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New Zealand

15/03/1998

1 Conscription

conscription does not exist

Conscription was abolished in 1973.

There is no legislation providing for conscription, as the Military Service Act was repealed in 1973. Conscription is not enshrined in the Constitution. [3] [4]

There is no compulsory registration for military service. [3]

Some New Zealand First party politicians are in favour of re-introducing conscription but they have little backing over this opinion. [1] [3]

According to a survey conducted in 1995 63 percent of the population favour re-introducing some form of military training. However. This does not mean there is wide support for military service since the reasons given by those in favour of it in the survey were somewhat ambiguous. Most of those who responded to the question in the survey did not support reintroduction of military service for military purposes and were not in favour of general military service, but thought military training served a useful social purpose and a good means of disciplining 'troubled youths' (long-term unemployed, young offenders, etc.). [2] [3]

2 Conscientious objection

Before 1973 the right to conscientious objection was legally recognized under the Military Service Act. Since this act has been now been repealed, the right to conscientious objection is no longer legally recognised. [3] [5]

The New Zealand government stated in 1989 that, as recruitment into the armed forces was voluntary, "the question of 'conscientious objection' does not arise." [4]

There are no known cases of professional soldiers developing a conscientious objection. According to one source they would probably be dishonourably discharged, if they did so plead, although they might be court-martialled if they had disobeyed an order. [3]

3 Desertion

No information available.

6 Annual statistics

The armed forces are 11,000-strong - that is, 0.46 percent of the population. [6]

Sources

[1] New Zealand Foundation for Peace Studies 1997. Response to CONCODOC enquiry, Auckland, 29 November 1997. [2] 'Support for military service', in: Southern Cross, 16 August 1995. [3] New Zealand Labour Party 1997. Response to CONCODOC enquiry, Auckland, 12 December 1997. [4] UN Commission on Human Rights 1991. Report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 1989/59. United Nations, Geneva. [5] Prasad, D., T. Smythe 1968. Conscription: a world survey, compulsory military service and resistance to it. War Resisters' International, London. [6] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London.

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