The NZ Herald reports
US lifts ban on NZ navy vessels entering ports
In a key shift, the United States is lifting a ban on New Zealand navy vessels visiting US ports, and will remove obstacles to defence talks and exercises.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the shifts in policy after talks with Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman in Auckland today.
Mr Panetta said the restrictions would be lifted in the interests of closer defence cooperation in the Asia Pacific.
In operational terms the only change is that NZ sailors now get to tie up at navy bases rather than the civilian ports and from a sailors point of view that is no advantage at all.
To put that in a NZ context would you rather be at Devenport or down town Auckland. It is a no brainer the booze and woman are far more available in the viaduct basin.
Neither side will change their stance on US ship visits to New Zealand, but Mr Panetta said the restrictions had been in place since the suspension of Anzus. He believed removing them could be made without affecting core tenets of US policy.
Core tenets of US policy ? What about NZ policy has it been effected ? The NZ Herald reports further
Council for Civil Liberties spokesman Thomas Beagle said the fact it had come to light because Dotcom's lawyers had flushed out the information was a concern, and showed stronger oversight was needed."
Hell we just can't wait to help the repressive arms of the American government to the extent that we have government agencies willing to break NZ law on their behest. Our independent foreign outlook is gone.
Currently waivers are required before New Zealand can take part in exercises or talks with the US.
Mr Panetta said the changes signified a "new era'' in the relationship.
"..new era in the relationship." If the Argentina was to invade the Falkland Islands I suspect we would be standing in line to send a frigate. There is nothing new here the Anglo Saxon Fist is back. But for what ?
Dr Coleman said the nuclear free policy would remain unchanged but that did not mean the two countries could not have a strong defence relationship.
The shift sends the clearest indication yet that the two are determined to work around the stand off over the nuclear free policy.
Yes well not quite " gone by lunchtime " but Don Brash's ambitions for a vassal state status for NZ are being realised.
Mr Panetta said he expected to see a New Zealand Navy vessel in a US port soon but it was up to New Zealand when that happened.
"While we acknowledge our countries continue to have differences of opinion in limited areas, today we have acknowledged we are embarking on a new course in our relationship that will not let those differences stand in the way of greater engagement on security issues."
Fuck yes. Important shit like down loading music, thats right, in a world that has immense security issues New Zealand has chosen to concentrate the resources of our intelligence agencies on fucking potential illegal music downloads. I fucking give up.