A New Zealand diplomat to the United States is facing censure from her department after a series of loose tweets in which she told the Democratic Party to “get your shit together or we will all die.”
Caroline Beresford, who is New Zealand’s deputy head of mission to the United States, published the posts on her Twitter account on March 10. In replies to a tweet from political news website The Hill, which shared a link to an article with the quote “a Sanders-Warren ticket could win big in 2020” ― referring to Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a former Democratic presidential candidate, and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ― Beresford wrote, “No it couldn’t. Please get your shit together or we will all die.”
According to New Zealand website Newsroom, Beresford sent further replies to The Hill’s tweet regarding the Democratic Party, including “They’ve learned nothing,” and “If this is what they have against Trump we should be planning for the eight years.” Beresford later deleted the tweets and locked her account, making it inaccessible to people who do not already follow her on Twitter.
Newsroom reported that Beresford confirmed she did send, and later delete, the tweets.
“Yes I did send those tweets and realised very quickly that they were inappropriate, which is why I deleted them,” the diplomat said in a statement.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was aware of the incident.
“The ministry does not in any way endorse the content or tone of the tweets, which we note were deleted,” an MFAT spokeswoman said. “Our code of conduct and guidelines around the use of social media set very clear expectations of staff when making public comment, including maintaining political neutrality and care in expressing personal opinion. These expectations were not met in this instance.”
The controversial tweets are Beresford’s second high-profile contribution to U.S.-New Zealand relations in recent times. Her dog was the catalyst for the first phone call between President Donald Trump and then-Prime Minister Bill English.
Not long after Trump ascended to the White House, New Zealand was trying in vain to link up a phone call with the new president. In a story told on a New York Times podcast, lobbyist Robert Stryk said he helped put the two leaders in touch after Beresford’s Labrador approached him at a Four Seasons hotel in Washington. It led to Stryk and Beresford talking.
″[Beresford] said she couldn’t get a phone call set up between Bill English and Donald Trump, and this is one of our closest allies,” Stryk told the podcast. “They didn’t know who to call. It wasn’t a slight, it was just so chaotic.
“People were getting [phone] numbers from [Australian golfer] Greg Norman or a Miss Universe contestant.”