INDEPENDENT NEWS

More Warnings From The US

Published: Wed 19 Nov 2003 12:23 AM
More Warnings From The US
ACT New Zealand Acting Leader Ken Shirley today demanded to know how much it would take to make the Labour Government see sense over New Zealand's out-dated and potentially damaging anti-nuclear policy.
"Time and again, the US has offered us friendly warnings about the damage that this archaic policy is having on New Zealand/US relations - and, time and again, Prime Minister Helen Clark ignores them," Mr Shirley said.
"First it was US Ambassador Charles Swindells. Now US State Department `spokesman at large' Philip Reeker has come out, labelling our ban on nuclear ships a `cold war hangover''.
"Contrary to the Prime Minister's fantastically optimistic view, Labour has damaged NZ/US relations - possibly beyond repair - obliterating our chances of a place at the free trade table with the US and Australia, and relegating us from US `ally' to mere `friend'.
"The way forward for New Zealand is blatantly obvious to all but Labour - we must remove this foolish legislation, which has no strategic or environmental purpose, in order to safeguard our future prosperity and security.
"There is no environmental or public safety issue to justify our continued ban on nuclear-ships. Furthermore, from a security and strategic perspective, our obstinate adherence to Cold War rhetoric is extremely damaging. We are shooting ourselves in the foot.
"Labour must open its eyes and take a look at the real world. I am calling on the Government to support my Private members Bill to lift the ban on nuclear-propelled ship visits, and to repair our relationship with the US," Mr Shirley said.

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