ANZAC Peacekeeping: Trans-Tasman Responses to the Bougainville Crisis in 1997 and the Subsequent Evolution of Australia's and New Zealand's Regional Peacekeeping
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis investigates the evolution of Australian and New Zealand peacekeeping operations in the Pacific through a trans-Tasman lens. Both Australian and New Zealand sources are used in order to understand the relationship and interaction between the two nations. This study has a particular focus on the Truce Monitoring Group (TMG) sent to Bougainville in late 1997. This New Zealand-led operation was the first long-term regional peace initiative of recent times, and set the stage for future regional interventions by Australia and New Zealand. The thesis also considers more broadly the subsequent involvement of Australian and New Zealand peacekeepers in the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET) and Regional Assisted Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). These two later operations are considered with particular attention to lessons learnt from previous peacekeeping experiences and the changing tenor of trans-Tasman relations. Since this is a history thesis it sets the argument within a historical and historiographical framework. It seeks to identify long-term trends surrounding Australia's and New Zealand's relationship with the Pacific, defence connection and Anzac heritage. A further aim of this thesis is to investigate whether joint Australian and New Zealand peacekeeping in the Pacific revived the Anzac relationship first formed at Gallipoli. By looking at evidence taken from interviews and first-hand accounts with Australian and New Zealand participants in the TMG, INTERFET and RAMSI, this thesis argues that hallmarks of the earlier Anzac relationship did re-emerge, though in a slightly different form. The phenomenon of New Zealand's reputation as having a cultural advantage in the Pacific is explored in some detail as this is an important aspect of the Anzac relationship.