New Zealand History

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Friendly Fire: What happens when allies quarrel

June 5th, 2013

Seminar delivered by Gerald Hensley at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, 5 June 2013.

In 1984 the anti-nuclear policy of the newly elected Labour Government collided with the United States policy of nuclear deterrence. It led to the rebuff of a US naval visit and after two years in which tempers rose and diplomacy struggled with David Lange's free-wheeling press conferences, the standoff ended in New Zealand's suspension from the ANZUS alliance. In his talk Gerald Hensley, who was one of the participants, draws on interviews and classified files in New Zealand, the US, Australia and the United Kingdom to look at how this came about and how the clash of powerful personalities shifted the foundations of New Zealand's foreign policy.

Gerald Hensley was trained as an historian. He served as a diplomat for twenty years before becoming Head of the Prime Minister's Department under both Sir Robert Muldoon and David Lange, and subsequently Secretary of Defence.

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