(The following was a Letter to the Editor from me as published in the 25 June issue of the New Zealand Herald)
I am disturbed that our navy seems to be operating as if we were not a nuclear-free country opposed to nuclear weapons.
In the June-July issue of Navy Today Te Kaha’s commander, Jon Beardsmore, expresses his enthusiasm for exercising with American nuclear submarines when his frigate joins the big RIMPAC [Exercise Rim of the Pacific] naval exercise off Hawaii at the end of this month.
Commander Beardsmoore says: “For us it’s the only operation where we get to operate with nuclear submarines, so from any anti-submarine aspect it is a great environment.”
Surely it is against the spirit of our anti-nuclear legislation for Te Kaha to practice attacking nuclear submarines, or to help American nuclear subs improve their defences. We should not be playing any part in preparations for a nuclear war.
Exercising with nuclear submarines also runs counter to the good work New Zealand does promoting nuclear disarmament on the world stage.
Keith Locke, Mt Eden.