Politics | China

Luxon: More to trading than China

National leader Christopher Luxon has said New Zealand must continue to build international relationships with countries other than China.

This comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping travelled to Russia in recent days to meet with Vladimir Putin in the midst of the Ukraine war.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta this week met Chinese officials to continue building on New Zealand's foreign interests.

The National leader is concerned about New Zealand's biggest foreign trading partner.

"There is no evidence lethal aid has been provided by China to Russia: That would be utterly unacceptable. But we've got big opportunities in the world for trade beyond China."

However, Mahuta told Te Ao Māori News, "What we are saying to China is for them to discuss with officials of Russia to come up with a peaceful resolution."

Luxon agrees the smell of international financial trade investment is far more enticing than the smell of war.

'Best minister Mark Mitchell'

"It's important that we grow our business in Southeast Asia, in India, in the UK, and into Europe as well," he said.

But Mahuta said, “Our advice to our businesses is to look at trading options elsewhere. That is the reason for the free-trade agreement with Europe and the UK.”

Luxon has also turned his sights on the newly appointed Police Minister, Ginny Anderson

“It's great we've got the fourth Police Minister in a year. I hope the new one is better than the last three.

“The problem that we've got is that we have a government that is soft on crime. The only target this government had around justice, and law and order, has been a 30% reduction in prisoners. That would be absolutely fine if we had a 30% reduction in crime.”

Andersen says “the priority is that New Zealanders feel safe and I'm committed to improving that. And give Kiwis that sense of feeling safe in their homes.”

Luxon says former police officer and  National MP Mark Mitchell would be the best minister.

Luxon will announce the National policy for education tomorrow in the Hutt Valley.