Post War New Zealand


During World War II New Zealand greatly depended upon Britain and her
Royal Navy to provide New Zealand with security and protection
throughout the Pacific region. But after a while New Zealand and
Australia as neighbouring countries began to provide their own defence
for the Pacific. So when Britain began to build Naval Bases in
Singapore, both Australia and New Zealand contributed to its cost.
Also the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Navy
were established in order to provide more protection. Even though New
Zealand was becoming more independent in providing most of their
security, she still depended a lot upon Britain and this trust and
dependence broke when the Pearl Harbour was attacked sinking two of
Britain^s battleships ^Prince of Wales^ and ^Repulse^ and the fall of
Singapore did contribute to New Zealand drift from Britain for
security. So New Zealand turned to the United Stated of America for
security in the Pacific. Now New Zealand began to take responsibility
for foreign affairs and had her own for! eign policies.

Since WWII New Zealand had close relations with Australia considering
that they are neighbouring countries. So in 1944 New Zealand and
Australia signed the Canberra Pact. After the war the two countries
agreed to set up a ^regional zone of defence^ in the South West and
South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand and the islands north
and north west of Australia across to Western Samoa and the Cook
Islands. Through the Canberra Pact the governments of the two
countries agreedthat on matters of common interest they will consult
each other before expressing their views to others. The two
governments also agreed to establish an advisory regional organisation,
which could be called the South Seas Regional Commission, on which
there might be representatives of Australia, New Zealand, Britain,
France and USA.

New Zealand now looked upon to the United Nations for security for she
too believed in maintaining world peace through collective security.
New Zealand joined the fifteen specialised agenises of the UN which
aimed at raising living, health and educational facilities to backward
countries to prevent causes of war and international bitterness. Also
she supported formations of economic and social council, contributed to
the annual budget and took responsibility for Western Samoa.

New Zealand also tried to establish security through the Commonwealth.
There are Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) every two
years where all the heads of states from all forty nine countries in
the Commonwealth come and discuss their activities and plans for the
future. Through the Commonwealth New Zealand was mainly active in
relations of the Pacific and Asia and all the Pacific members would
meet at the South Pacific Forum and CHOGRM (Commonwealth Heads of
Government Regional Meetings).

From 1945 New Zealand wanted firm ties with USA . USA was mainly
interested in Pacific because communism had started spreading world
wide by then. By 1949 China was fully communist. In 1950 Communist
North Korea supported by the USSR invaded South Korea and USA was
involved in helping South Korea. So USA was anxious to conclude a
generous peace treaty with Japan in the hope of ensuring that Japan
cooperated with the non-Communist countries. USA also want Australia
and New Zealand to support her in this cause against communism. But
they still regarded Japan as a threat to their security and made it
clear that an agreement needs to be signed reassuring them that Japan
rearming will not affect the security of the Pacific in any way. So in
1951 the ANZUS pact, a defence treaty between Australia, New Zealand
and the United States was signed. This defence treaty agreed upon
discussing any international disputes the parties may be involved in
and find a solution peacefully. The parties of the treaty agreed to
develop and maintain their individual and collective capacity to resist
armed attack. One of the most important articles in the ANZUS treaty
was article III which said ^The Parties will consult together whenever
the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of
the Parties is threatened in the Pacific. ANZUS was a landmark in New
Zealand foreign policy for this was the first treaty signed by New
Zealand that which didn^t include Britain.

In 1949 Britain, New Zealand and Australia consulted to help plan
defence with Malaya and to coordinate defence agreements. So in 1955
ANZAM was established. This was not a treaty but a defence agreement
so it did not involve commitment of troops. ANZAM was designed to
coordinate regional defensive policies between the three parties.

Communist struggle in South East Asia continued even after the Korea
War. So in 1954 New Zealand along with Australia, Britain, France,
Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States formed a
collective defensive treaty based on the Asian region, the South-East
Asia Treaty Organisation. SEATO was mainly aimed at preventing the
spread of communism in the Pacific, so New Zealand was protected from
communism through this treaty. To help prevent any further spread of
communist forces, Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam were added to the
list of SEATO signatories. For Australia and New Zealand SEATO was
more than just a prevention of communism. New Zealand accepted SEATO
because it further strengthened ties with the United States and it
brought Britain back into defensive arrangement in the region. In
Article III of the treaty the desire to promote economic and social
development in the region is expressed. Also, SEATO involved New
Zealand in South East Asian affairs more directly then ever before.
For the first time we had Asian allies.

New Zealand developed good ties with Australia, the United States,
Britain, the rest of the Pacific and Asia after post-war years but many
events took place causing relationships between these countries to
change within the 1970s and 1980s. One of the major events that
changed the relationship between New Zealand and USA was the Vietnam
War against the Viet Cong guerillas. This took place from 1965 to
107. USA pressured New Zealand and Australia for support. So New
Zealand started to support by sending civilian medical teams and
trained army engineers. USA wanted more support so Australia agreed to
send troops but New Zealand refused and actually risked damaging her
relationships with USA and Australia. When the Vietnam Government
asked for help from New Zealand, she did send troops even though there
oppositios from churches, other groups, individuals, the Labour
oppositions and the Secretary of Defence. USA still pressurised New
Zealand to give more support and one could say that they almost bribed
the New Zealand government b! y increasing niversity grants and
stressing the importance of ANZUS. New Zealand sent more troops to
Vietnam to fight in the army side by side with USA The reasons for
sending troops were that New Zealand has to support collective security
and according to SEATO New Zealand had to help USA in this cause.
Other reasons were that the American market was very important to our
economy and anyway we were getting ressurised by USA for support. But
it was obvious that there was no threat to New Zealand by the Viet Cong
and she should have never got involved in a Civil War. So since 1968
to the 1970s there were mass protests demonstrations held to show their
disapproval and one of the major events that took place were the street
marches in 1971. This greatly damaged the relationship between New
Zealand and USA and because USA lost the war it felt even worthless
that we sent troops of men and let them die for a cause hich did not
effect them nor the country they lived in.

New Zealand was involved in the development of financial institutions
in aid of countries which are in need of finical backing. She
supported the Asian Development Bank as well as World Bank. A target
figure of one precent of the gross national product has been set for
countries such as New Zealand when determining how much aid should be
given. In 1964 and 1970 the United National criticised New Zealand of
failing to reach this target of one percent. This slightly damaged the
relationship between New Zealand and the United Nations.

Another major even that changed and damaged the relationship between
New Zealand and USA was in 1984 the newly elected Labour Government
deciding not to grant nuclear equipped warships access to New Zealand
ports. This change threatened to undermine ANZUS and upset defensive
arrangement for South Pacific region. The United State Department was
faced with a thorny dilemma. In the past it had maintained a policy
that neither confirmed nor denied policy of uclear weapons in board US
ships. In this context the issue sparked off a as much wider debate,
some of the questions that arose were ^does ANZUS provide effective
security for New Zealand?, does ANZUS make a nuclear attack on New
Zealand less or more likely? and how important is ANZUS to the friendly
ties between New Zealand and USA? The New Zealand Government declared
that ANZUS does not require New Zealand to accept nuclear weapons:
^nuclear weapons have no relevance to our defence. New Zealand will
never acquire nuclear weapons and does not expect friendly powers to
use them on its behalf^ (The Defence Question, p.11) Discussions were
held throughout 1985 between New Zealand and the United States. They
were afraid that the New Zealand^s ^no-nukes^ policy will be adapted by
other small states. The immediate cost of New Zealand^s policy was
soon felt when military intelligence was denied to New Zealand an! d
several ANZUS military exercises were cancelled. Some United States
Congressmen went as far s the threaten restrictions which would have
curtailed access to New Zealand^s major beef market. As a result of
New Zealand^s anti-nuclear policy, it took her out of the ANZAS
alliance structure. Then in the 1980s arose the problem on unclear
testing in the Pacific. Atmospheric nuclear testing has been conducted
by Britain, China, France and the United States in the Pacific region
even since 1945. All except France stopped unclear testing with the
1963^s treaty banning atmospheric testing. In 1975 France^s testing
went underground. In 1973 the Labour Government opposed renewed
testing at Moruroa Atoll. So in the same year Australia and New
Zealand governments took the issue of French testing in the region to
the nternational Court of Justice and the Court ordered a can on
nuclear testing but France continued to ignore this order so New
Zealand and Australia were still left with the nuclear testings in the
South Pacific Region. In 1985 a protest was organised by Greenpeace
Flagship Rainbow Warrior. Before the ship could leave for the test
region in was sunk at its mooring in Auckland, with the loss of one
life. the Rainbow Warrior incident showed that France was determined
to continue nuclear testing and this strained the relationship between
New Zealand and France.

Ever since World War II New Zealand had strived to achieve security
through different agreements such as ANZAM, ANZUS and SEATO. But also
through the years her relationships with countries such as USA changed
due to the nuclear war ships and the Vietnam war. Also her relations
with France deteriorated due to their illegal nuclear testings in the
Pacific. As a small country New Zealand increasingly followed a more
independent foreign policy into he 1980s. Even through good years and
bad years New Zealand became more and more independent and was in
charge of most of the Pacific egion^s economic and social development
with her neighbour Australia. Because of the security offered by ANZUS
was taken from New Zealand it is important for New Zealand to establish
strong relations with Asia - trade and aid to stabilise her security in
the South Pacific and South East Asia.


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