If directly attacked, and in the South Pacific, Australia can expect strong New Zealand support but not necessarily in conflicts in Southeast Asia or Papua New Guinea.



This article provides a New Zealand (NZ) perspective in this ASPI article which makes the following points:

  • NZ and Australia always tended to support the US as the dominant Asia–Pacific power. 
  • The US suspended its alliance obligations to New Zealand from 1986- 2012 due to NZ’s anti-nuclear policy.
  • NZ often says Australia is its only formal ally.
  • NZ’s 2016 defence white paper states it would respond immediately to attacks on Australia.
  • The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) must operate effectively with its ally—ANZUS isn’t mentioned.
  • Closer Defence Relations between Australia and NZ is not the same as an alliance.
  • Continuous military cooperation since Gallipoli is a myth.
  • Australian expectations of NZDF support in a potential conflict with China over Taiwan, the South China Sea or Papua New Guinea are not guaranteed.
  • Recent Five Eyes Foreign Minister Statements demonstrate New Zealand shouldn’t be taken for granted.