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New Zealand’s public diplomacy in the Pacific: a reset, or more of the same?
Place Branding and Public Diplomacy  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-01-11, DOI: 10.1057/s41254-020-00196-x
Simon Mark

New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, a significant shift in New Zealand’s foreign policy towards the Pacific Islands region, was launched in 2018 by the government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The Pacific Reset emphasises engagement, partnerships, and collaboration, and a greater focus on soft power, public diplomacy and people-to-people measures. It has resulted in an increase in New Zealand public diplomacy in the Pacific, including a new broadcasting initiative, and enhanced domestic public diplomacy. The language and objectives of the Pacific Reset replicate key characteristics of the New Public Diplomacy, which is frequently distinguished from the ‘old’ on the basis of two way engagement. This article argues that whilst the Pacific Reset seeks to reflect the ethos of the New Public Diplomacy, in practice, New Zealand’s Pacific public diplomacy is a mixed bag. In a contested and crowded strategic and public diplomacy environment, putting into practice a New Public Diplomacy demands a greater focus on listening.