web analytics

30 Years after ANZUS (and we’re doing fine)

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, November 2nd, 2015 - 14 comments
Categories: defence, history, us politics - Tags: , , , ,

Friday night’s headline on One News – Defence force may be in talks to allow nuclear ship visit – was obviously wrong with respect to the explosive “nuclear” claim. The headline now reads – Defence force may be in talks to allow US ship visit. Much better.

For an update on what is actually going on see Sunday’s piece on Stuff – US still mulling ship visit invite. A visit would be an interesting diplomatic development to be sure, but on reading this piece my mind wandered off in a different direction:

Military relations with New Zealand were frozen for decades after the nuclear-free legislation was passed and have only returned to normal in recent years with the resumption of joint military exercises and training.

Ayson said a ship visit would be both poignant and hugely symbolic in signalling the post-Anzus era was “completely and utterly over”. “Short of the unlikely return to a formal ANZUS relationship, no single act can do more to remove any doubts that NZ-US military ties have achieved a new normal. The post-post-ANZUS period has well and truly arrived,” he wrote in his blog.

It’s been 30 years since the end of ANZUS. Wow. We spoke our truth to power, we stood up to all kinds of aggressive pressure, and the world kept turning. Despite some dire predictions at the time, NZ is doing just fine – in international / “defence” terms at least.

“But much has changed. The anti-nuclear sentiment is still there, but it is likely to be more strongly held in an ageing group of New Zealand campaigners and politicians than in the younger generations. More significantly, it does not define US-NZ defence relations in the way it did for about 20 years after the mid-1980s crisis. “

As the generation that fought and won this battle ages and declines, let’s hope the country doesn’t forget the lesson. It’s possible to have independent and rational foreign policies. We don’t need to be anyone’s vassal.

nz-speaks

14 comments on “30 Years after ANZUS (and we’re doing fine) ”

  1. savenz 1

    Exactly when you stand up for something you believe in then people respect you.

    Not just on foreign policy either.

    Other countries that have pursued an independent economic stance such as Norway and Switzerland out of the EU and they are doing fine.

    We don’t have to rush to the bottom of the low wage polluting economic cliff hoping for a pat on the back from other countries as selling off our country and being part of TPP.

    We have assets other countries do not have, such as being an Island, being a temperate climate, being isolated, low density, still having some biodiversity, good food production etc

    Instead of being positive and capitalising on our differences our governments see them as negatives and can’t wait to turn us into a mini capitalistic, lobbyist, war mongering, sueing polluting USA or a undemocratic, no freedom of speech, polluting China. Or maybe all of the above.

    Hello, people are migrating here to escape that!

  2. Bill 2

    The anti-nuclear sentiment is still there, but it is likely to be more strongly held in an ageing group of New Zealand campaigners and politicians than in the younger generations.

    In sorta related news, and contradicting any claim that anti-nuclear is for ‘oldies’, the Scottish Labour Party have voted to reject any renewal of Trident. And there were 16 year olds speaking to it.

    Sure, I understand that nuclear stuff is much more immediate there than here, but still…

    • srylands 2.1

      That would be the Scottish labour Party that was wiped out in the last election?

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        yep. By the SNP, whose policy on Trident was

        Scrapping Trident
        We will oppose plans for a new generation of Trident nuclear
        weapons and seek to build an alliance in the House of
        Commons against Trident renewal. We will vote for the £100
        billion that the Westminster parties plan to spend on Trident
        renewal to be invested instead in better childcare, education
        and the NHS.

        Oh noes, SLP are copying a party that even normal people would call “left wing” (rather than just you, who stands to the far right of pretty much the rest of the planet).

  3. Matthew Hooton 3

    Using that word in the headline showed appalling ignorance by TVNZ. Or perhaps something worse than ignorance. I suspect Annette King was set up by TVNZ. Her comments appeared to be based on the assumption John Key had invited a nuclear-powered or armed ship to visit. Did TVNZ try to get a Nats v Lab fight underway over this issue, when there is no division over this matter?

    • r0b 3.1

      It really was an astonishing lapse. And yes Annette was definitely responding to wrong information. I doubt that it was deliberate by TVNZ though. At least, I hope not.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        The ‘political reporter’ who is doing the voice over is Andrea Vance.?????

        I though she was a Fairfax journalist. Not agood start at a new job. Could explain why it was a botched job, a beat up, all from someone who has little knowledge of the anti- nuclear debate

  4. Macro 4

    It is naive to believe that the USN does not possess nuclear warheads on their surface ships – they may say they don’t – just as Iran says it is not developing weapons nuclear capability from its domestic nuclear power. The US do not believe the Iranian statements of non-intent, and for the same reason that their own statements of “cleanliness” cannot be believed. The US has never actually given up the concept of Non Strategic Nuclear Weapons. “In 2005 the US revised its declared nuclear political strategy, the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations, to emphasize the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons preemptively against an adversary possessing weapons of mass destruction or overwhelming conventional forces.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_for_Joint_Nuclear_Operations
    Obama has since revised that policy but as with almost every thing else he says just how much and to what extent is more words than substance.
    Why I believe it is naive to think that the US has given up the use and development of nuclear weapons is based upon the the known behaviour of military in well known countries in the recent past. Take for instance the subject of Chemical weapons. After the abhorrence of WW1 the Western Allies including the US, Australia, and Britain all roundly declared that they would never again resort to their use and were all signatories to treaties to that effect. EXCEPT…..

    “Australia conducted extensive chemical weapons research during WW2 as part of a joint program with the UK and USA”
    “Australia did not produce its own chemical weapons, but did have filling facilities for chemical munitions. Bulk mustard gas and phosgene was supplied by Britain in 1941″

    ” As of January 1943, American CW inventory in Australia was:
    Charters Towers – 5,900 100lb mustard gas bombs, 1000 spray tanks, 115 tons bulk mustard gas
    Kangaroo Island – 5,500 100lb mustard gas bombs, 20,000 gas artillery shells
    Darra – 435 tons bulk agents, 90,000 gas artillery shells, undisclosed number of empty shells, bombs and land mines
    Columboola – 11,000 100lb mustard gas bombs
    Kingswood, Sydney – 53,000 mustard gas and phosgene artillery shells
    Geelong, Victoria – 400 tons bulk mustard gas, 3,160 gas candles
    By May 1944, the US Navy also had 1,000 lb phosgene bombs and 100lb lewisite bombs stockpiles at Charters Towers. ”

    http://www.ozatwar.com/mustard.htm
    http://fas.org/nuke/guide/australia/cw.html

    This was so secret that only a handful of people knew about it at the time.
    see “Death by Mustard Gas”
    http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Military/Death-by-Mustard-Gas/1067/productview.aspx

    • McFlock 4.1

      I reckon that the USN not having nukes on surface vessels is reasonably believable.

      Placing even “tactical” nukes on USN surface vessels is a bit silly: it requires increased security (especially at ports of call), requires specialists who are not needed on conventionally-powered vessels, probably involves increased stresses on the weapons systems (sailing through storms rather than gliding underneath them), and is completely redundant in the “nuclear triad” while being neither hardened (ground sites), quick to deploy and recall-able (aircraft), nor stealthy (subs). And then you need to think twice before committing them to harm’s way.

      Basically, for a navy that has dedicated nuclear-armed submarines, putting nukes on surface ships is expensive both operationally and from a ship-development point of view, and would probably not be needed in the first place. One exception might be CVNs for aircraft deployment, but even then a certain level of “why the fuck bother when we need the space for conventional bombs we will most definitely use this year” applies.

      • Macro 4.1.1

        Nuclear warheads can be attached to conventional weapons vis the 500lb bomb. Why do they continue to keep their neither confirm nor deny policy”?

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          Well, I guess we’ll see what, if anything, the USN decide to send to the celebrations, and under what assurances.

  5. Tracey 5

    I recall the naysayers even suggested we would suffer economically if we went nuclear free…

    Bohemian Rhapsody turned 40.. and with its Islamic reference and everything.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    The updated version of the nuclear era is American anti-Muslim, anti-China, anti-Russia hostility.

    “Hate is great. Accept our American phobias. Get into our war mentality.”

    “Without fear we can’t justify our imperial control over NZ and all our so-called allies. Without fear we have no excuses for destroying your privacy.”

    “Come to Big Brother. Big Brother will protect you just as a master protects his slaves.”

    • savenz 6.1

      +1 AmaKiwi.

      And the public of the USA and the UK and so forth are all really against this hate talk. They want real change and improvements to their lives – not all this debt from un winnable wars.

      Like in NZ the international public have not where to turn, as their governments do not care about their people any more – just these meet and greet international agreements that transfer wealth and assets to the 1%.

      Money should be going into science and the environment to solve the pressing problems we have with air quality, water quality and climate change and inequality.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Worsening housing crisis must prompt action
    A growing public housing waiting list and continued increase of house prices must be urgently addressed by Government, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today. ...
    9 hours ago
  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago