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Australian nuclear subs will be banned from New Zealand waters: Ardern

New Zealand will not lift a decades-long ban on nuclear-powered vessels entering its waters in the wake of key ally Australia’s decision to develop a nuclear submarine fleet, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday (Sept 16).

Sep 15, 2021: New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern says her country was ‘not approached’ to be part of a new security pact between Australia, the UK and US. ‘Nor would I expect us to be,’ she adds. ‘The anchor of this arrangement are nuclear-powered submarines and it will be very clear to all New Zealanders and to Australia why New Zealand would not wish to be a part of that project.’ Since the mid-1980s, New Zealand has had a strict policy keeping its territorial sea, land and airspace as nuclear-free zones

Ms Ardern said her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison had briefed her on Canberra’s plan to develop nuclear-powered submarines with the help of the United States and Britain.

She described the deal as “primarily around technology and defence hardware”, playing down implications for the so-called “Five Eyes” partnership of the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

“This arrangement in no way changes our security and intelligence ties with these three countries, as well as Canada,” Ms Ardern said in a statement on Thursday.

But she also said that New Zealand would maintain a ban on nuclear-powered vessels that dates back to 1985, meaning Wellington will not allow the prized naval asset being developed by Australia into its waters.

“New Zealand’s position in relation to the prohibition of nuclear-powered vessels in our waters remains unchanged,” Ms Ardern said.

Mar 14, 2021: Pressure is building on France to compensate more people in the South Pacific, who were exposed to radiation from three decades of nuclear tests. It follows a new report accusing the French government of hiding the extent of nuclear contamination in French Polynesia during French nuclear tests in the Pacific from 1966-1996, with almost the “entire population” of the overseas territory infected.

The ban was introduced in the wake of French nuclear testing in the Pacific and led to US navy warships being banned from entering New Zealand ports for more than 30 years.

The destroyer USS Sampson visited in late 2016 but only after the then-prime minister John Key gave a special exemption, saying he was “100 per cent confident” the vessel was not nuclear-powered or carrying nuclear weapons.

Official US policy is to neither confirm nor deny whether its vessels are nuclear-capable.


Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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