Battlefield Cyber: How China and Russia are Undermining our Democracy and National Security.
Indications that New Zealand is an exceptional focus for Kremlin attention and at the highest level are justified by sightings of someone in newsreels and photo stills who looked like strongman Vladimir Putin immediately after the sinking of the Mikhail Lermontov and by a Radio New Zealand report to the effect that Putin posing as a shoe salesman travelled extensively here in the Cold War era.
Now a leading authority has stated that New Zealand is operationally in the very front line of hostile global intelligence gathering.
William Holstein’s just-published book is Battlefield Cyber: How China and Russia are Undermining our Democracy and National Security.
Mr Holstein (pictured) urges everyday New Zealanders as well as national security officials to always take seriously any indication at all of Russian intervention in daily life.
The Russians kill people all over the world and try to make it look like it was an accident, or that someone else did it, he commented over the premature death in Wanganui of self-confessed double agent Derek Round.
"Some people around the world may think of New Zealand as an impossibly remote and quirky country, easy to ignore. But in the world of intelligence, New Zealand is absolutely at the heart of the West's efforts to protect its democracies from the likes of China and Russia,” stated Mr Holstein.
This is “because it is a full-fledged member of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network.
“Whatever the Americans, Canadians, British and Australians know, New Zealanders know it also.”
He added that as the “undeclared” Third World War evolved attempts to crack Five Eyes through its New Zealand portal would intensify.
This was likely to be shrouded and more easily accomplished through New Zealand just because the Five Eyes member had this singular remote and quirky self-image.
Meanwhile the Putin presence in the immediate aftermath of the 1986 Mikhail Lermontov cruise ship running aground while it was under the helm of a Cook Strait pilot has seemed over the intervening years to be perfectly probable given the likenesses of what does resemble the Putin countenance.
The mystery of the sunken cruise vessel’s strong room has never been explained.
When Five Eyes security services sought as rapidly as possible to access the vessel’s safe compartment, they found it had already been cracked.
Russian divers had got there first.
The notion of Putin on his rise through the KGB ranks having some kind of responsibility for New Zealand has become reinforced in recent years with the discovery that he has in fact a working command of the English language.
This reinforces the belief from a prime source and broadcast by Radio New Zealand, itself government-owned, that he circulated here with some ease as a Soviet-bloc shoe salesman.
Then subsequently and testified to by several media sources Putin re-appeared as a member of the official USSR delegation investigating the cause and effects of the cruise liner grounding.
William Holstein’s theme is how the old Sino Soviet bloc until almost the last few months succeeded in convincing the Five Eyes membership that the bloc’s intent was peaceable and that it sincerely intended to achieve this by lifting living standards at home and everywhere else.
These now openly-aggressive nations always knew that this is what the Five Eyes member governments earnestly wanted to believe.
The public mood in New Zealand as far back as the 1960s was reluctant to accept the way in which the upper reaches of its public service had been penetrated.
The split of the New Zealand Communist Party into a Russia aligned group and a China aligned group can also be viewed now as presenting consequences not appreciated or evaluated at the time or subsequently.
The more recent demise of Derek Round (See: Derek Round Murdered Cold War Double Agent & Society Figure Fits Russian Pattern) saw a steering clear for example of any wider analysis of any instigated intervention in the form of cut outs.
Bill Holstein’s long view always ran in the face of self- convincing official views such as the one so recently and so consistently enunciated in Australia about China “lifting out of poverty” a large chunk of its populace and standing ready to do the same thing everywhere else
His portrayal of the old and now overhauled communist bloc as a kleptocracy dedicated to stealing any information not in fact nailed down contrasts with an enduring New Zealand susceptibility.
This is the willingness, ardour, to be seen to be accepted internationally by participating unquestioningly and at any price with contemporary old world moral causes that are actively, cynically, openly and successfully exploited by this same sinister re-engaged partnership.