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Support for Nuclear Free Extension Bill welcomed

30 October 2000

Harvey's support for Nuclear Free Extension Bill welcomed

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today welcomed the Waitakere City Council's support for her Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill which has passed its first reading and is at select committee.

Ms Fitzsimons' bill would extend New Zealand's nuclear free zone to the edge of the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 200 miles off shore and prevent nuclear waste shipments and any nuclear powered or armed vessels entering these waters.

"Obviously I am delighted that Waitakere City, which was one of the first local authorities in the country to declare itself nuclear free in 1983, has come out and prepared a submission supporting this bill," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"If we are to take seriously our obligations under the International Law of the Sea to protect the environment and fisheries out to 200 miles from our coast we need to have the ability to exclude dangerous vessels carrying highly radioactive wastes or fuels.

"As the Kursk disaster has shown the world, accidents do happen from time to time and New Zealand needs to take every possible step available to protect ourselves," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said she was sure most New Zealanders would support any measure to further enhance our nuclear free status.

Note: Submissions on this bill may still be accepted. People wanting to make a submission should contact the Clerk of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, David Sanders, at Parliament.

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