“Naïve Kiwi optimism” a hallmark of Bill English’s leadership

Prime Minister Bill English has cited “naïve Kiwi optimism” as a driving factor in a New Zealand-led campaign to keep the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) alive.

English’s effort to keep the TPP in play will be centre-stage when he meets Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Queenstown tomorrow.

“One particular area we will be focused on this weekend starting when PM Malcolm Turnbull turns up from Australia is trade,” English told a BusinessNZ gathering this week. “The US has pulled out of TPP and we are going to see if we can work with others to create a coalition to proceed with it even if the US isn’t in it. “

The Prime Minister spelt out that there were still benefits available to the other eleven TPP member nations even if they are not as large as would have been the case if President Donald Trump hadn’t pulled the US out of TPP.

“Rather than sit round worrying about the instability you see around the world and some of the turning inwards we would rather set out with a bit of naïve Kiwi optimism and see if we can influence the world that is going to support your businesses.” English told the business audience.

It seems the “aww shucks, we don’t know what we’re doing” approach doesn’t just apply t0 Foreign policy, but also Trade.   It’s definitely a step down from the intelligent management under John Key.

As New Zealand is rather insignificant and benign on the world stage, this sort of country cousin type of approach has worked in the past.

I’m not sure it’s going to work for us after John Key put us on the map.


– Fran O’Sullivan, NZ Herald

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