This page contains a broad outline as to how the material on the Cold War could be used by teachers and learners studying history at NCEA Level 1 and in particular the popular topic of New Zealand's Search for Security 1945-1985.

Students in particular will find this to be a concise summary that will assist them with revision.

We welcome feedback. Please use the comments box at the bottom of this page.

NZ Forces in Asia 1948-72

NCEA History Level 1

In the aftermath of the Second World War it became clear that New Zealand could no longer rely on Britain for its defence. Attention turned to the United States which brought New Zealand into the Cold War and the United States' determination to contain the spread of communism in Asia. New Zealand became increasingly involved in Asia after the Second World War including military involvement in Korea, Malaya and Vietnam. By the time New Zealanders saw their first action in Vietnam in 1965 questions were being asked as to the influence and impact of the Cold War and the United States on New Zealand foreign policy. The questions raised at this time would culminate in the collapse of the ANZUS alliance in the 1980s when New Zealand rejected the 'nuclear umbrella' offered by the United States in the nuclear ships row. See Nuclear Free New Zealand.

This feature can provide students with a context in which to prepare for:

  • achievement standard 1.5, by describing the causes and course of this historical development as well as the consequences of these developments.
  • achievement standard 1.6 as the Cold War and emphasis on Asia had a significant impact on the shaping of the identity of New Zealanders
  • achievement standard 1.3 as there are any number of excellent historical sources relating to these developments which can be used as practice for final assessment

For more detail of specific activities relating to this topic see: New Zealand's Search for Security NCEA History Level 1

More Classroom topics

How to cite this page

'Classroom ideas - the Cold War', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/cold-war/classroom, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 13-Jan-2016

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