This weeks Ladder Award goes to the Labour Party for its election campaign proposal (1 November, 2008) to build on New Zealand’s independent nuclear-free foreign policy, by developing “New Zealand’s role in international conflict resolution.” The Press, 1 November, 2008 (PDF 14 KB)
Importantly, it planned to do this – not by spending more on buildings or layers of bureaucracy – but by creating new networks of diplomats, academics and NGOs and others who have knowledge and skills and mana (status and presence).
At a time when spending cuts to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are being proposed (for instance the newly elected National Party has pledged to cut at least $270 million), it is all the more relevant to award this Ladder for recognising:
1. the importance to New Zealand of enhancing rather than reducing its global presence and connections
2. the abundant and mainly untapped talents, skills and knowledge that exist in local communities and academic institutions.
It is hoped that despite the election of a National Party-led government, a party political consensus can be built around such international conflict resolution, building on the already existing party-political nuclear-free policy consensus.
Your comments on this Ladder Award welcome or nominate your own Ladder or Shovel Award