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International Relations

Events In History

8 June 1987

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.

4 February 1985

New Zealand's Labour government refused the USS Buchanan entry because the United States would neither confirm nor deny that the warship had nuclear capability.

28 March 1983

New Zealand and Australia formally signed the Closer Economic Relations (CER) agreement, strengthening trade ties between the Tasman neighbours.

23 June 1973
The ruling by the International Court of Justice was part of New Zealand's long campaign to end French nuclear testing in the Pacific. The French ignored the court's injunction to cease testing.
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.

29 April 1952

Signed by Australia, New Zealand and the United States, the ANZUS treaty recognised that an armed attack in the Pacific area on one member would endanger the peace and safety of the others.

16 August 1944

CORSO was set up to support aid efforts in war-torn nations. It became increasingly involved in the developing world and also spoke out about poverty in New Zealand.

21 January 1944

The Canberra Pact was an undertaking by the two countries to co-operate on international matters, especially in the Pacific.

2 November 1868

On 2 November 1868, New Zealand discarded its numerous local times and became the first country to regulate its time in relation to Greenwich mean time (GMT).

Articles

First World War - overview

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie were assassinated in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo. This was a key event in sparking the Great War of 1914–18. Read the full article

Page 2 - Origins of the war

As part of the British Empire, New Zealand was formally involved in the First World War (often referred to as the Great War) by the declaration of war on Germany by King George V

Page 6 - The legacy of war

The war had a major impact on constitutional arrangements within the British Empire, and it affected New Zealand's international status.

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 1 - 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

Page 4 - Nuclear-free legislation

Labour leader David Lange tried to work with the Americans, but their 'neither confirm nor deny' policy made a middle ground virtually impossible to

Page 5 - Sinking the Rainbow Warrior

In 1985 New Zealand was basking in its position as leader of the anti-nuclear movement. Then on 10 July, two explosions set by French Secret Service agents ripped through the hull

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 7 - Last decade

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

New Zealand and the United Nations

New Zealand has a tradition of commitment to the concept of collective security. It was a member of the League of Nations between the world wars and was active in the establishment of the United Nations in June 1945. Read the full article

Page 1 - New Zealand and the United Nations

New Zealand has a tradition of commitment to the concept of collective security. It was a member of the League of Nations between the world wars and was active in the

Page 2 - The League of Nations

New Zealand was a founding member of the League of nations and was awarded German Samoa as a Mandated Territory by the

Page 3 - Participation in the United Nations

The United Nations Charter established six principal organs to achieve its aims. New Zealand has played a part in all of these

Page 4 - Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In 1950 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to adopt 10 December as Human Rights Day. New Zealand has participated actively in human rights deliberations at

Capture of German Samoa

When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Britain asked New Zealand to seize German Samoa as a ‘great and urgent Imperial service’. Although the tiny German garrison offered no opposition, at the time it was regarded as a potentially risky action. Read the full article

Page 2 - New Zealand in the Pacific

Samoans were not consulted when Britain, Germany and the United States agreed to partition their islands in December

Cartoon depicting the European 'Great Powers' struggling to stop the Balkan wars boiling over, 1912-1913.