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NZ’s anti-nuclear stance will not be altered by Australia



Disarmament and Arms Control Spokesperson

NZ’s anti-nuclear stance will not be altered by Australia

Revelations today that Australia has tried actively to frustrate New Zealand’s recent push for nuclear disarmament strike a jarring note in our trans-Tasman relations, says Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson, Maryan Street.

“Australia has every right to take a different position from us on these matters. However, the argument that possession of, or access to, nuclear warheads is a modern deterrent, is so outdated now it would be laughable if it were not so serious.

“Science has modelled the catastrophic humanitarian effects of even a minor nuclear engagement and has shown that the climatic effects alone from the release of even small amount of one nuclear power’s arsenal would render the planet unliveable in a very short space of time.

“That is why New Zealand got overwhelming support for our Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons resolution at the United Nations recently.

“The United States itself has led the new nuclear disarmament agenda under President Obama. For Australia to continue to employ the deterrence argument, and actively to try to overcome our efforts at raising awareness of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war, leaves Australia on the outer in international terms.

“How can it profit the world for nuclear weapons to exist as the ultimate threat? We seek to rid Syria of chemical weapons, minimise Iran’s nuclear capability, and yet somehow think it is okay to retreat behind a nuclear shield which could destroy us all.

“There is no sense in that,” Maryan Street said.

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