Friday, June 8, 2007

Nuclear free NZ

Wow, twenty years have gone by since we became a nuclear free country by legislation. The Labour Party in opposition during the early 80's promised it to the NZ people if they were elected to govern which happened in 1986 and it became law in 1987, the first country in the world to do so. By refusing the American Navy entry to our ports because of their policy not to divulge whether the ships were nuclear armed or not we earned their wrath and they pulled out of Anzus (a treaty between NZ, Australia and the US) and threatened trade sanctions which is still in force with Australia getting a free trade agreement recently and not us.
How relavent is it today? Probably not very with the Berlin Wall down, tactical nuclear weapons off American ships and the vessels wouldn't fit in our ports anyway. However when the National Party made noises about watering the policy down, opinion polls showed a large proportion of people want it to stay in place
It's not about nuclear anymore it's about the fact that a little country at the end of the world had the guts to stand on it's own two feet and give a big fat finger to a superpower and we may have been snubbed but we haven't nuked or sunk and we hopefully continue on our way with respect.
Winter has a few problems, the worst being the layering on of chubbiness at my age! So I have started my usual mandarin diet which means nothing but coffee and mandarins (homegrown of course) until dinner when I eat whatever I want. Probably not recommended but it works for me and the hunger pains are a gentle reminder of all those hungry mouths out there.
Hi to Petra and Rainer from Berlin, we are looking after Flaxmill Bay until your return and the stocks of lamb and mussels are finally starting to recover!


Indeterminacy said...

I remember hearing a radio play on Radio New Zealand (via shortwave) - way back in the 80's. It was in a "War of the Worlds" style, with news bulletins about the other countries destroying themselves while th NZ politicians tried to decide what to do.

Great that NZ kept it's dignity - I never knew about this history.

chook said...

Proliferation of nuclear weapons is an awful prospect but we can't blame new countries wanting the bomb because under the non proliferation treaty the superpowers were meant to reduce their arsenals but haven't. Perhaps the day has come that we can do away with the lot and feel because our integrity is intact we can lead the way in diplomacy talks
It's probably little country wanting to be bigger country syndrome!!!