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Majority of NZers support lifting of nuclear ban


Majority of NZers support lifting of nuclear ban

ACT Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman Ken Shirley today released the results of a new survey that shows a majority of Kiwis support lifting the ban on nuclear-powered US ships visiting New Zealand ports.

The DigiPoll of 750 New Zealanders shows 61.9 percent believe that US ships should be allowed to visit New Zealand ports again.

“My private members’ bill proposes no more than the removal of this ban imposed by clause 11 of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Disarmament and Arms Control Act, passed in 1987,” Mr Shirley said.

“I certainly don’t propose allowing either the passage of nuclear weapons through our territorial waters or their deployment. In any event, the internationally recognised Treaty of Raratonga, signed in 1995 by South Pacific nations, prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons in our region.

“It’s interesting to note that our so-called ‘nuclear free New Zealand’ legislation doesn’t preclude nuclear power stations. It is also worthy of note that radiation-emitting nuclear technologies are widespread throughout the country in hospitals, research laboratories and various engineering applications.

“The authoritative Somers report concluded in 1992 that there were no public safety or environmental concerns that justified the continuation of the nuclear ship ban.

“I now propose to change the commencement clause of my bill so that the uplifting of the ban would not take place until such time that it were supported by a majority of New Zealanders in a referendum.

“Based on the results of this poll, I’m confident that a majority of New Zealanders now believe the ban should go. I call on both the Labour and National parties to also support my bill and allow the public to express their views in a formal referendum,” Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

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