Does the government have a well-scrutinised process for arms export decisions that aligns with Articles 7.1.iv, 11.5, and 15.6 of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)?
23a. Signatory and Ratification
New Zealand score: 100/100
The country has either not signed up to the ATT, or it has signed up but failed to ratify.
The country has signed up to the ATT, but not ratified it.
The country has both signed up to and ratified the ATT.
New Zealand supported the ATT throughout its negotiation and was among the first countries to sign the ATT on 3 June 2013 and ratified it on 2 September 2014 .
1. United Nations Treaty Collection, “8. Arms Trade Treaty”, https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=IND&mtdsg_no=XXVI-8&chapter=26&clang=_en#2
New Zealand score: 100/100
Upcoming arms exports are not debated by parliament at all.
The country has failed to comply with any of the articles, but it taking steps to do so.
The country has complied with only one of the articles.
The country has complied with just two of the articles.
The country has complied with each of three ATT articles.
New Zealand has complied with all three relevant articles of the ATT. New Zealand is not a major exporter of arms, as it contains minimal heavy industry of the type required to produce such items. Indeed, New Zealand does not appear on the Stockholm International Pease Research Institute’s (SIPRI) searchable list of national arms exporters . Nonetheless, according to the SIPRI, New Zealand has exported $17 million worth of arms to three countries since 2015, these being Papua New Guinea, Peru, and the UAE . New Zealand’s 2019 ATT Annual report shows the largest recipient of New Zealand small arms and light weapons is China, however there is still minimal export of small arms and light weapons, and these are overwhelming restricted to shotguns and pistols . New Zealand also voluntarily divulges information which it could restrict under Article 13.3 of the ATT . New Zealand has robust import and export mechanisms of controlled chemicals and strategic goods (firearms, military goods and technologies, and goods and technologies that can be used in the production, development or delivery of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons), the trading of which is illegal under the Customs and Excise Act 2018 unless a permit is obtained from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade . This legislation meets the requirements of the ATT.
1. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “National Reports on arms exports”, https://www.sipri.org/databases/national-reports, accessed 15 July 2020.
2. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “SIPRI Arms Transfers Database”, ‘New Zealand’ search-tag, accessed 15 July 2020, http://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade/html/export_values.php
3. Government of New Zealand, Annual Report on the Exports and Imports of conventional arms, in accordance with article 13(3) of the Arms Trade Treaty (2019), https://thearmstradetreaty.org/annual-reports.html?templateId=209826.
4. New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Trading weapons and controlled chemicals”, accessed 15 July 2020, https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/trading-weapons-and-controlled-chemicals/; Customs and Excise Act 2018, reprint as at 1 July 2020, http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2018/0004/latest/DLM7038955.html?src=qs. This Act is administered by the New Zealand Customs Service.
5. See New Zealand Annual Reports for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, https://thearmstradetreaty.org/annual-reports.html?templateId=209826
6. United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Arms Trade Treaty Implementation Toolkit, “Module 3: Reporting Requirements”, p. 2, https://unoda-web.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2015-12-22-module-3-Reporting.Rev1_.pdf
7. Arms Trade Treaty, “Annual Reports”, https://thearmstradetreaty.org/annual-reports.html?templateId=209826
8. NZ Police, The Arms Trade Treaty Annual Report, https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/arms-trade-treaty-annual-report
9. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Preventing Illegal Transfers”, https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/peace-rights-and-security/disarmament/conventional-weapons/preventing-illegal-transfers/
10. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Trade, “PACDAC (Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control)”, https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/peace-rights-and-security/disarmament/pacdac-public-advisory-committee-on-disarmament-and-arms-control
11. Interview with PACDAC member, 7 August 2020.
23c. Parliamentary scrutiny
New Zealand score: 0/100
Upcoming arms exports are not debated by parliament at all.
Upcoming arms exports are subject to parliamentary debate, but parliament has limited ability to influence decision-making.
Upcoming arms exports are subject to parliamentary approval and debate, but approval is subject to undue political influence from the executive or military.
Upcoming arms exports are subject to parliamentary approval and debate, but debate may be superficial or brief.
Upcoming arms exports are subject to robust parliamentary approval and debate.
There is no evidence that the New Zealand Parliament has debated arms exports during the timeframe assessed for this iteration of the GDI. This may be of concern since six (or 41) Maverick missiles were sold to Peru in 2016 – though it is recognised that Peru is not a state-customer befitting concern and the sale fits with its military position and inventory.[1, 2, 3] The absence of debate is most likely due to the small number of exports, and those exports are almost exclusively limited to revolvers and pistols, rifles and carbines, and shotguns. Any brokering of weapons and dual-use items for military use, does however, require registration with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and obtaining of a permit. [4, 5] However, the absence of debate surrounding exports to Peru and Papua New Guinea highlights serious gaps in parliamentaryscrutiny of exports, regardless of how irregular they are.
1. New Zealand Parliament, “Read Hansard Reports”, https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/search?criteria.Keyword=Peru&criteria.Timeframe=&criteria.DateFrom=&criteria.DateTo=&parliamentStartDate=&parliamentEndDate=&criteria.ParliamentNumber=51&criteria.Portfolio=
2. Government of New Zealand, Annual Report on Export and Imports of Conventional Arms, in accordance with Article 13(3) of the Arms Trade Treaty (2016), https://thearmstradetreaty.org/download/201e62ca-e2e6-37de-87ea-fc9a32cac218
3. SIPRI Database, https://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade/page/values.php
4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Brokering weapons and dual-use items for military use”, https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/brokering-weapons-and-dual-use-items-for-military-use/
5. Brokering (Weapons and Related Items) Controls Act 2018, http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2018/0009/latest/whole.html%20-%20DLM7318271.
Compare scores by country
Please view this page on a larger screen for the full stats.
|Country||23a. Signatory and Ratification||23b. Compliance||23c. Parliamentary scrutiny|
|Albania||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Algeria||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Angola||50 / 100||NA||25 / 100|
|Argentina||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Armenia||0 / 100||NA||100 / 100|
|Australia||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Azerbaijan||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Bahrain||50 / 100||NA||NA|
|Bangladesh||50 / 100||NA||NA|
|Belgium||100 / 100||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||100 / 100||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Botswana||100 / 100||NEI||NA|
|Brazil||100 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||100 / 100||NEI||NA|
|Cameroon||100 / 100||NEI||0 / 100|
|Canada||100 / 100||75 / 100||25 / 100|
|Chile||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|China||100 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Colombia||50 / 100||NA|
|Cote d'Ivoire||100 / 100||25 / 100||NA|
|Denmark||100 / 100||75 / 100||0 / 100|
|Egypt||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Estonia||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Finland||100 / 100||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|France||100 / 100||NEI||0 / 100|
|Germany||100 / 100||75 / 100||25 / 100|
|Ghana||100 / 100||NEI||NA|
|Greece||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Hungary||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|India||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Indonesia||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Iran||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Iraq||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Israel||50 / 100||NA||25 / 100|
|Italy||100 / 100||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Japan||100 / 100||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Kenya||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Kosovo||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Kuwait||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Latvia||100 / 100||100 / 100||NA|
|Lebanon||100 / 100||NA||NA|
|Lithuania||100 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Malaysia||50 / 100||NA||NA|
|Mali||100 / 100||100 / 100||NA|
|Mexico||100 / 100||NEI||0 / 100|
|Montenegro||100 / 100||NEI||NA|
|Morocco||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Myanmar||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Netherlands||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|New Zealand||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Niger||100 / 100||NEI||NA|
|Nigeria||100 / 100||NA||NA|
|North Macedonia||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Norway||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Palestine||100 / 100||NA||NA|
|Philippines||50 / 100||NA||NA|
|Poland||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Portugal||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Qatar||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Russia||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Serbia||100 / 100||75 / 100||0 / 100|
|Singapore||50 / 100||NA||25 / 100|
|South Africa||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|South Korea||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|South Sudan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Spain||100 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Sudan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Sweden||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Switzerland||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Taiwan||NA||NA||0 / 100|
|Tanzania||50 / 100||NA||NA|
|Thailand||50 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|Tunisia||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Turkey||100 / 100||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Uganda||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Ukraine||50 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||50 / 100||NA||0 / 100|
|United Kingdom||100 / 100||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|United States||50 / 100||NA||50 / 100|
|Venezuela||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Zimbabwe||50 / 100||NA||NA|