New Zealand win seat on the UN Security Council

By Heeni Brown

There was a huge announcement for New Zealand today. New Zealand has just won a seat on the United Nations Security Council in a ballot conducted at the General Assembly in New York this morning, taking more than two-thirds of the votes.

The Security Council's primary responsibility is for the maintenance of international peace and security.  One of the ways it does that is by deploying their members' troops to trouble hotspots around the world.

The New Zealand Defence Force is the country's largest single employer of Māori.  Māori academic Aroha Mead says the United Nations' spot has increased the likelihood of our troops being sent offshore on active duty.

New Zealand may not be on every world map but we are on the world stage this week after New Zealand was appointed to the United Nations Security Council.  The Prime Minister has called it a victory for the small states.

“The UN's Security Council is by definition the most powerful body really at the United Nations,” says John Key.

However not everyone is celebrating.

Moana Jackson, a prominent Māori lawyer who is familiar with the workings of the United Nations, is sounding a note of caution.  He's convinced New Zealand would not have won the seat unless they made promises.

The United States is busy rounding up support for a war against ISIS - who is fighting to construct an Islamic State in the area stretching from northern Syria to central Iraq.

Our highest ranked solider was recently at a meeting with other defence chiefs and US President Barack Obama discussing the situation.

Moana Jackson believes the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) would have also played a part in the wider discussions.

New Zealand has spent 10 years campaigning for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council, and NZ will occupy the seat at the 'main' table for two years - what it will ultimately mean for Māori remains to be seen.