Reassuring news about this country’s relationship with Australia emerged from the office of Trade Minister Damien O’Connor yesterday after his virtual meeting with his Aussie counterpart.
It was reassuring because of the concerns raised in some quarters after this country (where we pride ourselves on shunning nuclear power) was left out of the new defence pact embracing Australia, the US and UK that will deliver a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to the Pacific.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded to news of that alliance by letting the Aussies know their nuclear submarines would not be permitted in New Zealand waters, in accordance with this country’s long-held anti-nuclear stance and laws.
Whatever might happen in terms of New Zealand’s military relationships with Australia, the US and the UK, the joint statement on the economic relationship shows the trans-Tasman trade ministers are still talking to each other.
And their statement reiterated that CER, which they described as one of the most comprehensive trade agreements in the world, underpins the integration of the New Zealand and Australian economies. Continue reading “No, we aren’t part of the nuclear submarine pact, but CER keeps us in a relationship with our cobbers in OZ”