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A slightly different New Zealand

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Hi folks,

As many of you will know New Zealand has had a somewhat left-leaning political establishment over the last two decades.  What if this went just a little bit further left?  Here's my scenario:

During 1984 the honourable David Lange led Labour to a landslide victory, becoming at the age of 41 New Zealand's youngest prime minister of the 20th century.  Not long after coming to office, he triggered a dispute with the United States by refusing to allow nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships into New Zealand waters.  This dispute between New Zealand and the United States resulted in the effective ending of the ANZUS between the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

On the night of 10th July 1985 the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior” which had been in Auckland Harbour for the previous three days, preparing for a protest voyage to the French nuclear test site at Moruroa Atoll was sunk by French commandos. Massive public outrage followed.  In one of the highlights of this period, a widely-televised Oxford Union debate in 1985 showcased Lange, a skilled orator, arguing for the proposition that the western powers were out of control.  He argued strongly that New Zealand could no longer consider the main Western governments as legitimate guarantors of democracy.

In 1987, New Zealand went to the polls once again, this time in the midst of a worldwide economic downturn.  Coupled with ongoing public resentment for the way New Zealand had been perceived as being poorly dealt with, resulted in the Lange's Labour sweeping to power with an even larger majority.

Into this environment swept the charismatic Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev.  Within weeks of the 1987 election victory, the Soviet Leader visited New Zealand.  On the last day of his visit, both himself and the New Zealand PM announced a new treaty for the protection of both New Zealand and the surrounding oceans from Western aggression.  A significant part of this treaty was the denouncement of all nuclear testing within the Pacific Ocean. 

To help enforce the treaty, the Soviet Union would do two things:

Firstly, they would station a number of warships (non-nuclear) within New Zealand’s ports.

Secondly, and most significantly, they offered to totally revamp the entire New Zealand military, starting with the Air Force. Within 6 months the aging A-4Ks were replaced with MiG-29s fresh of the production line.

Later in the 1990s a fleet of Su-30 heavy fighters was also sought.  The following represents one of these aircraft (Any excuse to re-use one of Richard's profiles):

Your thoughts, contributions?



An interesting take on things.

I'm assuming we're not talking a "People's Republic of New Zealand" per se with all the resultant Communist influences, rather just a very left-leaning Western cultured nation?



I like this idea - lots of modelling potential.

OK I was thinking an export MP version of the "Bear" to patrol the Economic Zone, and annoy the Aussies (SORRY)lol. :))

Hey Greg did you say
--- Quote ---A slightly different New Zealand
--- End quote ---

That RNZAF Flanker would be the New Zealand Defence budget  ;D

But seriously........great profile!!


Revisiting this Backstory, had some more ideas.....
As Maritime Patrol would be a serious mission of the RNZAF in protection it’s maritime zone against incursion, I’d say it would be more likely they’d need to replace their Lockheed P-3 Orion's due to spare part shortages, say with Ilyushin Il-38; just as their Lockheed C-130 Hercules would need replacement by Ilyushin IL-76 'Candid's'.
As much as I like the prospect of RNZAF Flanker's, they are really outside New Zealand’s operational scope, and would stick with MiG-29 Fulcrum's, some Antonov An-26 Curl's



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