Anthony Wilson

New Zealand and the Soviet Union, 1950-1991: A Brittle Relationship

ISBN: 9780864734761
$39.95

Several years after the demise of the Soviet Union and more than 50 years after New Zealand first established a diplomatic post in Moscow, New Zealand and the Soviet Union examines the ‘complex interdependence’ which characterised the relationship between these very different states.


This study follows the history of the relationship between New Zealand and the Soviet Union, especially between the years 1950 and 1991. The emphasis throughout the book is on the official, government to government, relations that defined the content and tone of political and commercial dealings between countries. These official relations, however, shed light on the unofficial relations and the book examines how trade union contacts, the intellectual-cultural climate, and pro- or anti-Soviet lobbies all impacted on the relation-ship.


New Zealand and the Soviet Union provides an account that is both chronological and thematic. It also deals with the extent and nature of Sovietophobia in the relationship, and demonstrates how states of quite different power and reach can interact on more or less equal terms in international forums like the UN.


Dr A.C. Wilson is a historian and Slavist, currently based in Auckland. He was on the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (and its predecessor, the Department of External Affairs) from 1966–70, and began research on Soviet-New Zealand bilateral relations in mid-1994. A longstanding contributor to the New Zealand Slavonic Journal, he is also the author of Wire and Wireless: A History of Telecommunications in NewZealand, 1860–1987 (1994).

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