Post War New Zealand Essay Research Paper

Post War New Zealand Essay, Research Paper

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.

By Nimandra de J. Seneviratne



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