NZ wins nuclear war

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, July 21st, 2016 - 19 comments
Categories: Ethics, labour, leadership, quality of life, us politics - Tags: , ,

As widely predicted:

US ship to visit NZ after 33 years

The United States Navy will send a ship to New Zealand this year, ending a 33-year absence from our ports because of the anti-nuclear rift.

US Vice-President Joe Biden will formally accept the invitation today when he meets Prime Minister John Key in Auckland. …

So NZs nuclear war with America ends not with a bang, but a whimper.

NZ ‘won’ on nukes – Hager

Author and Nuclear Disarmament New Zealand campaigner Nicky Hager said that if a ship did come it would be a win for the New Zealand public.

“A whole generation of New Zealanders were highly involved, marched in the streets and cared deeply about nuclear-free policy.

“And the United States were extremely bloody-minded about that, they’ve gone to send a ship that was either nuclear powered or nuclear armed from the very beginning and in the end it’s been the US government that’s changed and not us.

“So yes, all the people involved in it have won.”

Security analyst Paul Buchanan from 36th Parallel Assessments told Morning Report Mr Biden’s visit signalled the US accepted New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy. …

For all the disastrous mistakes of the Lange government, this is an important legacy and a pillar of our nationhood.

My favourite cartoon of the era:


19 comments on “NZ wins nuclear war”

  1. Bill 1

    I’d be reading the visit more in terms of getting NZ on side with the US geo-political ambitions in this region – not about ‘caving’ to any anti-nuclear stance. But maybe that’s just me.

    • save nz 1.1

      +1 Bill

    • adam 1.2

      Key seems hell bent on dragging us back, 5 black eyes and all.

      So much for any assemblance of independence.

      • Reddelision 1.2.1

        FYI Chinese navy visited a couple of years back, so chill

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Lao Tsu said “a large nation owes protection, a small nation owes service.”

          This equation works both ways and we are a small nation negotiating the territory between two large ones.

          We don’t have to like it.

    • Mosa 1.3

      Spot on Bill.

    • Siobhan 1.4

      I thought Nicky Hager had a pretty good take on this, “in the end it’s been the US government that’s changed and not us” . But you may have to listen to his whole piece.'won'-on-nukes-hager

    • Most likely, you’re correct in part.

      A more nuanced way of looking at it is that now we have indications from the Key government that NZ is looking to take sides in foreign policy again as opposed to being independent, the USA has decided that having us onside is more vaulable than punishing us for being anti-nuclear to set an example.

      Also note the subtext of the reconciliation: You’ve been good, so now we will send a warship to you. (aka. welcome to becoming a way for the USA to project power into the pacific region to combat China’s interests)

      It’s one of those “well, we won, but it turns out we lost a more important battle at the same time,” kind of situations.

    • Thinkerr 1.6

      Ditto, Bill

      I struggle to see this as a victory for NZ.

      30 or so years ago, the US would neither confirm nor deny nukes on any ships visiting New Zealand. So we said keep away.

      And we paid a hefty price for our stand.

      Today, the US isn’t saying they won’t confirm or deny nukes, but we’re allowing visits again.

      No mexican wave from me, I’m afraid.

  2. This never gets old:

    • joe90 2.1

      Oh to have been a fly on number 10’s wall.

      Margaret Thatcher was privately warned by foreign secretary Francis Pym in 1983 that the anti-nuclear movement could become so “widespread and powerful” that it might halt the deployment of US cruise missiles in Britain.

      Newly released Downing Street files also show that Thatcher’s press secretary, Bernard Ingham, recommended the release of official footage of royal baby Prince William over the 1983 Easter bank holiday weekend, in order to knock Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament protests out of the news headlines.


      Sir Anthony Parsons, a former ambassador who advised Thatcher after his retirement, told her that he was “astonished” at the “wide spectrum of personal friends” who were “actual or potential supporters of the government” and were preoccupied with the nuclear debate. He said one reason for their concern was the presence in the White House of Ronald Reagan, a president “of lower intellectual calibre and less grasp of international issues than any incumbent since the second world war”.

  3. save nz 3

    NZ wins nuclear war (for 5 minutes) but loses our data and privacy… jobs, sovereignty… our soul…

  4. DoublePlusGood 4

    Wait, you can win a nuclear war? It’s more the sort of thing everyone loses.

    • red-blooded 4.1

      Golly, really?

      Did you forget to take your irony tablet this morning, DPG?

  5. Neil 5

    Might as well paint a big target on NZ, Key has just sold NZ’s soul to the devil

  6. Heather Grimwood 6

    Paul Buchanan aptly named.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Could someone please explain how we have won? As far as I know the neither confirm nor deny policy is still in place and the pm must be satisfied New Zealand law is not being broken by a ship visit. This is the same scenario which played out in 1987 or whenever it was. Lange wasn’t satisfied so the Buchanan was denied access.

    Lloyd Burr asked this question of Joe Biden today and he walked off without answering. Seems to me the invitation and acceptance was conditional on Key not asking them to confirm or deny.

    We have been told today by Barry Soper talking to Rachael Smalley that the difference between then and now is…wait for it…the internet! Soper reckons it’s all ok because John Key will be able to google the ship’s capabilities and go on that when making his decision.

    Official confirmation of nuclear capabilities is not required by Soper and his type, just a google search will do. Unless that is confirmation has been agreed to behind closed doors in order to further save American face.

    In short, the same conditions exist now that existed before the Americans were banned – the policy is just being ignored by Key.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Because the US announced ten years ago that none of its surface vessels are nuclear armed.

      So that leaves nuclear powered, which the US aren’t so cagey about declaring.

      The Buchanan was conventionally powered, but might theoretically have had a nuke or two aboard, and that’s what the US refused to confirm or deny. Now they’ve assured the world that none of its surface vessels have nukes. Ballistic missile subs, forget about it, but most of them are nuclear powered anyway.

  8. Gabby 8

    About time the yankers stopped sulking.

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