“Nuclear-Free” and “Anti-Nuclear”

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

16 November, 2016

Dear Editor:

Kate Shuttleworth (Focus – Under Fire, 13 Nov) implies the visit by the USA warship USS Sampson allowed under the terms of New Zealand’s nuclear free law entrenches the country’s anti-nuclear sentiment.  But just how far does that law go in being anti-nuclear? 

The larger picture is that this warship is part of a military that is fundamentally founded on nuclear weapons.   Regardless that the USS Sampson itself probably does not carry nuclear weapons, it is still part of a nuclear weapon military.  From this it is clear that the current law comes up short of being significantly anti-nuclear.  Yes, the passage of the law was a proud moment for New Zealand and is a useful historical document , but it was never going to be good enough in the long run.  New Zealand cannot hide from this reality any more than it could hide from the global effects of a nuclear war.


Richard Keller

published 20/11/16  “Letter of the Week”




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