US warship visit

A very unsurprising announcement on the visit to New Zealand of US Vice President Joe Biden – the US has formally accepted an invitation to send a naval vessel here later this year.

Stuff: Biden confirms US ship visit

It won’t be a nuclear powered or armed ship. It can’t be, as New Zealand law does not allow it.

New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987

Prohibition on stationing of nuclear explosive devices

No person shall emplant, emplace, transport on land or inland waters or internal waters, stockpile, store, install, or deploy any nuclear explosive device in the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone

9 Entry into internal waters of New Zealand

(1) When the Prime Minister is considering whether to grant approval to the entry of foreign warships into the internal waters of New Zealand, the Prime Minister shall have regard to all relevant information and advice that may be available to the Prime Minister including information and advice concerning the strategic and security interests of New Zealand.

(2) The Prime Minister may only grant approval for the entry into the internal waters of New Zealand by foreign warships if the Prime Minister is satisfied that the warships will not be carrying any nuclear explosive device upon their entry into the internal waters of New Zealand.

11 Visits by nuclear powered ships

Entry into the internal waters of New Zealand by any ship whose propulsion is wholly or partly dependent on nuclear power is prohibited.

So a US ship visit should be uncontroversial.

Except that it brings to an and a thirty year hissy fit by the US who reacted petulantly when  another sovereign nation passed laws that had massive public support.

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40 Comments

  1. NZ isn’t a sovereign nation, it’s part of the Anglo-American Empire, which is why they were understandably pissed with NZ’s anti-nuclear stance.

    Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  22nd July 2016

    IF USA refuse to confirm/deny whether the ship has Nukes or is nuclear powered.. how will Key really know, to sign it off ?

    Will he be carrying on, his own geiger counter ?? :/ 😦

    Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  22nd July 2016

      Well Wayne sez, *he* for one, couldn’t give a flying f*#^k about it Zeddo …..he reckons they should *never* have been banned in the first place 😎

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  22nd July 2016

        The more fool he. Tell him to read about Chernobyl.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  22nd July 2016

          What idiot tried to sail Chernobyl to New Zealand ? o_O

          Reply
        • Nelly Smickers

           /  22nd July 2016

          It might surprize you Kitzy, but I actually learnt quite a lot about Nuclear Testing and all that sort of stuff :/

          One of the Nuns at my school had actually taken compassionate leave to join the protest flotilla to Mururoa back in the 70’s. When she finally came back to the Convent, they only ever let her ring the bells.

          Reply
      • Zedd

         /  23rd July 2016

        whoz wayne ?

        what do you think Nelly ?? :/

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  22nd July 2016

      I $houldn’t worry about it, Zedd. Johnker$ would *never* compromi$e our $afety. 😎

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  22nd July 2016

        me worried.. never $$

        btw; $$$$$$$ the real determinant in NZ politics/’Team Keys’ decisions ? :/

        Reply
  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  22nd July 2016

    It’s far too small a sample to prove anything, but I have known two people who have worked with nuclear power in one case and nuclear weapons in the other. One has had cancer (she is a young woman) and the other died of a rare condition of the nervous system.

    The implication that John Key can be bought off is scurrilous and highly offensive. .

    Reply
  4. We have just spent the time since 1980 trying to explain to the US politicians that we, as a country do not want to have anything to do with nuclear weapons. This was despite our welcome to the end of the Pacific War following the US decision to use the A Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Such hypocrites that we are, we subsequently disassociated ourselves from our earlier defacto and dejure support of the US decision and aligned ourselves with the political theory that said actually all people are driven by good intentions and we should not have anything to do with nuclear science. We also said that nuclear weapons and nuclear engines are the same danger to the planet, despite evidence to the contrary, in science, that tells us that nuclear engines are steam engines using a different fuel. Somehow, we have persuaded too many people that nuclear weapons and nuclear propulsion are the same. Really? This to me is a clear example of fear-mongering which has stopped mankind from pursuing its destiny, which is the exploration of space using nuclear technology. Meantime we are competing against other religious philosophies like Islam that are determined to take us back into the dark ages?

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  22nd July 2016

      We also said that nuclear weapons and nuclear engines are the same danger to the planet, despite evidence to the contrary, in science, that tells us that nuclear engines are steam engines using a different fuel. Somehow, we have persuaded too many people that nuclear weapons and nuclear propulsion are the same.

      You are correct BJ. However, I would still prefer not to have nuclear power plants in NZ. Things seldom go wrong, but when they do, they go VERY wrong.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster#Effects

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  22nd July 2016

        “I would still prefer not to have nuclear power plants in NZ”

        Might as well introduce ludicrous straw man.

        Seriously? Are you 12?

        Reply
        • patupaiarehe

           /  22nd July 2016

          I wish I was 12 Iceberg. And female 😉 . How am I introducing a ‘strawman’ here? A nuclear powered ship is just a mobile nuclear power plant (or nuclear powered steam engine).
          I worked in a petrochemical facility a few years back, and they had a risk calculator. We weren’t allowed to take cellphones on to the site, even though the risk of one igniting fumes was MINIMAL. The reason we weren’t, was because the consequences would be CATASTROPHIC.

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  22nd July 2016

            sorry, “could” not “would”

            Reply
          • Iceberg

             /  22nd July 2016

            Where you worked is irrelevant, another straw man. Comparing a nuclear powered ship coming here to a nuclear power plant being built here is feeble.

            Reply
            • patupaiarehe

               /  22nd July 2016

              Too right Iceberg. Why bother building one, when you can just float it right in to the harbour, and tie it to the wharf… 😛

      • Please do me the courtesy of at least attempting to study the difference between the technology used to run Nuclear Power stations, and their relatively minor cost of lives of people compared with the extraction industries for fossil fuels. There is an inbuilt fear factor built into radio-activity that is unreasonable. Look at the record of the US designed nuclear propulsion units and their safety records, especially those units used in submarines and space vehicles, and then draw your conclusions. Next research the safeguards followed by the US and UK Navies when nuclear vessels are alongside in a port. I am reassured by the safeguards and professionalism these navies show towards the risk factors. But we don’t need sensible precautions to be replaced by mass hysteria do we? Nuclear power stations have a different profile because of the massive by-products they produce that could be weaponised. I feel reassured that the US and UK have provided us with assurances of protection in a nuclear conflict, and with the presence of nuclear weapons in Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia (? courtesy of Pakistan?) and the Nutter North Korea. MAD remains the Ultimate deterrent to nuclear war.
        Aside from the radio-active particles and their half-lives, there is another elephant in the room that is more likely, and that is electro-magnetic-pulse (EMP) weapons whose effects on civilisation would be horrendous. Something for the worry warts to try and get their heads around …eh?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd July 2016

          TLDR

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  23rd July 2016

          You left out Israel?

          Reply
          • Is Israel a potential threat to NZ? I think not. My list was based on religious and idealogical extremist threats to our democratic constitution. I believe the holocaust did occur as well as the deliberate German and Russian murders of millions of prisoners and civilians during the second World War. I am old enough to know the direct consequences of total war. I hope and pray you never have to relearn the lessons again. I don’t think we will have a third chance. Maybe I should add Japan, China, Korea to the lists but that would be tedious.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd July 2016

              I misinterpreted your list then. I thought it was intended to list nuclear armed minor nations outside of the Security Council members.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd July 2016

              o_O

  5. I remember a time when having finally put away our ration cards and stopped sending tins with cakes loaded with fruit and sherry and preserved eggs to the UK in the mid to late 40s, and finally having been able to visit all of my Uncles after they got back to their families after they had been captured in Crete or in Uncle Jim’s case after he complete his time with the Partisans in Italy and Yugoslavia. We all said never again. Since that time we have had our Kiwi soldiers involved in some 30 plus conflicts. When the US confirmed that they were sending a US Vessel to help the RNZN the other day, I commented on “Stuff” that I was pleased to hear they were coming and opined that it would be good if it was Marine Corp amphibious ship, so we could thank the descendants of 2 Marine Division who left Wellington in 1943 and subsequently won the battle for the Pacific that preserved our independence. I was saddened, but not surprised, to read the first two comments. One said ” Grow up Granddad, that was 70 years ago”. The other I decline to repeat. But it was not supportive

    Has it changed? to “We will NEVER remember them?” Never, ever as far as I am concerned.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  22nd July 2016

      We do remember them, and we honour them.

      Nothing will ever change the fact that thousands of young men went toward the fires of hell, such that subsequent generations didn’t have to.

      Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  22nd July 2016

      Well said colonel. America made a huge sacrifice in defence of this part of the world but sadly most folks today are two or three generations removed from ww2 and have been indoctrinated by decades of anti us rhetoric

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  22nd July 2016

        Lets make a distinction here C. ‘America’ sacrificed sweet FA. But a lot of Americans made the ultimate sacrifice. Men who had wives and children died for what most of us now take for granted. I suspect that none of them would wish their fate upon anyone else.

        Reply
        • PP. Try and make that statement to 2nd US Marine Division who left 6,000 members behind in Tarawa. Then start counting the Phillipines. Iwa Jima, PNG, the Solomons, etc etc etc. No, better still visit Arlington Cemetery just once.

          Reply
      • The USSR was also instrumental in stopping the Nazis. Today Nazi ideology shapes the foreign policy of the CIA via Allen Dulles.

        http://ahrp.org/pivotal-role-of-allen-dulles-in-shielding-nazi-war-criminals/

        Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  23rd July 2016

    If I recall correctly, the justification for banning nuclear-powered ships was that they were most likely to be nuclear-armed. The reason for trying to keep the south Pacific nuclear free was that there were no nuclear threats to counter or attack down here and introducing them merely made a safe place unsafe.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd July 2016

      No it was that & also objection to nuclear power, I suspect because of concerns about nuclear power-related accidents that had already been reported.
      http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/nuclear-free-new-zealand/nuclear-free-zone

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd July 2016

        That article is not definitive. This page links the two issues: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/nuclear-free-new-zealand/ship-visits
        and makes it clear the political support was principally against weapons rather than just power. The complication was the US secrecy against identifying ships carrying nuclear weapons and consequently use of nuclear propulsion as a proxy for that identification.

        Here is the evidence for my position:

        “on 3 August 1983, Bruce Beetham, leader of the Social Credit League, attempted to introduce the Prohibition of Nuclear Vessels and Weapons Bill. As Beetham stated,
        although expensive to build, nuclear powered ships do not need constant refueling, and
        for that reason they are ideal vehicles for the offensive role that falls to the Navy. That being so, such vessels will almost invariably—in fact, one could almost say automatically—
        be armed with offensive weapons, which must include nuclear weapons. Thus, Beetham’s bill was the first attempt to introduce a ban on nuclear-powered ships to parliament because such ships were almost certainly armed with nuclear weapons. In the end, the bill was defeated by 40 to 39 votes.

        On 12 June 1984, Prebble introduced the Nuclear Free New Zealand Bill. This time, also Prebble’s bill called for the exclusion of nuclear-powered ships from New Zealand. As Prebble explained, the bill ‘prohibits the entry of nuclear powered ships and nuclear weapons into New Zealand and further prohibits the building of nuclear reactors within New Zealand.”

        After Muldoon called the snap election and lost, Labour introduced legislation on that basis.

        https://www.artsfaculty.auckland.ac.nz/special/nzfpra/docs/NuclearBan3.pdf

        Reply

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