"Extremely disappointed" was Foreign Minister Don McKinnon's reaction today to the news that the shipment of vitrified high level nuclear waste will pass through the South West Pacific on its way to Japan, having just left France. It is likely that the vessel carrying the waste will reach the South Pacific sometime in the second half of February. Office of the
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
15 January 1997
SHIPMENT OF NUCLEAR WASTE
"We made it clear to Japan, and to the other countries involved in the shipment, that New Zealand did not want it to come anywhere near us. Despite our representations, and those of other South Pacific countries, the vessel will be passing through our region. The Japanese Government can be under no illusion that it will do so against the wishes of the people of the South Pacific."
"However, the Government is not going to let the issue drop. We need more information on the route and I would again call for the ship not to pass through New Zealand's EEZ. Officials from the relevant departments will be keeping a close eye on the vessel's progress as it nears the region. We plan to hold consultations on safety issues with the countries involved in the shipment. We want to satisfy ourselves that any risks to the marine environment around New Zealand are minimised."
"More generally, this shipment shows the importance of keeping up the pressure in the appropriate international organisations on this issue. New Zealand has been at the forefront t of efforts to make the current standards mandatory, and has called for the routing of ships to be treated in a transparent manner. We will continue our efforts in this regard, and in related fields, such as the development of a liability regime which would cover the effects of nuclear accidents."
PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Parliament
Wednesday, 19 February 1997
JEANETTE FITZSIMONS to move, That this House declares its opposition to the passage through the South Pacific of the 'Pacific Teal,' carrying high level radioactive waste from France to Japan, which in the event of an accident would pose serious risks to this region's environment and fisheries.
NOTICES OF MOTION
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