Essay Example on New Zealand's Nuclear-Free Stance Affects Its Security Status

Published: 2023-01-13
Essay Example on New Zealand's Nuclear-Free Stance Affects Its Security Status
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Policy World National security
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1855 words
16 min read


In New Zealand, the use of nuclear weapons got prohibited, and this resulted in various effects on the security of the country. After policy implementation, a lot of positive and a few negative outcomes got witnessed with varying degrees of influence. The consequences depend on the factors that are affecting the security either directly or indirectly by the nuclear weapons before the anti-nuclear policy in the state of New Zealand. These policies affect the use of atomic weapons and, therefore, the policies define the effects of the laws on nuclear weapons, and it results in an impact on security. The exploration of the various underlying factors regarding the use of atomic weapons is a crucial step towards ascertaining the way each policy contributes either positively or negatively to security. The anti-nuclear plans describe the acceptable practices in New Zealand regarding nuclear weapons, and so the failure of compliance with these laws attracts a legislative action taken against the people who go against the rules. Nuclear policies in the pre and post-nuclear-free New Zealand portray myriad security implications by which they define the nature of the application of these policies, which in turn generates a resultant effect on security.

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New Zealand Nuclear Policy that is of Concern to Security

The main nuclear policy that came into effect in 1984, According to (Clements, 2015), it is the declaration of the country as being nuclear-free and imposing of a ban on entry of nuclear-armed and powered ships to the ports of New Zealand. Therefore, this focus on security concerns resulted in the emergence of this anti-nuclear policy. The policy are clearly outlined as it pertains issues related to nuclear weapons. Another scholar (Bell, 2017), explores this phenomenon, and he explains that this rule created an awareness in the people who influenced their perceptions towards nuclear weapons. Alternative defense policies were also formulated to address the resultant adverse effects of the shun away from nuclear weapons, and therefore, this helped in maintaining the state of security in the country. The scholar proceeds to mention that in the last forty years, New Zealand's focus on the anti-nuclear policy formulation defines the social and political fascination brought about by the policies.

Defense mechanisms that should get included in a nation's security procedure include the strategies that aim at combating the worst effects of the war and they also include other steps like backing off from the urge to counter the detrimental factors threatening peace. New Zealand's disregard of nuclear weapons is therefore a defensive mechanism that focuses on the backing off procedure that is fueled by peace movements as mentioned by (Clements, 2015), such as the 1984 peace movement with the majority of the population and people rejecting the role of nuclear weapons in pursuit of defense of the state against insecurity. Therefore, political and social concern on nuclear weapons got sparked up with the country striving to achieve more political independence from the states embracing nuclear weapons. I support the nuclear ban policy in New Zealand because its positive influences to security outweigh the negative elements.

Security Concern on the Protection of Humanity in Regards to Nuclear Ban

The legislation on the ban of nuclear weapons in New Zealand proved to provide a boost to the security of the state in that it guaranteed the protection of humanity. Based on the detrimental effects of nuclear weapons on the planet and human beings, the capability to destroy humankind and the planet and therefore this guaranteed the provision of security in New Zealand. The legislation also barred nuclear-powered ships from harboring in the ports of New Zealand. I agree with (Clements,2015) who proceeds to mention that the State believed in the power of the New Zealand community to streamline the fight against the growth of nuclear weapons and the urge of the country, despite New Zealand being a small nation, to independently communicate the values that get entrusted with the development of the country. Therefore, this reflects the society's desire to fight against the weapons of mass destruction and to portray the society's conferment to the beliefs that are acceptable to them without the nation consulting the stronger accomplices for support in terms of advice and military support.

Anti- Nuclear security advantage on International Treaties, Influence and effect in Other Countries

The anti-nuclear legislation conceptualized by New Zealand with the support from countries such as Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Ireland, Sweden, and Egypt resulted in the formation of the New Agenda Coalition. The combined efforts by these countries in fighting the nuclear weapons, therefore, result in in the guarantee of security not only in New Zealand but also in the countries that accept to conform to the requirements of the anti-nuclear policy. The coalition, with the support of the countries, continues to advocate for the growth of the nuclear-free zones in the world. Treaties that exist for the advocacy against nuclear nonproliferation, according to (Coe& Vaynman, 2012) affect the spread of atomic weapons by impacting on their production and distribution. A necessary procedure in the fight against nuclear weapons is the G8 global partnership which seeks to destroy Russian chemical weapons, and also to close plutonium- producing a nuclear reactor found in Siberia.

However, the legislation did little effect to reducing the growth of nuclear weapons in recent times due to the increase in nuclear power more than 40 times of the fissionable bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 as explored by (Rubinson, 2018), who mentions that the bombs got dropped by US bomber, and they caused the death of 75,000 people instantly. (Rubinson., 2018). The countries possessing nuclear weapons also increased with India, Pakistan and North Korea getting included in the list as mentioned by (Narang, 2015) with whom I agree with in his exploration of the strategies used by North Korea and Iran as emerging nuclear powers. Narang mentions that nuclear warfare almost occurred in 2003 between India and Pakistan with them being on the verge of a nuclear conflict. Therefore, with the growth in the partnerships that exist between the countries that are anti-nuclear, with New Zealand spearheading the fight, and thus the security of the citizens in these nations is guaranteed.

Effect of the Nuclear Ban Policy on Security of People from Death Induced by Nuclear Weapons. New Zealand's policies on the export control of the movement of nuclear technologies and goods ensure that security is maintained because the weapons of mass destruction that are nuclear based have caused the death of tens of millions of people even after the Second World War. The policies seek motivation from the fact that the nation works in compliance with the United Nations Atomic Energy Agency. New Zealand, therefore, has played a primary role in reducing the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and sensitizing the world on the dangers that are associated with nuclear weapons. The conflicts that occur between the states are the greatest cause of the use of weapons of mass destruction to kill the tens of millions of people that get mentioned as being the victims of the nuclear wars.

Negative Effect of the Nuclear Ban Policy on Security

The New Zealand ban on nuclear weapons has resulted in negative effects such as the growth of issues that are related to the prevalence of nuclear weapons. According to (Harries, 2017), the nuclear ban instead of reducing the role of the nuclear weapons and them, therefore, result in deterrence which calls for the states to re-embark on their nuclear weapons program, thus making it difficult for the survival without nuclear weapons. The hostile reactions towards humanitarian groups that are focused on spreading the news on the effects of the nuclear weapons and therefore the frustration of the smaller states in the initiatives that are focused at reducing the prevalence of nuclear weapons results in the ban treaty yielding to pressure and hence collapsing. Therefore, the security of people is affected with the continued use of nuclear weapons and the disregard of humanitarian groups affected by deterrence. Deterrence, therefore, allows for the provision of information on nuclear weapon ban, with the spread of doubts about the impact of the ban. Analysis of effects of the ban results in the provision of details on the value of the nuclear weapons which tend to outweigh the myriad negative factors associated with nuclear weapons

Another negative effect resulting from the ban of nuclear weapons is the fact that the ban is not created from a consensus but rather from a decision made by the states involved. This is due to the blockage of the consensus option in the debate surrounding the issue of nuclear bans. Therefore, the contradiction of the agenda that gets generated in the lack of cooperation to the humanitarian advocacy reduces the impact of the ban due to the supporting factors on either side of the topic under discussion. This weakening of the elements that support nuclear bans, therefore, is detrimental because the result is the creation of weak nuclear policies or the total lack of adherence to them by the states.

New Zealand spearheads the fight against the nuclear weapons and their proliferation, and (Clements, 2015), mentions that this movement began in 1987 by the Labour Government which passed through the House Legislation which declared New Zealand as being nuclear-free. Legislation results in various positive effects such as the security of the people against nuclear attacks, the formation of treaties that have the goal of fighting the nuclear weapons in other states and also the reduction of the proliferation of the nuclear weapons across countries. The fight against nuclear weapons should be one that should be supported by multiple countries as mentioned by (Kapur, 2007), who emphasizes on the foreign policies like the 'Look East Policy' which seeks to bring together political allies for economic integration and security co-operation. Such treaties aim at formulating international policies in regards to nuclear weapons.


New Zealand Labour Party declared the law on ban of nuclear weapons requiring anyone challenging it to get reversed only through democratic means, then this is next to impossible because the majority of the people accepted the ban on nuclear weapons as being the key step towards guaranteeing security. The fight against nuclear weapons is necessary because the nuclear weapons pose a security threat since nuclear weapons are small and they can easily get hidden without them getting detected, and hence, this fight is achievable through legislation. The ban on nuclear weapons, mostly if it gets performed in a treaty, results in detrimental effects on security from factors such as deterrence which reduce the confidence in the states involved in anti-nuclear agreements. This, therefore, impacts negatively on security by allowing for proliferation and use of nuclear weapons. Legislation against the nuclear weapons in New Zealand achieved its primary aim of safeguarding the lives of the citizens and in defining the country's independence when it comes to decision-making procedures that favor the socially accepted norms of the society.


Bell, M. S. (2017). Nuclear opportunism: A theory of how states use nuclear weapons in International politics, Journal of Strategic Studies. 42 (1), 3-28. Available at

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