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Country Reports
NEW ZEALAND, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: The Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for New Zealand on 1 July 1999. New Zealand has continued its international advocacy in support of the Mine Ban Treaty, and its financial and in kind contributions to mine action programs.

Mine Ban Policy

New Zealand signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, enacted implementation legislation (the Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Act 1998) on 9 December 1998, and deposited its instrument of ratification on 27 January 1999. The treaty entered into force for New Zealand on 1 July 1999. Its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report was submitted on 27 December 1999.

New Zealand participated in the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo. Its delegation was led by HE René Wilson, New Zealand High Commissioner to South Africa and Mozambique, and also included the Convenor of the New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines (CALM). In his plenary statement, Wilson expressed disappointment over the reports of the laying of new mines in Kosovo and Angola and said that “New Zealand will continue to work strenuously to make this Treaty universal.”[1] He stated, “Demining must also remain a priority. The increase in resources that have been put into this area in recent years is encouraging. New Zealand will continue, as a matter of priority, its efforts in the area of demining.”

Representatives from the New Zealand UN mission in Geneva have attended some of the intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty, but have not been notably active or vocal participants.

In November 1999, New Zealand Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Trevor Hughes told the 54th session of the UN General Assembly, “The laying of new mines in Angola this year as hostilities resumed is particularly deplorable. New Zealand has had a long standing involvement in mine action efforts in Angola, and it was disheartening to see UN mine action efforts reduced and shut down after so much work.”[2]

In December 1999, New Zealand voted for UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B in support of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it had on similar resolutions in 1997 and 1998.

A new government took office in December 1999 and the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Mr. Phil Goff, made a detailed response to Landmine Monitor’s request for updated information.[3] He said, “New Zealand welcomes the Landmine Monitor Report and considers that it is a useful tool for encouraging transparency and the universalisation of the Ottawa Convention.”[4]

Goff described New Zealand’s activities in support of the ban on AP mines including raising accession to the treaty in high level bilateral meetings with non-signatory governments, “Recently these have included Finland, Russia, China, and Israel.”[5]

At a meeting on 26 January 2000, CALM representatives and senior staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) met to discuss the ways in which both groups could work to encourage submission of outstanding Article 7 transparency reports, and also to encourage and assist signatory and non-signatory states in the region to fully join the Mine Ban Treaty. There was a shared concern that some antivehicle mines with antihandling devices held by some States Parties may not be legal under the Mine Ban Treaty.[6]

New Zealand ratified Amended Protocol II (Landmines) of the Convention on Conventional Weapons on 8 January 1998. New Zealand's Disarmament Ambassador, based in Geneva, attended the December 1999 First Annual Conference of States Parties to Amend Protocol II, but did not make a statement. New Zealand has submitted its Amended Protocol II Article 13 transparency report.

At a January 2000 meeting with CALM, the Acting Director of the International Security and Arms Control division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated emphatically that the government was not interested in any effort on AP mines in the Conference on Disarmament and noted that the government would oppose it being added to the agenda.[7]

ICBL Issues of Concern

The ICBL has expressed concern about the possibility of ban treaty non-signatories, notably the United States, transiting antipersonnel mines through the national territory, waters, or airspace of States Parties. Foreign Minister Goff told Landmine Monitor that:

Under the Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Act 1998, “transfer” is defined as including both importation into, and exportation from, New Zealand. Under the Customs and Excise Act 1996, importation and exportation are defined in terms of entry to or exit from New Zealand territory, including New Zealand territorial waters. Therefore, any transit of anti-personal mines through New Zealand territory would constitute a transfer, and would be prohibited under s7(1)(d) of the Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Act.[8]

The ICBL has also expressed concern about the possibility of ban treaty non-signatories using antipersonnel mines in joint military operations with State Parties. Foreign Minister Goff wrote that:

As a party to the Convention, New Zealand does not support the use of anti-personnel mines for any purpose, and indeed continues to promote universal adherence to the Convention. In practice, there may be instances where New Zealand's armed forces participate in combined military operations with States not party to the Convention. However, there would be absolutely no question of New Zealand's armed forces engaging in prohibited conduct, since they are bound by the obligations of the Convention and the prohibitions under the Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Act. Section 6 of the Act makes it clear that the Act binds the Crown, and s8(d) puts the matter beyond doubt:

(d) A member of the armed forces may, in the course of his or her duties, participate in operations, exercises, or other military activities with armed forces of a state not a party to the Convention that engages in conduct prohibited by section 7 (1), if that participation does not amount to active assistance in the prohibited conduct.”[9]

In further comment on the question of the treaty prohibition on “assist” with respect to joint military operations, Foreign Minister Goff wrote:

As noted above, s8(d) of the Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Act prohibits members of the New Zealand armed forces from actively assisting in any conduct prohibited by the Convention, when engaged in combined military activities with States not party to the Convention. In light of the range of hypothetical situations that may arise, it is not possible to assess questions of interoperability except on a case-by-case basis. As a general proposition, however, it is New Zealand's view that making military use of munitions laid by a State not party to the Convention, or assisting another State in any way to lay such munitions, would constitute a breach of the Convention; merely being part of a coalition in which other States used APMs, however, would not.[10]

Production, Transfer, Use

New Zealand has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines, but has in the past imported AP mines from the United States and perhaps other nations.[11] At the First Annual Conference of States Parties to the Amended Protocol II in Geneva in December 1999, a Pakistani representative said that New Zealand had attempted to buy antipersonnel mines from Pakistan.[12] In response to allegations that it had tried to illegally sell antipersonnel mines, the state-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) said:

The POF does not export anti-personnel mines (APMs) to any part of the world.... The items shown at Serial No. 12 and 13 in our quotation are not APMs but devices that can only be exploded by the installer/defender. These are not victim-actuated mines.... It may be relevant to mention here that for the same category of items we have received queries from a company based in Australia for export to New Zealand which is a party to the Ottawa Convention on landmines.”[13]

Serial No. 12 is the P5A3 Claymore-type mine and Serial No. 13 is the P7 MK2 bounding mine;[14] the latter is clearly prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty. CALM representatives subsequently met with MFAT officials who stated that the New Zealand Defence Forces had placed an order with an Australian company for Pakistan-supplied demolition charges, but not the antipersonnel mines cited by POF.[15] According to the officials, the demolition charges (designated Charge Demolition No. 1 and 6-inch Beehive Mk-6) are designed so that the explosive thrust goes downwards and are used to destroy landmines, but cannot be considered landmines.

New Zealand has a history of mine use dating back to World War II and the Korean War, but prohibited operational use in 1996.


New Zealand destroyed all of its mines, both antipersonnel and antitank, when it declared the unilateral ban on use in 1996. The exact number destroyed is unknown. New Zealand has not retained any antipersonnel mines for training or research purposes, as allowed under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[16] Captain Martin Donoghue of the New Zealand Army said no mines are being kept for training because of the risk of serious injury to trainees. It was considered to be far more preferable to purchase sets of replica mines containing no explosive. A contract was arranged with a local company for the production of practice mines that emit a puff of smoke and a small report when triggered.[17] New Zealand has a small stockpile of command-detonated Claymore mines, which are permitted by the treaty.

Mine Action

In February 2000, during his first visit to New Zealand, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan complimented New Zealand on its work on humanitarian demining and on its advocacy in support of the Mine Ban Treaty.[18]

CALM has noted New Zealand’s departure in June 1999 from participation in the mine clearance program in Angola as perhaps the most disappointing aspect of New Zealand’s international contribution to mine action in the past year. Two New Zealand Army engineers at the UN demining school near Luanda returned home in June 1999 and were not replaced. New Zealand soldiers have been involved with the school since it was set up in 1995. A senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade official commented that the mine clearance training capability the New Zealand engineers had helped to build would not be lost with their departure: “They would have been pulled out eventually in any case, leaving a pool of indigenous skills in their wake, but growing safety concerns with Angola's slide back into civil war prompted an earlier withdrawal.”[19]

New Zealand continues to contribute funds to humanitarian mine action programs in Cambodia, Laos, and Mozambique, as well as through the UN.

1998/1999 - US$450,000[20]
CMAC Trust Fund
Rehabilitation Craft NGO (Survivor training/employment)
Cambodia School of Prosthetics
Laos UXO Programme
New Laos UXO Warehouse
Mozambique Accelerated Demining Program
Contribution to Mozambique Govt, to assist in hosting FMSP
UN Trust Fund for Mine Clearance

1999/2000 - $398,000[21]
CMAC Trust Fund
Rehabilitation Craft NGO (Survivor training/employment)
Cambodia School of Prosthetics
Laos UXO Program
Mozambique Accelerated Demining Programme
Mozambique ADP emergency flood relief efforts
UN Trust Fund for Mine Clearance


The letter to Landmine Monitor from Foreign Minister Goff has a lengthy description of the several sets of criteria that are taken into account by the government when deciding which mine action project to support. Among these are principles developed by the United Nations, especially that priority should be given to those who are most vulnerable, to mine action conducted under civilian auspices, and to affected countries whose authorities cease further use of antipersonnel landmines, and take steps to cease the trade, manufacture and stockpiling of antipersonnel landmines.[23]

Most NZODA mine action assistance forms a part of a wider package of humanitarian aid in relevant bilateral and multilateral programs. It is recognized that mine action is crucial not only in a humanitarian sense but also as a precondition for enabling the development of rural areas.[24]

The government has also provided funds for the New Zealand branch of the Cambodia Trust (Aotearoa New Zealand), which in turn supports the Cambodia School of Prosthetics and Orthotics. The head of Aotearoa New Zealand told Landmine Monitor that by 2001 Cambodia should be self-sufficient in fully trained prosthetists. The School this year has also been training people from Laos (five), Sri Lanka (two) and the Solomon Islands (one). Funding for the School has now been underwritten by the Nippon Foundation at least until the year 2004. Future plans under consideration include funding one of the three Cambodia Trust field clinics in Cambodia, or the adoption of a village badly affected by landmines.[25]

Foreign Minister Goff has noted that “resources that are allocated to national mine action programmes are intended to reinforce New Zealand's in-kind contributions to UN mine action programmes, which aim to develop indigenous capacities for mine action. Funding to individual projects has specific objectives, e.g. the re-employment of landmine survivors.”[26]

New Zealand’s in-kind contributions to humanitarian assistance for 1999 and 2000 include: two NZDF personnel serving as technical advisers with CMAC in Cambodia and a contribution of $108,000; two New Zealanders working in the Accelerated Demining Programme in Mozambique administered by UNDP and a $121,000 contribution; two personnel (a logistics/procurement adviser and a national technical adviser) assisting the Laos UXO program and a $108,000 contribution.

Moreover, in May 1999, Lt. Col. John Flanagan was seconded by the New Zealand Defence Force to head the Kosovo Mine Action Center for an initial period of six months. He was then granted leave without pay for a further term of one year to continue in this position. The total contribution for Kosovo in this period was $14,500.

New Zealand has provided two personnel on secondment to the UN Headquarters in New York, working in relevant demining sections of the UN Secretariat. At present, there is one adviser in the Mine Action Service in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.[27]

Research work into mine detection continues at the Engineering School of the University of Auckland.

Mine Victims

New Zealand is mine-free but New Zealand civilians and military have been killed and injured by landmines during their work overseas. In a related casualty, Nicholas Speight, a New Zealander working with Greenfields Consulting on the UN mine clearance program in northern Iraq, was killed when he was shot by an unknown assailant in the city of Irbil.[28] Speight had been training locals in mine clearance.


[1] Statement by HE René Wilson, New Zealand High Commissioner to South Africa and Mozambique, to the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Maputo, 4 May 1999.
[2] Statement by New Zealand Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Trevor Hughes to the UN General Assembly, Fifty-Fourth Session, Item 35: Assistance in Mine Action, 18 November 1999.
[3] Letter from Hon. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 13 April 2000.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Meeting with Lucy Duncan, Acting Director, and Simon Rae, Policy Officer, International Security and Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wellington, 26 January 2000.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Letter from Hon. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 13 April 2000.
[9] Ibid. Emphasis added.
[10] Ibid.
[11] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 371-372.
[12] Pakistani Brig. Feroz Hassan Khan said this in a meeting with the ICBL in Geneva, 16 December 1999.
[13] Letter from Azhar Nawaz Khan, Director Exports, Pakistan Ordnance Factories Export Division, to Mr. Steve Boulton, LWF for Dispatches, their reference No. 4105/14/G/EXPORTS, dated December 1999, faxed on 2 December 1999, pp. 1-2.
[14] Pakistan Ordnance Factories Export Division “Quotation for Sudan,” their reference No. 4105/14/C/Exports dated 11 November 1999.
[15] Meeting with Lucy Duncan, Acting Director, and Simon Rae, Policy Officer, International Security and Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wellington, 26 January 2000.
[16] New Zealand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, Form D, submitted 27 December 1999.
[17] Telephone interview with Captain Martin Donoghue, New Zealand Army, 11 May 2000.
[18] Statement by Kofi Annan, Secretary General of United Nations, to UN Association of New Zealand and NZ Institute of International Affairs, Victoria University, Wellington, 23 February 2000.
[19] Mathew Dearnaley, “NZ quits scheme to clear Angola of mines,” New Zealand Herald, p. B1, 17 May 1999.
[20] Funding details provided in Letter from Hon. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs, 13 April 2000. Conversion done by Landmine Monitor NZ$1=US$0.50.
[21] Letter from Hon. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 13 April 2000.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Email from Russell Marshall, Chairman Cambodia Trust Aotearoa New Zealand, to Neil Mander, CALM, 2 May 2000. At the beginning of 1999, the School was certified as of international standing by the International Society of Prosthetists and Orthotists, one of only three NGO-operated schools in the world to be so registered.
[26] Letter from Hon. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 13 April 2000.
[27] Ibid.
[28] Waiel Faleh, “New Zealander Killed in Iraq,” Associated Press (Baghdad), 26 April 1999.