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Rakon's story does not add up - Greens

28 May 2006
Rakon's story does not add up - Greens

A statement from Rakon over claims that it is supplying crystal oscillators for use in American military smart bombs, shells and missiles, contradicts information in internal company emails, Green Party MP Keith Locke says.

"In a statement this morning the company said it 'has not invented technology specifically for US smart bombs', but this doesn't square with the emails disclosed in the Weekend Herald that show it was developing a 'high-G-shock crystal'," Mr Locke, the party's Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, says.

"The emails talk about producing 'radiation-hardened' and 'nuclear-hardened' crystal oscillators, and specifications for oscillators to be able to function at a depth of 135 metres and an altitude of 24,000 metres.

"It seems clear that the oscillators could be used for missiles operating from silos or submarines.

"This issue could have been sorted when it arose last August if the Government had then acted to confirm Rakon's assurances that the GPS crystal oscillators were not specifically developed 'for use in smart bombs or missiles'.

"The Ministry of Economic Development should have checked whether the crystal oscillators did have military specifications, and if so excluded them under the strategic goods export regulations as being 'equipment specially designed for the ... control of ... missiles' when those missiles are being used in a war New Zealand is opposed to, namely in Iraq.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade should also have investigated in its role to uphold New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy, and enforce its own criteria, stated on its website, to deny the export of items 'to be used in the delivery of weapons of mass destruction'.

"And where was the Security Intelligence Service, which prattles on about its important role in stopping New Zealanders being involved in anything connected with nuclear weapons?

"It seems that all these government agencies were so bedazzled by Rakon's export success that they were reluctant to investigate properly then and ask the hard questions.

"This is a matter of great concern New Zealand's reputation as peaceful, anti-nuclear country could be undermined unless the Government moves quickly to find out the full story."

ENDS

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