United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key.
“I am pleased to announce that the USS Sampson, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, will attend the Royal New Zealand Navy’s International Naval Review in November,” Mr Key says.
“Under New Zealand’s nuclear free legislation I am required to be satisfied that any foreign military ship entering New Zealand is not nuclear armed.
“I have granted this approval after careful consideration of the advice provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“New Zealand’s legislation also does not allow ships which are nuclear propelled into New Zealand and the advice I received from officials is that the USS Sampson is not nuclear powered.
“The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review. This process has been used for all military ships visiting New Zealand since the legislation was enacted.
“New Zealand looks forward to the USS Sampson’s participation in the International Naval Review to mark the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary. The visit is a further reflection of the depth of the bilateral relationship with the United States,” Mr Key says.
The International Naval Review is being held in Auckland 17-22 November 2016.