New Zealand’s non-participation policy in the AUKUS alliance (tripartite military partnership of Australia, the UK and the US) has not changed since the change of government and the coming to power of a new prime minister. This statement was made on Tuesday, February 7, by the head of the New Zealand Cabinet of Ministers, Chris Hipkins, who arrived on his first working visit to Australia.
According to the Premier, New Zealand is not interested in becoming a member of the AUKUS partnership and remains on course for a nuclear-free future.
“Our foreign policy has not changed since the change of government and prime minister. Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom are important security partners for New Zealand, but our policy of a nuclear-free zone will remain unchanged,” Hipkins was quoted as saying by TASS.
Earlier, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaiya Mahuta said that Wellington was interested in working with AUKUS on projects focused on cybersecurity, but “does not seek to be part of the alliance.” It was also noted that the objectives of the partnership regarding the exchange of information and technologies for the construction of nuclear submarines “are of no interest to New Zealand and are not consistent with its anti-nuclear position.”
In September 2021, Australia, the UK and the US announced a new security partnership, AUKUS. As part of the agreement, Canberra, in particular, decided to build at least eight multi-purpose nuclear submarines using technologies transferred by Washington and London, as well as re-equip its armed forces with American cruise missiles. The result of the creation of this alliance was the rupture of agreements with France for the supply of Ataka-type diesel-electric submarines.
In April 2022, it became known that Japan received an invitation to join AUKUS through unofficial channels, and in August Washington announced its readiness to invite New Zealand to the alliance.