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Object: Badge, ’ANZUS’

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Title Badge, ’ANZUS’
Production New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Committee (producer), early 1980s, New Zealand
Materials tin, paper, plastic
Classification badges, commemoratives
Dimensions Overall: 45mm (Width/Depth) x 5mm (Depth)
Overall: 5mm (Height)
Credit line Gift of Anne Else, 2004
Registration number GH014499

This badge suggests how New Zealand's obligations as a member of Anzus bring the threat of nuclear catastrophe to its shores through visits by nuclear-powered or -armed vessels.

Anzus treaty

In 1951, New Zealand signed the Anzus treaty, a mutual defence agreement, with Australia and the United States. Anzus was a response to the sense of insecurity created by the Cold War, and an acknowledgment of the US as an important ally. During World War II, the US had played a key role in defending the Pacific while New Zealand troops were in Europe. The new alliance also reflected Britain’s decline as a world power.

Anti-nuclear protest

From the 1970s, New Zealanders become increasingly anti-nuclear and many protested against US navy visits. Many New Zealanders felt that the ideal defence scenario was a nuclear-free policy within the Anzus treaty. But when the country became officially nuclear free in 1987, the US reacted by suspending its Anzus obligations to New Zealand.

Wearing protest

The visual culture of anti-nuclear protest often took form in a range of popular media, including banners, T-shirts, and badges. Badges were accessible, mass-produced objects, cheap to make and purchase, easily disseminated, and effective in conveying political messages.

Related information

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.