Australian news, and some related international items

New Zealand-Australia testiness over citizenship resolved, but nuclear sensitivities remain 

Stuff, Thomas Manch, Apr 24 2023

A thorny trans-Tasman citizenship issue has been resolved, but Prime Minister Chris Hipkin’s Brisbane trip showed nuclear sensitivities are set to linger between New Zealand and Australia.

……………………….questions then centred on an emerging long-term issue – Australia’s planned acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines – questions Albanese was unwilling to answer.

At a joint press conference on Sunday afternoon, after a citizenship ceremony where more than 200 Kiwis pledged allegiance to Australia, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he had discussed with Albanese his country’s new Aukus pact.

The pact between Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, will have Australia acquire nuclear-propelled in the coming three decades.

“New Zealand, like Australia, is clear eyed that there is a challenging strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific region,” Hipkins said.

……………….Albanese, asked twice at the press conference about New Zealand’s possible involvement in Aukus, veered away from answering the question, talking instead about the Pacific Island Forum and both countries co-operating on climate change.

New Zealand maintains a strong nuclear-free stance, and Hipkins on Sunday said he welcomed Albanese’s reassurance Australia remained committed to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Despite this, Defence Minister Andrew Little has said New Zealand was interested in joining a second “pillar” of the Aukus arrangement, that would involve the sharing of non-nuclear defence technologies associated with the submarines.

……………………Hipkins was unwilling to answer a hypothetical question about whether he would deny entry to nuclear-propelled Australian vessels into New Zealand waters, but said New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy, “which includes nuclear-propulsion”, had not changed.


April 24, 2023 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: