8 June 2017 is the 30th anniversary of New Zealand’s iconic nuclear free zone law.
The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act 1987 is arguably the strongest anti-nuclear weapon domestic legislation in the world. It bans nuclear weapons and propulsion from New Zealand’s land, sea and airspace out to the country’s 12-mile territorial limits. The law also has ‘extraterritorial’ jurisdiction, meaning that it applies to the actions of New Zealand government agents while they are outside the country. Any government agents—including the armed forces—who provide support anywhere in the world for nuclear weapons development, maintenance or operation can be imprisoned for up to 10 years upon return or extradition to New Zealand.
The Nuclear Free Zone law is a cornerstone of contemporary national identity for many New Zealanders, uniting them across political, cultural and generational boundaries. The 30th anniversary of the nuclear free law is a reminder of what can be achieved when ordinary citizens stand together for peace and justice.
This micro-site is designed to:
- educate youth at home and abroad about New Zealand’s path to nuclear freedom, and the country’s ongoing efforts to advance international nuclear disarmament
- highlight events to celebrate New Zealand’s 30 years of nuclear freedom
- provide information and resources related to the history of nuclear weapons activities in the Pacific, and their impact on indigenous Pacific peoples
- encourage support for the ongoing struggle for nuclear justice – including the negotiation of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons in 2017 and the 2018 UN High level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament.
- help to strengthen networks of peace and disarmament-focused NGOs in Aotearoa and abroad