Jacinda Ardern vows to BAN Australia’s new nuclear-powered submarines from New Zealand waters just minutes after alliance with US and Britain to build them is announced
- Australia signed a new alliance with the US and UK to counter China, AUKUS
- For the first time in its history, Australia will build nuclear powered submarines
- New Zealand does not allow any nuclear-powered or armed vessels in its waters
- Jacinda Ardern said NZ not invited into the AUKUS alliance but didn’t want to be
- UK, US supplying expertise and technology to Australia, subs built at Adelaide
Australia, the US, and Britain on Thursday morning formed a new alliance to beef up security in the Asia Pacific to counter the rising threat of China.
The Kiwi prime minister reiterated her country’s strong anti-nuclear stance, but stressed ties with the three countries remained strong
‘New Zealand’s position in relation to the prohibition of nuclear powered vessels in our waters remains unchanged,’ she said just minutes after the announcement.
Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand wasn’t invited to the AUKUS alliance and didn’t want to be – because nuclear-powered vessels are not allowed in NZ waters
‘The centrepiece of it is nuclear powered submarines and all parties are very well versed in understanding our position on nuclear powered vessels and weapons.’
‘They couldn’t come into our internal waters… our legislation says no vessel wholly or fully powered by nuclear energy can enter our internal waters.’
‘That is a position held across parties for a long period of time.’
Ms Ardern insisted New Zealand had no interest in being part of the new ‘AUKUS’ triumvirate and saw it as less important than the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence sharing arrangement, which was formed in 1941.
‘[AUKUS] isn’t at the level of existing partnership with UK, Canada, the US, Australia and Canada,’ she claimed.
Ardern said she was informed about Australia’s partnership with the US and Britain at the same time as Scott Morrison’s cabinet, but wasn’t invited.
‘No we weren’t approached, nor would I expect us to be,’ Ardern said.
Australia’s new nuclear submarines, which are to be built in Adelaide as part of the AUKUS alliance with the UK and US will not be welcome in New Zealand
Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern say their nations will continues to cooperate on regional security
She said it was ‘very clear’ New Zealand wouldn’t want to belong to the alliance because of its promotion of nuclear-powered submarines.
The New Zealand public has long supported an official anti-nuclear stance.
The American navy’s nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser USS Truxtun came under heavy water-based protests from civilians when it visited New Zealand in 1982.
The nation’s government made world headlines in the 1980s for denying a visit by US destroyer USS Buchanan in 1985 after the US refused to deny that the warship had nuclear capability.
As part of the AUKUS arrangement, Australia’s two most important allies will help it build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.
‘It is the first time this technology has ever been made available to Australia. This is a one-off, as the President in Washington has made very clear. This is a very special arrangement,’ Mr Morrison said.
The American navy’s nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser USS Truxtun came under heavy water-based protests from civilians when it visited New Zealand in 1982
Jacinda Ardern at Thursday’s press briefing where she said New Zealand supports the UK and US being more engaged in the Pacific but that doesn’t extend to nuclear vessels
The prime minister was joined virtually for the announcement by US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a historic joint press conference.
None of the leaders mentioned China by name but the West is increasingly concerned about Beijing’s growing assertiveness and huge military build-up.
Ardern said New Zealand wants ‘peace’ in the region but does support ‘more engagement’ by the UK and US.
‘We want peace and we want stability in our region and a rules based order preserved and that is position we will come at on all these issues.’
Ms Ardern challenged the Kiwi opposition to come out and support her statements, given it had spoken in support of AUKUS.