McCully's Diplomatic Blunder On Israel Damaging
Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully’s office has confirmed he never had Cabinet approval when New Zealand promoted a United Nations Security Council resolution denouncing Israel, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
In a response under the Official Information Act, Mr McCully’s office claims the text of Resolution 2334 from Egypt, was not presented to the Cabinet because it was received on 22 December, 2016 and voted on in the morning of December 24, 2016.
“The office claims Mr McCully’s actions were consistent with New Zealand’s policy settings. That statement is false. And that’s the reason why country’s like Australia and others are asking the New Zealand Government for an explanation.
“Section 5.73 of the Cabinet manual expressly requires that any international proposal, including ‘denunciation’, must first be approved by the Cabinet.
“Mr McCully acted unilaterally on an important international issue.
“And this begs the question, why was the Cabinet effectively hijacked on this issue.
“Clearly the National government feels vulnerable on this lack of Cabinet decision making and is refusing to reveal any information around the decision.
“New Zealand First’s requests for details of briefing documents, correspondence, and other relevant documents have been rejected for reasons including ‘avoiding prejudicing the international relations of the New Zealand government’, and that ‘no public interest in releasing the information that has been withheld has been identified that would be sufficient to override the reasons for withholding it’.
“The reality is that Mr McCully’s actions and the government’s condonation of them have seriously prejudiced this country’s international relations,” says Mr Peters.