People really should read the National Party Taskforce paper on the US/NZ relationship. Wyatt Creech and co have done a very good job in identifying a way forward which does not have any negatives for either NZ or the US.
As I mentioned to University of North Florida in January, both NZ and the US need to compromise on this issue.
First thing people have to understand is that the issue is no longer about actual nuclear ship visits. Quite simply there are almost none left to visit. Even if we got down and begged the US to send a nuclear powered ship to visit, they would not be able to as the Carriers are needed elsewhere almost non stop, and are too big to comfortably dock here. Even if we had no law or policy against such ship visits, one would only get one oh say once every forty years, if that.
The issue is about NZ not wanting to be seen to be buckling to the US, and the US not wanting to be seen as conceding that allies can pass laws against allied ship visits, without consequences.
The proposal to do what Denmark does, and not have a legislative ban, but as a matter of policy never invite nuclear powered ships is a win-win. There would be no change in what ships do visit New Zealand (not that such visits would bother me personally), but it would allow the US to say the issue is now resolved (especially as the ban has no practical effect on them now anyway) and both countries can file the stand-off under historical disagreements.
It is of course fashionable for some to hate the US and wnat us to have nothing to do with them. They will of course never be happy. For the vast majority though who see benefits in having a good relationship with the world’s only super-power, the proposed solution by Creech and co is one they should consider carefully.
After all it really is silly to continue to have a stand off over a law which no longer has any practical effect on either country.