Politics

Gerry Brownlee questioning where NZ went wrong amidst China's Pacific negotiations

National are accusing Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta of being missing in action when it comes to the Pacific. 

China's Foreign Minister is currently touring around Pacific nations trying to secure sweeping agreements. 

We requested an interview with Nanaia Mahuta - but we're told she's unavailable today and were pointed to an interview she gave to the TodayFM Breakfast show 'Tova' on Thursday. 

But since then more deals have been inked - with Samoa signing one yesterday and there are reports Niue has too. 

National's spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee joined Lloyd Burr and Wilhelmina Shrimpton on Monday morning to talk more about how these deals could impact New Zealand.

Although Brownlee can see why many of these Island nations would be considering penning deals with China, his biggest question is where other countries have gone wrong.

"But the big question is where have New Zealand, Australia and the United States failed in their relationship to such an extent that the Pacific Island countries are wanting to have a good look at this deal."

He told Lloyd that we don't know exactly what these deals will contain, but the fact that these countries have looked to China for help isn't a good sign for New Zealand.

Last year New Zealand put $490 million into the Pacific and Australia added more than $1 billion. 

Brownlee couldn't speak on the intentions of China in these proposals but he said the fact that the New Zealand Government doesn't know what their intentions are is not a good sign.

"We don't know enough about what the intent is to be comfortable and that is a failing of our diplomatic service and the current minister.

"This is the biggest reset of Geo-Politics in the region and you would expect, and I would expect that the Minister for Foreign Affairs would have quite a plan for how we respond to that."

He was not pleased with the lack of action being taken by the current government and expressed his displeasure with Lloyd.

"What have we been doing? Sitting on our hands somewhere?"

Listen to the full interview between Nations Foreign Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee and Lloyd Burr above.

You can also download the full interview on the Lloyd Burr Live podcast, and listen on the go. Check it out on the rova app or wherever you get your podcasts.