A NZer's part in an anti-nuclear campaign's Nobel Peace Prize win

A New Zealander has had a hand in this year's winning Nobel Peace Prize.

Amid escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea, a campaign aimed at banning nuclear weapons received the top honour.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the prize "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons".

The movement, formed a decade ago, is responsible for the creation of a United Nations (UN) treaty deeming the weapons "illegal".

"That's based on the fact that they have indiscriminate effects, you cannot control the effects of these weapons," says Kiwi Thomas Nash, who has had a part in leading that fight since he was a teenager.

Mr Nash co-founded Article 36, a UK-based non-profit organisation that helps to lead ICAN, and decides where it will focus its efforts.

"I don't think anyone was expecting this prize," Mr Nash says. "But it will be a huge boost to the efforts to get countries to sign and ratify the new international treaty to ban nuclear weapons."

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, passed in July 2017, has now been adopted by more than 100 countries. New Zealand was one of the first to sign it.

However, its success has been hampered by a handful of 'nuclear-armed nations' who remained absent from negotiations - including Russia, Britain, China, North Korea and the US.

The US ambassador to the UN Nicki Hayley says there is nothing she wants more than a "world without nuclear weapons".

"But we have to be realistic," she admits.

Mr Nash says superpowers like the US need to lead from the front - and he has a message for President Trump.

"Listen to the survivors of nuclear weapons… to the hibakusha who suffered the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to the people who suffered testing in our Pacific Ocean."

Mr Nash stood for the Green Party in the 2017 general election but wasn't successful. However that's not stopping his continual fight for a nuclear-free world.