CHRISTCHURCH: The Boat That Brought Me
Friday, 13 March 2020 5:00pm
A3 Lecture Theatre

SPEAKER: Nick Bridge, former New Zealand diplomat

Nick Bridge is a former New Zealand diplomat who, over a long and successful career, held postings with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in London, Singapore, China, Canberra, Hong Kong, India, and Taiwan.

Nick has recently published a memoir entitled "The Boat that Brought Me". An account written with disarming openness and humour about a life spanning the globe.

In this presentation, Nick, among other things, will address contemporary issues in India, China, and Australia in light of his time as a diplomat there.

  • For India, Nick ponders whether secular India was “always a quixotic venture?” The issue of Kashmir and Modi’s Hindu nationalism will also be discussed.
  • For China, Nick contemplates whether the caricature of a politically progressive China was a naïve and wilful misjudgement by the West. Within this, New Zealand’s careful approach to China and the nature of Xi Jinping’s leadership will be addressed.
  • Australia, where Nick served through the ANZUS crisis, he asks whether compared to New Zealand, Australia is an anxious country WITH AN ANXIOUS FOREIGN POLICY  ‘not as comfortable in its own skin’. As a leading Chinese diplomat put it to him, ‘A large pygmy’.