LATE 2017 at Auckland Museum

Press Release – Auckland Museum

LATE 2017 at Auckland Museum

Allied Values -Time to de-friend our allies?

Is it time for NZ to trade in our allies? LATE at the Museum panelists to debate NZ’s global ties and what the future holds.

Are New Zealand’s international allies still a good fit? Is political peacemaking our priority or are we still a country prepared to stand up for our values? Does our foreign policy need a big shake-up – and, as we prepare to cast our votes in this year’s election, are our political leaders up to the challenge?

We’re asking the hard questions at this year’s LATE at the Museum smart talk series. Our next LATE event, ‘Allied Values – Time to de-friend our allies?’, on Wednesday 13 September, is looking at whether longstanding allies including the US, UK and Australia are still fitting political partners or whether we need to renegotiate these relationships.

Moderator Leonie Hayden will tackle this complex topic with author and investigative journalist Nicky Hager, social commentator and law professor Jane Kelsey, journalist Maiki Sherman and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jim Bolger.

Hayden says the most obvious difference between New Zealand and its Western allies is that “we haven’t opened floodgates of hate towards minorities and migrants”.

“We’re active in addressing historic grievance in legislation, which can’t be said of the US, the UK or Australia.”

Nicky Hager says that while the official line is that these countries are like minded and share common outlooks, in reality New Zealand is a very different country to the US, Britain and Australia.

“Having Donald Trump as a military ally is no joke at all, and after Brexit New Zealand probably has more in common with Europe than Britain,” says Nicky Hager.

Determining who our allies should be in the future, requires us to ask how we define our major allies today, according to Jane Kelsey.

“The current strategy treats the US as most important geopolitically and strategically, but treats China as the key to the door for the NZ economy, both primary exports and domestic investment,” says Kelsey. “Which is the more important? Can we really sit on the fence and say we are everyone’s friend, especially if the US hegemonic status continues to decline?”

Kelsey adds that we need a government that commits to a principled foreign policy position, and restores pride in being independent of super powers.

Without that independence New Zealand will never be in a position to repeat the defiance it showed when the country’s leaders said no to nuclear.

Last month’s LATE event sold out, attracting a 450-strong audience to enjoy an energetic debate from our panelists, live entertainment and a drinks and food menu designed for the night.

Live entertainment this month is from award-winning writer-performer Alexander Sparrow, with his unique take on Trump – a man who has never fitted in, with a father who hates him, no friends and having to exist in a minority group (the top 1%).

LATE attendees will also able to view our special exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year which will be kept open for evening.


LATE 2017: Allied Values – Time to de-friend our allies?

WED 13 SEP, 6PM- 9PM

Tickets are on sale now from

In partnership with Paperboy Magazine and RNZ.


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