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Protests to meet US warship Sampson

Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 5:57 a.m.

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin, guided-missile destroyers USS Sampson and USS Pinckney, and the guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (Getty(

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin, guided-missile destroyers USS Sampson and USS Pinckney, and the guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (Getty(

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Opponents of an American warship's visit to New Zealand are promising it will be met by a protest flotilla.

The USS Sampson will be the first US warship to enter a New Zealand port since the anti-nuclear stand-off in the mid-1980s.

The destroyer, which isn't nuclear armed or powered, is arriving for the Royal New Zealand Navy's 75th anniversary celebrations in November.

But Auckland Peace Action member Valerie Morse says there will be an on-water flotilla to oppose the visit of the Sampson and representatives of any other navies.

"This warship visit is about preparing New Zealand for war," she said. "The naval war training exercises in the Hauraki Gulf are the real reason for this US warship visit."

At least 15 countries are expected to participate in an international naval review in Auckland to celebrate the RNZN's anniversary.

"We are opposing militarism, we are opposing the build-up of the navy, we are opposing the sepdning of $20 billion on the military for new weaponry," says Ms Morse. "We think this is a major missed opportunity. We think it is a step in the wrong direction."

She says New Zealanders don't want to participate in wars.

"People have been opposed to the War on Terror, they have been opposed to US involvement in the Middle East, in Iraq particularly."

The six-day review starts on November 17 with the entry of the fleet into Waitemata Harbour.

NZN / Newshub.

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