Revealed: Jacinda Ardern has twice warned that Rocket Lab launches could violate nuclear-free law

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Documents obtained by Newshub show that PACDAC raised these concerns with the Prime Minister last year and again in March.

“It is the judgment of the appointed members of PACDAC that authorizing the launch of certain space satellites belonging to certain branches of the US military could, at first sight, lead to improved communications for the control of a nuclear explosive device.” , he writes.

“We did not have enough information to rule out the possibility that they could be part of this chain of command and we believe the nuclear-free legislation means New Zealand cannot facilitate such things,” said Mapp.

Another PACDAC member, Kennedy Graham, said: “It can’t be ruled out. You have three or four different branches of the US military. We won’t slam the US military, it’s just that New Zealand has different national security and gun control. Policy “.

He said the Minister of Economic Development, who signs the payload permits, could be held responsible for criminal charges under the Nuclear-Free Environment Act.

“This is important because there is criminal liability involved,” Graham says.

Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash told Newshub he would never do anything to undermine our non-nuclear status. He says Attorney General David Parker has evaluated the two letters and rejects the committee’s suggestions and that they are without merit and misunderstand the law.

Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck has previously raised concerns about its launches.

“We’re certainly not going to throw weapons or anything, or damage the environment, or hurt people.”

And its communications director maintains this position.

“At no time will any of the satellites launched by Rocket Lab from New Zealand help or encourage the capabilities of a nuclear device. Absolutely not,” said Morgan Bailey.

The committee seeks independent legal advice on their concerns. For now, he wants the government to get better assurances from the United States that future space launches comply with our nuclear-free law.


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