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Action Alert - Rocket launchers in Auckland?

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

Issued 16 January 1999

Kia ora,

You may recall the 'Armed and Dangerous ?' headline from the last PMA newsletter about the government desire to amend the Arms Act to allow foreign secret service agents and others to carry firearms during the APEC Heads of Government (HoG) meeting in Auckland next year. Well, the Bill has had its second reading in parliament and moved on to select committee stage, and you can make submissions about it NOW . Copies of the Arms Amendment Bill are available from PMA.

Among the concerns about this Bill is the reference throughout to ... "firearms, airguns, pistols, restricted weapons or ammunition". The 1983 Act specifies 'restricted weapons' as : machine guns, sub-machine guns, mortars, rocket launchers, grenade launchers ... all these to be deployed in the streets of Auckland ?

Then there are the reports from Vancouver (hosts of the last APEC HoG meeting), that the Canadian police were so alarmed by the way Suharto's armed bodyguard was behaving, they had discussed having to shoot the bodyguards themselves if any of them drew their guns. Five of the bodyguards were arrested by Canadian police. Is this the kind of situation we want in Auckland ?

There is no precedent for this amendment - guns were banned at the Commonwealth HoG meeting in Auckland in 1995. The bodyguards of the Sultan of Brunei came armed, and their guns were removed from them at the airport and returned when they left.

The reason for passing this amendment for the APEC HoG meeting is apparently because Clinton won't come here unless his bodyguards can be armed - another good reason for opposing the amendment if you ask us !


** 1) Make a submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee - write your submission and state on it whether or not you wish to make an oral submission to the committee.

Your submission should be sent to David Sanders, Clerk of Committee, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington or fax 04 499 0486 to reach him by 31 January at the latest. You should send 25 copies of your submission if possible.

** 2) Write to your local papers and the nationally distributed press -
Christchurch Press , fax (03) 364 8492, Dominion, fax (04) 4740257;
Evening Post, fax; (04) 474 0237, Herald , fax (09) 373 6434;
Sunday Star Times, fax (04) 499 2683 ;
NZ Listener , fax (09) 360 3831,

** 3) Lobby your MP - contact via their local electorate office, or write to them at Parliament Buildings, Wellington (no stamp needed).

** 4) Lobby Cabinet Ministers - you can contact them as follows :

* Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister, fax 04 473 7045;

* Wyatt Creech, Deputy P. M., fax 04 471 2936;

* * Don McKinnon, Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Trade, fax 04 471 1444;

* Bill Birch,Treasurer, Minister Of Finance, fax 04 473 3587

* John Luxton, Minister For Food, Fibre, Biosecurity And Border Control, fax 04 472 1122;

* Bill English, Minister Of Health, Assoc. Treasurer, fax 04 473 7614;

* Max Bradford, Minister For Enterprise And Commerce, fax 04 471 1440;

* Roger Sowry, Minister Of Social Services, Work And Income, fax 04 473 3698;

* Tau Henare, Minister Of Maori Affairs, fax 04 471 2930;

* Nick Smith, Minister Of Conservation, fax 04 473 6118;

* Doug Graham, Attorney-General, fax 04 471 2922;

* Murray McCully, Minister Of Tourism, Housing NZ, ACC, fax 04 499 4544;

* Tony Ryall, Minister For SOEs, fax 04 472 2376;

* Maurice Williamson, Minister Of Transport, fax 04 472 7095;

* Dr Lockwood Smith, Minister For International Trade, fax 04 471 2918;

* Simon Upton, Minister For The Environment, fax 04 471 2913;
* Georgina Te Heuheu, Minister For Courts, Women's Affairs, fax 04 499 3804;

* Clem Simich, Minister Of Police, fax 04 473 1336;


* Tuariki John Delamere, Minister Of Immigration, Pacific Island Affairs, fax 04 473 3207;

* David Carter, Minister For Senior Citizens, Assoc. Minister Of Revenue, fax 04 473 7504;

* Jack Elder, Minister Of Internal Affairs, fax 04 473 3446;

* Marie Hasler, Minister Of Cultural Affairs, fax 04 471 1443;

* Peter McCardle, Minister Of Business Development, Assoc. Minister Of Social Services, Work And Income, fax 04 471 2907;

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