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Reluctant Partners?: NZ's Involvement in Viet Nam

Wellingtonians have a rare chance next week to hear Vietnam War expert Dr Roberto Rabel speak on the political and diplomatic dimensions of New Zealand’s controversial participation in the Vietnam War in an MCH Seminar "Reluctant Partners?: New Zealand's Involvement in the Viet Nam War".

Author of the new official history of New Zealand’s involvement in Vietnam, New Zealand and the Vietnam War: Politics and Diplomacy (Auckland University Press), he will give a public talk in Wellington on 5 October 2005.

The Vietnam War provoked a major crisis in New Zealand attitudes to foreign policy, breaking for the first time the almost universal consensus about how we should handle political and military issues beyond our shores.

The despatch of combat troops to assist the United States in Vietnam divided the country, enraged a generation and forced the government to publicly defend its policy.

New Zealand and the Vietnam War is the first major study of those events, the fruit of many years of detailed research drawing on government archives, newspapers, records of the protest movements and a range of other sources.

It explores the diplomatic history of the engagement, which is not well known or understood, and shows that officials and politicians in fact entered that war with extreme reluctance.

Running parallel with this is an account of the passionate domestic politics provoked by the war which has had such a long-term effect on New Zealand foreign policy.

New Zealand and the Vietnam War was published with the assistance of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It will be launched in Wellington at the end of October.

Dr Roberto Rabel, previously in the History Department at the University of Otago, is now the Director of the International Office at that University.

Seminar: Reluctant Partners?: New Zealand's Involvement in the Viet Nam War

12:15pm–1:30 pm, 5 October 2005

Te Wharenui

First floor, 155 The Terrace, Wellington.

Enquiries about the seminar to Megan Hutching: megan.hutching@mch.govt.nzENDS

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