web analytics

NZ should be a proud world leader on nukes

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 pm, April 13th, 2010 - 49 comments
Categories: International, us politics, war - Tags: ,

What an amazing thing it is to have an American President campaigning to get rid of nuclear weapons. And he is being so clever about it.

I believe his opposition to nukes comes from a personal belief that these weapons are abhorrent and their use can never be morally justified. Yet, Obama is clever enough not to go out and argue that point. Instead, he has used terrorists as a specter that all nuclear powers can jointly fear, and thereby convinced them that reducing and better securing nuclear arsenals and stockpiles of fissile material is the way forward.

New Zealand is at the conference because we have led the world. While the powers were jousting in a tense peace maintained only by the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, New Zealand rejected the madness of that logic altogether and, at a very real cost, we declared ourselves nuclear-free.

Our Prime Minister should be celebrating that fact and pointing to our achievement as a model for the whole world.

What a shame, then, that John Key is not even mentioning our nuclear-free status at the conference. One wonders why he is even there if not to set New Zealand as an example. And one wonders if he really believes in a nuclear-free New Zealand if he is not willing to talk about it. Could you imagine David Lange, Helen Clark, or Phil Goff as Prime Ministers going to a nuclear disarmament conference and not wanting to talk about our country’s achievement?

Some say Key is scared of being seen to ‘tell off’ other countries that haven’t followed our lead. What rot. We’ve been invited because we are world leaders. Talking about what that means for us does not have to mean attacking others. Our Prime Minister should have the pride to spread the word, especially as the weight of the President of America goes behind our cause.

While we’re on the topic, here’s French Letter by Herbs:

“Let me be more specific, get out of the Pacific” Still one of the best lines ever.

49 comments on “NZ should be a proud world leader on nukes”

  1. Salsy 1

    And in true Key style – gets invited to a nuclear disarmament meeting as an innovative leader in this area, expected to make another “it takes a raindrop to start a flood” speech, but no… He stands around looking like an uncomfortable, out of depth moron, desparate for another smile and wave opportunity to add to his facebook page.

  2. gingercrush 2

    Or Obama basically legitimises Israeli attacks on Iran. But you know you soft-lefties go on ahead and pat yourselves for being so deluded. Also it doesn’t matter what Obama believes because the politics in American political institutions and America’s relationship with Israel and traditional conservative orthodoxy means nothing will ever change.

    • Marty G 2.1

      I don’t see Obama endorsing anything Israel does.

      Israel didn’t even send its PM, so they don’t have much claim to use this as a pre-text for ‘involuntary disarmament’.

      If anything, this is a slap in the face for Israel, which doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of its own nuclear arsenal.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Heh ! John Key, the reluctant beneficiary of NZ’s nuclear-free policy.

    He should start by thanking his predecessors who had the spine, eloquence and vision.

    Oh well … some backpedalling or a time-out pause required for now.
    Not gone by lunchtime. Not today’s lunchtime.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Recent developments really put a new light on Brash’s “gone by lunchtime” remark.

  4. Steve 4

    What Jonkey is finding hard to stomach is he is there because of the guts a Labour government had to stand up and be counted. To stand up and show vision. And he can’t speak out on that because he’d have to acknowledge the likes of David Lange and Helen Clark as visionaries who could see that our day would come. I might be doing the PM a disservice but he might actually feel embarrassed that he’s being patted on the back for something he’s given not a jot of notice to in his life except to criticise it. He’s admitted to never having gone on a march in his life where he had to peg his colours to the mast and actually stand up for something. What he shows though when he stands up next to his buddy Obama (on the lineup to shake his hand…and that’s his “off to the side meeting” we’re hearing about!!) is a man who looks out of his depth, looks nervous, looks like a stage/star struck teenager in front of the stars!

    We might be small but by God, what a coup to be 25years ahead of these so called 1st world countries. When Key says we have to close the gap with Australia shouldn’t he be looking at the things like our nuclear policy which we’ve actually achieved in a quiet, independent way and stepped way ahead of our Tasman cousins.

    Key and the Nacts are so focused on monetary gains that they forget how morally bankrupt Australia has become since the John Howard days. And he wants us to join them. No, give me a country with a ramrod strong moral fibre any day ahead of one which sells its soul for a short term monetary gain.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    And one wonders if he really believes in a nuclear-free New Zealand if he is not willing to talk about it.

    Jonkey doesn’t believe in NZ and neither does the rest of National. This can be seen in the “NZ Sux” campaign that they continuously run. In their attempts to copy other, larger nations especially the US.

    He stands around looking like an uncomfortable, out of depth moron, desparate for another smile and wave opportunity to add to his facebook page.

    Yeah, I noticed that as well. He definitely didn’t have the confidence that you’d expect of a nations prime minister.

  6. the sprout 6

    How wonderful that Mr Key should be basking in the glory of our n-free status. Now that he’s such an acolyte of our world-leading nuclear free ways, someone should ask Mr Key:

    When did he convert to supporting nuclear free legislation?

    Did he oppose his preceding National Leader’s “gone by lunchtime” stance towards our nuclear free status?

    What did he think about the N-ship protests that brave, visionary New Zealanders staged in the 70s and 80s, or is it, as with the Springbok Tour, that he “can’t remember what side he was on”?

    And does he not think Pete Bethune an equally brave, visionary New Zealander?

    • felix 6.1

      Anyone else wondering when Key is going to show how “ambushuss for new zilnd” he is? Cos I ain’t seen it yet.

      In fact it seems like every time he has an opportunity to stick up for us kiwis he sides with anyone but. Any nat supporters got any examples of positive proof of his “ambushion”?

      This is a prime example: on the choice of song for the rugby world cup, Key said “using an international song that’s so well known makes a lot of sense”.

      Leaving aside the obvious falsehood of his premise – the song he refers to was only a hit in a few English speaking countries i.e. England, NZ and Australia – is that any kind of an expression of national pride? Is that the extent of his “ambushion”?

      The idea of using the world cup to promote kiwi songs or artists is completely lost on him because at a fundamental level he simply does not identify with us. He doesn’t see himself as one of us. In a very real sense isn’t one of us. His money has allowed him to exist outside of the confines of such archaic constructs as “nationhood”.

      Remember when he went to America and proudly boasted about how he’d spent a lot of money there shopping because ‘they really need it’ or some such. No thought for our own businesses who could just as easily use his cash – no, this is a global man with no loyalty but to whoever’s being the boss.
      I’m left with the distinct impression that he’d prefer

      • the sprout 6.1.1

        well put

      • luva 6.1.2

        “ambushuss for new zilnd’

        Are you mocking John for his broad Kkwi accent. If so why?

        Some on the left get very upset when Ms Clark is mocked for her broad kiwi accent and her bloke like monotone.

        Lets play what he says rather than the way he says it aye Felix.

        • luva 6.1.2.1

          Edit not working….Kkwi should read Kiwi

          [lprent: Off because of a conflict with the cache. Will fix when we upgrade the server in a few days. ]

        • Exaggeration is a common part of humour, Luva. Think about newspaper satirists. Where would Tom Scott be if he had to draw accurate portraits, not cartoons?

          Key has a weirdly broad accent for someone who hasn’t lived in NZ for most of his adult life. I reckon he puts it on, much as Jim Bolger affected an American accent in the years after he went to Washington.

          Still, what annoys me most about the things he says is not the accent, it’s the bullshit. Dollars to donuts, Obama did not say NZ had “well and truly earned our place at the table” as Key claimed yesterday.

      • Rob 6.1.3

        So you think he selected the song?

        • felix 6.1.3.1

          No. I quoted his comments. Do I stutter or something?

          • Rob 6.1.3.1.1

            I am not sure , do you.

            You are coming across a little obsessed , producing a rambling story from a one line quote that does not even relate to the thread is a little desperate.

            • felix 6.1.3.1.1.1

              So either respond to it substantively or forget about it and stop wasting your time.

              • Rob

                Ok don’t get unglued here, but a little rational thought might go a long way before you jump directly into slagging someone who had no choice in the matter but understands the bigger picture about RWC2011 a lot more deeply than you do.

                With the song selection issue, you are a little confused as to its role. It is theme music to support a 45 sec TVC to drive international ticket sales, which will be flighted through many diverse international media’s.

                The selection of theme music was driven by a consistent advertising strategy that would gain cut through in over 90 international markets. The role of the add is to sell tickets, which is crucially important to the financial success of the event. By choosing music that was already known makes the whole issue a lot easier for international markets to understand.

                I know you will come back with the wasted opportunity line about how we can showcase a unique local talent etc. The fact remains that there is a much bigger issue here and you have 45 secs to get a ‘call to action’ response from audiences that span UK, France, Sth Africa, Sth America, USA, Canada etc.

              • felix

                Exactly. Playing it safe trumps ambition every time.

                I think you’re getting it.

  7. LilyM 7

    He looks uncomfortable because they never have been committed to New Zealand’s nuclear free status and would have changed it in a second if it hadn’t been political suicide. Their antics with mining are on a par with tinkering with nuclear free … Kiwis will not wear it. How sick making to watch John Key take credit for New Zealand’s conscience about nuclear issues. Well it was good for a laughing, snorting start to the day.

  8. Good post Eddie.

    David Lange had IMHO the most poignant description of the madness of the nuclear bomb race. He talked about “refining an existing capacity to make the rubble bounce and bounce and bounce”. This was in the 1980s when New Zealand’s actions were very brave and we were subject to the most intense pressure by the US.

    With the benefit of hindsight it is very clear that NZ was right. This is a legacy that Key should accept graciously and talk about continuously. Why so quiet John?

  9. Hi SYSOP

    Can you correct my title, it defaulted to my email for some reason.

  10. Name 10

    NZ’s “nuclear-free” policy goes much further than prohibiting nuclear arms – which, let’s face it, NZ was never going to get anyway. It prohibits all things nuclear, including nuclear power-plants and nuclear-powered shipping.

    Is this really something we should feel warm and fuzzy about? Yes early nuclear technology was dirty and dangerous, and mistakes were made. Now it’s far less dirty and dangerous, and lessons have been learned from the mistakes. Sure it would be better not to have them, but if you want electricity to power your cars and your life you have to generate it, and the only alternatives to nuclear (which is cheap and reliable) are dams across rivers, coal boilers, diesel generators, vast, expensive and unreliable or solar wind-farms or hydrothermal schemes. For Key to stand up in the US and say that everyone should follow the example of NZ and ban anything nuclear is akin to asking India, China and the other developing nations to power that development with coal and environmental destruction just as we and the West did.

    The inability of the people of New Zealand to differentiate between nuclear weapons and nuclear power, reflected in its Government and this article and its commentators, is childish, stupid and neurotic.

    • But nuclear is neither cheap nor reliable. It is the most expensive power there is to produce and that is before you have to factor in the cost of storage and disposal of the radioactive residue. It is also not carbon neutral if you factor in the amount of CO2 produced in the mining of Uranium and in the construction of the power stations. Wind and Solar are way better and have the added benefit of having no radioactive residue to dispose of.

      Why is it that there have been no nuclear stations built in the last couple of decades? The reason is that they were required to provide fissionable material for bombs and once the nuclear arms race stalled they were no longer required.

      Hear about Three Mile Island or Chernobyl? If nuclear is so cool then why are there no nuclear power stations being built apart from one in Iran the motivation for which is of concern?

      • nzfp 10.1.1

        Hey mickysavage,
        You said “If nuclear is so cool then why are there no nuclear power stations being built apart from one in Iran the motivation for which is of concern”. you may be interested to know that the Guardian UK reported 16/Jan/2009 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is “in line to become first Arab country with nuclear power”. The UAE’s desire is identical to Irans. Both Iran and the UAE are rich in oil and gas resources & both Nations intend to build a nuclear power program to reduce their requirement for domestic consumption in order to increase the volume of Oil & Gas for export & profit.

        The world Nuclear Association reported in March 2010 “Mainland China has 11 nuclear power reactors in commercial operation, 20 under construction, and more about to start construction soon”. We know that China has an estimated arsenal of 300 – 400 nuclear weapons and do not need to hide the fact they are building them as a deterent.

        What is of grave concern is that Israel with an estimated 200 – 400 nuclear weapons and a nuclear power station (Dimona) has decided not to attend.

        • Rich 10.1.1.1

          I can think of two reasons why the UAE wants nuclear power plants.

          The first is that their rulers will get a shitload of bribe money from the construction companies (see Al Yamamah).

          The second is that they will have the opportunity to divert fuel for nuclear weapons. Maybe not immediately, but once you have a powerplant, the next step is to reprocess the spent fuel into plutonium. If you don’t have the powerplant and decide you want to make nukes, you’d have to start by building the plant.

          • nzfp 10.1.1.1.1

            Hey Rich,
            You said “[…] they will have the opportunity to divert fuel for nuclear weapons”, would you elaborate on this please? How would a nation like Iran or the UAE divert the material when the IAEA can account for every gram of nuclear material going into or out of the enrichment facilities?

            Scott Ritter, former Marine Corps intelligence officer and a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq and author of numerous books, including “Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement” and “Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change” best describes the IAEA inspection routines and the IAEA’s ability to account for all of Iran’s nuclear material in the recent 30 Sept 2009 interview with Scott Horton on antiwar.com. Ritter also outlines possible total war scenarios following an Israeli or US strike on Iran. You can find the interview here:
            http://antiwar.com/radio/2009/09/30/scott-ritter-9/

            Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr., Chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation where his policy work focuses on nuclear nonproliferation, missile defense, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, military policy, nuclear terrorism, and other national security issues describes US wargame scenarios following an Israeli or US strike on Iran. You can find the interview here:
            http://antiwar.com/radio/2010/03/25/lt-general-robert-g-gard-jr/

            It should be noted that neither Scott Ritter or Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr. describe positive outcomes following a US or Israeli strike on Iran, and neither of them expand their scenarios to include N.A.T.O, Russia or China.

          • nzfp 10.1.1.1.2

            Hey Rich,
            If you are interested, Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses Israel’s underwhelming representation at the Nuclear Security summit, the 1960s diversion of highly enriched uranium from Pennsylvania to Israel’s nuclear weapons program on today’s edition of antiwar radio. You can find Scott Horton’s interview with Grant F. Smith here:
            http://antiwar.com/radio/2010/04/14/grant-f-smith-7/

            Smith is the author of many books including “Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy”, “America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government” and “Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal”.

      • Lanthanide 10.1.2

        Basically everything you’ve said in your post is wrong, but I don’t have time to refute it point by point.

        However; “According to a 2007 story broadcast on 60 Minutes, nuclear power gives France the cleanest air of any industrialized country, and the cheapest electricity in all of Europe”

        Read, and be informed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

        • mickysavage 10.1.2.1

          Munch, munch …

          [The sound of MS eating humble pie]

          Agreed Lanthanide and NZFP, my statements were not properly researched and based on an impression which was probably formed in the 1990s when it was true.

          Although I stand by the comments concerning the cost, difficulty to deal with the residue and the fact that it is not “Carbon neutral” generation.

          • Lanthanide 10.1.2.1.1

            I will grant you cost to build the initial plant is high, a lot of which is to do with red tape and greeny objections. But over an expected lifetime of 40-60 years, nuclear power can be the cheapest form of electricity – cheaper than coal and hydro. It can also be one of the most expensive, depending on the particular plant, where funding came from, etc, etc.

            As far as difficulty to deal with the residue – actually the task is very easy, the problem it is that it is very politically fraught. The nuts and bolts of it are quite simple, easy, and effective, it is the political side of it that is difficult. If “next-generation” reactors are built, a lot of the existing waste could be re-used as fuel. Nuclear plants also put out far less (volume) radioactive waste than coal plants do, and their waste is all contained in nice lumps whereas coal plants belch it into the air for everyone to suffer from.

            If you are going to claim that nuclear power isn’t carbon neutral because you have to dig up uranium, then solar panels and wind mills aren’t carbon neutral either because you have to dig up the materials to build them, and same goes for hydro plants. Obviously nuclear power plants are going to have higher on-going fuel costs than wind mills and solar panels, but that depends on how broad you are being with your definition of ‘fuel’. I would suggest that nuclear power plants tend to be situated closer to major residential areas than wind mills (in the country on hilltops) and most industrial solar plants (in deserts and areas with low land values), so if you’re looking at whole lifetime costs, you need to be including the fuel used by engineers that have to drive to and from the sites for maintenance etc, which would generally be lower for nuclear plants.

            • Salsy 10.1.2.1.1.1

              The issue wth Nuclear power plants is that they are incredibly dangerous in a all forms, expensive as HELL, and largely un-green. Uranium is a scarce resouce, and will be gone in as little as 30 years, the radioactive waste and potential for disaster outweighs any pros in terms of green based efficency. Hydro IS sustainable, wind IS sustainable, solar IS sustainable.

              Despite your attempt to explain the safety of powerstations i.e radio active waste is easy get rid of – once we invest the next generation machines to do it (er how about a time machine??), the most critical point worth making here is this:

              Nuclear power plants as well as nuclear waste could be preferred targets for terrorist attacks. No atomic energy plant in the world could withstand an attack similar to 9/11 in Yew York. Such a terrorist act would have catastrophic effects for the whole world.

              http://timeforchange.org/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-power-and-sustainability

            • Salsy 10.1.2.1.1.2

              @Lanthanide

              The issue wth Nuclear power plants is that they are incredibly dangerous in a all forms, expensive as HELL, and largely un-green and certainly not sustanable . Uranium is a scarce resouce, and will be gone in as little as 30 years, the radioactive waste absolutely IS dangerous and difficult and the potential for environmental disaster outweighs any pros in terms of green based efficency. Hydro IS sustainable, wind IS sustainable, solar IS sustainable.

              Despite your attempt to explain the safety of nuclear energy, perhaps the most sobering arguement in it all lies here:

              Nuclear power plants as well as nuclear waste could be preferred targets for terrorist attacks. No atomic energy plant in the world could withstand an attack similar to 9/11 in Yew York. Such a terrorist act would have catastrophic effects for the whole world.

              http://timeforchange.org/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-power-and-sustainability

      • nzfp 10.1.3

        TO: Moderators, lprent?

        Hi there,
        I posted a response to mickysavage this morning but as yet it hasn’t appeared. Is there any reason why the comment was blocked? This is a genuine question because I’d like to know if I commented on something, referenced something or did something that is regarded as inappropriate for this forum. I would like to continue contributing to the forum so I would like to know what I did so as to avoid doing so in the future

        -nzfp

        [lprent: Got caught in the spam trap, probably because of too many links.
        We’ve been getting a lot of spam, so have been a bit slow to clean it up. ]

      • Rich 10.1.4

        before you have to factor in the cost of storage and disposal of the radioactive residue

        Yup, and the insurance (most nuclear states get round this by not indemnifying nuclear plants from risk, which basically means the taxpayer carries the risk of any accidents. Then there’s decomissioning the plant after 50 or so years, which typically costs more than construction.

  11. Joe Bloggs 11

    interesting to hear Sir Geoffrey Palmer over last weekend proposing the resumption of US ship visits.

    Could it be that he recognises the modern generation don’t give a toss about our nuclear-free status?

    Or is it because continuing to thumb our nuclear-free noses at America will compromise our ability to lift our economic standard through a free trade agreement with the Great Satan?

    Either way, Phil Goff should be taking note – he could learn a few things

    • Wrong on two counts Joe.

      1. The nuclear free policy was about standing up and saying that the Nuclear Arms race was insane. It made everyone less safe, still has the world one mistake away from utter devastation, and the resources invested in it could have made a huge dent in world poverty if they had been redirected.

      2. A FTA with the United States will not improve our quality of life. Ask Canada or Mexico how they fared after entering into FTAs with the Grand Satan.

      Captcha Rubbish!!

      • Bill 11.1.1

        The nuclear arms race was insane….sure. Right up until Goff refused to use NZ’s veto on non-proliferation issues and gave the green light for sales of nuclear technology by the US to India…in return for talks on a FTA with the US.

        That’s the same India that sits next to a nuclear Pakistan and a nuclear China with all types of disintegrations happening around the region.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/565225

      • Joe Bloggs 11.1.2

        Wrong on which counts?

        Geoff Palmer DID propose the resumption of ship visits didn’t he?

        I’m not debating the original intent behind the nuclear free policy and shame on you for suggesting I am. I’m pointing out the fact that to the modern generation of kids coming into the workforce, the issue is not a priority or of any particular relevance to their daily lives.

        If you want to poor-mouth Mexico then look to the internal corruption in the country that has created such disparities in wealth between the peons and Carlos Slim – that’s not the result of an FTA.

        As for Canada, interesting that Canada came through the global economic crisis better than other countries because it’s a primary producer with a strong commodity export industry to USA. Incidentally Canada doesn’t have a true FTA with USA even now – US funds major transportation projects from Washington and Canada doesn’t get a clear look at these..

        • Pascal's bookie 11.1.2.1

          Well one of the counts you are wrong on, is that Palmer doesn’t suggest we were thumbing our noses at the US, or that we should stop doing so if that is in fact what we were doing.

          What he said was that we should keep our policy, and that the world has changed so much that our doing so should no longer be an impediment to US naval visits.

          Mexico is rapidly sliding towards narco-state territory, a fact not unrelated to US efforts and hypocrisy. This is far more relevant to the Mexican economy than NAFTA.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      The US empire, like all previous empires, will disappear into the dustbin of history. I don’t see any point in joining it there.

  12. Cnr Joe 12

    Awesome, just awesome,
    we plainly got asked along because of our substantial stockpile of nukes..no…invited because of our strategic american bases….no….our reserves of uranium, plutonium, unobtanium…no…because we have this Nuclear Free status?
    Wtf can Pin-The-Policy-On-The-Jonkey have thought on the plane over? ‘Gee they must’y luvved me on Letterman?’

  13. Bill 13

    So Obama wants rid of nuclear arms but is too clever to argue for getting rid of nuclear arms.

    Seriously?

    How about as an alternative take, an ‘internationally agreed’ control of materials offers a pretext for bombing the shit out of Iran or anyone else that comes up on the radar who is not one of the 40 countries signed to the ‘international agreement’ allowing the US to call the shots and possibly circumventing any pesky UN objections to proposed courses of action?

    No. That’s too convoluted. Obama is a smart boy. Obama is not arguing anti-nuclear in order to secure an anti-nuclear agenda.

    Which is also why JK isn’t mentioning NZs anti nuclear stance. He’s being clever too. Obviously.

    Or it could just be that ‘anti nuclear’ has as much to do with this National Security Summit as the price of cheese.

  14. felix 14

    He’s just such a Brian.

  15. tc 15

    Maybe Obama just wants some feelgood statesman like event after the bruising healthcare reform process and with a jab at those war-mongering beligerent Israeli’s thrown in who could resist.

    Presidents come and go but the military keeps on keeping on as the real issue for terrorsism is enriched uranium and it’s manufacture/use rather than stockpiled weapons they’d struggle to deploy anyway…..aside from all those missing suitcase A bombs the russians can’t account for that is.

  16. The Voice of Reason 16

    This is the White House briefing note re: Key’s meting with VP Biden. The last sentence is interesting as I don’t recall John Boy mentioning that he talked with Biden about starting World War 3.

    The White House

    Office of the Vice President

    For Immediate Release April 12, 2010
    Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
    Earlier today, the Vice President met with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key who is in Washington to participate in the President’s Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). New Zealand is an important partner in Afghanistan, on global issues ranging from nuclear non-proliferation to climate change, and on trade as a negotiating partner in the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement. The Vice President thanked Prime Minister Key for his close cooperation on the NSS agenda and goals, and expressed his appreciation for New Zealand’s strong support in Afghanistan. The Vice President and Prime Minister Key also discussed how our two countries can cooperate further on regional and global matters and work closely together at the United Nations, including on issues such as Iran.

    • Jim Nald 16.1

      @ VoR

      National’s logic is fundamentally that which has been expressed by Simon Power:
      “we go where America goes”.

      Just try to live with it, dear

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    17 hours ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    5 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    6 days ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    1 week ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Time to pay essential heroes a decent wage, says Green Party
    The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how much we rely on our essential workers. The Green Party are proposing a package that ensures they are paid a dignified wage so they do not live in poverty. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
    The Government will close a loophole that allowed some people to import cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco for manufacturing cigarettes and ‘roll your owns’ for sale on the black market without excise tax being paid, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The legislation, which doesn’t affect duty free allowances for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
    The Government’s expanded services to support people into jobs will help an emerging cohort of New Zealanders impacted by COVID-19. The impacted group are relatively younger, have a proportionately low benefit history and have comparatively higher incomes than most who seek support, as captured in a report published today from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
    New funding to boost Government-funded Adult and Community Education (ACE) will give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This includes a modern approach to rebuilding night classes, which were slashed in the middle of our last economic crisis in 2010,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
    Significant progress has been delivered in the year since the Christchurch Call to Action brought governments and tech companies together in Paris with a single goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardent says. On its first anniversary, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
    Joint statement: the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron President of the French Republic. One year since we launched, in Paris, the Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand and France stand proud of the progress we have made toward our goal to eliminate terrorist ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Jobs and opportunities for the primary sector
    $19.3 million to help attract and train recently unemployed New Zealanders and grow the primary sector workforce by 10,000 people. $128 million for wilding pine and wallaby control, providing hundreds of jobs. $45.3m over four years to help horticulture seize opportunities for future growth. $14.9 million to reduce food waste ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New registration system for forestry advisers and log traders
    A new log registration scheme and practice standards will bring us one step closer to achieving ‘value over volume’ in our forestry sector, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. New legislation introduced as part of Budget 2020 will require forestry advisers, log traders and exporters to register and work to nationally ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 s Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago