News: The NZ frigate Te Kaha joins the US RIMPAC war game off Hawaii for the first time in 28 years and exercises with US nuclear subs. However, Te Kaha is then barred from docking at Pearl Harbour because of NZ’s anti-nuclear policy.

Once upon a time there lived a small nation called Aotearoa, the youngest daughter of Britannia. As she grew up Aotearoa became romantically attached to the brawny Americana, who had come to her assistance when Aotearoa was threatened by the neighbourhood bully Japanica.

Aotearoa stayed in love with Americana even when he started beating up on some of the locals (such as those in Seasia) and when he stocked up on armaments that could destroy the whole neighbourhood. Much as she loved Americana, Aotearoa decided she had to ask him to leave the doomsday weapons at home when he came to visit.

Americana decided to show who was boss around the hood and cancelled these home visits. This distressed Aotearoa as she was still very much attached to Americana and missed him greatly. She kept sending Americana presents wherever he happened to be, even in places like Afghanistania.

Finally, Aotearoa was doing so much for Americana that he relented and said she could bring her war toys to Hawaii and play with Americana and the other members of his gang.

Aotearoa was overjoyed and enthusiastically joined the war game. She particularly liked playing hide and seek with Americana’s nuclear subs – despite her long-standing allergy to radioactivity and Armageddon.

It was great. But when it was over Aotearoa was shattered to learn that she was the only one of the mistresses (who included Australiana) not to be invited back to Americana’s big place in Pearly Harbour. Americana said coldly that she would have to amuse herself that night.

Like battered nations before her, Aotearoa now had a choice. To accept this slap in the face, or to turn her affections elsewhere. It was a difficult decision. For all its ups and downs Aotearoa’s affair with Americana had lasted 70 years. And she knew what could happen other suitors that had walked out on Americana – Irania being the latest example. No she would stick with it.

So Aotearoa meekly told Americana that she understood why she wasn’t welcome at the Pearly Harbour party. Yes, she has been a bit naughty, but she still loved him and would try even harder to please him.

TO BE CONTINUED: Find out in the next installment whether Aotearoa takes Australiana’s medicine and overcomes her anti-nuclear allergy. Or whether she finally takes the plunge and signs up to an assertiveness workshop for battered nations?