The New Zealand Government expected that its two ships, Te Kaha and Endeavour would be refused entry to Pearl Harbour during a joint naval exercise in Hawaii despite the signing of a new military agreement. And they were right.Te Kaha was refused entry to Pearl Harbour along with Endeavour, and New Zealand's ships became the only ones in the sin-bin.
The Defence Force was taking part in Rimpac for the first tine in 28 years but apparently ti takes a lot more than that to ever make up for expressing your own views in the foreign policy area on nuclear weapons.
The ships made front-page news in Honolulu, with the local Star-Advertiser reporting New Zealand was the only country ''refused entry'' to Pearl Harbour. So here is New Zealand, where we allow FBI style raids for perceived copyright infringements and are potentially about to sign up to allow US corporations extraordinary powers to sue our government if they stand in the way of their "unfettered" right to make money , and the NZ ships are not allowed in with everyone else because governments need to be taught -decades later even- that you do not disagree with the US Government .
So despite sending troops to Afghanistan for God-knows-what-reason other than to try to curry favour with the US, and bending over backwards to try to get a Us?NZ Free trade agreement on the table, New Zealand is still not allowed to be seen as part of the "in "group.
Strikes me that there is no danger at all that NZ is ever going to get a unilateral free trade agreement with the US and as the US economy teeters, the chances diminish even further. But that the primary reason is that US politicians will always play to their constituency.
For the first time in 28 years, the Defence Force is taking part in this year's Exercise Rim of the Pacific, known as Rimpac. it does seem slightly ( well actually more than slightly ) bizarre that the Japanese( who actually bombed Pearl Harbour ) are fine and dandy but those sneaky New Zealanders who don't actually want to drop nuclear bombs are highly suspect !
Prime Minister John Key said there was ''nothing new'' in the United States' position.
''That's been the position since the (nuclear-free) legislation was passed in 1987.''
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said there had been some exceptions in the past but this is nothing new.
New Zealand was not prepared to change its policy and so had not expected the US to change its policy, he said.
''The reality is we're getting all the military engagement benefits as it is, so where the boats tied up is not really a big deal to us at all.''
Rimpac includes forces from the US, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Tonga, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Peru, Norway, Netherlands, Mexico, Malaysia, Japan, France, Indonesia, India, Colombia, Chile and Canada.