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Growing support for anti-nuclear stance - poll

Published: 7:49PM Tuesday September 25, 2012 Source: ONE News

A new poll has revealed increasing support for New Zealand's anti-nuclear stance.

Kiwis were asked in a ONE News Colmar Brunton poll whether the Government should review the 1987 nuclear-ban on US ships - 74% of pollsters said no, which is sharply up from 60% in 2004.

Green Party voters strongly opposed a review (88%), National Party voters are the most likely to support one (33%).

New Zealand's sacrifice in Afghanistan is widely seen as a factor in closer military ties with the United States, but that does not mean there will be a change to New Zealand's anti-nuclear stance.

Prime Minister John Key told ONE News Breakfast he endorsed the ban.

"I actually sign off on any military ship that comes to New Zealand and confirm than I'm comfortable it doesn't carry nuclear weapons and isn't nuclear-powered, and there will be no change to that," Key said.

Washington is also not prepared to change its neither-confirm-nor-deny stance on nuclear vessels.

However, after the first visit by a US Secretary of Defence for thirty years, a return to the old Anzus Treaty could be on the cards. This would mean US marines could be stationed here again and New Zealand navy ships could be allowed into American military ports after a 26-year ban.