There are two important linked events in New Zealand history. The first was enacting a law to make New Zealand a Nuclear Free Zone in 1984. This was an important step toward New Zealand was becoming a mature, independent nation.
Initially New Zealand was a colony of the British Empire. We followed English direction and fought beside her as an ally in the Boer war and in World Wars One and Two. But we found that England was unable to defend us in World War II. As the major victor in World War II, the United States became the primary world power in the Pacific and elsewhere. Without American entry in World War II, the UK, Australia and New Zealand would have become conquered by the Axis powers of Japan, Germany and Italy.
So New Zealand decided to become an ally of the U.S. with Australia in the ANZUS treaty. As we did with Britain, we tended to follow the U.S. lead in foreign policy and accepted U.S.wars as our own. We did not officially question U.S. judgement and decisions in such matters but joined in the fighting as an ally.
However the U.S.-led war against North Korea began to sow the seeds of doubt in New Zealanders about U.S. leadership.
Then about 1962 came the U. S. war against Vietnam. 50,000 U.S. servicemen and 2 million Vietnamese were killed.
To many people within the U.S. and around the world, this war seemed extremely unjust, barbaric, immoral and lacking any rational justification. It seemed to be aimed at preventing Vietnam from achieving independence from French colonial rule, rather than the U.S. excuse of fighting the Communist threat to prevent them from expanding elsewhere. However in spite of historically large anti-war protests and many doubts at all levels, Prime Minister Holyoake eventually did send NZ troops to fight in Vietnam. Some New Zealanders were killed, some wounded, and others came home after being poisoned by indiscriminate U.S. Agent Orange dioxin spraying on Vietnamese foliage. They subsequently developed cancers, tumours and related diseases as a result. Many died and many of their progeny are suffering from inherited defective genes from their poisoned fathers.
The Pentagon was enraged when New Zealand had the cheek to reject U.S. nuclear warships and weapons and declare itself a Nuclear Free Zone in 1984. However many Americans agreed with our action; and were against President Reagan's nuclear warmongering. They even published advertisements in NZ papers praising NZ and organised campaigns to buy NZ products so our economy would not suffer from American retaliation. New Zealand's plucky declaration became 'flavour of the month' everywhere. It put us on the international map and we have been batting above average in international forums ever since.
Our influence in the world, is far more than our size would warrant. Naturally this has positive spin-off benefits on our trade and tourism.
Although the U.S. did not retaliate economically, they did expel NZ from ANZUS and claim we were no longer an ally but did remain friends. However we still co-operate with the U.S. militarily in too many ways for the U.S. to do a complete split.
The great majority of New Zealanders sympathised with the U.S. over the terrorist attack which killed 3,000 New Yorkers in the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. They wanted the culprits caught and punished. However a great deal of suspicion has since developed around the world and in New Zealand over the Bush Administration using the attack to try and justify two wars -Afghanistan and Iraq - and perhaps a third war on Iran under the guise of "war on terrorism". Blatant lies were invented by the Bush Administration to try and justify their illegal war on Iraq, although Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attack on The Twin Towers, had no links with Bin Laden or international terrorism, had no weapons of mass destruction and was not planning "an attack on the UK in 45 minutes" as claimed by Tony Blair. These central facts, plus the mass U.S. bombings and some 250,000 Iraqis killed, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and false imprisonments, torture and murder of suspects, has earned the Bush Administration the opprobrium of the world.
The NZ-U.S. split and expulsion from ANZUS over our nuclear-free policy has become a blessing in disguise. This new freedom from domination by a great power, has enabled NZ to refuse a fighting role in America's so-called "anti-terrorist" wars. This is very significant as both of our other major allies - Australia and the UK - are deeply aligned with the U.S. in various military treaties. Because of these commitments, both have committed fighting troops and become complicit, in support of the U.S. war.
Before the nuclear free declaration, which signalled NZ independence and maturity of thought about the various nuclear threats, it would be very unlikely that NZ would take an independent stand from the stand of our three major allies - the United States, United Kingdom and Australia on a war issue. Yet New Zealand did just that, showing a courageous independence not seen before in New Zealand history. Also, New Zealand has carved out a new reputation as a trusted independent peacemaking nation in Bougainville, Fiji, the Solomons and other hot spots.
Larry Ross, Founder of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Peacemaking Association spoke on these issues anywhere
Larry has worked 50 years for peace, against nuclear weapons & war, for a neutral, nuclear-free peacemaking New Zealand. He agrees with many experts who warn of increasing risks of a nuclear war.
This tour commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It supports the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), New Zealand's Nuclear Free Law and other legal barriers against the use of nuclear weapons.
New Zealand can help reverse the increasing dangers of nuclear war that could start by accident or intent; then quickly expand and destroy mankind.
It is factual and not anti-American to document that major nuclear war threats (but not all) come from the Bush Administration. These threats include:
New Zealand's 1987 law bans Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Warships and co-operation with those who control nuclear weapons. It is one of the few laws that prevent New Zealand from being drawn ( 1 ) into ANZUS ( 2 ) into the US nuclear infrastructure ( 3 ) into US-led wars as the UK and Australia have been. The UK and Australia repeat Bush's lies to justify joining the US in waging illegal war on Iraq. They also support Bush's nuclear doctrines sanctioning the use of nuclear weapons against both non-nuclear, and nuclear- weapon states.
Sane allies - New Zealand, Canada, Germany and France have said NO to Bush's illegal war policies and the killing of 600,000 Iraqi civilians. (See Lancet study)
Some New Zealand politicians wish to support US wars, rejoin nuclear ANZUS and, like the U.S., scrap New Zealand's Nuclear Free law. We must continue to educate strongly against pro-nuclear domestic and US pressures. Concerned citizens can give all New Zealand parties & MPs the evidence why We Should Keep NZ Nuclear Free, Independent, and War-Free. New Zealand must continue as a nuclear-free example, and as a peacemaker and disarmament leader.
designed and powered by knightbridge