New Zealand is negotiating with the AUKUS alliance.March 28, 2023
New Zealand has signaled its willingness to join the AUKUS security pact with the US, UK, and Australia, but only in a non-nuclear capacity. Defense Minister Andrew Little said New Zealand is interested in becoming the fourth member of AUKUS, hoping to participate in the development of military technology such as AI, quantum computing, and advanced information technology. Little said the New Zealand military may have to upgrade some of its gear to keep up with American and Australian standards if it is to join, but given New Zealand's legal and moral commitments to remain nuclear-free, any participation in AUKUS would involve conventional weapons only. The trilateral agreement is centered on facilitating the transfer of nuclear technology from the US to Australia with help from the UK, to be used to build nuclear-powered submarines for Canberra. However, the pact has also been described as a way to deter China, which has denounced the agreement for helping to proliferate nuclear technology around the world and damaging regional peace.