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Cold War

Events In History

18 August 1971

Prime Minister Keith Holyoake’s statement in Parliament that New Zealand’s combat force would be withdrawn before the end of the year coincided with a similar announcement by the Australian government.

8 September 1954

The South-East Asia Collective Defence Treaty, or Manila Pact, aimed to contain the spread of communism in the region. The South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was the institutional expression of this treaty.

Articles

Nuclear-free New Zealand

The sinking of the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland in July 1985 shocked the nation. The incident galvanised an anti-nuclear movement that had emerged in opposition to both French nuclear tests at Mururoa and American warship visits to New Zealand.  Read the full article

Page 2 - Nuclear testing in the Pacific

After the Second World War the United States, along with its French and British allies, frequently tested nuclear weapons in the Pacific

Page 3 - Ship visits

The visit of the nuclear-powered frigate USS Texas in 1983 sparked protest in New

The Cold War

Although the origins of the so-called Cold War can be traced back to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, this intense ideological struggle between the Western powers and the Soviet Union really began after the Second World War. Read the full article

Page 1 - New Zealand and the Cold War

Although the origins of the so-called Cold War can be traced back to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, this intense ideological struggle between the Western powers and the Soviet

Page 2 - Overview

New Zealand’s participation in the Cold War was shaped by its decision to support the Western powers in their confrontation with the Soviet Union after the Second World War.

Page 3 - Choosing sides

New Zealand backed Britain and the United States against the Soviet Union as the Cold War began in the late 1940s. Like the other Western Allies, New Zealand’s relationship with

Page 4 - Treaties and alliances

During the 1940s and 1950s New Zealand signed a series of collective treaties with Britain and the United States aimed at countering the threats of Japanese military resurgence

Page 5 - South-East Asia

During the 1950s the focus of New Zealand’s defence strategy shifted from the Middle East to Asia.

Page 6 - Protest and dissent

The end of the Vietnam War shifted the focus of the Cold War away from Asia and New Zealand's need for ‘forward defence’ diminished. These changes, together with the anti-Vietnam

Page 7 - Last decade

Soviet-American tensions revived in the late 1970s as ‘détente’ (co-operation) gave way to a renewed arms race.

Page 8 - War at home

Apart from a period during the 1950s, New Zealanders remained relatively tolerant of communism.

Page 9 - Further information

Website links and books relating to New Zealand and the Cold

Korean War

New Zealand was involved militarily in Korea from 1950 to 1957, first as part of the United Nations 'police action' to repel North Korea's invasion of its southern neighbour, and then in a garrison role after the armistice in July 1953. Read the full article

Page 1 - New Zealand in the Korean War

New Zealand was involved militarily in Korea from 1950 to 1957, first as part of the United Nations 'police action' to repel North Korea's invasion of its southern neighbour, and

Page 2 - Background

That two Korean states existed in 1950 was an outcome of arrangements for the surrender of Japan in August 1945 which had resulted in the entry of both Soviet and American forces

Page 3 - The 'first' and 'second' Korean Wars

New Zealand was one of the first states to answer the Security Council's call for combat assistance (16 would eventually do so). The government offered two frigates on 29 June

Page 4 - Kayforce joins the conflict

In January 1951 a further New Zealand contingent joined the UN Command – Kayforce. On 26 July 1950, in response to another plea from the UN Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, the

Page 5 - The Commonwealth Division

In October 1951, now deployed on the Imjin River as part of 28th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade, the New Zealand gunners took part in Operation Commando, an advance of 5 to

Page 6 - End of the conflict

At the end of 1951, a stalemate emerged as both sides improved their defensive positions. The front took on the character of a hilly Western Front. Much bitter fighting took place

Page 7 - Impact of the war

About 4700 men served in Kayforce and a further 1300 on the frigates during the seven years of New Zealand’s involvement in Korea. Forty-five men lost their lives in this period,

Page 8 - Korean War Roll of Honour

Roll of Honour of New Zealanders killed during the Korean War,

Page 9 - The Bob Jagger photographs

Collection of previously unpublished images of the Korean War by Kiwi gunner Bob

Page 10 - Kiwi stories

Listen to some of the stories of New Zealanders involved in the Korean War,

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was New Zealand's longest and most controversial overseas military experience. Although this country's troop commitment and casualties were modest, the conflict aroused widespread protest and condemnation. And for those who fought in Vietnam, it was a tough homecoming. Read the full article

Page 1 - The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was New Zealand's longest and most controversial overseas military experience. Although this country's troop commitment and casualties were modest, the conflict

The 1951 waterfront dispute

The 1951 waterfront dispute was the biggest industrial confrontation in New Zealand’s history. Although it was not as violent as the Great Strike of 1913, it lasted longer – 151 days, from February to July – and involved more workers. Read the full article

Page 1 - The 1951 waterfront dispute

The 1951 waterfront dispute was the biggest industrial confrontation in New Zealand’s history. Although it was not as violent as the Great Strike of 1913, it lasted longer – 151

Page 2 - Countdown to confrontation

New Zealanders generally accepted the hardships and restrictions of the war years as necessary in the fight against fascism. After the war, though, many began to demand a greater