Political map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific 10 July 1985 (Breaking with Britain): As late as 1941, British dominance in Australasia and the South Pacific was unchallenged. By the 1970s this era was over, with Britain joining the European Community (European Economic Community) and abandoning almost all its remaining colonies. Australia and New Zealand responded by reinventing themselves, revamping their economies, and, in the case of N.Z., adopting a fierce anti-nuclear policy which irritated both the United States (New Zealand%27s nuclear-free zone) and France (Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior).