The Prime Minister is not ruling out Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei having a future role in New Zealand’s 5G upgrade, if the GCSB’s security concerns can be mitigated.
In an interview with TVNZ’s Q+A programme yesterday Jacinda Ardern said: "That’s exactly the situation we’re in right now. The GCSB’s gone back and sought that mitigation. That is independent of us. And I do hold confidence in the process that was established by the last Government."
The Government recently rejected Spark's bid to use Huawei equipment to roll out the 5G network, citing "significant network security risks".
She also rejected any risk that New Zealand would be kicked out of the Five Eyes security network if Huawei was allowed provide services here.
Ms Ardern was confident New Zealand’s relationship with China has changed.
"Foreign Affairs does not stand still. There have been issues that have arisen over the past 12 months. We have consistently applied New Zealand’s independent foreign policy as we have tackled each of them."
The Chinese company recently went on a PR offensive in New Zealand, releasing ads and billboards proclaiming : "5G without Huawei is like rugby without New Zealand".