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Prebble: Show Some Leadership, National

Prebble: Show Some Leadership, National

Wednesday 22 Oct 2003 Richard Prebble Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said today that National needed to show some leadership on the nuclear issue.

"It is completely unrealistic for New Zealand to expect the US, which has alliances and agreements with literally dozens of countries, to change its defence policies just to suit this country. It is not going to happen.

"The United States position is quite clear - a significant and growing proportion of the US fleet is nuclear powered. The American position is that these nuclear powered units have a proven safety record, do not leak radioactivity and there is no scientific or safety reason for any ban.

"New Zealand's nuclear free policy had logic when US warships carried nuclear weapons - but they have not done so for ten years.

"Bill English is correct NZ should invite the US navy to visit - that's what a friend would do. Where he is wrong is suggesting that it's the United States that needs to change its policy.

"He is also wrong in suggesting that the United States should be grateful for New Zealand's participation in campaigns like Afghanistan and Iraq. Global terrorism is a threat not just to the US but to the whole free world. New Zealand is participating fundamentally because it is in our national interest to do so. It is New Zealand that should be grateful the US is the world's only super power and that it has been prepared to take on the disproportionate burden of keeping the world safe," said Mr Prebble.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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