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Lifting nuclear ban answer to NZ-US relationship

Lifting nuclear ban answer to restoring NZ-US relationship

Ken Shirley Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Press Releases - Foreign Affairs

ACT Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman Ken Shirley today agreed with departing United States Ambassador Charles Swindells that it’s time to take some positive steps to restore New Zealand’s relationship with the US.

“The Labour Party is trapped in its own Cold War rhetoric, while National is expressing befuddled confusion over its position on the nuclear ships issue,” Mr Shirley said.

“Ambassador Swindells all but spelt it out in his speech last night, the only way we can have the type of relationship Australia enjoys with the US is to drop the unnecessary and foolish ban on nuclear-powered ships visiting New Zealand ports.

“My private members’ bill, which is currently before Parliament, does just that. It removes clause 11 of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Disarmament and Arms Control Act, which bans nuclear- powered ships entering New Zealand’s ports and territorial waters.

“Such a step would remove the final obstacle to New Zealand re- establishing its participation in ANZUS, and put us on an equal footing with Australia in negotiating an FTA with the US”.

Mr Shirley recently released the results of a DigiPoll that showed a
majority of New Zealanders support lifting the ban.

“I’m confident that public opinion supports lifting this outdated ban that ignores scientific realities. 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.

Mr Shirley’s New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control (Nuclear Propulsion Reform) Amendment Bill is expected to have its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday, 27 July 2005.

ENDS



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