Nuke-free NZ with Labour-led government

No Minister No Portfolio
Helen Clark Head and Shoulders

Under the Labour-led government, New Zealand's nuclear free legislation will not be changed. Labour is proud of the law it passed in government in 1987.

New Zealanders gave strong support to our country becoming nuclear free because of strong opposition to nuclear weapons and environmental concern about nuclear power generation. Both reasons remain valid today. Nothing has changed in the external environment to cause Labour to change its mind on the wisdom of New Zealand's nuclear free status.

Indeed that status has been a catalyst for New Zealand over two decades to strengthen its advocacy for nuclear disarmament. It also makes us a credible advocate for counter-proliferation initiatives.

While the end of the Cold War diminished the chances of nuclear war between the superpowers, nuclear weapons development and acquisition remains a major international problem.

Countries outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, like India and Pakistan, have developed nuclear weapons. North Korea says it has a nuclear weapon and has given notice of withdrawal from the Treaty. Iran's lack of transparency over its nuclear programme is causing much concern. The possibility of terrorist groups developing nuclear weapons capacity cannot be ruled out, and nor can the possibility of their targeting nuclear generation assets on land and at sea by conventional means.

New Zealand's strong stand for nuclear disarmament and against nuclear weapons proliferation is to be valued in today's troubled world.

Labour abhors the National Party's willingness to sell out this icon of New Zealand's independent and principled foreign policy.