Military history of New Zealand

The military history of New Zealand is an aspect of the history of New Zealand that spans several hundred years. When first settled by Māori almost a millennium ago, there was much land and resources, but war began to break out as the country's carrying capacity was approached. Initially being fought with close range weapons of wood and stone, this continued on and off until Europeans arrived, bringing with them new weapons such as muskets. Colonisation by Britain led to the New Zealand land wars in the nineteenth century in which settler and imperial troops and their Māori allies fought against other Māori and a handful of Pākehā. In the first half of the twentieth century, New Zealanders of all races fought alongside Britain in the Boer War and both World Wars. In the second half of the century and into this century the New Zealand Defence Force has provided token assistance to the United States in several conflicts. New Zealand has also contributed peacekeeping troops to various areas.

Māori tribal warfare before 1806

The level of inter-tribal warfare amongst pre-European Māori is unknown. Oral histories, legends and whakapapa include many stories of battles and wars but little research has been carried out into how often wars actually happened. In Making Peoples James Belich argues that they were probably uncommon in the few centuries immediately after the arrival of Māori in New Zealand, as there was enough land and resources to go around. Archaeological evidence suggests that following population growth and the extinction of the moa (a large flightless bird), warfare increased as tribes and hapū (subtribes) competed over scarce resources. At some point, perhaps before this cultural change, one group migrated to the Chatham Islands, where they developed the largely pacifist Moriori culture. Their pacifism left the Moriori unable to defend themselves when the islands were invaded by mainland Māori in the 1830s.

In 'classic' Māori culture, warriors were held in high esteem, and fought with a range of weapons including stone and wooden clubs (patu) fighting staffs (taiaha) and spears (tao). Māori were unusual in having no distance weapons, so all fighting took place at close range. Defence was based on hill forts (pā), the remains of which can be seen all over New Zealand, especially the North Island.

Musket Wars (1806-1845)

Main article: Musket Wars
The Musket Wars were a series of battles in the early nineteenth century, fought between various Māori tribal groups, mainly on the North Island. Northern tribes, such as the rival Ngā Puhi and Ngāti Whātua, were the first to obtain muskets and inflicted heavy casualties upon each other and on neighbouring tribes, some of whom had never seen firearms. In time, all the tribes traded to obtain muskets and the conflict ultimately reached an uneasy stalemate. The wars gave Māori experience in fighting with and defending against guns - experience which would be vital in the New Zealand Wars.

Land Wars / New Zealand Wars

Main article: New Zealand Land Wars
The New Zealand or Land Wars were a series of wars fought between Māori on one side and a mixture of settler troops, imperial troops and other Māori on the other. What the wars were 'about' has been debated by historians, with Keith Sinclair arguing that they were about land, while James Belich has argued that although land was a major factor, the wars were essentially a contest over sovereignty. This debate is reflected in the naming of the wars: there is no real consensus over whether they should be called the 'New Zealand Wars' or the 'Land Wars', although Belich's television series about the conflict has popularised the former term. The name 'Māori Wars' has fallen into disuse. A Māori name for the conflict is 'Te Riri Pākehā' (white man's anger). While the fighting began in 1843 and the last shots were arguably fired in the early twentieth century, the bulk of fighting took place in the 1860s.

The first skirmish of the New Zealand Wars was the 1843 Wairau Affray at the north end of the South Island. It was an isolated incident caused by the Nelson settlers trying to seize land they did not own, an extra-legal vigilante action that resulted in twenty-two of them being killed. The Flagstaff or Northern War took place in the far north of New Zealand, around the Bay of Islands, in March 1845 and January 1846. This was about mana—tribal prestige—and customs duties. It was really a war between rival Māori chiefs with the British fighting on one side for the prestige of the British Empire. This was followed almost immediately by the Hutt Valley Campaign, March to August 1846, and the Wanganui Campaign, April to July 1847, in the south-west of the North Island. Both these conflicts were about the encroachment of the European settlers onto Māori land. In the first three wars Māori fought the British to a standstill each time. From the engagements emerged an understanding: English law prevailed in the townships and settlements, and Māori law and customs elsewhere. There followed a period of relative peace and economic cooperation from 1848 to 1860.

During this time European settlement accelerated and in about 1859 the number of Pākehā came to equal the number of Māori, at around 60,000 each. By now Pākehā had largely forgotten the painful lessons of the earlier conflicts. They tried to use military might to push through a very dubious land sale that one of their own courts later repudiated. The result was the First Taranaki War. Once again the local British forces were more than evenly matched by Māori, and after twelve months both sides were happy to settle for a draw.

However this was clearly just a preliminary. The British settlers were not prepared to countenance Māori controlling and ruling most of the North Island. War broke out again in 1863 with the Invasion of the Waikato. The Waikato War, including the Tauranga Campaign, was the biggest of all the New Zealand Wars. The outcome of this war was the major confiscation of Māori land, which quickly provoked the Second Taranaki War. By the mid 1860s the conflict had forced the closing of all the native schools.

The period from the second half of 1864 until early 1868 was relatively quiet. Possibly the most notorious incident during this time was the murder of the missionary Carl Volkner. There were also two serious intra-tribal conflicts, civil wars in Māori tribes, between adherents and non-adherents of the Pai Marire or Hau Hau sect—a vehemently anti-Pākehā religious group which was intent upon destabilizing the developing cooperation between the Māori and Pākehā. These are sometimes known as the East Cape War, but that label oversimplifies a complicated series of conflicts. The last major conflicts were Te Kooti's War and Titokowaru's War. These were fought at the same time but were not related to each other and should be considered as separate conflicts. This ended the major, violent conflicts between the new colonial government and the original occupants of the land.

There were subsequently other conflicts and incidents that were a part of the overall conflict, but are not usually seen in the context of the New Zealand Wars. The invasion of Parihaka in 1881 was certainly one of these. There was an incident in the 1890s that became known as the Dog Tax War. Another was the arrest of Rua Kenana in 1916. It is even possible that events at Bastion Point in the 1970s should be considered as part of the same scenario.

Second Boer War 1899-1902

Further information: Second Boer War
The Second Boer War, fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 and between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic), resulted from the history of British encroachment into or involvement in areas already settled by Afrikaners — who were known colloquially as Boers (farmers) — the descendants of the original Dutch settlers. This was exacerbated by the discovery of gold and diamonds in the South African Republic, after which many miners from British Empire countries migrated there.

New Zealand decided to help fight for the Empire and sent 6,500 mounted troops to assist the British efforts, making the war New Zealand's first overseas military campaign. Virtually every man in New Zealand was desperately keen to get to war, so the first soldiers to go were selected on the basis of who could afford to go. If a man could provide his own horse, rifle and equipment, costing about £25 in total, he could go to war. The first two of the 10 contingents paid their own way. The proposal to send the first contingent - 200 mounted rifleman - was approved by Parliament prior to the outbreak of war on September 28, 1899. Prime Minister Richard Seddon's proposition to do so was overwhelmingly supported, meeting opposition from only five members of parliament.

In total, New Zealand provided ten contingents to the British, numbering 6,500 men. New Zealand losses were seventy-one men killed in action, twenty-five killed in accidents and 133 of disease. Figures for New Zealanders serving with units outside of the New Zealand contingents are unknown.

First World War 1914-1918

When the United Kingdom declared war on Germany at the start of the First World War, the New Zealand government followed without hesitation, despite its geographic isolation and small population.

The total number of New Zealand troops and nurses to serve overseas in 1914-1918, excluding those in British and other Dominion forces, was 103,000, from a population of just over a million. Forty-two percent of men of military age served in the NZEF. 16,697 New Zealanders were killed and 41,317 were wounded during the war - a 58 percent casualty rate. Approximately a further thousand men died within five years of the war's end, as a result of injuries sustained, and 507 died whilst training in New Zealand between 1914 and 1918. New Zealand had the highest casualty and death rate per capita of any country involved in the war. The First World War saw Māori soldiers officially serve for the first time in a major conflict with the New Zealand Army. 2688 Māori and 346 Pacific islanders served with New Zealand forces in total.

New Zealand's first act of the war was to seize and occupy German Samoa. Although Germany refused to officially surrender the islands, no resistance was offered and the occupation took place without any fighting – the first German territory to be occupied in the name of King George V.

The first major battle fought by New Zealand troops was Gallipoli. A navigational error led to the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) being dropped off at the wrong place. 2701 New Zealanders were killed and 4852 wounded. Despite this, the significance of the battle of Gallipoli was strongly felt in New Zealand (and Australia) where it was the first great conflict experienced by the fledgling nation. The landing is commemorated in New Zealand and Australia each year, on Anzac Day.

New Zealanders fought elsewhere in the Middle East, where they took part in the ultimately successful Sinai and Palestine Campaign against the Turkish. New Zealanders fought in most of the battles leading up to the fall of Jerusalem and the defeat of the Ottoman Army, and were praised for their fighting alongside their Australian and British comrades. A total of 17,723 New Zealanders served in this campaign and New Zealand casualties were 640 killed in action and 1,146 wounded.

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Infantry from the 2nd Battalion, Auckland Regiment, New Zealand Division in the Switch Line near Flers, taken some time in September 1916, after the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.
In France, the New Zealand Division participated in the Battle of the Somme, where they advanced three kilometres and captured eight kilometres of enemy front line. 7,048 had become casualties, of whom 1,560 were killed. In June 1917, the New Zealand Division further distinguished itself in the storming of Messines ridge and the capture of the village of Messines. During the fighting at Passchendaele in the following October, however, it was bloodily repulsed in its second attack, with 850 dead in exchange for no more than 500 yards of ground gained. This was the first time the Division had failed in a major operation; but more notably remains the worst disaster in New Zealand's history in terms of lives lost in a single day.

The Division also fought against the German Spring Offensive of 1918. Later they captured the town of Le Quesnoy in a daring assault on 4 November 1918. The day proved to be Division's most successful of their whole time on the Western Front as they pushed east and advanced ten kilometres, capturing 2000 German soldiers and sixty field guns.

New Zealand also contributed to the war at sea. The cruiser HMS Philomel patrolled the Gulf of Alexandretta in the Eastern Mediterranean, supporting several landings and sustaining three fatal casualties, one being the first New Zealander killed in action in the war. She also took part in the defence of the Suez Canal, operations in the Gulf of Aden and patrols in the Persian Gulf. In June 1917, a German raider laid minefields in New Zealand waters, causing the loss of a merchant ship off Farewell Spit and another off Three Kings Islands.

New Zealand had no air force of her own during the First World War but several hundred New Zealanders served with the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Air Force and Australian Flying Corps.

Second World War 1939-1945

New Zealand entered the Second World War by declaring war on Germany at 9.30 pm 3 September 1939 (NZT). Politically, New Zealand had been a vocal opponent of European fascism and also the appeasement of those dictatorships, national sentiment for a strong show of force was generally supported. Economic and defensive considerations also motivated the New Zealand involvement; reliance on Britain meant that if she were threatened, New Zealand would be too in terms of economic and defensive ties. There was also a strong sentimental link between the former British colony and the United Kingdom, with many seeing Britain as the "mother country" or "Home". Prime Minister of the time Michael Joseph Savage summed this up at the outbreak of war with a quote that would become a popular cry in New Zealand during the war;:"Where Britain goes, we go! Where she stands, we stand!"[1]

New Zealand provided personnel for service in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy was placed at the Admiralty's disposal and new medium bombers waiting in the United Kingdom to be shipped to New Zealand were made available to the RAF. The New Zealand Army contributed the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF). In total, around 140,000 New Zealand personnel served overseas for the Allied war effort, and an additional 100,000 men were armed for Home Guard duty. At its peak in July 1942, New Zealand had 154,549 men and women under arms (excluding the Home Guard) and by the war's end a total of 194,000 men and 10,000 women had served in the armed forces at home and overseas. The costs for the country were high - 11,625 killed, a ratio of 6684 dead per million in the population which was the highest rate in the Commonwealth (Britain suffered 5123 and Australia 3232 per million population).

Middle East and Europe

The 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF) was formed under Major-General Bernard Freyberg and would see active service in Greece, Crete, North Africa, Italy, and Yugoslavia. The main fighting unit of the expeditionary force was the New Zealand 2nd Division also commanded by Major-General Bernard Freyberg.

The 2NZEF participated in the 1940 Battle of Greece along with British and other Commonwealth troops, and Greek defenders. After Germany invaded Greece the Allies were forced to retreat, and the New Zealanders lost 291 men killed, 1,826 captured and 387 seriously wounded. Most of the remaining New Zealand troops were evacuated to Crete, where Freyberg became commander of the Allied forces on the island. The Germans subsequently invaded Crete, and after several days of heavy fighting in the Battle of Crete, took the island. Ultimately 17,000 troops were evacuated to Alexandria by the British surrender on 1 June. Most of the New Zealanders made it, but 2,180 were captured. Additional New Zealand casualties for the Battle of Crete were 671 dead and 967 wounded. New Zealand Second Lieutenant Charles Upham, the only person to receive two Victoria Crosses during World War II and the only combat soldier to receive the award twice, gained his first award during the battle.

From November 1941, the 2NZEF was heavily involved in the North African Campaign. As part of Operation Crusader, New Zealand troops relieved Tobruk after the city had been besieged by the German Afrika Korps. Subsequently, the New Zealand government insisted that the Division be withdrawn to Syria to recover - 879 men were killed and 1700 wounded in Operation Crusader, the most costly battle the Division fought in the Second World War. In June 1942, the Afrika Korps captured Tobruk, and the 2NZEF was recalled from Syria. The Korps' advance was halted by the Allies in the First Battle of El Alamein, where New Zealand troops captured Ruweisat Ridge in a successful night attack. Heavy casualties were suffered by the two New Zealand brigades involved as they were attacking by German tanks, and several thousand men were taken prisoner. Charles Upham earned a bar for his Victoria Cross in this battle. Subsequent fighting, including the Second Battle of El Alamein resulted in German retreat from the area. On 13 May 1943, the North African campaign ended, with the surrender of the last 275,000 Axis troops in Tunisia. On the 15th the Division began the withdrawal back to Egypt and by June 1 the division was back in Maadi and Helwan, on standby for use in Europe. Total New Zealand losses since November 1941, were 2,989 killed, 7,000 wounded and 4,041 taken prisoner. New Zealand troops were transferred to Italy later in the year and participated in the taking of the country from Germany.


When Japan entered the war in December 1941, the New Zealand Government raised another expeditionary force known as the 2nd NZEF In the Pacific, or 2nd NZEF (I.P.), for service with the Allied Pacific Ocean Areas command. This force supplemented existing garrison troops in the South Pacific. The main fighting formation of the 2nd NZEF (I.P.) was the New Zealand 3rd Division. However the 3rd Division never fought as a formation; its component brigades being involved in semi-independent actions as part of the Allied forces in the Solomons, Treasury Islands and Green Island.

The New Zealand army units were eventually replaced by American formations, which released personnel for service with the 2nd Division in Italy, or to cover civilian labour shortages. Air force squadrons and Navy units contributed to the Allied island hopping campaign.

German and Japanese surface raiders and submarines operated in New Zealand waters on several occasions in 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1945 sinking a total of four ships.

Naval war

At the outbreak of war, New Zealand still contributed to the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. Many New Zealanders served alongside other commonwealth sailors in vessels of the Royal Navy and would continue to do so throughout the war.

Not until 1941 was the Royal New Zealand Navy formed. Before then New Zealand men and ships had already been in action. On the 13 December 1939 HMNZS Achilles took part in The Battle of the River Plate as part of small British force against the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. The action resulted in the German ship retiring to neutral Uruguay and being scuttled a few days later. Other cruisers HMNZS Gambia and HMNZS Leander took the RNZN to all theatres - Leander destroyed Italian "auxiliary cruiser" Ramb I and helped destroy the Japanese cruiser Jintsu. Gambia was present at the Japanese surrender. A morale boosting episode was the encounter between two small and out gunned minesweepers — HMNZS Kiwi and Moa — and a much larger Japanese submarine, which was destroyed by ramming.

Air war

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Pilots of 486 (NZ) Squadron, with Hawker Tempest, Volkel, Holland, 1945
The role of the Royal New Zealand Air Force was initially seen as a purely training organisation which supplied pilots to the Royal Air Force. New Zealand's only modern aircraft - 30 Vickers Wellington bombers - had been loaned to the United Kingdom, along with their aircrew, in August 1938.

Over ten thousand New Zealanders served as aircrew with the Royal Air Force, 3290 of them lost their lives, and 580 were made prisoners of war. Three won Victoria crosses. While the majority served with squadrons composed of airmen from all parts of the Commonwealth, 7 squadrons of the Royal Air Force were designated New Zealand units, one of these, No. 75 Squadron RNZAF flew the most missions and suffered the highest casualties of any allied bomber squadron. Several New Zealanders rose to high rank in the Royal Air Force, of whom Air Vice Marshall Sir Keith Park is probably the best known.

When Japan entered the war the RNZAF was immediately in the front line. The undertrained and equipped No. 488 Squadron RNZAF fought a futile defence of Singapore, while obsolete giant biplane Short Singapores and Vickers Vincents were operating from Fiji. The Royal New Zealand Air Force had already undertaken some combat operations, against German commerce raiders. However, in December 1941, it was still essentially a training organisation for the RAF. Over the next 12 months the RNZAF undertook rapid transition into a combat force - initially arming all available machines, including airliners, against possible Japanese attack, then, re-equipping with more modern lendlease machines, before moving forward to take the war to Japan. Including training establishments, more New Zealanders ended up serving with the RNZAF than RAF, (although fewer aircrew). Ultimately the RNZAF sent 13 squadrons of fighter aircraft, 6 bomber squadrons, two torpedo bomber squadrons, two flying boat squadrons and three transport squadrons against the Japanese , and this force achieved considerable success in 1943-1944. The highest scoring commonwealth ace in the Pacific was a New Zealander, Geoff Fisken.


Troops of the 2NZEF and an RNZAF squadron helped occupy Japan after the end of the war, remaining there until 1948.[2] The RNZAF was also involved in the airlift of supplies to West Berlin during the Berlin Blockade by the Soviet Union in the late 1940s. This was the first involvement New Zealand had in what was to become the Cold War.

Compulsory Military Training 1949-1959, 1962-1972

From the late 1940s to the early 1970s, compulsory military training (CMT) was twice established by a National Party government (the first time on the basis of a referendum) and then abolished by a Labour Party government. On August 3, 1949 a national referendum was held in regards to instituting CMT, and conscription into the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army. The vote was 553,016 in favour of conscription and 152,443 against, no doubt aided by a government propaganda campaign in favour of CMT. More than 60,000 young New Zealanders completed the 18 weeks of training. The second Labour government abolished the programme in 1958, but it was reinstated in revised form after Labour lost power. About 3,000 young 18 year olds were selected annually by a ballot of birthdates. The scheme was abolished by the third Labour government on December 31, 1972. Since that date, all service in the New Zealand Armed Forces has been voluntary. Conscripts were never sent to battle zones in this period, although many opted to continue their military careers and fight in Malaysia, Vietnam and other theatres of conflict.[2]

Malaysia 1949-1966

Malayan Emergency 1949-1964

The Malayan Emergency was declared by the British government on June 18 1948 after guerillas of the Malayan Races Liberation Army, the militant arm of the Malayan Communist Party killed three British rubber planters. Initially New Zealand made a small contribution of planes, officers and frigates.

New Zealand became more directly involved in the Emergency from 1955, following its decision to contribute forces to the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve, the primary role of which was to deter communist aggression in South-East Asia, and to provide a capacity for the immediate implementation of defence plans in the event that deterrence failed. As a secondary role, the forces committed to the Reserve were permitted to take part in actions against the guerrillas. The Special Air Service (SAS) and the RNZAF were deployed, with the RNZAF carrying out its first operational strike mission since the Second World War and its first with jet aircraft. In 1958 the New Zealand Regiment replaced the SAS. By the time the 2nd Battalion of the New Zealand Regiment arrived in late 1959, to replace the 1st Battalion, most of the Communist guerrillas had retreated across the border into southern Thailand and the Malayan government saw the security situation to be stable enough to declare the Emergency over on 31 July 1960. New Zealand soldiers would be periodically deployed to Border Security Area as part of counter-insurgency measures over the next four years. About 1300 New Zealanders served in the Emergency, of whom only 15 died. Only three men were killed as a result of enemy action.

Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation 1963-66

Further information: Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation
As a part of its withdrawal from its Southeast Asian colonies, the United Kingdom moved to combine its colonies on Borneo, Sarawak and British North Borneo, with those on peninsular Malaya, to form the Federation of Malaysia. This move was opposed by the government of Indonesia. The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation began on January 20 1963 when Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio announced that Indonesia would pursue a policy of Konfrontasi (Confrontation) with the Malaysia.

From late 1963 the British requested New Zealand military aid in the area. The second National government initially refused, not wishing to be involved in a war with Indonesia. However when Indonesian paratroopers landed in Johore in September 1964, the New Zealand Infantry Regiment was one of the only Commonwealth units in the region and with the New Zealand government's permission hunted down the infiltrators. The following month, 52 soldiers landed in Pontian on the Johore-Malacca border and were also captured by New Zealand soldiers.

A change in New Zealand policy came as Sukarno increased the flow of Indonesian insurgents into Borneo and British military resources were stretched to almost breaking point. The New Zealand government could no longer deny the genuine appeals for assistance and the first New Zealand deployment was made to fight the insurgency - a Special Air Service detachment and the 1st Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, along with several Navy ships. New Zealand forces were involved in some fighting, but in late 1965 General Suharto came to power in Indonesia, following a coup d'état. Due to this domestic conflict, Indonesian interest in pursuing the war with Malaysia declined, and the conflict officially ended in May 1966.

Korean War 1950-1953

New Zealand contributed six frigates, several smaller craft and a 1044 strong volunteer force (known as KAYFORCE) to the Korean War. The ships were under the command of a British flag officer and formed part of the US Navy screening force during the Battle of Inchon, performing shore raids and inland bombardment. New Zealand troops remained in Korea in significant numbers for four years after the 1953 armistice, the last New Zealand soldiers leaving in 1957, and a single liaison officer remained until 1971. A total of 3,794 New Zealand soldiers served in KAYFORCE and 1300 in the Navy deployment. 33 were killed in action, 79 wounded and 1 soldier was taken prisoner. That prisoner was held in North Korea for eighteen months and repatriated after the armistices. A New Zealander flying with the Royal Air Force was also captured when he was shot down near P'yongyang, and was repatriated at around the same time. One RNZN sailor was killed during the conflict.

Peacekeeping and observation

The New Zealand military has been involved in a number of peacekeeping and observation missions. These have included military observation in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 2004, humanitarian action in Somalia from 1992 to 1994, military observation in Haiti from 1994 to 1995, and military liaison in Kosovo from 1999 to the present. Operations in which a significant number of New Zealanders participated include:

Kashmir 1952-76

Further information: Sino-Indian War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
In 1952, three New Zealand officers were seconded as military observers for the United Nations Military Observer Group in the Kashmir, to supervise a ceasefire between India and Pakistan. Many New Zealand officers, including Territorial Force officers, saw service with the force until 1976.[2]

Rhodesia: Operation Agila 1979-80

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1st ZIPRA Battalion on parade.
Main article: Operation Midford
In 1979, New Zealand contributed a force of seventy-five officers and men to the Commonwealth Monitoring Force which was established to oversee the implementation of the agreement which had ended the Rhodesian War. Troops supervised the concentration of the guerrilla forces into sixteen Assembly Places during the period in which the cease fire was implemented and national elections held. Following the election the Commonwealth Monitoring Force began withdrawing from the newly independent and renamed Zimbabwe on March 2, 1980 with the final members of the force leaving on March 16.

Multi-National Force and Observers 1982-current

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MFO logo
On ANZAC Day 1982, a small group of six New Zealand soldiers arrived in the Sinai as New Zealand's commitment to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). This was to be the beginning of an ongoing commitment of New Zealand Peacekeepers to the Sinai region. The task of the MFO was initially to supervise the withdrawal of Israeli military units from Egyptian territory. A rotary wing of the Royal New Zealand Air Force also served until 1986. New Zealand increased its commitment to this Mission, which is now tri-service in nature, with a group of about two platoons of specialist servicemen and women serving a six month Tour of Duty with the MFO.

East Timor/Timor Leste 1999-2003, 2006

Further information: History of East Timor#Towards independence
Following East Timor's vote for independence in 1999, the United Nations INTERFET (International Force for East Timor) was dispatched into the area. INTERFET was comprised of contributions from 17 nations, about 9,900 in total. At its peak, the New Zealand Defence Force had 1,100 personnel in East Timor - New Zealand's largest overseas military deployment since the Korean War. Overall New Zealand's contribution saw just short of 4,000 New Zealanders serve in East Timor. In addition to their operations against militia, the New Zealand troops were also involved in construction of roads and schools, water supplies and other infrastructural assistance. English lessons and medical aid were also provided. New Zealand Defence Force personnel were completely withdrawn by November 2002, but in May 2006 widespread fighting broke out in the Timorese capital of Dili. A contingent of 120 troops were dispatched and were responsible for providing security in the Dili alongside soldiers and police from Australia, Malaysia and Portugal. Four New Zealand peacekeepers have been killed on operations in East Timor.

Solomon Islands (2000 to date)

Further information: History of the Solomon Islands#Civil war and the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
New Zealand participated in the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which aimed to restore peace following the Solomon Islands civil war. RAMSI acted as an interim police force and has been successful in improving the country's overall security conditions, including brokering the surrender of a notorious warlord, Harold Keke. New Zealand contributed four helicopters and about 230 personnel consisting of infantry, engineers, medical and support staff. RAMSI was scaled down in July, 2004, as stability had gradually been restored to the country. It is now primarily a police force.

Iraq (2003 to date)

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NZ forces in Iraq
Further information: Iraq War, Post Invasion Iraq
The New Zealand government opposed and officially condemned the 2003 Invasion of Iraq by the United States-led "Coalition of the Willing" and did not contribute any combat forces. However in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 New Zealand contribued a small engineering and support force to assist in post-war reconstruction and provision of humanitarian aid. The engineers returned home in October, 2004 and New Zealand is still represented in Iraq by liaison and staff officers working with coalition forces.

Tonga (2006 to date)

On November 18, 2006, a contingent of seventy-two New Zealand Defence Force personnel and additional New Zealand Police officers was deployed to Tonga in an effort to restore calm after the escalation in violence. They were joined by Australian soldiers and Australian Federal Police officers. Their main objective is to protect and patrol Tonga's international airport in Nuku'alofa.


New Zealand's armed forces have been involved in Antarctic research and exploration since the 1950s. The Air Force operated two Auster T7 and a Beaver in Antarctica in the late 1950s, the Austers somewhat unsuccessfully. The navy has escorted supply ships and conducted its own supply missions, provided weather monitoring and support for U.S. activities in the 'frozen continent', conducted scientific research, and helped build Scott Base. In 1964, 40 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force, was re-equipped with the C-130H Hercules and, the following year, commenced regular flights to and from the Antarctic. The army, and later the other two services, have provided cargo handlers. No. 5 Squadron has operated in the airspace over and near Scott Base to provide search and rescue standby and to drop mail and medical supplies to the people wintering over.

Vietnam War 1964-75

The Vietnam War would prove to be a highly controversial conflict for New Zealand, sparking wide-spread protest at home from anti-Vietnam War movements modelled on their American counterparts. This conflict was also the first in which New Zealand did not fight alongside the United Kingdom, instead following the loyalties of the ANZUS Pact. New Zealand's contribution was minimal, despite American pressure to supply more troops.

The Middle East (1982-present)

New Zealand has assisted the United States and Britain in many of their miltitary activities in the Middle East. However New Zealand forces have fought only in Afghanistan; in other countries New Zealand support has been in the form of support and engineering. During the Iran-Iraq War two New Zealand frigates joined the Royal Navy in monitoring merchant shipping in the Persian Gulf. and in 1991, New Zealand contributed three transport aircraft and a medical team to assist coalition forces in the Gulf War.

New Zealand's heaviest military involvement in the Middle East in recent decades has been in Afghanistan following the United States-led invasion of that country after the September 11 attacks. Fifty SAS units were dispatched, and in March 2002 they took part in Operation Anaconda against about 500 to 1000 al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Shahi-Kot Valley and Arma Mountains southeast of Zorma, Afghanistan. New Zealand has also supplied two transport aircraft and a 122-strong tri-service Provincial Reconstruction Team, which has been located in Bamyan Province since 2003.

See also


2. ^ Subritzky, Mike (1995). The Vietnam Scrapbook The Second ANZAC Adventure. Blenheim: Three Feathers. ISBN 0-9583484-0-5; Major M.R. Wicksteed RNZA NZ Army Public Relations pamphlet.


External links

Military history of New Zealand
Musket Wars | New Zealand land wars | World War I | World War II | Malaysia | Korean War | Vietnam War

New Zealand Army | Royal New Zealand Navy | Royal New Zealand Air Force

The history of New Zealand dates back at least seven hundred years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori culture centred on kinship links and land.
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WAR is a three-letter abbreviation with multiple meanings, as described below:
  • War
  • War (band)
  • War (film), a 2007 movie starring Jet Li and Jason Statham
  • Warrenton Railroad (AAR reporting marks WAR)
  • WAR, a Japanese professional wrestling promotion

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The equilibrium maximum of the population of an organism is known as the ecosystem's carrying capacity for that organism. Generally it is the supportable population of an organism, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available within an ecosystem.
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weapon is a tool used to injure, incapacitate, or kill an adversary.[1][2] Weapons may be used to attack and defend, and consequently also to threaten or protect. Metaphorically, anything used to damage (even psychologically) can be referred to as a weapon.
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musket is a muzzle-loaded, smoothbore long gun, which is intended to be fired from the shoulder. The date of origin of muskets remains unknown, but they are mentioned as early as the late 14th century in Chinese military books such as Huo Long Jing.
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United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom from 1 January 1801 until 12 April 1927. It was formed by the merger of the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself having been a merger of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland) and the Kingdom of
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New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872.
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The 19th Century (also written XIX century) lasted from 1801 through 1900 in the Gregorian calendar. It is often referred to as the "1800s.
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twentieth century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1901 and ended on December 31, 2000, according to the Gregorian calendar. Some historians consider the era from about 1914 to 1991 to be the Short Twentieth Century.
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There were two Boer Wars:
  • the First Boer War (1880–1881)
  • the Second Boer War (1899–1902)

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A world war is a war affecting the majority of the world's major nations. World wars usually span multiple continents, and are devastating.

The term has usually been applied to two conflicts of unprecedented scale and slaughter that occurred during the 20th century.
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New Zealand Defence Force consists of three services: the New Zealand Army; the Royal New Zealand Navy; and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The Commander-in-Chief of the NZDF is New Zealand's Governor-General Anand Satyanand who exercises his power on the advice of New Zealand's
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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations, is "a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace."[1]. Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace
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Whakapapa or genealogy is a fundamental principle that permeates the whole of Māori culture. However, it is more than just a genealogical 'device'. It is in fact a paradigm of cultural discourse and provides the basis for establishing, enhancing, and even challenging
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James Belich may refer to:
  • James Belich (historian) (born 1956), New Zealand historian
  • James Belich (politician), former Mayor of Wellington
  • T. James Belich (playwright), born 1976 (also known by pseudonym of Colorado Tolston)

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MOA is a three-letter abbreviation with multiple meanings, as described below:
  • Magnetic Field Oscillating Amplified Thruster, a novel propulsion system with several terrestrial applications

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Chatham Islands (Rekohu in the Moriori language and Wharekauri in the Māori language), consists of about 10 islands within a 40-km radius. The islands have officially belonged to New Zealand since 1842.
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Anti-War topics

Opposition to...
War against Iran
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
War on Terrorism
Vietnam War

World War II
World War I
Second Boer War
American Civil War
War of 1812
Revolutionary War
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Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands (Rekohu in the Moriori language, Wharekauri in Māori language), east of the New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.


The Moriori are culturally Polynesian.
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A patu is a short-handled Māori club made of bone, stone or wood.

The word Patu is also commonly used in New Zealand, primarily by young Maori, to describe something which is broken, or substandard.
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A Taiaha (pronounced as IPA: [taiaha]) is a weapon of the Māori of New Zealand. Usually between 5 to 6 feet in length, the taiaha is a wooden weapon designed to be used as a close quarters weapon for short sharp strikes or
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North Island<nowiki />

Location New Zealand <nowiki /> <nowiki /> <nowiki /> <nowiki />
Area 113,729 km²<nowiki />
Highest point
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The Musket Wars were a series of battles fought between various tribal groups of Māori in the early 1800s, primarily on the North Island in New Zealand. The conflicts were directly influenced by the acquisition of muskets by Māori.
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The Musket Wars were a series of battles fought between various tribal groups of Māori in the early 1800s, primarily on the North Island in New Zealand. The conflicts were directly influenced by the acquisition of muskets by Māori.
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New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872.
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Sir Keith Sinclair KBE (December 5, 1922—June 20, 1993) was a poet and noted historian of New Zealand. He was knighted for services to history in 1987.

Born and raised in Auckland, Sinclair was a student at Auckland University College, which was then part of the
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James Belich may refer to:
  • James Belich (historian) (born 1956), New Zealand historian
  • James Belich (politician), former Mayor of Wellington
  • T. James Belich (playwright), born 1976 (also known by pseudonym of Colorado Tolston)

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Sovereignty is the exclusive right to complete political (e.g. legislative, judicial, and/or executive) control over an area of governance, people, or oneself. A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority, subject to no other.
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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1810s  1820s  1830s  - 1840s -  1850s  1860s  1870s
1840 1841 1842 - 1843 - 1844 1845 1846

Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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