Thaw in US relations

This will unhinge the lefty media and other apologists who have had 30 odd years of hating America…but it looks like we are back on good terms militarily with the USA.

About the only thing that could make this even better would be a US Marines base in Northland somewhere.

In an amiable press conference at the Pentagon the New Zealand Defence Minister, Jonathan Coleman, handed his American counterpart, Chuck Hagel, an All Blacks jersey and a three-decade military chill between the two nations appeared to be consigned to history.

US secretary of defence told reporters, “Today, I authorised a New Zealand navy ship to dock at Pearl Harbor… This will be the first time a New Zealand navy ship will have visited Pearl Harbor in more than 30 years.”  

In fact it will be the first since the New Zealand government refused to allow a US aircraft carrier thought to be nuclear armed to dock in its ports in 1984. The stance caused the US to suspend its treaty obligations with New Zealand and recast its relationship with New Zealand from ally to friend.

On Monday both men spoke of the improvements the military relationship between the two nations since they signed a memo of cooperation known as the Washington declaration.

“We’ve made great strides in the defence relationship over the last two years on the back of the Wellington declaration and then the Washington declaration,” said Mr Coleman. “We greatly appreciate the lifting of restrictions on New Zealand ships docking in US ports. And I want to thank you for that waiver.

“We’re also very pleased to see the resumption of mil-mil [military to military] talks after 30 years. And where we’re getting to, really, is the resumption of a tempo of contact, whether it’s at the political level, the officials level, or the mil-mil level, which we haven’t seen for a number of decades.”


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  • conwaycaptain

    It was a destroyer that wasn’t allowed to dock. The USS Buchanan.

    • Goldie

      True. The Yanks chose the most obviously not nuclear armed or powered ship in their fleet, and old destroyer, the USS BUCHANAN, in order to retain the ANZUS alliance while adhering to the anti-nuclear policy. Behind the scenes, they made it clear that the BUCHANAN would respect NZ’s anti-nuclear policy.
      The Yanks were prepared to go out of their way to accomodate the nuclear ship ban because they rated the NZ armed forces very highly (our defence force was very small but highly trained and well respected). But Lange played the Yanks as fools…

  • Pete

    Great news on the thaw in relations I reckon. A USMC or USAF base in Northland would be a welcome addition as well I believe, although the lefty peaceniks and hand wringers would be wailing and moaning if it ever did happen. It would be a replay of the Greenham Common hairy lesbian protest

  • Dick Brown

    This is a necessary move by the US to counter Chinese influence in the Pacific and in no way means fluffy bunny everything is forgotten about those pesky nukes.

    It’s ameans to an end; just don’t celebrate it as some sort of diplomatic breakthrough.

    China does more for NZ than the US does now so that’s why they are shitting bricks and sending flowers.

    • Winston Smith

      True enough. IMO it’s a shame that we have to reduce this issue into a lefty bash fest. It would be pretty naive to think that the US attention doesn’t come with strings attached, and no I’m not a lefty.

      • RightOfGenghis

        The strings are, if we find ourselves embroiled in another shooting war we expect the yanks to come to our aid. Or maybe we don’t. Maybe the chinese will become our military allies. Yeah right. Better brush up your mandarin

        • Winston Smith

          At the rate the US is funding the Syrian Alquida rebels and the Muslim Bro’s perhaps we should take an each way bet and learn Arabic as well. Frankly it puzzles me that Aus and NZ take so much comfort from the fact that the US played some part in repelling the Jap’s in WW11. Had it not been of significant strategic advantage to the US to stop the Jap’s we would have been toast. 60+ years later you can be sure the next war will be a very different beast to the last WW and the dominance that the US enjoyed in the 1940’s has passed. Not saying that’s it’s not a good idea to keep the yanks on side but to pull our mini skirt up for them is a bit OTT. Furthermore to suggest that anyone who doesn’t buy the all the way with LBJ line is a lefty is pointlessly juvenile.

  • thor42

    This is fine with me. The only thing is – the T.P.P.

    That’s the “elephant in the room” as it were.

    Never trust a secret agreement.

  • JeffDaRef

    Great political move – and serves to highlight the lefty hypocrisy – they celebrate the nuke ban as if it were their finest hour, but had Labour not gone down that path I suspect our trade relationship with the US would be so strong there’d be no need for the TPP now…which they also oppose.
    BTW I’d love to see the “Waihopai Three” try to break into a USMC base in Northland…would make the Greenpeace pirates feel lucky!!

  • Eiselmann

    As much as I enjoy mocking the American Military and their gung ho attitude, this is a welcome development, for all their faults we are natural allies of the American’s , we have fought along side them ,share similar culture , almost the same language.
    The Left will talk about how this impacts on our relationship with China and how we’ll be seen to be in the pockets of the Americans and that our foreign policy will now be dictated from Washington DC, well maybe the Chinese won’t like it but since when has our choices been dictated by Beijing.
    Back in the day the anti American protesters were in the pockets of Moscow they seem to have new paymasters

    • RightOfGenghis

      Right up you on this one

  • Gulag

    NZ can be on good terms with the US but we certainly do not want their troops here.

    • mike

      Why not? Do you know how much a US sailor / marine gets paid? Look at Darwin where the USMC has a recurring deployment… look how much money flows into that economy, the same can be said for Perth, expanding the Naval Base to make room for big Yank ships because not only is it good for diplomatic relations but great for the economy, replenishment of a carrier battle group and over 5000 sailors on shore leave… imagine how much money they’d spend!

      • Gulag

        Pretty bad reason money. Look at the NSA revelations, the high allowable casualty rate in battle, ambition to be the world’s policeman, meddling in the Middle East and not very high quality troops, reasons to scare off the closest of friends.

        • mike

          NSA is not the US Military, and hell everybody spies on everybody else… the NSA just got caught.

          Do you seriously think the US wants casualties???

          They don’t want to be the worlds police… they didn’t want any part of Syria despite the world begging them. The UN is meant to be the world police but they suck at the job.

          Meddling in the middle east? You mean Iraq or Israel… Iraq was a fuck up of EPIC proportions and everyone knows it especially the US. And Israel is a US Ally, and the only true democratic nation in the middle east, so naturally the US has a vested interest in it.

          And while a US Infantry soldier may not be the sharpest tool around they are still damn good soldiers with some of the best kit around, USMC troops are on a level (or above that) of the average NZ Soldier.

          Anti American sentiment aside what arguments do you have against US Troops being stationed or deployed here?

          • Dick Brown

            I have none; their expertise in logistics and electronic witchcraft would be a valuable and job creating investment to NZ.

            US or Chinese soldiers; one or the other I don’t care.

          • mike

            I say both actually…we can be friend with both. Lets use them both to benefit ourselves and our country.

            The US is holding exercises with the PLA so have no problems working with them, why not use our relationship with both to bolster our own position with both countries?

          • Dick Brown

            Yeah sure, no reason at all it can’t be done. There are benefits to everyone in playing nice in an important yet benign diplomatic region.

            China has discovered the middle class now; there is no imminent or future threat from them besides how NZ banks are going to get resource consents to build new buildings to house Beijing bucks.

          • mike

            Ah common sense and reason… don’t always agree with what you say Dick but you do take a balanced view of things.

          • RightOfGenghis

            why yes, let’s all play nicely. What parallel universe do you live in?

          • Dick Brown

            A hopeful one?

          • parorchestia

            And the mess in the Middle East was not of America’s making.The British promised the same thing, their own country, to both the Arabs and the Jews. Then they carved the place up with France in spite of the promise of independence from Imperialists. They forced an artificial unity on Iraq to protect their oil interests, then bombed the Kurds in acts that were crimes against humanity.
            No wonder the place is a mess. Britain and France have much to answer for.

          • mike

            And before them the Ottomans… the Byzantians before them… and the Romans before them…

            But the worst thing to happen to the people of Middle East has been themselves.

          • Gulag

            One reason for not stationing US troops in NZ is we do not need them. Stationing US troops in Darwin increases Australia’s chance of being dragged into an Asian war because of the attitude of US leaders. The UN does suck. The US has greater tolerance level to military casualties than NZ 10% v 3%. The NSA is certainly not military but the temptation to share information with the military is ever present. NZ does need to pull its weight by increasing spending on the military because we are bludging.

        • Edwin Wigmore

          Yeah but America can’t win can they. During the second world war they tried very hard to stay completely neutral but eventually (and thank goodness) were forced in. Since then they have gotten more involved. So the’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t

      • blairmulholland

        The grunts really don’t get paid that much. At today’s exchange rate, it would probably work out as being not much more than NZ minimum wage level. Maybe once upon a time US Armed forces pay was a good deal, but no longer.

        • mike

          They would make more than their NZ counterparts, not just looking at base salary but also their allowances.

          US Army Private with less than 2 years experience (all in USD annual amount):
          Base Salary: $20398
          Food allowance: $2400
          Housing allowance: dependent on location
          Clothing allowance: dependent on trade
          Cost of living allowance: dependent on location
          Family separation assistance: $250 / month when away

          If they speak a foriegn language that is desired up to $600 per year

    • RightOfGenghis

      Yeah, just like we turned them away in the last big stoush. Oh that’s right, wouldn’t never happen again…

  • Angrywasp

    How about letting the USAF have Ohakea and get a strike wing back in this country.

    • richard.b

      That, young wasp, is a great idea.
      We can’t afford to maintain it and Mr US of A would pump gazillions into the economy in the lower north.

      • Dick Brown

        And of course the fact that in 20 years time or sooner there will be no manned military aircraft flying; they will all be drones.

        I have a suggestion:

        Make the military responsible for state-sponsored technology research, development, testing and investment.

        Watch the money and jobs roll in.

    • Hazards001

      Can we give them Otara and Otahuhu as well?

      • Angrywasp

        Maybe they could be the ‘live fire’ areas?!?!

  • Kimbo

    Kiwis were pretty glad to have the Yanks here in 1942, and if they weren’t we’d all be eating rice. Given the state of our defence forces we’d be fairly happy to see them here again if the shit hits the fan in the Pacific.

    • Dick Brown

      Again, we give the US credit when it is not due.

      History tells us that rather than the glorious sacrifice of the Marines in the Pacific and the US Army in Europe that won the war it was actually the Russians that effectively won it for the Allies.

      Russia killed and wounded more more Germans than the other Allies thereby hastening the end of the War with Germany, freeing up resources and manpower to concentrate on Japan.

      Russia also lost more men in Stalingrad than all other Allies casualties combined in all theatres.

      Amazing huh?

      Then there was the Great Migration of industry from West Russia to beyond the Urals. This migration, by the way, is considered the greatest human industrial revolution; even eclipsing the Victorian Period.

      And let’s not forget that before the bomb (suggested by a refugee Jew) the US was planning a mega-invasion of the Japanese home islands and the numbers involved are truly staggering. Like, making D-day look like merely a training exercise.

      So the War with Japan sans technology wasn’t a forgone conclusion by any means.

      The Americans used our country as an army base and good on them. But it’s hardly the stuff that requires perpetual kowtowing to.

      • Dick Brown

        And, let’s not forget that Operation Barbarossa is still the largest invasion force to have ever been created in all of Human history.

        And this wasn’t human waves of gormless brainwashed masses either this was a battle hardened force of technology and organisation the likes of which the world had never been seen before

        And they beat it with little or no help from any of us.

        • parorchestia

          It’s not true that they didn’t receive help. They received massive assistance.

          • Dick Brown

            Yeah ok I’ll pay that one out; maybe I was a little hasty about the little or no help thing.

            Still doesn’t affect my conclusion to any great degree.

      • Jman

        You’re getting a bit revisionist there. Your facts about Russia’s contribution to the destruction of Nazi Germany may be correct but it’s also fact that it was the Americans who defeated Japan. You seem to insinuate that if America hadn’t gotten involved, or had been defeated by Japan, that the Russians would have then come to our aid after dealing to Hitler. There is absolutely no basis to make such an assumption and if anything it’s highly unlikely. The US deserves full credit for defeating Japan and no amount of revisionism by the likes of you will change that. Kimbo is right.

        • Kimbo

          My parents lived in rural NZ during this time and like many kiwi communities were shitting themselves upon a Japanese invasion. The news reels that they gathered to watch in halls across our country left no doubt as to how the Japanese would treat locals should they get this far. They were very scared and were eternally greatful when the American forces started arriving in 1942. You can rewrite history but you can not downplay reality.

          • RightOfGenghis

            and my old daddy grew up during the war
            next to Papakura army base. He saw a lot of young c̶h̶i̶n̶e̶s̶e̶,̶ ̶p̶o̶m̶s̶,̶ ̶a̶r̶a̶b̶s̶ yanks passing through en route to
            the pacific island, many never to return.

        • Dick Brown

          Well ok I thought I did suggest and qualify why I thought Russia had effectively won both theatres but that’s by the by.

          I see similar parallels in the period of the Pacific War before Leyte Gulf and the Battle of Britain. The British won the Battle of Britain but they were not the deciding factor in the defeat of Germany.

          Likewise, in an act of desperation defending what, in effect was the last bastion of democracy in the region and major import/export partners (Australia), they turned the tide and had them on the run; but the eventual winning of the war in the Pacific has its roots in the Russian war effort.

          Both were highly creditable actions deserving of the utmost praise and they both were catalysts in turning the tide.

          But the facts remain; this isn’t a revisionist exercise on my part. The figures, stats, everything points to the only conclusion; without Russia the Allies would not have won the war as quickly as they did.

          Notice I said ‘as quickly as they did’ and not ‘won the war’ full stop.

          The main reason the Allies won the war (in my opinion) is Hitler’s lack of engagement to his main Ally Japan because of his racist character flaw.

          If Japan had stopped expanding at the Asian subcontinent and opened up a new Western front in Russia we definitely would be eating rice and driving BMW’s by now.

      • parorchestia

        You’ve been reading too much Eurocentric history. The reason why so many Russians died was due to Stalin’s extreme incompetence and paranoia. Sure Hitler killed 7 millions, but Stalin killed 20 million during the war. The Russians received massive help form the West (bread and Spam for every man in their army, trucks, oil, planes…..)

        And the Japanese were a far greater threat than you realized. They made mince meat of the British, Australian, French and Dutch forces and if it hadn’t been for the Yanks we would have been conquered. How the Americans won bears close study even today.

        • Dick Brown

          Your points are noted and were used in coming up with my own conclusion.

        • RightOfGenghis

          True dat. I think Dick’s been watching too many Oliver Stone docos ;)

          • Dick Brown

            Excellent documentaries by the way.

            But the zenith of WWII docos remains the Beebs World at War.

          • RightOfGenghis

            You appear to be new here Dick so humour me. Type the words ‘Oliver Stone’ into the Whale search box. Might give you another perspective on the traitorous prick who sleeps with Julian Assange and likes to brown nose yank bashing dictators

          • Dick Brown

            And you appear to assume that I agree completely with everything Oliver Stone has produced.

            His Unauthorised History of the US is extremely interesting to a person such as myself who likes to view both sides of the argument, then make my own conclusions.

            One thing Stone didn’t fudge with in regard to WWII is the numbers; they are indisputable and the main crux of my opinion foundation.

          • RightOfGenghis

            I’m not debating the numbers. It was your assertion that quote ‘Russia had effectively won both theatres’ that got my dander up

          • Dick Brown

            That’s ok; I’m big on cause and effect and sometimes I lack tact so for that I apologise

          • RightOfGenghis

            No need to apologise. That we are free to indulge in idle speculation and say what we want, within reason, is an enduring legacy to those who came from afar 70 years ago and sacrificed so many young lives to save us from a fate that would have seen a very different outcome

          • Dick Brown

            Now that’s something I agree with; my adulation for the greatest generation does not diminish with knowledge of it.

      • Edwin Wigmore

        I do agree regarding Russia taking the lions share of casualties during the second world war, but we absolutely owe them a huge debt of gratitude for stopping the Japanese from invading NZ and Australia. We’d all be speaking Japanese now if they hadn’t.

        • RightOfGenghis

          Spot on Edwin. And ‘those who can’t remember the past…’

  • lofty

    In another younger life, I was one of those who got caught up in the anti American rhetoric, and was relatively vocal about it.
    With age, I like to think, comes wisdom, & a modicum of common sense, my views and perspective on worldly events and political machinations have tempered to the degree, that I absolutely agree that the thawing is a good thing for us.

  • Jimmie

    Why not invite an engineering corp over here to build a 4 lane highway from Auckland to Wellington? We would pay for the materials and they would put in the labour – also would help soak up the excess of kiwi chicks that apparently are living in NZ

    • Dick Brown

      What a great idea. The Left may decry the loss of jobs but the yanks won’t bring their large lorries and shit over because we can negotiate them out of the equation to provide transport and logistics capacity for kiwi workers.

    • mike

      They offered to do that when they were here in the 40’s didn’t they?

    • parorchestia

      I would suggest a bridge or tunnel connecting N & S Islands.

  • antipodean59

    So that’s where Chuck has been hiding out. Hey Chuck, the American people want to have a word with you about Benghazi, you ratbag.

  • Rimutaka

    What makes the Americans more trustworthy than say the Chinese? I’m pretty sure they are both spying on us.

  • Edwin Wigmore

    I believe we owe a huge debt of gratitude to America for their part in stopping the invasion of Japan. I do work for Veterans affairs and have had a few conversations with some of our grand old veterans. One told me of the map that is still in one of the towns in Western Australia that shows the line the Australians were going to allow the Japanese to get to before beginning the fight.

    These were desperate, desperate times. If America had not stopped Japan it would have been terrible times for us indeed.

    • RightOfGenghis

      May these memories never leave us. But sadly even here on a conservative blog, communist cuddling yank hating deniers appear to have a firm foothold :(

  • Hazards001

    Ahhh yes..the glorious 70’s and 80’s where school teachers and tripped out hippies had kids terrified out of their wits with fear of global Armageddon from nuclear war.

    Where we were told to hide under desks and had practise drill.

    Where I got the cane for telling my teacher to fuck off cos a desk wasn’t gonna save me from a nuclear bomb.

    Fast forward 40 years to a future where school teachers and tripped out greenies have kids terrified out of their wits with fear of global Armageddon from anthropogenic climate change.

    Fucking Awesome..who knew!