...I certainly hope so. Because despite being the setting for Jackson's Middlearth, NZ does not loom very large in the psyche of most Americans. AFAIK NZ is not an official (as in 'by treaty') ally of the US or Nato. And there is still rancor in certain circles over that ban on US Navy vessels in NZ ports which has gone on for the last thirty or so years. So if the citizens of NZ were to develop a sudden contempt for Americans, it likely wouldn't register as even the tiniest of blips on the radar screen of general public awareness here in the USA. Not that that should matter to anybody in NZ. Or stop its people from doing what is right.
Haha, yes, quite. But:
- (a) It would seem to bely the truth of the matter to say that "...NZ is not an official (as in 'by treaty') ally of the US or Nato" - e.g., see here. Furthermore, I am fairly certain that President Oama would himself say that "New Zealand is one of America's close allies and punches above their weight" - e.g., see here.
Not only all of the above, but also NZ government agents have not committed any acts of war or terrorism against the US (as the French did against NZ, for example), but rather seem to have been there, risking their own lives and standing alongside US soldiers in most of the major military conflicts in which the US have engaged in foreign lands. So, not a good ally at all really? Hmm...
- (b) It was categorically not "a ban on US Navy vessels in NZ ports", so you may have been misinformed - e.g., for the facts see here, and below.
- (c) I was categorically not intending to suggest - as you seem to infer - that, if the citizens of NZ were to develop a sudden contempt for Americans, then it would register as even the tiniest of blips on the radar screen of general public awareness in the US. On the contrary, I feel sure it would not regsiter a blip, because NZ is probably largely politically impotent to do anything about anything on the world stage. Kiwis know this to be true and generally do not possess an over-inflated idea of their own importance, except perhaps when it comes to rugby.
What I was getting at was simply that, if the NZ voting public perceived that their government had done something to allow the US to take a dump on the citizens and/or their due legal processes and in abrogation of either their own responsibilities or of any citizens' civil/legal rights, then they would probably tend to not vote that government back in the next election. As things stand, it would not seem correct to call the Dotcom fiasco "an example of the NZ police/SS acting responsibly and legally with the objective of protection and/or defence of the property or rights of the citizens or the country" (QED - per the Justice's ruling, the raid was illegal).
However, I should not complain, I suppose. Some people might say that, for a relatively insignificant, small and defenceless country, even belittlement or denigration by people from a large, powerful country might be interpreted as being a form of recognition, and so at least that way it was not being entirely ignored
, but I couldn't possibly comment.
Sure, NZ has even been described as "a pimple on the #rse-end of the planet", and you get "How do you spell 'NZ' anyway?" and "Isn't it a state of Australia?". It's funny, and you hear such jokes quite often. Sometimes, of course, it's not intended as a joke and is just plain ignorance.
The US' main interest in the place (and presumably why it maintains an embassy and a low profile diplomatic presence in NZ) is probably the NZ strategic role in the SACCWG global intelligence-gathering, telecommunications and early warning defence network - eg., per Wikipedia
, see New Zealand–United States relations
. There's a lot of hush-hush stuff that apparently goes on there. This Strategic Alliance would presumably have been a decisive factor in the Dotcom raid.
In addition there are the close ties between the US and NZ police/SS (referred to in the Wikipedia article above), and an NZ contingent will often go over to the US to take part in joint exercises learning to use the latest US police/SS technology and practices. The Dotcom raid would probably be a classic example of such a collaborative swat-fest, but being put into live practice on NZ territory
- e.g., it was disclosed that there were even some of the senior NZ personnel watching events unfold via live video feeds, whilst they were ensconced in FBI offices in the US.
It must have been a marvellous opportunity to put the collaboration all together and test it all out, whilst engaging in a completely over-the-top, no-holds-barred, excessive violence and threat - "shock and awe" - exercise. Such adrenaline-pumping fun!
They probably didn't realise until somewhat later how ridiculous and potentially seriously dangerous/threatening to the public and civic society
they might have looked in the public's eyes, in retrospect. Little boys playing with the Big Boys and their Big Boy toys - "and...and, like, we're using REAL BULLET-PROOF VESTS! and...and MACHINE-GUNS! and...and LIVE BULLETS! and...and HELICOPTERS!, and...and we're BREAKING DOWN DOORS! and...and things like THAT Mum!"
For example, my response on watching the published video footage and following the semi-documentaries and news on the subject was a general uneasiness and real concern
about the illegal actions and use of needless and excessive threat/force/violence by NZ police/SS - and all apparently being done at the sole behest of a foreign power.
The question was and is being asked: How had NZ come to the state where this could happen?
It was astounding.
It would not
be correct to call this a good look for NZ's potential for future freedom/democracy. In fact, it was beginning to look more and more like what increasingly seems to be a prevailing police state in the US, which already seems to many to have irretrievably gone to hell in a basket.
I wonder whether, had the NZ government fully known and understood what was planned, the Dotcom raid would have been allowed to go ahead in such a fashion. Or just maybe, they might have cynically turned a blind eye to it so as to be able to claim ignorance of the swat-fest the boys had planned for the raid. I don't expect to be told the truth, but an objective, public judicial review would have done done that
- though now it seems that we are to be denied even that.
It is true that the Lange Labour government's passing of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987
raised serious US diplomatic and US Naval/Defense concerns at the time, but since then US diplomats have murmured statements that "We're over that and now we're back to being good friends" (OWTTE), and NZ has continued - has never ceased - to send its soldiers to stand and die alongside US soldiers in fighting their battles. However, I remain somewhat skeptical regarding the sincerity of those statements. NZ is probably just a useful tool - a dog in it's kennel - and it will be told when to bark.
This all could backfire seriously on the NZ government and NZ's reputation as a relatively uncorrupted country, and the US wouldn't spare a thought for it. There was a joke I recall reading - I think it was in an old copy of Datamation - in an article about IBM's market monopoly. They had talked to and surveyed a large number of big corporate IT Operations Managers, whose operations had IBM mainframes in place, who had responded under strict conditions of anonymity - apparently through fear of a backlash from IBM (they could have lost their jobs). The issue of the magazine had a front cover that depicted two men's arms locked in an arm-wrestle. One of the arms was normal, and muscular, the other arm was blue-skinned and hugely muscular. It was clearly no contest. The joke went something like:
"Getting into bed with IBM is like getting into bed with an elephant. It might roll over and squash you in the night, without even noticing."
Well, I'd suggest that you could scale that up to NZ getting into bed with the US.
By the way, below is the world map as produced by NZ cartographers: