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Speculation: New Zealand - A change in no nukes policy?
Richard Prebble's "Letter from Wellington". | Monday, November 18 2002 | Richard Prebble (ACT member of Parliament) New Zealand

Posted on 11/17/2002 5:56:17 PM PST by shaggy eel

Is Labour about to change the nuclear policy? Inquiries by "The Letter" reveal that the issue has not been debated within the party but in the Byzantine government of Helen Clark, that means little. Last week’s snap decision to send Te Kaha and an Orion to the Gulf war was not discussed. The Letter believes that a ‘finesse’ of New Zealand nuclear free legislation to enable a nuclear powered ship to visit is being seriously considered.

Consider the evidence. Labour wants a Free Trade Agreement [FTA] with the US and the cost is a change to the nuclear free law. Labour sent a frigate and an Orion to the Gulf and carefully refused to rule out assistance to a US/UN sanctioned strike against Iraq.

Those who say Clark would never make a change are precisely the same people who said Labour would never send the SAS to Afghanistan. Clark’s strategy has been to take the centre ground. How could National oppose a change? The Alliance party no longer exists. The Greens are no real threat.

The politics of a change in policy are compelling. The idea that Michael Cullen just let it slip that the nuclear issue is the stumbling block to free trade is silly. Ministers never just let things slip out. Labour is feeling out the ground.

Australia/US free trade agreement

The number one foreign policy objective of successive governments has been to obtain a FTA with the USA, the world’s largest economy. This week a letter from Robert B Zoellick, the chief trade negotiator, advised the Senate that USA was commencing negotiating with Australia excluding New Zealand - our worst nightmare.

Why is it bad news?

As a minimum a FTA will cover manufactured goods. A firm like Fisher & Paykel that exports its special dishwashers and health products to the USA will have to transfer production to its Australian plants.

As big as Britain entering the EC

The Knowledge Wave Trust in its report of 8 October stated that “… a FTA with the US is a clear priority. The impact of Australia succeeding in securing a free trade agreement without NZ will be of similar impact to the UK entering the European Union in 1973.”

A lifeline

The government was surprised that Zoellick’s letter to congress included mention of New Zealand: “Given the integration of the economies of Australia and New Zealand, New Zealand has been advocating its case to the Administration, as well as to Congress, that a FTA with New Zealand would complement our FTAs with Singapore and Australia. We will be soliciting the views of the Congress on this matter as we move forward with the Australian FTA.” (See the whole letter on www.act.org.nz/zoellick)

The Labour government had been told that the FTA was going ahead with Australia and both Australia and the USA had said no to including NZ. Mr Stanley, the US businessman who heads the NZ/American Chamber of Commerce, said publicly that the Bush administration saw no prospect of an FTA while the nuclear issue was unresolved.

Quid pro quo for Te Kaha

Senior officials believe that the unexpected inclusion of a reference to NZ is due to the repositioning of Te Kaha to the Gulf and Helen Clark’s careful refusal to rule out NZ joining a US/UN sanctioned invasion of Iraq.

What is the problem?

The US is aware that the NZ government’s own independent inquiry headed by our top scientists found that the nuclear reactor on a ship was so small it did not pose any conceivable risk. Auckland hospital emits more radiation each day than the whole US fleet in a year!

The huge growth in trade between Australia and NZ since the signing of CER demonstrates how effective free trade is. A liberal FTA by itself guarantees 4% growth a year which is a doubling of income in 18 years. There is not a social issue – from health to the sustainability of superannuation – that would not be transformed by a doubling of wealth.

ACT’s private members bill

ACT MPs believe the ban on nuclear propulsion is absurd. ACT deputy leader Hon Ken Shirley is seeking to introduce a bill that amends the nuclear free law in NZ to allow nuclear powered ships to enter NZ waters.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Free Republic
KEYWORDS: defense; freetrade; freetradeagreement; helenclark; newzealand; nonukespolicy
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This issue has been quietly building. Richard Prebble heads ACT NEW ZEALAND, a political Party which is as far to the right as it gets in New Zealand.

www.act.org.nz

1 posted on 11/17/2002 5:56:17 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: Piquaboy; norton; NH Liberty; Brian Allen; general_re; New Zealander; KiaKaha; Neophyte; ...
FYI
2 posted on 11/17/2002 5:58:07 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: *"Free" Trade
New U.S. envoy touts "earned legalization" for Mexican migrants
3 posted on 11/17/2002 5:59:47 PM PST by Free the USA
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To: farmfriend; Willie Green; stanz; NativeNewYorker; metacognative; mgstarr; ofMagog; Trapper John; ...
FYI
4 posted on 11/17/2002 6:01:07 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: Uncle Meat; Terriergal; EBUCK; johniegrad; Ferdinand; KEVinSHANNONnz; 2Trievers; dorben; ...
FYI
5 posted on 11/17/2002 6:03:46 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: curiouskiwi; Mark17; fivetoes; Ditter; AmericanVictory
FYI
6 posted on 11/17/2002 6:07:06 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
If Australia enters a free trade pact with the US and NZ doesn't...well, let me call my broker and put on some long Aussie $ - short Kiwi $ before I finish the thought...
7 posted on 11/17/2002 6:07:42 PM PST by NativeNewYorker
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To: NativeNewYorker
,,, that's what it amounts to. Play ball with us or we'll stick the bat up your...

No nukes legislation should have been dropped a long time ago.

8 posted on 11/17/2002 6:10:13 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
,,, also of relevance.
9 posted on 11/17/2002 6:15:06 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: rintense; petuniasevan; dennisw; Thinkin' Gal
FYI
10 posted on 11/17/2002 6:23:20 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: daisyscarlett; Tennessee_Bob
FYI
11 posted on 11/17/2002 6:27:40 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
No nukes legislation should have been dropped a long time ago.

Thanks for the ping. Looks like economics can accomplish wonders in bringing reality to Ms. Clark & fellow-travelers. There's hope yet for a good working relationship with the US. Invite the nuclear-powered ships ASAP.

12 posted on 11/17/2002 6:29:13 PM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
,,, you're on to it Todd. Klark is playing everything as close to the centre as she can. If she got tough on welfare and changed the no nukes legislation I'd run out of things to grizzle about a lot sooner.

Hopefully US ships will return as they did pre mid 1980s.

13 posted on 11/17/2002 6:33:02 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
Is Helen Clark using the balls she's been rumored to have? Surely not!
14 posted on 11/17/2002 6:36:35 PM PST by rintense
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To: rintense
,,, no, she's keeping those for later. Some of this will be resultant from response to polls. Kiwis ain't feeling too secure and that's coming thru to her. Predominantly though, the thought of our factories shutting down and moving to Aussie will have her running for cover. She's been backed into a corner and the walls are closing in. All her feel good policies won't subsitute for real world common sense. She's on a learning curve.
15 posted on 11/17/2002 6:43:30 PM PST by shaggy eel
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: shaggy eel
Hopefully US ships will return as they did pre mid 1980s.

10-4. I'm starting to realistically look forward to visiting New Zealand. The times they are changing - very much for the better.

17 posted on 11/17/2002 6:51:58 PM PST by toddst
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To: skull stomper
,,, we had nuclear propelled and armed ships here from the US up to the mid 1980s. USS Truxton was one of the last ships I remember coming here.
18 posted on 11/17/2002 6:52:00 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
Well I hope Kiwi's get what they want. And they need to vote her socialist arse out of office. What's the unemployment rate in NZ right now?
19 posted on 11/17/2002 6:52:13 PM PST by rintense
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To: toddst
BUMP
20 posted on 11/17/2002 6:53:45 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: rintense
,,, unemployment stands at 5,3%. Klark keeps fine tuning things in order to keep the middle ground/largest blocks of voters happy, like in most other countries. It seems that a coalition government, results from what polls show her plus pressure from economic moves like this will ensure she can't blaze trails too much.
21 posted on 11/17/2002 6:57:35 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
Thanks for the ping eel!
22 posted on 11/17/2002 7:04:10 PM PST by NeoCaveman
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To: dubyaismypresident
,,, you're welcome dubya.
23 posted on 11/17/2002 7:05:17 PM PST by shaggy eel
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: skull stomper
,,, who said you lied? It could have been that your ship's reactor was running close to certification running out or something. Any number of reasons could have precluded it visiting. It sounds like all aboard wanted to come on down though. It's a pity you didn't get here.
25 posted on 11/17/2002 7:13:56 PM PST by shaggy eel
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: shaggy eel
You will do it our way or else!

Sarcasm aside, a free trade agreement would change things on the agricultural front. Thanks for the ping.

27 posted on 11/17/2002 7:41:47 PM PST by farmfriend
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To: shaggy eel
,,, we had nuclear propelled and armed ships here from the US up to the mid 1980s. USS Truxton was one of the last ships I remember coming here.

Hey there Shaggy! Good memory on the USS Truxton. One of my good friends from high school was on his West Pac tour on that boat at the time and I remember him saying he was down there. I do hope we'll see the trade between the US and NZ grow!

Cheers mate!

28 posted on 11/17/2002 8:03:28 PM PST by kstewskis
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To: shaggy eel
Shag...

Those socialist Zoolanders could go back to sails only rather than compromise their principles. When a severe pain evolves in the wallet, their principles are meaningless tripe.

29 posted on 11/18/2002 3:21:41 AM PST by cynicom
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To: shaggy eel; NativeNewYorker
<< ... that's what it amounts to. Play ball with us or we'll stick the bat up your... >>

We [More Polite and Civilized] Americans tend to think of it as "grow up Kidlywinks"

[Or we will stick your baby bat up your arse and take our balls, our market -- and our Marine Corps -- home!]

HehHehHeh ......
30 posted on 11/18/2002 5:42:39 AM PST by Brian Allen
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To: Brian Allen
The world is getting increasingly dangerous. Acting rationally is a tiny price to pay for a spot under Uncle Sam's big umbrella.
31 posted on 11/18/2002 5:56:17 AM PST by NativeNewYorker
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To: NativeNewYorker; shaggy eel
Acting rationally is a tiny price to pay for a spot under Uncle Sam's big umbrella.

And it's even good for business, to boot. It's the kind of deal where everybody wins, so naturally, Clark will find some way to **** it up.

Well, let's hope not ;)

32 posted on 11/18/2002 6:10:26 AM PST by general_re
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To: farmfriend
I don't see that it is 'our way or else'. "If you're not going to help bake that cake, you don't get to eat it"..said Mrs. Hen to the freeloaders.
33 posted on 11/18/2002 6:25:23 AM PST by metacognative
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To: metacognative
You missed the sarcasm in the post. It was directed at Mr. Eel, and he knows what I meant.
34 posted on 11/18/2002 7:37:22 AM PST by farmfriend
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To: All
,,, my first ever post on FR addressed New Zealand's nonsensical no nukes policy. The world has changed since Sept 11 and we knew down the track there would be ramifications far beyond higher insurance premiums. This is a perfect chance for New Zealand to proclaim that our future doesn't lie with the developing world and align our policies accordingly. Klark is smart enough to know that anything less would be suicide.
35 posted on 11/18/2002 10:49:41 AM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
I like to see politicians forced from the left just to please their constituency. Our poor Hillary is undergoing the same fate. Good for NZ!
36 posted on 11/18/2002 12:57:22 PM PST by stanz
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To: shaggy eel
New Zealand has about as much leverage over U.S. policy as Liechtenstein has. Perhaps less, in light of the number of large corporations headquartered in the latter country.
37 posted on 11/18/2002 1:25:45 PM PST by Man of the Right
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To: stanz
BUMP
38 posted on 11/18/2002 2:19:06 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: NativeNewYorker; shaggy eel
Welcoming Our Navy back into their ports will sit very comfortably indeed with most New Zealanders who remember their debt to Our Nation's WW2 dead. The love and gratitude that most of them direct toward America has never faltered, notwithstanding the boorish stupidity and borderline insanity of that tiny percentage of them that sway elections one one or the other -- and elect the likes of the loathsome, fearsome and freakish pervert, KKKlark!

The Kiwis are with US.

39 posted on 11/18/2002 2:47:48 PM PST by Brian Allen
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To: Brian Allen
,,, interesting comment in post #37 Brian. For as little as NZ doesn't matter, it's caused a lot of hassle. Hopefully Klark will act on this opportunity. It will sit well with the right and keep her in the life she's become accustomed to for a while longer.
40 posted on 11/18/2002 2:54:03 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
You know, what NZ needs to do is buy two or three supersonic bombers and some tactical nukes. This would be enough of a deterent to keep away any but the most powerful of enemies, who are the sort that the ANZUS would leal with together anyway. It's the best defense alternative, as NZ just doesn't have the manpower or tax base to field a large modern army.

JMHO :o)

41 posted on 11/18/2002 3:00:03 PM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: Constantine XIII
,,, the Aussies and the US have built a major military runway at Katherine, in Aussie's Northern Territories. This is quite a strategic asset and will prove it's worth in time to come as a medium to long range base. Aussie's F-111s are up for replacement. New Zealand's air strike capacity is mothballed.

A quickly deployed force is what New Zealand needs. Fast moving troop ships, more C-130s or an update of them, when applicable, and more than the 107 or so LAVs in use at present. I doubt there's money available, even out of the trumpeted $NZ2,5b budget surplus.

Klark should have honoured the contract in place for the cheap deal on F-16s we were offered. Anything that progresses from here should be in consultation with the Aussies and the US as back in the ANZUS days.

42 posted on 11/18/2002 3:19:20 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: Constantine XIII; shaggy eel
<< ..... what NZ needs to do is buy two or three supersonic bombers and some tactical nukes. This would be enough of a deterent to keep away any but the most powerful of enemies, who are the sort that the ANZUS would leal with together anyway. It's the best defense alternative, as NZ just doesn't have the manpower or tax base to field a large modern army. >>

A renewed ANZUS Treaty, expanded to include Singapore and Israel [With the US the only two other countries on Earth worth going to war with and for] and a fleet of 5-megaton-nuke-carrying slightly used ex-US Navy Tridents [A BIG stick] and a firm promise [Delivered quietly] to create huge glass puddles where Baghdad, Peking, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Jakarta -- or wherever -- used to be, should a single hostile foot be set upon New Zealand Territory or one of its Citizens harmed in any way by act of war.

'Cept for the SAS, New Zealand's army can go home and get back on the dole.

Between freezing works' killing seasons, anyway.

Or play with its air force's aeroplane.
43 posted on 11/18/2002 5:43:27 PM PST by Brian Allen
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To: All
The US is aware that the NZ government’s own independent inquiry headed by our top scientists found that the nuclear reactor on a ship was so small it did not pose any conceivable risk. Auckland hospital emits more radiation each day than the whole US fleet in a year!

Yo! Someone tell the American Green Party about this!

Oops, I forgot that anti-nuke people are as fanatical as the Taliban and just as open to reason. Sigh.

44 posted on 11/18/2002 6:15:30 PM PST by Lysandru
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To: shaggy eel
"ACT MPs believe the ban on nuclear propulsion is absurd."

ACT has its act together !!

Thanks for the ping, Shaggy !!

45 posted on 11/19/2002 8:54:12 AM PST by blackie
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To: blackie
,,, you're welcome Blackie.
46 posted on 11/19/2002 11:33:46 AM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
Mr Preble is being a bit hypocritical in this letter considering he was a cabinet minister in the government of the 1980's that implimented the no nukes ban that ended Anzus. I also think the USA should know who it's alies are - NZ has been supportive and contributed to every American led war without any payoff or benefit to it. New Zealand doesn't need billions in foreign aid to be an Ali of the USA because it an ali based on idiological and cultural similarity as are Britain and Australia. Punishing NZ by giving Australia a free trade agreement and excluding NZ for a relatively small idiological difference of wanting to keep itself nuclear free seems very harsh to me. Rightly or wrongly, NZ believes it shouldn't allow nukes into it's teritories and that was not an anti-american stance as proved by NZ's continued support of the USA in the gulf war etc since then. NZ stands with the USA on everything else. In my opinion NZ should have done everything it could to remain in Anzus as it was a benefit it had from being alied to the USA so strongly.

If A free trade agreement with Australia goes ahead without NZ, who knows how bad that could be for the NZ economy which is so strongly tied up with Australias. It would almost be like the USA having free trade between all of it's states but leaving one state out.

As for Richard Prebble, he is a politician and the only reason he would be revealing what the government of NZ was thinking about doing privately, would be to embarrass the government which will possibly change their mind about doing it. I am sure sending a NZ ship to the gulf or being supportive of America once again has nothing to do with trying to get a free trade agreement from the USA, as historically NZ has and always will be on Americas side and will contribute to a war on Iraq.
47 posted on 11/19/2002 12:50:40 PM PST by SnoM
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To: SnoM
,,, Prebble carries a lot of baggage with him from the reform period and prior to that as a Labour Party activist in the formative years of our no nukes policy, agreed. Times change though and he's grown up. Since the present Labour government has been in power he's been a competant watchdog and, it seems, the only energetic de facto opposition available.
48 posted on 11/19/2002 6:45:17 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
bump the thread
49 posted on 11/19/2002 8:35:29 PM PST by maui_hawaii
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To: shaggy eel
As a minimum a FTA will cover manufactured goods.

If NZ is relying on manufacturing its going to get its butt kicked.

Its still preliminary, but here is what I see. Malaysia and Singapore are going to go KABOOOOOM on the economic front. Its going to be the hub of Asian manufacturing. They are centrally located near Vietnam, India, and also have access to China and of course Indonesia.

Free trade with Singapore? Wow. Australia is going to get in on that deal also.

50 posted on 11/19/2002 8:43:45 PM PST by maui_hawaii
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