Prepared by Bruce Vaughn, August 2012
with funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
Bruce Vaughn is a Specialist in Asian Affairs at the Congressional Research Service in Flint Hill, Virginia.
During Bruce’s Ian Axford Fellowship exchange to New Zealand he was based at the Ministry of Defence and Victoria University of Wellington, where he researched shared NZ-US interests in promoting stability in the South Pacific.
This report examines recent developments in the bilateral United States-New Zealand relationship, with a particular focus on security and defence cooperation and recent activity in the South Pacific. The report’s focus on the bilateral relationship is set in the context of the United States rebalancing towards Asia and recent developments in New Zealand relations with the South Pacific and Asia. It also discusses related developments from the Wellington Declaration through to the Washington Declaration. The report pays particular attention to the role of values as well as interests in the developing partnership.
New Zealand-US Cooperation in the South Pacific can be viewed as an expression of what is happening in the wider relationship. US-New Zealand cooperation in the South Pacific addresses shared concerns while developing a cooperative approaches to regional affairs. New Zealand’s interest and involvement in the South Pacific makes that region a natural starting point for developing bilateral cooperation. This is particularly so given the renewed focus by the United States on the South Pacific as part of its larger rebalancing toward Asia. The report’s perspective also seeks to place this evolving New Zealand-United States Pacific partnership within the context of the larger geopolitical dynamics of the Asia Pacific region, including the rise of China.
Appendix 1: Shared Values
Appendix 2: Wellington Declaration
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