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Nuclear Shipments And The Green Difference

22 July 2002

Nuclear Shipments And The Green Difference

The Government has blown a great opportunity to provide international leadership against nuclear shipments, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

As the two shipments of plutonium MOX waste travel through the Tasman today, anger is growing amongst a number of Pacific Nations after the shipments breached their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

Ms Fitzsimons said in voting against a Green Bill to prevent such shipments from entering our 200 mile EEZ the Government had lost the chance to provide international leadership in opposing these shipments and supporting a nuclear free Pacific.

"That would have not only have provided the guarantee for New Zealand which doesn't exist now, but it would also have given our Pacific neighbours serious moral backing for their protests against these ships breaching their waters."

The Government is relying on a 'gentlemen's agreement' that the ships will not come close to our coast.

They can do this because there is plenty of room for ships to pass through the Tasman between the zones of Australia and New Zealand.

"In doing this, the Government has tacitly recognised the right of these death ships to violate the EEZ of smaller less powerful countries and has weakened the move for a nuclear free South Pacific," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"In short we could have led the world in demanding an end to these shipments. Having passed up the opportunity for strong, meaningful action all the Government can do now is squawk from the sidelines and hope for the best," she said.

"It is on issues like this that the differences between Labour and the Greens are clear. Voters need to know that a strong Green presence in the next Parliament will lead to more support for peace and a nuclear free world."

Ms Fitzsimons said the Green MPs and members sent their strongest support and best wishes to the flotilla of boats from New Zealand and Australia in the Tasman protesting these shipments.


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