Why peaceful NZ leads the world
4:00AM Wednesday Jun 03, 2009
By Isaac Davison

New Zealand is a world beater. Photo / Alan Gibson

New Zealand has been judged the most peaceful nation in the world.

An Australian thinktank recognised our stable political situation, relatively low rate of violence and decrease in military spending.

The Institute for Economics and Peace list was created after the start of the global recession, finding the financial meltdown was dragging the world toward political instability and conflict.

It laid out its key findings ahead of the publication of its annual Global Peace Index, a report prepared with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The report, which surveyed 144 countries, says New Zealand's rise to first is partly explained by the election of a National-Act coalition last year.

"The centre-right National Party has a strong popular mandate and a robust parliamentary majority by New Zealand's standards, putting the new Prime Minister, John Key, in a good position to push through his agenda."

It also says New Zealand received the best possible scores for the likelihood of violent demonstrations, the homicide rate and the level of respect for human rights.

More here.