web analytics

Nuke free US ships already welcome

Written By: - Date published: 6:13 pm, April 10th, 2010 - 13 comments
Categories: defence, us politics - Tags: ,

Geoffrey Palmer needs a holiday. It’s bad enough that he’s acting as the mouthpiece for John Key’s pro-whaling policy that has the Japanese applauding and our allies shaking their heads in dismay. Now, he’s saying we should encourage visits by US naval vessels.

‘What’s so dumb about that?’ you may ask. Well, the US navy is welcome now, if they are willing to pledge that the ships they send are nuclear-free in keeping with our anti-nuclear legislation.

Here’s why US ships can’t visit New Zealand. It’s not because we banned all US ships, it’s because we banned ones that the US wouldn’t confirm are nuclear-free.

After the anti-nuke legislation was passed, the US asked permission for the Buchanan to visit us. The advice to the government was that the Buchanan was from a conventionally-powered class and unlikely to be equipped with nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, the government quite rightly asked the US to confirm that the Buchanan would not be nuclear-equipped. They refused to do so.

Now, what were we supposed to do? Let in a ship from a nuclear power that opposed our anti-nuke policy when that power wouldn’t promise that the ship was nuclear-free? Even though the odds of the Buchanan having nuclear weapons on board were low why should we have to make that assumption? If the US refuses to confirm or deny which ships are nuke-equipped, well good for them, but they can’t come here in that case.

If the US wants to send navy ships for a visit (and I’m not quite sure what anyone really gets out of that, the days of the Great White Fleet are long gone) then all it has to do is what other nuclear powers like the UK do: confirm that the vessels it sends don’t breach our country’s laws.

Is that too much to ask?

13 comments on “Nuke free US ships already welcome”

  1. Zorr 1

    Agreed. Is it too much to ask that an ally treats us as such rather than as a frenemy. I can’t imagine the war that we fight where we are opposing them – unless they give birth to the next populist mass murdering sociopathic leader.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Worked that out ages ago. Figured that the only reason NZ needed a navy was to watch fishing vessels in our EEC. Anything other than that and the ships are little more than targets for things like this. The same applies to aircraft.

      If we want to defend this country then we should be researching and developing our own* long range missiles. They’re reasonably cheap and very very effective.

      * It’s difficult to import through hostile territory

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    The US Navy is the one stonewalling on this. Partly because they are practically a law unto themselves as regards the Pacific Command run out of Hawaii and because of their semi secret breaking of the ‘no nukes’ constitution of Japan.
    We all know that surface ships , apart from aircraft carriers no longer carry nuclear weapons, this being stated by the President. However they dont wont ( still) to confirm or deny in relation to individual ships – in case the President makes a secret policy change or the Navy as it has allways done , suits itself.
    Most likely to come would be a amphibous vessel carry say 300-600 US Marines, as they need port vists more so than the ordinary crews. No nukes as they are mainly troop transports ( with some helicopters).
    Changes of this – not likely unless Obama cracks some heads. But he has bigger issues, so the Pacific Command head continues to run the show

  3. prism 4

    Yes I was surprised to hear him say that we should change policy to allow US ships into our ports – I would have thought he would know that we only ever wanted to keep nuclear powered or weaponed ships out. The US didn’t want to be up front and honest about which were or not, and refused to advise so forcing us to deny entry.
    Lots of disrespect to us as smaller country. And iron determination to conduct dangerous strategic maneouvres. Compare to the treatment and checks that we endure individually when we set foot on their ground now.

    • prism 4.1

      Further – can’t edit my original post – should read ‘And iron determination by USA to conduct dangerous strategic maneouvres.”

      [lprent: It is off because it occasionally sends someone else’s edits out of the cache. I’m trying to figure what is going on in my test setup. In the meantime it is off. ]

  4. Jim Nald 5

    He was the Labour PM in 1989/1990. What is the Labour Party’s position now?

    Is he speaking for the Left, the Labour Party, John Key … or for himself?

    Interesting public statements he has been making lately. Are these manifestations of a late-onset mid-life crisis?

  5. From TVNZ citing of NZPA article: “Palmer says that ship visits from the US are “desirable”, if they conform with New Zealand law.
    Under New Zealand legislation, the Prime Minister has to approve the fact that any warship that comes in is not carrying any nuclear explosive device, and is not nuclear-powered.
    “I’m not suggesting that that be changed,” he says.”

    About time you guys smartened up a bit: this post seems quite off-centre from my reading of the news story. On a par with yesterday’s posting about Winston’s massive leap in the polls.
    How about a bit more muscle and sinew in the debate?

    • r0b 6.1

      Top right hand side of every page is a fetching green button marked “contribute post”…

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Which currently is missing its form. Due back in a couple of days.

        Been writing plugins and optimizing all weekend (since we won’t be on a new server for a wee while at the rate we’re going).

  6. Pascal's bookie 7

    Key ‘s unexpected meeting at the White House forced him to leave for Washington early, he flies in from San Francisco, where he has been holidaying, just hours ahead of the meeting and is also scheduled to meet US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

    Bloody Whitehouse intruding on smile and wave’s lifestyle options again.

  7. Don 8

    “From TVNZ citing of NZPA article: “Palmer says that ship visits from the US are “desirable’, if they conform with New Zealand law.
    Under New Zealand legislation, the Prime Minister has to approve the fact that any warship that comes in is not carrying any nuclear explosive device, and is not nuclear-powered.
    “I’m not suggesting that that be changed,’ he says.'”

    I saw Palmer being interviewed on TV and he pretty much stated the current position. Sort of expect TV to manufacture dissent for their News at six, but haven’t you got better things to do than echo it?

  8. RobertM 9

    The USN still has 25 odd quarter century old FFG-7 frigates floating around the Pacific visiting nations that are less than allies, eg |Vietnam and its difficult to know why these old tubs did not make a good will visit to NZ long ago. Their largely disarmed their standard missiles being removed long ago. The same goes for the many USCG cutters which are defacto frigates. Most of the comment on this nuclear issue fails to differentiate sufficiently. Fundamentally their are two kinds of nuclear submarines, the ones that fire strategic long rang e intercontinental missiles and the ones that hunt the ballistic missile submarines. A number of hunter killer nuke submarines did visit NZ in l983 -84 Queenfish, Phoenix and in l960 a nuclear armed cruise missile sub the |Halibut visited invited by one Walter Nash. Government information on the US military vessels that visited NZ is rather incomplete. In l981 one of the United States most modern guided missile anti submarine destroyers of the Spruance class visited the USN oldendorf visited Timaru but that was listed. Some sort of US icebreaker made a short stop in Timaru in Jan 2005. Between 1965 and 1968 two USN destroyers were based in Dunedin for most of these years making numerous port calls. Given these picket destroyers were also required for aircraft direction and operation market time off Vietnam, remained active to 1973 and played a key role in the Cuban missile crisis their roles deserve more study- particularly given they by the mid l960s had radar and electronic surveillance equipment with ranges of 800km their presence as with the purchase of the \\\\\\\\\\orions partly related to the need to cover the potential for Russian and Chinese missile strikes against Australain installations. Obviously ship visits will not resume soon because of increasing tensiion over past nuclear ship visits to Japan and because NZ went a step furthur in passing its nuclear stand into legislation that empowers the NZ Govt to make emphatic declerations about the type of armament of a warship which to the Americans is a security breach. But yes whatever Act claims we were visited by nuclear submarines and nuclear aircraft carriers and to pharaphase Trotsky we havent seen the last of either war or nuclear powered warships. Unfortunately.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National’s cuts shave $100K off KiwiSaver by retirement
    New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The former Labour Government launched KiwiSaver nine years ago today to boost ...
    7 hours ago
  • TPK struggles to measure Whānau Ora outcomes
    The Government needs to explain why so many vulnerable whanau are falling through the cracks, Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. The Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell attended the Māori Affairs Select Committee to highlight “gains” – ...
    10 hours ago
  • EY: TPP stamp duties on foreigners may have to apply to Kiwis
    The Government’s claim that a TPP-enabled tax on foreign buyers would amount to a ban has been exposed as folly by tax experts, who say that in most cases a tax would apply to Kiwi buyers too, says Labour’s Trade ...
    1 day ago
  • Project 300 short on facts
    A Minister’s pet scheme to employ 300 disabled people in Christchurch seems to be short on facts, says Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Poto Williams.  “Nicky Wagner cannot provide solid evidence to show that her much vaunted Project 300 has actually ...
    1 day ago
  • Who are they going to call?
    A cry for help from New Zealand’s longest-running crisis line highlights chronic underfunding of the sector by the Government, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Lifeline is THE go-to helpline for people in crisis, taking up to 180,000 calls each ...
    1 day ago
  • Five months too long for homeless to wait
    New figures revealing homeless people registered with Work and Income are waiting an average of 155 days to be housed shows the Government is totally overwhelmed by the housing crisis, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “What’s worse is ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister in cloud cuckoo land
    Hekia Parata needs a very big reality check if she truly believes every parent has the choice of sending their child to a private school, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Questioned in the House today about plans to pump ...
    2 days ago
  • Convention centre failure means years of uncertainty for CBD
    The failure of Gerry Brownlee’s planned convention centre deal leaves Christchurch facing uncertainty about when activity will be restored to the CBD, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “As one of the CBD’s major anchor projects, the convention centre complex ...
    2 days ago
  • PCE proves water quality still deteriorating
    The PCE State of the Environment Report shows that river water quality is continuing to get worse across large parts of New Zealand, says Labour’s Environment and Water spokesperson David Parker. “Water quality has deteriorated in Canterbury, Central Otago, Auckland, ...
    2 days ago
  • Families with new babies victims of today’s veto
    Families with new babies are the victims of an historical “first” for the New Zealand Parliament today. “For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because ...
    2 days ago
  • Crime on the rise…again!
    The Police Minister’s contention that Police have enough resources to meet the expectations of New Zealand communities is not reflected in the Police’s own statistics, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Yet again, reported burglaries have increased in every region ...
    3 days ago
  • Private schools beneficiaries of extra cash
    Plans to give more taxpayer money to private schools at a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet says everything about the National Government’s twisted priorities, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Not only did this year’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Inequality getting worse under National
    Inequality is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent according to Statistics NZ figures released today, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    4 days ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    4 days ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    5 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    7 days ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    1 week ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    1 week ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    1 week ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    1 week ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    1 week ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    1 week ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    1 week ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    1 week ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere