Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Government bombs out over Rakon

15 June 2006


Government bombs out over Rakon

The government's green light to Rakon' export of military grade oscillators sets a dangerous precedent for how to deal with dual use products, Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

"The government seems unwillingly to offend one of New Zealand's prime exporters, easing the rules to suit Rakon," Mr Locke says.

"The justification used to take Rakon's oscillators out of the strategic export control system misses the point.

"The question is not whether shock hardened and radiation hardened crystal oscillators are 'specifically designed for military use'. Of course, both types of oscillators have a dual use, that is, they serve civilian as well as military purposes - for example, shock hardened oscillators in construction work, and radiation hardened oscillators in aerospace.

"The real debate is over whether Rakon should be taking research money from the American defence contractor Rockwell to develop a particular 'high G-shock crystal' to fit the specific military requirements of smart shells, as admitted by Rakon in a leaked May 6 2005 email.

"Secondly, should Rakon be allowed to develop a particular standard of "radiation hardened" oscillators to put into a proposed new American smart bomb navigation system, as also referred to in Rakon documents. These radiation hardened oscillators were also required to be able to function correctly at a depth of 135 metres, which is presumably a military specification for underground or underwater launched missiles.

"The government claims it has an 'out' under the Wassenaar agreement on strategic goods trading, which doesn't specifically mention crystal oscillators, but international agreements allow flexibility, to cover what are normally civilian items, adapted for military use.

"New Zealand should err on the side of caution. To promote peace in the world we should not allow a Kiwi company to develop and export components critical to smart bombs and missiles that are going to be used in wars we don't agree with, such as in Iraq, and potentially in even a nuclear war.

" At this level, we cannot pick and choose and dodge our responsibility. The Ministry would be thinking and acting somewhat differently if Rakon's design, develop and export contracts were with, say, Iran, rather than with the United States which our government is reluctant to offend.

"In all such cases though we share a certain responsibility for - and the potential consequences of - such trade. "

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election