Global Affairs Policy

New Zealand can promote an independent foreign policy which champions peace-making, human rights, democracy, social justice and sustainability.

We must work for a strong binding international agreement on climate change.
We need to establish a timetable for New Zealand to give 0.7% of GNI in overseas development assistance within four years.
We need to oppose foreign military interventions such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead we can promote nuclear disarmament and wealthier countries giving priority to investment in development rather than military spending.

Key Principles

  • New Zealand's foreign policy will be consistent with universal human values including freedom, equality, tolerance and respect for human rights and also our national values such as egalitarianism, self-reliance and tolerance.
  • To work towards global sustainability, justice, peace and security.

Specific Policy Points

Global Sustainability

Climate Stabilisation

  • Support the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and work for stronger binding international agreement post-2012
  • Ensure that all our international trade agreements uphold the principles of Kyoto
  • Place a carbon tax on energy intensive imports from OECD countries which have not accepted binding targets
  • Grant NZ$1 million annually to the UN ‘Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign’

Ozone Depletion

  • Contribute NZ$1 million, over a five-year period, to the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund to support accelerated phase-out of all ozone-depleting substances


  • Encourage universal membership and full implementation of the Biodiversity Convention and the CITES agreement governing trade in endangered species
  • Support measures to ensure protection of all native species in New Zealand
  • Work for a legally-binding, enforceable prohibition on all whaling
  • Work for universal membership of the International Whaling Commission and a broadened mandate to protect other species (such as dolphins)

Sustainable Living

  • Work with the UN towards ensuring a globally-sustainable ecological footprint by 2030
  • Support policies that measure genuine ‘progress’ through sustainability indicators rather than solely economic indicators
  • Negotiate for genuinely sustainable global and regional fishery quotas in each species-catch within four years
  • Support global negotiations towards integrated sustainable tropical and temperate forestry

Global Justice

Fair Trade and Investment

  • Ensure that we do not import any goods that have been produced and/or harvested illegally
  • Promote a global trading system that respects all of the following
  1. human rights and labour standards
  2. environmental standards and ecologically-sustainable practices
  3. local values and cultures
  4. the right of all to equal access to water for basic needs
  5. the right of all countries and peoples to produce and grow their own food

Debt Relief

  • Support reducing the indebtedness of poor countries including the cancellation of ‘odious debt’ that should never have been granted.
  • Ensure that debt cancellation or reduction is not subverted by World Bank and/or IMF conditions.

Appropriate and Ethical Investment

  • Promote ethical international investment
  • Open crown investments such as the 'super fund' to public scrutiny
  • Ensure that all crown investment agencies do not invest in any entity that has investments involved in the following unethical behaviours:
  1. Manufacture or sales of any nuclear, chemical or biological weapon or any other weapons contrary to international humanitarian law
  2. Manufacture or exports of addictive substances (including tobacco) which have little or no medicinal use.
  3. Any illegal activities such as illegal harvesting of tropical timber
  4. Gold mining and oil extraction where these involve unacceptable environmental damage.
  5. Support for unconstitutional and/or repressive regimes that do not respect human rights.
  6. Support for groups that deny climate change is occurring

Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)

  • Investigate ways of increasing new multilateral funding for ODA such as charges on international flights and currency transactions.
  • Increase New Zealand’s ODA budget to 0.7% of GNI within four years
  • Ensure that this is used to support projects which are:
  1. sustainable and conducive to climate stabilization
  2. promotes local participation and gender equality, and
  3. enhances the economic and social rights of the recipient countries.

Population, Immigration and Refugees

  • Endorse an objective of a sustainable global population level and work to achieve that goal.
  • Ensure that our ODA programme on population planning activities is doubled and designed to meet the needs of poor countries in family planning and reproductive health services.
  • Identify humanitarian and refugee quotas consistent with national sustainability

Human Rights

  • Work for a stronger understanding and advocacy of human rights
  • Ensure that criticism of human rights violations is not muted for economic, political or military reasons.
  • Promote human rights in Asia (particularly China, Burma and North Korea).
  • Oppose indefinite and arbitrary detention and collective punishment techniques (such as house demolition and land defilement).
  • Insist that terrorist suspects be subject to normal judicial process
  • Support and implement the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights.

Global Peace and Security

Collective Security

Building Peace

  • Oppose New Zealand involvement in United States-led coalition military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (but support UN peace-building there); and oppose any intelligence assistance to these wars by closing down the satellite communications interception station at Waihopai.
  • Expand New Zealand's resources to do international peacemaking
  • Explore ways in which governments and civil society can work together to detect, and prevent, impending conflict.
  • Support the establishment of a conflict prevention unit, a mediation unit and a peacekeeping unit within both the UN Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum.
  • Support New Zealand continuing to specialize in regional peacekeeping.
  • Undertake, as a legally-binding obligation in domestic law, never to commit armed forces for military action beyond our national territory without a UN Security Council authorisation.
  • Promote the doctrine of ‘responsibility to protect’ in cases of genocide or gross and systematic violations of human rights.
  • Propose to the UN General Assembly that the six criteria for justifying intervention under the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine be adopted by the Security Council.
  • Prohibit New Zealanders serving as mercenaries in any armed conflict anywhere


  • Work to address the legitimate economic and social grievances felt by many groups which foster non-state terrorism, through positive economic, social and political policies.
  • Support efforts to reach agreement at the UN on the definition of ‘terrorism’, to include terrorist acts by both states and non-state actors.
  • Call for the closure of any detention camps including these incarcerating ‘unlawful combatants’ (a phrase without validity in international law), and for the fair trial in civil courts of any such detainees within three months of capture or their unconditional release.
  • Refuse to hand over prisoners of war or other detainees to other countries if it is likely that they will be detained in detention camps or subject to illegal interrogation or torture.

Control of Weaponry

  • Support a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention in which all nuclear weapon states accept a binding legal obligation to eliminate all nuclear weapons from their national arsenals, in negotiated phases leading to total elimination by 2020.
  • Vote on all resolutions at the UN General Assembly in a manner that is strictly consistent with our national nuclear-free policy and the objective of elimination of nuclear weapons from national arsenals.
  • Work for a verification protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention.
  • Work for a stronger and verifiable legal regime governing the ban on weapons in outer space, including a ban on space-based ballistic missile defence systems.
  • Ratify the 2001 UN protocol banning the illicit manufacture of, and trade in, small arms and light weapons.
  • Work for the completion of treaties banning the manufacture and use of depleted uranium weapons, cluster munitions, white phosphorous and the use of defoliants in warfare.

Global Community

Cultural Dialogue/ Civil society

  • Initiate a national-regional ' Meeting of Pacific Cultures’ as part of inter-cultural dialogue at the United Nations.
  • Support inter-faith dialogue among all religious and spiritual movements in NZ, with a view to gaining insights into our common spiritual heritage.
  • Actively work with and support, the various NGOs and other civil society organizations (labour, business, cultural, disarmament, humanitarian, religious) which are committed to sustainability, justice, peace and security and community on a global basis.
  • Support good governance around the world through effective and legitimate multilateral channels, recognizing that there are a variety of models of participatory governance.

Strengthening Global Governance

  • Support reform of the UN security council to ensure fairer decision making.
  • Oppose any attempts to claim national sovereignty of the Arctic seabed that is inconsistent with international law.
  • Support relinquishing our annexation-based territorial claim (of 1923) to the Ross Dependency, and call for Antarctica to be placed under an appropriate universal jurisdiction.

Strengthening International Law

  • Encourage universal compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court (ICJ), and universal adherence to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Seek a UN Security Council declaration guaranteeing impartial enforcement of ICJ / ICC decisions.
  • Propose that the General Assembly call upon the Security Council to ensure the observance of all decisions by the World Court through enforcement procedures.

Read the full policy here