Reminder of HMS Veronica at Napier Earthquake
| Napier - MSCNewsWire - Thursday 17 Nov,2016 | The full steam to Kaikoura by the United States Navy brings to a close the high water mark of the New Zealand contribution to international political correctness which took the form of outlawing from ports US Navy vessels.
In the event the steaming of the USS Sampson to Kaikoura has about it overtones of the support provided by HMS Veronica to Napier when the British naval vessel happened to be in port during and after the Hawkes Bay earthquake, the nation’s worst.
New Zealand’s restriction on the entry of US naval vessels stipulated a requirement for the formal disclosure of whether or not the vessel featured any nuclear capability at all.
Such a disclosure contravened US security – and so the vessels stayed away.
US naval vessels such as the Truxtun and the Buchanan now entered New Zealand PC folklore in the various stand-offs that followed.
In fact, New Zealand’s unreliability in regard to US naval vessels had been displayed before this when the icebreaker Glacier, a strategic vessel in that era, had been locked up for many months by union action in the old Wellington-based floating dry dock.
Soviet era spy Kim Philby usually considered the most damaging of Britain’s deep penetration agents, in his memoirs, noted that the Lange move meant that New Zealand had been expunged from the Soviet retaliation map.
The USS Sampson’s appearance in New Zealand waters is to participate in the International Naval Review which is part of celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
The visit is the first since the David Lange-inspired Anzus rift in the 1980s sparked by New Zealand's landmark anti-nuclear policy.