National Statement: New Zealand



The potential humanitarian, economic and environmental consequences of terrorists gaining access to nuclear or radioactive materials are so grave that the New Zealand Government is doing all within its power to minimise the possibility of this nightmare becoming a reality.  

In March 2016 New Zealand ratified the two cornerstone nuclear security conventions – the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM) and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT).   We are pleased to make this contribution towards comprehensive and robust global nuclear security architecture.

In the last two years, since the last Nuclear Security Summit in 2014, New Zealand has also taken the following actions:

  • Enacted the Radiation Safety Act (2016), which completely overhauls our legislative framework dealing with the safety and security of nuclear and radioactive material;
  • Implemented a Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Material;
  • Hosted the first mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS)  to review the security of New Zealand’s nuclear and radioactive materials;
  • Contributed over NZ$1 million to international work to improve nuclear security.

Since the Nuclear Security Summit process began in 2010, New Zealand has contributed over NZ$4.6 million to support international efforts to improve nuclear security and secure radioactive materials.  These include contributions to:

  • the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Security Fund;
  • the World Institute for Nuclear Security’s training for workers in the nuclear industry;
  • supporting the repatriation of highly enriched uranium;
  • projects to provide radiation detection equipment at vulnerable borders;
  • radiation detection training;
  • regional training in securing radioactive sources.

The Nuclear Security Summit process initiated by President Obama shone a spotlight on the issue of nuclear security and, by focusing leaders’ intense attention, provided the political momentum for future action.

NSS participants have agreed on Action Plans to support this work in the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, INTERPOL, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction.   The IAEA already has a Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security set for December 2016.   These initiatives will ensure that the momentum provided by the NSS process is maintained.  

New Zealand will continue to work actively with international partners to keep nuclear and radioactive materials secure and out of terrorists’ hands. 

New Zealand views nuclear security as part of our broader long-standing commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  We are mindful that much of the most dangerous nuclear material remains in nuclear weapons programmes, not subject to international controls or transparency.  It remains our view that the greatest possible contribution to global nuclear security will be complete and verifiable nuclear disarmament.


March 2016