How New Zealand became nuclear free

welcome to the nation I'm Rachel Smalley today we look at a new book that has caused controversy even before it's official release next week Jared Hensley's friendly-fire there's an account of the way the fourth Labour government banned American nuclear warships from our ports and the ensuing breakdown in the relationship with our answers partners Australia and the United States David Longley died many years ago but many of the key players are still around and the wounds from those bitter disputes of the 80s have not healed the author Gerald Hensley is with me in just a moment but first let's take a look back at how the ANZUS drama unfolded through the 1970's and early 80's there was a growing protest against the visits of American warships to New Zealand the Labour Party opposed the visits of nuclear armed vessels a significant slice of its left wing wanted out of ANZUS altogether the Americans on the other hand refused to confirm or deny whether their ships were carrying nuclear weapons this left any nation protesting against the admission of their vessels having to burn all their ships if they were to be definitive about keeping nuclear weapons out but if we banned all their ships the Americans were likely to withdraw their security guarantee under the ANZUS treaty on the Monday after the 1984 election which swept David Laury to power a meeting of the ANZUS Council took place in Wellington mr. long II was not allowed to be present at it technically national was still the government President Reagan's hardline Secretary of State George Shultz represented America he had an informal meeting with mr. long II no notes have been kept of this meeting so what was said there remains to the stay a mystery and open to interpretation I thought he meant that he would gradually condition public opinion to accept that ship visits that take took place with a certain ambiguity about the presence of nuclear weapons on board the ship would become tolerated