WELLINGTON – On June 8, 1987, the parliament of New Zealand passed a law that has become a milestone in the evolution of the nation. The primary purpose of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987 was to establish a nuclear- free zone in New Zealand. Any New Zealand citizen or resident is forbidden to manufacture, acquire, possess or have any control over any nuclear or biological weapon.
The law covers all New Zealand territory, including airspace and ocean territory up to the 12 nautical mile limit. The entry of nuclear-powered ships and the dumping of radioactive wastes are prohibited. The law also established a Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control. I was a member of PACDAC as a professor at the University of Otago in the early 1990s.
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