30 Jul 2009

Cluster munitions bill passes first reading

6:12 am on 30 July 2009

A law to ban cluster munitions has passed its first reading in Parliament.

The legislation would ban the use and stockpiling of the weapons, which contain hundreds of small explosive devices that spread over a large area and often fail to explode on impact.

Last year, New Zealand signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Georgina Te Heu Heu, says New Zealand will be able to ratify the convention if the bill becomes law.

MPs voted unanimously on Tuesday to send the bill to a select committee for consideration.