• Short Summary

    The New Zealand frigate OTAGO sailed from Auckland on Thursday (28 June) towards the Mururoa Atoll in an attempt to boost world opposition to the resumption of French atmospheric nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

  • Description

    The New Zealand frigate OTAGO sailed from Auckland on Thursday (28 June) towards the Mururoa Atoll in an attempt to boost world opposition to the resumption of French atmospheric nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

    Sailing aboard the OTAGO is 48-year old Immigration Minister Fraser Colman, the Labour Government's representative on the voyage, he was selected by the drawing of names of ministers from a hat.

    In an emotional quayside farewell Prime Minister Norman Kirk told the OTAGO's 243-man crew that they were embarking on a "voyage not conceived in anger but born out of deep concern". He said that within the 2,600-mile (4185 kilometres) voyage of the OTAGO, New Zealand was doing its utmost to "ensure the eyes of the world are rivetted on Mururoa".

    The Prime Minister confirmed that the frigate will sail to the 12-mile (19 kilometres) French territorial limit round the Atoll to act as a "silent witness for the rest of the world".

    New Zealand has already won a World Court injunction restraining France from resuming nuclear tests, but the French Government has refused to recognise the competence of the court.

    SYNOPSIS: At Auckland harbour on Thursday the New Zealand frigate OTAGO prepares to set sail on an historic mission to the French nuclear test zone at Mururoa Atoll in the Southern Pacific. The voyage is intended to bring world attention to the potential danger of the tests.

    Representing New Zealand's Labour Government on the trip is Mr. Fraser Colman Minister for Immigration. He was selected for the task by the drawing of a name from a hat. The frigate will not engage in any offensive activity but will merely remain in the test area.

    Although no danger is anticipated, the 243-man crew were given the opportunity of standing down, and about 20 did so.

    In an emotional quayside farewell Prime Minister Norman Kirk told the OTAGO's crew that they were embarking on "a voyage not conceived in anger but born out of deep concern." He said that with the 2,600 mile voyage of the ship New Zealand was doing its utmost to "ensure the eyes of the world are rivetted on Mururoa".

    The Prime Minister confirmed that the frigate will sail to the 12-mile territorial limit round the Mururoa Atoll to at as "a silent witness for the rest of the world".

    Mr. Kirk later told a press conference that the OTAGO was carrying "normal armament", but the frigate had been ordered to avoid any confrontations with French warships.

    As the 13 year-old frigate set sail tearful relatives of the crew waved farewell from the shore.

    New Zealand has already won a World Court injunction restraining France from resuming nuclear tests in the Southern Pacific, but the French Government has refused to recognise the competence of the court.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAAUUIB7KFF6C9QPOJE3VY31NL9
    Media URN:
    VLVAAUUIB7KFF6C9QPOJE3VY31NL9
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/06/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:02:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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