Punching Above Our Weight: How a small island nation navigates the world of global strategy
This thesis evaluates three of New Zealand’s foreign strategy documents, the China Strategy, the India Strategy, and the ASEAN Strategy. It assesses New Zealand’s performance against these strategies in order to elucidate the interplay between diplomatic, economic, and security strategies, and how this impacts on New Zealand’s approach to these partners. The different elements of policy exist in a complex environment of interdependent flows. In ASEAN strategy, security policy is linked to trade policy; in Indian strategy, international sport is linked with domestic tourism; and with China strategy, global reputation is linked with lowering barriers to trade. To date, New Zealand’s China Strategy has been successful, as New Zealand has performed well against the goals its set for itself. While it may be tempting to suggest emulating the China Strategy in other markets, this thesis argues that the success of the strategy is due to the unique set of circumstances of the two countries. When we look at New Zealand’s approach to India the importance of customisation is evident. Strategies exist in a complex environment where multiple attempts and methods may be required in order to best elucidate the most successful approaches. This work argues that country strategy should be sufficiently adaptive to take into account the complex environment of each nation, while holding New Zealand’s trade interests as a premier function.