In late 1988, senior secret Philippines Communist Party member, Joy Balazo visited New Zealand.
Ostensibly she was here to drum up support for the Philippines anti-US bases movement, but much of her time was spent laising with local communist organisations.
Parties she talked with included the Workers Communist League, Communist Party of New Zealand, Socialist Unity Party, Prepatory Committee for the Formation of a Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), the Revolutionary Communist League and the Labour Party.
Later Balazo’s report to her Party seniors was captured in an Armed Forces Philippines raid on a Communist Party safehouse.
Below is a copy of the section of her report dealing with her meetings with officials of the NZ Labour Party.
Balazo was travelling under the cover of a church organisation, the Ecumenical Partnership for International Concern (EPIC), so the officials she met may have unaware of her Communist Party membership.
The report does highlight however just how close Balazo’s sponsors, the Workers Communist League, were to senior Labour figures at the time.
I have added comments for clarification.
1. Labour Party
a. Meeting with President (RD) (Ruth Dyson, New Zeal), Gen Sec [Tony Timms, New Zeal) and one organiser from Wgtn.
1. Questions about delta program, specifically about the DCG, foreign relations, Delta’s agenda in NZ.
2. Expressed gratitude for the meeting.
– No inside information about Delta.
– Heard Delta viewpoint.
– Common issues, anti- nuke.
– exchange of publications/addresses
– regular update c/0 SS (Workers Communist League) (SS was probably Workers Communist League member Sandy Smith, New Zeal) and PSN (Philippines Solidarity Network, New Zeal) every two months (in the absence of Delta rep in NZ).
– Possible funding for women’s center. Increasing number of MOBS (Mail Order brides, New zeal) in NZ, they expressed concern over the problems being faced by the MOBs.
– Solicited our suggestions re possible resolutions about the Phils in the next LP Congress.
b. Meeting with electorate secretary of the Foreign Minister.
– Delta situation/program
– Delta’s agenda in NZ
– Close associate of some Workers Communist League members
– Promised to discuss with the Foreign Minister re our meeting.
c. Meeting with FW (Associate Foreign Minister) (Fran Wilde, New Zeal) did not push thru because no other CP member was available to attend the meeting. She was not prepared to meet me as a govt minister. She was a former CORSO worker and an associate of some Workers Communist League members.
Note: Workers Communist League has good relations with some Cabinet Ministers and LP leaders/members.
Unfortunately Balazo did not say which Labour Cabinet Ministers enjoyed “good relations” with the Workers Communist League, though it is not hard to guess who some of them were.
Several Cabinet Ministers at the time and since are known to have had extensive Maoist links in their student days and beyond. Several of them, including some regarded as moderates are still in Cabinet today.