Nuclear Free New Zealand

New Zealand's Search for Security 1945–85
Case Study: Nuclear Free New Zealand

This case study examines New Zealand's involvement in the nuclear debate of the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in a breakdown of the ANZUS alliance in 1985. With particular emphasis on French nuclear testing in the Pacific and the nuclear ships row, this case study will provide teachers with:

  • Activities to develop student understanding of this aspect of New Zealand's search for security in the period after Second World War
  • A context with which to describe the causes and course of this historical development as well as the consequences of these developments (achievement standard 1.5)
  • An opportunity to examine the influences, events and issues that led to the shaping of the identity of New Zealanders (achievement standard 1.6)
  • Historical sources relating to this theme (achievement standard 1.3)

Most of the activities can be completed with reference to the feature Nuclear Free New Zealand. This is essential reading for these activities. Where appropriate other resource material has been provided.

How to cite this page

'Nuclear Free New Zealand', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-May-2017