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Nuke Bill is Small Step for Huge Benefit

Nuke Bill is Small Step for Huge Benefit

Tuesday 19 Nov 2002 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Economy

"My Members' Bill to remove the New Zealand legislative ban on visits by nuclear propelled ships is a very small measure to achieve an enormous beneficial outcome," ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"The deletion of Clause 11 from New Zealand's Nuclear Free Zone Disarmament and Arms Control Act will achieve this goal.

"This clause was inserted as a self-contained clip-on in 1987. From the outset, it represented the extreme views of elements within the Labour Party and has never been subject to serious policy analysis. It has become part of the non-nuclear bumper sticker.

"This clause has done more harm to New Zealand's standing in international affairs and trading relationships than any other clause on our statute books.

"It is the only impediment to reactivating our participation within the ANZUS alliance. It is also the only impediment to us enjoying equal status with Australia in accessing a free trade agreement with the United States.

"Only five nations - the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France and China - have nuclear propelled vessels and all are military vessels other than eight icebreakers within the Russian fleet which are under civilian management.

"Forty-five nuclear propelled vessels are strategic missile submarines, 107 are attack submarines, nine auxiliary submarines, ten aircraft carriers, two battle cruisers and eight icebreakers, giving a total of 181 nuclear propelled vessels. There has never been an accident involving the emission of fission material from these vessels. The comprehensive review undertaken by our Government in 1992 under the chairmanship of Rt Hon Sir Edward Somers concluded that there was no environmental reason to ban nuclear propelled vessels from our ports," Mr Shirley said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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