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Goff commends new book on NZ role in Antarctica


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

12 December, 2000

Goff commends new book on New Zealand's role in Antarctica


The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon Phil Goff will launch Malcolm Templeton’s "A Wise Adventure: New Zealand & Antarctica 1920-1960" at Parliament tonight.

"It is an important and fascinating book that traces New Zealand’s constitutional and legal involvement in Antarctica, from the time it asserted its claim to the Ross Dependency to the negotiations of the Antarctic Treaty," Mr Goff said.

"It shows how New Zealand's policy on the Treaty was a starting point for the agreements which are still in place today.

"The Treaty has stood the test of time and succeeded in making the Antarctic continent a demilitarised, nuclear-weapons free zone. For the first time a system was established that permitted unrestricted, on the ground inspections of foreign facilities,” said Mr Goff.

"One of the driving forces behind the Antarctic policy was Prime Minister Walter Nash's keen interest during the 1957 – 1960 Labour Government. He was committed to freedom of scientific exploration and demilitarisation of Antarctica, said Mr Goff.

"Mr Templeton’s sixth book succeeds in putting New Zealand’s foreign policy in perspective and reflecting on both major achievements and controversial negotiations.

"It was the attraction of whaling in the Southern Ocean (including in the Ross Sea) during the 1920s that first sparked the New Zealand Government's interest in the area. Times have changed. The recent departure of the Japanese whaling fleet for these waters is a concern of this Government," said Mr Goff.

Mr Templeton retired from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade after a forty year career, during which time he served as permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, and was Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

He has previously written about some major aspects of New Zealand’s diplomatic history, notably South Africa and the Suez crisis.

Ends

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