen to agree with his column the other day about the spying revelation of Nicky Hager.
It is not paradise out there in the South Pacific and while our friendly neighbourhood might be democratic and understand rugby’s off-side rule, corruption, self-interest and idiocy stalks their capitals.
And dangerously surprising things like coups, civil war and mutinies happen, and they have a real and direct impact on New Zealand.
The Snowden Papers suggest spying in the South Pacific is something new, but the reality is that we have been spying on Pacific countries for decades.
Back in 1914 London asked New Zealand soldiers to invade German Samoa. We said yes, but asked if they could give us some details of German defences. London replied we would look it up in an encyclopaedia.
These days acting like that is not on.
Time-shift to today and pick a Pacific country that suddenly finds itself with people being killed, buildings on fire and assorted bad people breaking into police armouries â as happened in the Solomon Islands.
New Zealand’s Special Air Service was on the way to save lives – what are they expected to do for useful intelligence, Google it?
As open as Pacific states can seem to be, it takes specialist knowledge and focus to know who the real players are.
Mobile phone metadata does not provide that.
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