Trevor Mallard's allegation a few weeks ago that National's foreign policy was being written in Washington was originally dismissed as a baseless smear - but it seems that there's a little more to it than that. We all know about Don Brash's promise to a bunch of visiting US Senators that New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy would be "gone by lunchtime" if he was elected, but National has gone further than just promises. According to Phil Goff in Question Time today, during that same visit, National's foreign affairs spokesperson, Dr Lockwood Smith, actively solicited US government advice and assistance on selling such a policy change to the New Zealand public, and specifically asked for the assistance of US-based think tanks in advocating for US interests. The US rightly took the view that it was an internal matter for New Zealand and that they should not get involved.
National's response to this was simply pathetic:
Gerry Brownlee complained to the Speaker that Mr Goff's answer had been too long and implied that Mr Goff could twist any answer he gave in the House to suit his own ends.
I'll post a link to the full transcript later, when it hits the web.
Update: Corrected visit. Scoop's coverage suggested the request was made during a visit to the US; according to TV news, the request was made in the same conversation as the infamous "gone by lunchtime" comments. And just to make this clear, what Lockwood Smith was proposing was that the US government employ a thinktank to conduct a propaganda campaign against us, the New Zealand public, to produce a policy favourable to the US. If that's not selling us out, I don't know what is.
Update 2: The transcript is here. The appropriate portion is in Q5, about 40% of the way through the page.