For the past six months, New Zealand soldiers and police have been in the Solomon Islands as part of RAMSI - the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. Their mission has been primarily humanitarian - to serve as a neutral guarantor of law and order. Now however that neutrality is under threat. Two weeks ago, the Australian government attempted to extradite Solomon Islands Attorney-General Julian Moti from Papua New Guinea to face child sex charges. He was subsequently spirited out of the country back to the Solomons, where he was promptly arrested. The Solomons government has refused to extradite him, so today Australian soldiers operating as part of RAMSI kicked in the Prime Minister's door to search for evidence of collusion in Moti's escape. In doing so, they have shattered RAMSI's neutrality, and made it crystal clear to everyone that RAMSI is serving Australia's interests and enforcing Australian power in a foreign country rather than being a neutral police force.
That is not something we should be a part of. It is one thing to help out a friend in need at their invitation. It is quite another to help Australia in an exercise in colonial enforcement. I said when we first became involved in this operation that when RAMSI ceased to be neutral, and started favouring one faction over one another, then it would be time to come home. Thanks to Australia, that time has now arrived.