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ACT - ANZUS, nuclear-free policy
Kia ora, we have received the following transcript of comments made by Ken Shirley MP, Deputy Leader, ACT New Zealand at a public meeting in Westport. Many thanks to Peter Russell (Native Forest Action) for taping , transcribing and sending us this message.
ACT public meeting
Hosts: Ken Shirley MP, Deputy Leader, ACT New Zealand (Spokesman for the Environment, Conservation, Forestry and Fishing) & Richard Cox, ACT candidate for West Coast- Tasman
Present: Ian Borlaise (logging truck driver), Chris Heath (logger), (another logger?), Jim O'Regan & wife, John O'Connor (Damien O'Connor's father), (a young farmer), Peter Russell (Native Forest Action), Peter Lusk (Buller Conservation Group).
KS: "... I got back [from East Timor] on the Sunday.... I immediately flew first thing Monday morning down to a Grey Power meeting in Invercargill. It was Jim Anderton, Winston Peters and me. 1,200 there. And I couldn't believe it, I had people saying oh we don't live in a democracy anymore, oh, New Zealand's you know, we're an impoverished, terrible country. Having just come from two weeks in the, East Timor, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. Just a bunch of wingers and grizzlers wanting more."
KS: "... Naziism is state dominance. ACT is the antithesis of that. We believe in smaller government, community control, individual property rights."
KS: "... Fascism, and Naziism is all about big government, central control, government control."
PL: "Yeah, for big business isn't it? For big business."
KS: "No. State dictatorship."
PL: "Yeah, on behalf of the biggest, richest people."
KS: [On New Zealand armed forces] "... What we need to do is a major review in terms of what is a strategic objectives of an armed force in New Zealand. I do think we should have a well equipped, well maintained, highly trained, ready reaction force that can serve as part of peace-keeping and peace-making deployment, under the United Nations as we've done in Kosovo, Bosnia as we will be in East Timor, next week."
[Unclear who asked]: "What about ANZUS?"
KS: "Yeah, ANZUS, I think we were foolish, on reflection. While I supported our stance on the nuclear weaponary, the nuclear propulsion is absolute garbage. Absolute garbage. And we've done ourselves immense harm as a country. I always laugh when I get out at Wellington Airport they've got a sign up there, Wellington is a nuclear free city. Garbage. You go up to the hospital and the whole x-ray unit is based on nuclear science and nuclear physics. The sun is actually one big nuclear reactor. Solar energy is nuclear energy. To say you're anti-nuclear is to say you're against the sun actually, you know against nuclear energy, which sustains life. So, you know, the anti-nuclear nutcases and some of the extreme eco-fascists that are sort of their running mates are just out to lunch. I can't believe it."
KS: "... I'm against nuclear weapons. But people who are totally anti-nuclear in terms of propulsion, energy are just out to lunch because ultimately sunlight is nuclear energy."
PL: "It's a reasonable distance away though isn't it, the sun? The good thing about the sun is it's a long way away. It's not as though... [unclear]."
KS: "... When it bursts into a red nova it will probably envelope the earth."
PR: "Well we might as well have nuclear weapons then."
KS: "Well we might as well use our beech forests because the next glaciation will pound them all to dust."
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