It’s an anniversary that looks set to pass without major fanfare, but for Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel, what happened 30 years ago remains a defining moment in New Zealand history.
On June 8, 1987, the country became nuclear-free, after Parliament passed the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act.
“It’s a hugely important moment in our history – the moral stance we took against nuclear weapons,” Mr Abel said.
In July 1985, 12 years after New Zealand had sent a frigate into the Pacific to protest against French nuclear testing at Mururoa, French agents sank the Greenpeace flagship in Auckland, killing a crew member.
France eventually halted nuclear testing in 1996.
The anniversary of New Zealand’s nuclear-free legislation comes a week before a United Nations conference to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons resumes.
Read more and watch David Lange’s Oxford Union Debate at New Zealand 30 years officially nuclear-free