Andrew Little to push for further nuclear disarmament in Berlin

New Zealand is expected to play a big role in attempting to persuade nuclear states to agree to disarmament. 

Justice Minister Andrew Little is attending a high-level summit in Berlin this week, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty coming into force. 

"New Zealand's proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it's important we are present at this summit," Little said.

"Fifty years is a significant milestone for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it has not lived up to our hopes for progressing nuclear disarmament and progress to full nuclear disarmament has stalled."

Only 16 countries will be at the summit. 

"They'll never get the US and Russia at this point to de-alert their nuclear weapons states," veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Kate Dewes told Newshub.

But she hopes France and Germany will use their weight to push for a new, more comprehensive treaty.

"It's not just diplomats talking - it's ministers at government level who will help move things forward."

France has nuclear weapons. Germany has the capability to build them, but doesn't, thanks to the treaty. 

New Zealand was one of the first nations to sign the treaty back in 1968. It's been in force since 1970.

Little leaves for Berlin on Monday.