David Lange created a problem with the USA when he pulled the anti nuclear policy out of his back pocket. It is not surprising to me that the US was a bit wary of NZ after this issue came up. The New Zealand Government will look into how a top-secret report, which should have been tracked and carefully monitored, found its way into a box of archives left by former Prime Minister David Lange, according to the NZ Herald.
The document indicated that the United States had threatened to spy on New Zealand in the wake of its anti-nuclear stance. I am quite sure that the US intellegence agencies has their finger in a lot of pies all over the world. With the current government in power I would think that the work for the US has been upgraded.
The report, by the Government Communications Security Bureau, was among the private papers retained by Mr Lange, who died in August.
The Sunday Star-Times was given permission by Archives NZ - after it gained Cabinet approval - to view the documents, which were kept secret until Mr Lange's death in August.
Among them is a letter from former minister David Caygill, written on March 21, 1986, in which he describes a lunch with United States ambassador Paul Cleveland.
"The ambassador asked me if I realised what was at stake in the dispute between the two countries," Mr Caygill writes.
"I asked him what he meant. He replied trust. I asked him what he meant by that and he said that until now the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand had had a unique relationship. 'We have not spied on each other. If you go ahead with your policies we will not be able to trust you'.
"I took the clear implication from his remarks that if our relationship with the US deteriorated further, then the US would no longer feel any inhibition in conducting intelligence gathering operations against us." Thanks David...
Also contained in Mr Lange's papers is the 1985-86 annual report of the Government Communications Security Bureau, the Government's electronic spying agency, which is marked "top secret" and "umbra" - the highest security classification given to intelligence documents.
The report lists the countries and agencies on which New Zealand was spying. They include targets that have never been officially acknowledged, including UN diplomatic communications, Argentine naval intelligence, Egypt, Japan, the Philippines, Pacific Island nations, France, Vietnam, the Soviets, North Korea, East Germany, Laos and South Africa. Very interesting to see NZ was involved in spying. I wonder if anything like that goes on anymore?
Mr Hager said the documents would provide insights into New Zealand's intelligence operations and its relationship with the US during a critical period.
There is still critical issues over the NZ US relationship. The government of NZ should be working hard to get back involved with the ANZUS treaty. The P.M needs to send a friendler message to Washington than has been portrayed up until now. Some work need to be put in.