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  • New Zealand's involvement in the Vietnam War was highly controversial, sparking widespread protest at home from anti-Vietnam War movements modelled on their American counterparts. This conflict was also the first in which New Zealand did not fight alongside the United Kingdom, instead following the loyalties of the ANZUS Pact. New Zealand decided to send troops to Vietnam in 1965 because of Cold War concerns and alliance considerations. The potential adverse effect on the ANZUS alliance of not supporting the United States in Vietnam was key. It also upheld New Zealand's national interests of countering communism in South-East Asia. The government wanted to maintain solidarity with the United States, but was unsure about the likely outcome of external military intervention in Vietnam. Prime Minister Keith Holyoake decided to keep New Zealand involvement in Vietnam at the minimum level deemed necessary to meet allied expectations. New Zealand could not do much more – its meagre military resources were already stretched in Malaya and conscription was out of the question.

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