Story: New Zealand identity

David Lange at the Oxford Union

In 1985 the Labour-led New Zealand government refused to allow American warships into New Zealand ports without confirmation that the vessels were neither nuclear-powered nor nuclear-armed. In reaction, the US suspended military cooperation with New Zealand under the ANZUS alliance, but New Zealand attracted international attention for its anti-nuclear stance. A high point of this attention came with an invitation to the prime minister, David Lange, to address the Oxford Union in the UK in March 1985. In this clip Lange responds with characteristic wit to an interjection. The anti-nuclear policy rapidly became central to New Zealand's identity.

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How to cite this page:

Fiona Barker, 'New Zealand identity - Politics', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/34615/david-lange-at-the-oxford-union (accessed 18 April 2019)

Story by Fiona Barker, published 20 Jun 2012