Green MP Keith Locke has rejected American claims that the nuclear issue is a relic of the Cold War.
Mr Locke said comments made yesterday by US trade undersecretary Grant Aldonas, who indicated nuclear ship access to New Zealand was more important now than in the Cold War, defied logic.
“Nuclear weapons and nuclear power didn’t suddenly become safe at the end of the Cold War,” said Green Disarmament spokesperson Keith Locke.
“So little progress has been made nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War that it is vital that countries like New Zealand maintain their anti-nuclear stance.
“Another confrontation between India and Pakistan could involve the use of nuclear weapons, and there’s no guarantee that Israel would not use its nukes in a conflict with a neighbouring state.”
Mr Locke said the United States seemed to be desperately searching for reasons to justify the massive military budget it has maintained since the Cold War ended more than a decade ago.
“It’s absurd to think that we need American nuclear bombs and warships to keep terrorists at bay.
“The arrogant projection of American power actually fuels more terrorism than it prevents.
“Our best defence against terrorism is to stay away from a direct association with America’s global agenda.
“If the exercise of freedom is so important to Mr Aldonas, then he should understand that we want to exercise our freedom to live in a nuclear-free society,” said Mr Locke.
“We should stand firm against US pressure.”