US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited New Zealand in November “formalising its progressively warm relationship with New Zealand,” writes Wall Street Journal blogger Lucy Craymer from Wellington. “With a strategic agreement that promises high-level ministerial meetings and joint initiatives the US continues a strategy that analysts say is about containing China’s growing influence in the region. The Wellington Declaration goes some way toward repairing the relationship between the two countries, which soured following New Zealand’s decision in 1985 to refuse entry to a US warship due to the possibility it was carrying nuclear weapons.” Clinton, who visited New Zealand to sign the declaration, said the document provided a framework for the governments to work together to solve problems both countries were facing. “My visit is part of a committed, concerted effort to restore America’s rightful place as an engaged Pacific nation. In this, as in so many other endeavours, we have a strong partner in New Zealand,” she said.