New Zealand naval ships have been banned from an exercise in Pearl harbour. Instead we have been relegated to an outer harbour or civilian area. There would be those in the NZ defence force and others who are probably getting their ‘tits in a tangle’ over the imagined slight. It all goes back to the New Zealand Government banning nuclear armed or propelled warships in 1987.
We must stick to our guns, so to speak, and not bow down and allow the resumption of such visits. I believe the opposition to our visit to the ‘inner circle’ of the exercise comes directly from the USA Navy, not the pentagon itself. It seems that the former body has a long memory and is simply playing ‘tit-for-tat.’
Who cares? I see that the Russian Navy even has representation. It is a game for the boys and their toys with a few ramifications for policy makers, but we need to hold fast and keep our ports free of any nuclear presence. For those who worry that we would not receive aid in the event of a ‘foreign’ incursion in our waters, rest assured; do you really think that the USA would stand by and witness their ‘influence’ being watered down in the South Pacific. The threat is not military--- it is more economic and the USA is already under threat from the growing power of Asia.
New Zealand is subtly changing too. The ties with Europe and the USA are still strong but the ‘new boys on the block’ are increasingly making their existence felt--- to the benefit of New Zealand. Why should we ignore the presence of more than two billion people; ones who are closer than our traditional markets.
The USA will always be ‘friends’ with New Zealand but that does not mean we have to alter our stance on being as nuclear free as we can. Do not the events in Japan add strength to my argument?