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NZ First Stymie Nuclear Weapons Abolition Motion

5 October 1999


An attempt by United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, to have Parliament adopt a strong resolution committing New Zealand to promote nuclear disarmament in all aspects was blocked in Parliament by New Zealand First this evening.

Mr Dunne said every other Party in Parliament was in support of the resolution, promoted by Abolition 2000 (A Global Network for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons) and adopted recently by the Canadian Federal Parliament, but when he sought leave to move the motion, New Zealand First objected.

Because leave has to be unanimous, the motion then lapsed.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Dunne said he was extremely disappointed at New Zealand First’s actions, which came as a great surprise.

“I had circulated copies of the resolution to all Parties well in advance of Parliament resuming today, and Dr Ian Prior, co-convenor of the New Zealand branch of Abolition 2000, had previously written to all MPs to seek support for the adoption of the resolution.”

“New Zealand First’s blocking of the chance to move the resolution tonight means it will not now be able to be considered by Parliament before the General Election, and that we have probably therefore lost the chance for Parliament to adopt such a resolution at all before the dawn of the year 2000.”

“Abolition 2000’s plea to Parliament had been that all Parties lay aside their differences to adopt this important international resolution, but sadly, tonight’s move shows that was an impossible dream,” Mr Dunne says.


Copy of proposed resolution attached

Hon Peter Dunne to move:

That the Parliament of New Zealand resolves, relying upon

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons;
The final document of the first US Special Session devoted to disarmament;
The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act 1987;
The unanimous finding of the International Court of Justice and its advisory opinion that: “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiation leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control”;
The unanimous report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons;
The (Eight) Foreign Ministers Joint Declaration 1998;
The Nuclear Test Ban Act 1999;

Shall, as a mark of the dawning of the year 2000, call upon all fellow member states of the United Nations, and especially the nuclear weapon states, to join with New Zealand in fulfilling the obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control; and, that the text of this resolution be conveyed by the Government to each and every member state of the United Nations by the most effective diplomatic means available; and copies of the resolution be simultaneously communicated by the Government to the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, the President of the UN Security Council, the Chairman of the Conference on Disarmament, and the President of the International Court of Justice; and that the Government of New Zealand would work for the fulfilment of the obligation in all appropriate forums.
New Zealand’s Liberal Party

Parliament Buildings, Wellington 1.
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New Zealand’s Liberal Party

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