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New Zealand's Security Policy

Courtesy Reuters

New Zealand’s decision to exclude nuclear weapons from its territory, and the American response to that decision, have raised serious questions about the character and management of the ANZUS (Australia-New Zealand-United States) alliance and the security of the South Pacific.

New Zealand’s zone of direct strategic interest covers a vast area stretching from the Equator to Antarctica. It is nearly all sea. The inhabited part of this region consists mainly of small democratic island states, which control huge, potentially resource-rich, maritime economic zones. The vast distances separating countries in the region have in the past inhibited closer regional cooperation.

New Zealand’s physical isolation, however, has not produced an isolationist outlook. As a small, predominantly agricultural economy, vitally dependent upon foreign trade and susceptible to the ebb and flow in the economic fortunes of our trading partners, New Zealand has a major interest in ensuring a stable and

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