web analytics
The Standard

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 must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 days ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 days ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    3 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    5 days ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    5 days ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    1 week ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    1 week ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    1 week ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to do his homework
    Nathan Guy needs to do his homework, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Answering questions in Parliament today on the dairy sector, the Primary Industries Minister denied John Key wants to float Fonterra. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to put the kibosh on dirty diesel
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay has to get a grip on the KiwiRail board and put the kibosh on its crazy plan for dirty diesel on the main trunk line, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. It has been revealed… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Louise Nicholas Day: Work still to do
    This is a summary of a speech I gave in honour of Louise Nicholas Day on March 31 The IPCA report showed us basic mistakes are still able to be made within a specialist unit. The Police Commissioner said there… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The meanness and pettiness of Nats in power
    Last night, Parliament debated NZ First MP Tracey Martin’s Bill to ensure children in the long term care of family members were able to access a clothing allowance currently only available to children in foster care. Many of these children… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Force’s Hotshots given cold shoulder
    The latest victim of the Government’s cost-cutting drive looks set to be an organisation that has provided vital services and support to defence force staff and their families for 67 years, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Labour understands Gerry… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere