A UK defence expert says New Zealand's in serious danger of being expelled from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
Daily Telegraph defence editor Con Coughlin has accused our Government of cosying up to China, at a time when our western allies are trying to present a united front against Beijing.
It follows a speech by Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, in which she said New Zealand wasn't comfortable with Five Eyes speaking on our behalf.
Coughlin told Mike Yardley China is considered the single greatest threat to the future of western democracies, and New Zealand's position is out of step with the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
He says New Zealand appears to be "playing footsie" with China and alarm bells are starting to ring.
“New Zealand is at risk of being expelled, if it doesn't pull its diplomatic weight.
“If New Zealand wants to be part of the Five Eyes, in the western alliance's fight against authoritarianism, it needs to show more solidarity with its western allies.”
But sources in New Zealand say no change in the Five Eyes remit haven been discussed by Cabinet.
No Five Eyes partner has raised the suggestion of expulsion or suspension with New Zealand.