Prime Minister Attends Nuclear Free Seas Flotilla Departure
Auckland, New Zealand, 7 July 2002: The Prime Minister of New Zealand was one of a large crowd that gathered in support in Auckland to farewell the New Zealand arm of the Pacific flotilla which plans to gather next week in the northern Tasman Sea and wait for two ships carrying reject plutonium en route from Japan to England.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, an official speaker at the flotilla departure, gave strong words of support and said the Pacific Ocean, the Tasman Sea and New Zealand should remain nuclear free.
The Prime Minister also said the New Zealand Government had officially contacted the British and Japanese governments stating strong objection to the transportation of nuclear materials through the Pacific.
“This shipment is totally unnecessary and puts us all at risk,” said Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace spokesperson.
People at the flotilla departure were treated to live music from Polynesian and Latin bands and to an exhibition that showed the many faces of the flotilla worldwide. The public was encouraged to tie a ribbon in support of the Nuclear Free Seas flotillas. The exhibition will run until 14 July.
The Pacific Flotilla is also made up of yachts from Vanuatu and Australia which have already departed for the Tasman Sea.
The two armed UK freighters the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal departed Japan July four and are expected to reach the Tasman within two to three weeks.
Flotillas have formed in the South America and Ireland to protest these shipments demonstrating the growing concern that the public has over the transportation of plutonium, said McDiarmid.
For further information: Bunny McDiarmid 021 838 183 or Brendan Lynch 021 790 817 or www.nuclearfreeflotilla.org