The Green Party says the Government has jeopardised New Zealand's bid for a seat on the powerful UN Security Council by axing a defence force contribution to the landmine clearance programme.
Since 1995 the New Zealand Defence Force has held an influential mine disposal post at the United Nations in New York.
Defence Force personnel attend the post to co-ordinate the logistical and financial supports for the clearance of landmines, bombs which campaigners say cause around 5000 casualties globally every year.
However, earlier in the month the Government cut the long-standing commitment to the United Nations programme due to budget cuts in the military.
Former UN diplomat turned Green MP Kennedy Graham said the decision is a detrimental one.
"It sends exactly the wrong signal to the international community," Graham said.
"We're about to start competing for a Security Council seat, and what we're telling them is that we're not being a responsible global citizen."
The Defence Minister, Wayne Mapp, said the post was costing more than $500,000 per year.
The programme was cut in favour of funding a $2.8 million mine disposal programme in Palestine that doesn't require direct involvement by the New Zealand Defence Force.
Mapp says the Palestine programme will include New Zealand leadership and technology.
"We're being the programme leader on that and frankly we thought that was a bigger priority than another staff position in New York."
The Government won't find out until 2014 if it was successful in
gaining the seat on the UN Security Council.