The war in Vietnam throughout the 1960's and early 70's presented the government of New Zealand with a tough dilemma concerning the extent of their involvement in the conflict. The decision about whether or not to send military aid was a predictimant which took a long time to be resolved as there were many factors to take in to consideration, some stemming from the past and others relevant to New Zealand prospering in the future. The government finally came to the conclusion that the pros outweighed the cons and announced it was sending artillery forces to Vietnam in 1965. This decision was based on a number of various reasons including a fear of communism, treaty obligations, pressure from the US, and a growing concern for its own security. .
Most of these reasons originate from the Cold War. This was the theoretical struggle for "world supremacy" between Communism, led by the Soviet Union, and Capitalism, led by the US which, although war never actually broke out, sparked questions over alliances and several nations began doubting their security. New Zealand in particular became sceptical that it would be adequately protected under the UN's collective security. To guarantee its safety, the government realised it would have to take sides. .
Naturally, New Zealand looked to Britain for assurance, however changes in its commonwealth meant that it was no longer the great power it used to hold. As a result, New Zealand engaged in a close defence relationship with the US. This coalition tied New Zealand to America and therefore when the US wanted a favour, New Zealand was expected to reciprocate and offer its support; case in point the Vietnam war. .
Another reason New Zealand felt obliged to assist the US in Vietnam was the ANZUS treaty. This agreement is identified as a "regional defensive pact in which Australia, New Zealand, and the US agreed to act to meet a common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes".