Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Plutonium Shipments Nearing New Zealand

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today called on the Government to send an airforce Orion plane to check the position of two shipments of plutonium which are nearing New Zealand.

Two armed ships Pacific Teal and Pacific Pintail are bound for Japan from Europe and carry nuclear fuel containing a total of 446kgs of plutonium, which is to be delivered to a nuclear power plant in Japan. The ships are believed to be about to enter the Tasman Sea today or tomorrow.

"These shipments are much more dangerous than the Pacific Teal shipment of February 1997 which carried waste and not fuel, and which was not weapons-usable," Ms Fitzsimons said today. "The current shipments carry enough plutonium to make about 60 nuclear weapons."

Ms Fitzsimons is asking an oral question in Parliament about the shipments today. She is also hoping to get multi-party agreement in Parliament this week on a strongly-worded resolution opposing the shipments, similar to a resolution already passed by the Australian Senate.

In 1997 Ms Fitzsimons drafted legislation, the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill, aimed largely at preventing nuclear fuel or waste from entering New Zealand waters. The bill is still in the ballot.

"While the chances of a disaster are small, the results of fire or collision would be so catastrophic that the country might never recover from it," Ms Fitzsimons said today.

"New Zealanders deserve to know how close the present shipments are. They are the first of many, and are seeking the route of least resistance around the world.

"Unless New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific back up words with actions, the Tasman Sea will become the preferred route for eight of these deadly shipments every year."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism’s Changing Of The Guard, Plus A Soul Music Playlist

The weekend’s Newshub/Reid Research poll results - Act up to 11.1%, National up 1% but still sitting at only 28.7%, Labour down to 43%, the Greens up to 8.5% - shows that the combined centre right vote is still languishing nearly 12 points behind the combined centre-left vote, 45 months after the last centre-right government was voted out... More>>


Finance: Finance Minister And RBNZ Governor Agree To Update MOU On Macro-prudential Policy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives... More>>

Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>

Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>




InfoPages News Channels