May 13, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

New Zealand goes nuclear-free

1 min read

The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act was passed into law, establishing this country as a nuclear and biological weapon-free zone.

The Act was passed in the aftermath of the nuclear ships stand-off between New Zealand and the United States which led to the breakdown of the ANZUS alliance. In a largely symbolic action, the US Congress retaliated with the Broomfield Act, downgrading New Zealands status from ally to friend. Prime Minister David Langes response was that if the cost of New Zealands nuclear-free status was the end of the security alliance, this was a price we are prepared to pay.

In 1989, 52% of New Zealanders indicated that they would rather break defence ties than admit nuclear-armed ships. By 1990 even the National opposition had signed up to anti-nuclearism.


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