The Guardian May 9, 2001


New Zealand abandons ANZUS

New Zealand's Labor Government is heading in the opposite direction to 
the Australian Government when it comes to military expenditure. The NZ 
Prime Minister, Helen Clark, is to announce a reduction in some of the 
country's armed forces. The Australian Government, on the other hand, 
playing an ever more subservient role as US deputy sheriff in the Asia-
Pacific region, is boosting military expenditure.

This NZ decision, together with the refusal of successive NZ Governments to 
allow the visit of nuclear armed warships to its ports, effectively takes 
New Zealand out of ANZUS. 

A reduction of military spending increases the Government's funds for 
useful economic and social objectives. 

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Monday May 7) claims New Zealand's 
decision leaves "Australia to fight [New Zealand's] battles. 

However, the New Zealand Government is much wiser than that of Australia, 
recognising that no-one threatens New Zealand and that its policy of 
reducing military weapons does not lessen its security but enhances it. 

A real peace policy provides much better security that the piling up of 
weapons which will sooner or later be used in a war. 

Australia should likewise get out of its entanglement with the US and 
follow the NZ lead before it is involved in a big war that is being 
prepared by the Bush administration and the Howard government. 

The Australian Government should read the writing on the wall for the US 
which has just been voted out of the United Nations Human Rights Commission 
because of its stand-over tactics and blatant misuse of human rights 
reporting to pressure and blackmail other countries while ignoring its own 
human rights record. 

In a statement to The Guardian, CPA General Secretary Peter Symon 
welcomed the NZ decision "as an example for Australia to follow. 

"For a long time, the CPA has called for the cancellation of the ANZUS 
treaty. Now that the `NZ' has been taken out ANZUS it is becoming 
increasingly meaningless for Australia. ANZUS does not make Australia 
secure, it effectively endangers Australia, said Mr Symon. 

"The Government should stop attempting to throw its weight around, doing 
whatever the US tells it to do. Australia should decide that it wants to be 
a friend to all Asian and Pacific countries rather than a military threat.

Back to index page