26 May 2013

NZ to hold to its own foreign policy path - McCully

3:01 pm on 26 May 2013

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says relations with the United States are being strengthened, but New Zealand will continue to tread its own foreign policy path.

HMNZS Te Mana will visit the US port in Guam next week, the first such visit in 30 years.

AAP reports Former US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta announced last year that New Zealand navy ships will be authorised to visit Defence Department and Coastguard facilities in the United States and around the world on a case-by-case basis.

Mr McCully who is back from a trip to the US to meet new Secretary of State John Kerry, said the Guam visit by the frigate is significant.

"I think it underlines what I call the new normal in the relationship with the United States,'' he told the Q + A programme on Television NZ on Sunday.

Mr McCully said the Government's policy is to build strong, fresh ties with the United States, despite New Zealand's exclusion from the ANZUS alliance.

He said the anti-nuclear policy is a part of this country's policy framework and that won't change.

"As far as the US is concerned, we've made it clear that it's not something we're prepared to negotiate on," he said.

Meanwhile, he said New Zealand will continue its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council, where he's confident New Zealand can navigate its way through any issue involving the United States and China.