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NZ nuclear free legislation not up for negotiation

New Zealand's nuclear free legislation not up for negotiation

5 July 2005

In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace said today that any attempt to undo our nuclear free legislation would see a massive backlash from New Zealanders

"Part of Greenpeace's commemorations for the Rainbow Warrior Anniversary this weekend will be to celebrate that, 20 years on, New Zealand is still nuclear free - and very, very proud of it. The message we're getting from everybody at this time, both our supporters and the public, is an overwhelming support for our nuclear free legislation," said Cindy Baxter Greenpeace campaign manager.

The ball, she said, is currently in the US court. At the moment, 85% of US military vessels are not nuclear powered or armed and would be able to come into New Zealand ports if the US dropped its "neither confirm nor deny" policy.

"We weren't intimidated by the French 20 years ago and we won't be intimidated now - neither by threats from the US nor within New Zealand. Our nuclear free policy is non-negotiable."

Greenpeace called on the US to show leadership, something that New Zealand has done by being nuclear free.

"Since our legislation, another 39 countries have become nuclear free with New Zealand: something we can be proud of," said Baxter.

Meanwhile, the US is doing the opposite, by kick-starting a whole new round of development of smaller nuclear weapons. The US Senate this week approved its new programme of "Bunker Busters" an earth-penetrating nuclear warhead.

ENDS

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