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PMA newsletter - August 1997
Kia ora, the main news from us this month is that PMA is having a cash flow crisis. An emergency meeting to begin remedying this situation will have been held in Wellington by the time you receive this; but please in the meantime, respond to the enclosed letter and help to ensure that this newsletter is not our last.
Office hours are expected to be back to normal towards the end of September, although during the last week they will vary due to involvement with Rebecca Johnson's visit and the all-day peace meeting.
The past few weeks we have received a tremendous amount of information about non-violent direct action at nuclear sites in the US and Europe around Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days - with 'war crimes inspection teams' delivering summonses to the relevant authorities ordering them to desist from their illegal activities. Also news from Australia, England and some US cities of activities similar to those here - rallies, speakers, candle floating ceremonies and shadow painting.
And protest here continues wherever the new frigate Te Kaha goes ... with this month's newsletter, one way of continuing these protests - a 'no more frigates' postcard to send to your MP. To get more postcards and for the latest news re the frigates, see page 2.
as part of its enquiry into 'NZ's place in the World' the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee is now calling for public submissions re NZ's defence arrangements for 2000 and beyond. The deadline for submissions is
11 September, if you have not received the mailing from PMA with the details of how to make your submission and you wish to share your views with
the committee - contact David Sanders (04) 471 9549, Dr Robert Ayson (04) 471 9079 or Julie Henderson (04) 471 9530.
another Hiroshima Day event, this time courtesy of the Ministry of Defence who launched their new resource kit for secondary schools with the above title - along with strenuous denials that it was propaganda in any shape or form.
The kits are designed to be part of the secondary school social studies curriculum and the School Certificate history syllabus. They include a video, teacher guidelines and lesson plans; and cost $70,000 to produce. Although individual teachers appear to have been involved in its design, it was not checked out by those involved in the social studies curriculum at the Ministry of Education.
Despite the fact that these kits were paid for with public money, there are 70 spare copies, and PMA provides information on peace and related issues for schools - we are not allowed to have our own kit. So if you should happen to spot one lying about unused at your local secondary school ...
Will this set a precedent for other ministries to follow in justifying their existence? Are we soon to see (or not be allowed to see as in this case !) the $70,000 kit on 'why a police force ?' 'why we need conservation officers ?' the possibilities are endless. Perhaps you might like to pass your views on this along to your MP, your local paper, your local secondary school ...
is the headline for the full page colour photo spread in the Army News (05-08-97) which reports that 40,000 secondary school students visited the Coca Cola Careers Expo in Auckland at the end of July.
Apparently ... "Army recruiters saw the expo as the biggest event on their calendar and enlisted the help of Land Force command and 2nd Land Force Group in setting up displays showing Auckland high school pupils careers the Army has to offer".
The long awaited 'there will be NO public consultation' defence spending review is now due for release at the end of September, and will go to a special Cabinet sub-committee on 1 October. We have received confirmation that the review will not be part of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Select Committee enquiry (see page 1) - rather alarming really as it will set spending priorities for the armed forces for the next 10 to 15 years.
But we are not the only ones alarmed by the review, there are rumours of government concern that it may recommend extra defence spending which would breach the coalition government's spending cap. Perhaps you could add to the government's concern by telling them about your concerns re defence spending !
And there has been a spate of articles of late regaling the public with the sad state of the various bits of the defence forces - a couple of headlines to illustrate the tone of these are "Exercises 'show up obsolete army gear'" (Dominion , 06-08-97), and "Doing well with No 8 wire" (22-08-97) - this one referring to the air force's difficulties in participating in the Kakadu military training exercise.
if it wasn't so serious it'd be enough to make you laugh ... following the reports of the mission to the US to look at some second hand 1970s Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates, a warning has been issued by Australian Defence Minister Ian McLauchlan who said "If NZ was to ask for advice from Australia, we would say don't do it" (Dominion , 04-09-97).
The purchase price is for each of these is around a fifth of the ANZAC class frigates, but they need more crew. It seems Jim Bolger is committed to a four frigate navy for reasons which are not clear to us, but they don't have to be ANZAC class ones.
two too many frigates - stop them now !
Anti-frigates protest cardsare available from Eric Felton, 28 Wiltshire Place, Howick, Auckland (koha);
All purpose protest cardsasking for all military spending to be diverted instead to ..... [multi choice options and space for your own alternative] are available from WILPF, PO Box 2054, Wellington (4 for $1).
A reminder that while most peace groups are working against the frigate's purchase, those with a particular focus on this are : Campaign against Militarism, PO Box 68-419, Auckland, tel (09) 638 8715, fax (09) 377 5541; CaM Wellington, Mark Roach, tel (04) 383 5091, <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Larry Ross, NZNFPA, PO Box 18-541, Christchurch, tel (03) 388 9816.
And finally on the frigates for this month ... a snippet reproduced in the Listener 16-08-97, copied here for your enjoyment " Quantas has secured a contract as preferred international carrier for the NZ forces and the airline has extended the agreement to include the new frigate Te Kaha" - oh yes please, fly that frigate away now !
The proposed bill which would have made public consultation compulsory before irradiation plants can be built here has been dropped - the select committee studying it has said that local authority district plans would be the more effective way of dealing with proposed plants, and they will notify local authorities of the need to examine the issues carefully.
Thank you to everyone who returned the filled in petition forms against the plutonium waste shipments - we have sent the bundle off now to the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre in Suva, and they will be presented along with the others collected throughout the Pacific to the South Pacific Forum summit in the Cook Islands on 17-19 September.
The latest attempt to establish a peace garden near the site of the WWII prisoner of war camp at Tauherenikau has been voted out by 6-1 by the South Wairarapa District council, despite the Feathertown Community Board backing the proposal. Opposition to the garden has been led by RSA members who do not feel it is appropriate to recognise those Japanese prisoners killed during the violence at the camp in 1943.
We have been sent an interesting article on the government's population conference (the one agreed to in the Coalition document) which is to be held in November.
Apparently there is much concern in 'scientific' circles that in this $500,000 conference there will be no input from scientists who may be able to answer one of the fundamental questions in the debate about population levels - that is, how many people the land can support on a sustainable basis into the future. Contact PMA for a copy of this article.
good news on this initiative, as there are now three sign-ons - Wellington City Council in July (as previously reported) and at the beginning of August Tasman District Council and Dunedin City Council. Congratulations to those who put the effort into getting these, and to those who continue to work with their councils and whose efforts will hopefully be rewarded very soon !
Released this month is the international petition calling for 'A New commitment for a new century' - signed copies will eventually be presented to the UN General Assembly, Conference on Disarmament, the NPT Review Conference (next April), the UN Human Rights Commission and the governments of nuclear weapons and threshold states.
A copy of this will be circulated with our next newsletter, but if you are particularly keen to get on with collecting signatures right now, then please contact PMA and copies will be sent on to you.
The Auckland A2000 group has assembled a resource pack which includes : the A2000 founding statement and the Moorea Declaration; copies of the Declaration of Public Concern for signature by individuals; A draft of the Local Authorities resolution and some background material on A2000. If you would like a copy of this pack, please contact Abolition 2000 (Auckland), PO Box 47-189, Auckland; or PMA.
C.W.P. (Bill) Carter, 1920-1997. A dedicated supporter of PMA and other peace groups, as well as active in many community organisations, Bill served in the Air Force overseas in WWII and completed thirty flying missions before being captured and spending three years in Stalag Luft III.
Post war, he rejected all violence and became a Quaker. In 1990 Bill founded NZ Veterans for Peace, along with the late Ron Smith, the late Fred Clements, Derek Wilson and Chris King. Under this name the group were able to get radio time and press releases published on contentious peace issues.
Bill Carter, with his gentle manner and quiet humour will be sadly missed. We extend our sympathy to his family. C.K.
An excellent way to make your views known is to broadcast them !! and there are still big gaps in the roster for Peace Forum, the Wellington Access Radio programme produced by peace persons and groups.
Programme makers are required for the fortnightly blocks
from the beginning of October.Remember - if there are no programme makers, the programme will have to be shut down. Please phone Mike at PMA (Monday afternoons or Friday mornings) as soon as possible to book your dates!
Thailand- a NZ$360 million new aircraft carrier from Spain, incomplete with no sonar or weaponry.
- negotiations continue on a further 107 M60A3 tanks from the US, cost including post delivery support and training an estimated A$100 million;
Philippines- US$10 million on three former British navy Hong Kong patrol ships.
Pakistan- has expressed interest in purchasing ANZAC class frigates and Collins Class submarines from Australia;
Indonesia -US$1 billion contract with Russian state company Rosvooruzhenie for 12 Su30K fighter planes and 8 Mi17 helicopters;
- confirmation that the delivery of British Hawk aircraft and Scorpion tanks will continue;
- approval of a range of British defence equipment contracts is expected soon - with the condition they be used to protect Indonesia's oil and gas industry;
- memorandum of understanding to be signed with Germany next month for the purchase of an undisclosed number of second-hand U206 submarines;
-1.5 million kroner naval gun parts from Swedish firm Bofors.
Australia- (pounds sterling) 400 million contract with British Aerospace for 33 Hawk 100 advanced jet training planes;
- A$600 million contract with Kaman Aerospace Intl for 11 Super Seasprite helicopters (to operate from their ANZAC class frigates);
- proposed, highly controversial purchase of long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, $1.5 million already allocated for a secret study on fitting the missiles to the navy's new $5.2 billion submarine fleet (apology - this information came from US and Australian sources and it's not clear which $s it refers to); there has been condemnation of this purchase even by some government strategic advisers who fear it will trigger a new escalation of the arms race in the region.
US ballistic missile testing in Australiahas been agreed to by the Federal government - the Project Dundee tests will involve test firing of ground to air Terrier missiles off the coast of Western Australia.
A boycott of the 2000 Sydney Olympics- has been called for by the Nyungah Circle of Elders as a protest against the historical and current lack of respect of indigenous people's rights by successive Australian governments.
They are not the only ones expressing concern about these Olympics, a fascinating article in the July Peace News looks at the destruction of the aboriginal housing estate in Redfern (Sydney) to make way for the 're-development' scheme for housing for Olympic contestants.
Stolen children - Apology Australia is the campaign to allow Australians to offer their personal and communal apology to those whose lives were ripped apart by the government policy of taking Aboriginal children away from their parents. They are collecting signatures via internet, email and post; it is intended that the Web site complete with all the signatures be kept as a permanent memorial to this atrocity.
Stolen body parts- much publicity has been given to the exhumation and return to Australia of the head of the murdered Yagan, taken to England in 1833; this publicity has spurred on the demands for the return of heads of Maori taken from this country.
Student occupation continues - at RMIT, this follows the establishment of the tent city at Monash University in defence of public education. The RMIT occupation started in response to a management decision to introduce full upfront fees payment for local undergraduate students.
Boycott Kleenex products- is the call from the Otway Ranges Environment Network who are trying to prevent the clear felling of Otway native forest. Kimberley Clark (manufacturers of Kleenex) want this timber to make their tissues 'soft and smooth'.
Nuclear ships visit - well, British nuclear powered submarines to be strictly accurate, were met with protest when they visited Freemantle last month. This was part of a fleet visit which included the aircraft carrier Illustrious, two frigates, two fleet replenishment ships and a forward repair ship.
National Anti-uranium action daywas on 22 August, focussing on closing uranium mines around the country and preventing the opening of the Jabiluka mine in the World Heritage region of Kakadu National Park.
A new A$300 nuclear reactor is to be built at Lucas heights on the southern outskirts of Sydney, apparently it has to be built there because it has to be near an airport. Can any of our Australian readers tell us why ?
Heard about the new Darwin to Adelaide rail link ? Well, rumour has it one of the major bidders for this is likely be a company controlled by Siti Hardyanti Rukmana, eldest daughter of Indonesia's President Suharto, she is estimated to have assets worth more than US$454 million ! Goodness - that seems a tad excessive.
For more details on any of these, contact PMA.
News this month of President Mandela and Kofi Annan's joint initiative to end the conflict in East Timor - this follows the July meeting of Mandela with Xanana Gusmao (imprisoned East Timorese leader).
And Konis Santana, speaking in an message recorded in East Timor, put forward the proposal that the model of Puerto Rico's relationship with the US could be used for East Timor - this possibility was rejected by the Indonesian government.
Meanwhile the violence continues, and we receive regular reports of serious human rights violations in East Timor - please contact PMA if you are interested in us forwarding this information on to you.
Indonesian soldiers have flooded into the area around Freeport (Rio Tinto Zinc's giant mine in Irian Jaya) after unrest following the suspicious deaths of two local people travelling in an RTZ vehicle. The deaths triggered tension which was already high following Freeport's pitiful offer of compensation to the communities directly affected by the mine.
is the new international economic agreement being negotiated at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which will make it easier for individuals and corporates to move money and production facilities across borders. The MAI is expected to come into being in May 1998.
Countries that sign the MAI will be required to open all economic sectors to foreign ownership, to treat foreign investors no less favourably than domestic ones, remove all laws that require certain behaviour in exchange for market access and remove all restrictions on the movement of capital. It may apply to all levels of government, eg national and local; and it would override existing domestic legislation - of particular concern here of course is the effect it may have on the government's Treaty obligations.
It is generally predicted that adoption of the MAI will result in economic and environmental degradation as countries outbid each other to have the lowest wages and least controls. There would be no possibility of refusing investment from, for example, a country with an appalling human rights record.
The NZ government has been involved in MAI negotiations since 1995.
We have received a considerable amount of material on the MAI - for further information you could contact PMA, or better still, GATT Watchdog, PO Box 1905, Christchurch, <email@example.com>. There is an informative web site (with a US Focus, but jolly useful) at http://www.RTK.NET:80/preamble
Preamble have forwarded us a copy of their draft paper on
Globalisation, the MAI, and Increasing Economic Marginalisation of Womenwhich is an excellent summary of these issues.
NASA's Cassini space probe to Saturn is due to be launched on 6 October amidst considerable protest about the effects of an accident to the craft which will have 72.3 pound of plutonium on board. The two main potential accident risks are from an accident during the launch (lift-off on an accident prone Titan IV rocket); and during its fly-by manoeuvre at 312 miles above Earth as it positions itself to bounce off Earth's gravity on its way to Saturn.
NASA's own Environmental Impact Statement says ..." if inadvertent re-entry occurred during the flyby, approximately 5 billion of the 7 - 8 billion on earth could receive 99% of the radioactive exposure".
Cassini's electrical systems do not need plutonium- power, they could easily be powered with solar energy.
The level of protest in the US has resulted in unprecedented security around the Cape Canaveral launch site; US groups are asking for protest from overseas and this can be done as follows :
Send a postcard or photograph of your local area with a note asking President Clinton why he is risking your environment with this mission / or telling him not to !
Ask for the space probe to be delayed until there has been full investigation into alternative energy sources for it.
Send it to President Clinton, The White House, Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC; fax him at +1 202 456 2461; or email him <firstname.lastname@example.org> ; or email NASA <email@example.com>. If you send an email message you should give your postal address with it.
STOP PRESS - the launch may be delayed to 15 Oct due to a cooling systems failure ...
Sub-critical nuclear tests
another delay here, the US sub-critical nuclear weapons test 'Holog', due to be detonated in early September has been rescheduled for mid-September, early October. PMA will issue an Action Alert on this as soon as the date is confirmed. And rumours are circulating that the Russians are about to begin a sub-critical nuclear test series too. More on that as it comes to hand.
more than 100 nations are represented at the international conference currently underway in Oslo to progress work towards the treaty banning landmines. The US eventually agreed to take part in it, but are still holding out for exclusions for the Korean border; Finland would like its border exempted too; Russia and China are not taking part in the conference. Information from the conference is flooding into the office - we will let you know the results of the conference after its conclusion.
Women in Afghanistan
we are starting to receive information about the situation of women in Afghanistan and the edicts of the Taliban government as they are issued. If you would like to receive copies of this material, please contact PMA.
Mobilisation against Nike
18 Octoberis the international action day in support of Nike production workers - coordinated by the US Campaign for Labour Rights, the day is being marked by groups around the world. The Australian Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor are using it to further their campaign against Nike's activities in Indonesia.
The Nike Action Packet, including details of the boycott against Nike, is on its way to us - please contact PMA for further details. We have been asked to pass on details of any actions here to the Campaign for Labour Rights, so if you are planning any please let us know - and we can publicise them here too !
Coming to you in September
The International Day of Peace is the third Tuesday in September (when the General Assembly usually re-convenes) - the UN Secretary General rings the peace bell at midday and there is a one minute silence for world peace.
For more information about the Global Initiative, schools strike or their petition contact PMA.
Auckland, Peace Foundation (09) 373 2379; 22-23 Sept,
Tauranga, Marlene Ware (07) 576 6750; 24-25 Sept,
Taupo, Betty and John Wheeler (07) 378 6478; 26 Sept,
Plymouth, Jean van Gorkom (06) 753 2311; 29-2 Oct,
area, PMA (04) 382 8129; 3 Oct,
Takaka, Peni Connolly (03) 525 8004; 4 Oct,
Nelson, Will Foote (03) 547 4779; 5-7 Oct,
Christchurch, Kate Dewes (03) 3481 353; 16 Oct,
Dunedin, Audrey Shearer (03) 454 3135.
member of the Canberra Commission and one of the high profile US military men who issued the Generals and Admirals Statement calling for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons last December, his visit will include delivering the Erich Geiringer Oration in Wellington on 1 October. For more details contact IPPNW, tel (04) 385 5999 x 6050, fax (04) 389 5725, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
has reluctantly postponed his visit in October and his intention is to reschedule it for next year.
unhappy about the power of multinationals ? Author of Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies for security in an Unstable World , Irish economist Richard will be on a national speaking tour in October, focussed on 'local communities for prosperity'. For confirmed meeting dates, see listings - for others, get in touch with the local contact:
Wellington, Alan Fricker (04) 589 1572; 18 Oct,
Christchurch, Kura Geere-Watson (03) 384 0220; 20 Oct,
Napier, Prometheus Foundation (06) 385 7138; 22 October,
Thames, Jeanette Fitzsimon's office (07) 868 6511; 23 Oct,
Auckland, Rebecca Potts (09) 372 6579.
29 September: 7-30pm, at WEA, 59 Gloucester Street, CAFCA AGM plus screening of Assignment on the misdeeds of gold mining companies. Contact CAFCA, PO Box 2258, Chch; email <email@example.com>
deadline for nominations for The Rogers Awardwhich will be given to the worst transnational corporation which has had the most negative impact in this country. Send your nomination to The Rogers Award, c/o PO Box 2258, Christchurch, organised by CAFCA, GATT Watchdog and Corso.
30 September- 8-00pm, Epuni Baptist Church Hall, Waiwhetu Road, public meeting with Rebecca Johnson, contact Arthur Quinn (04) 567 0533.
29 September- 6pm, meeting room, mezzanine floor, Wellington Public Library, 'From nuclear-free NZ to a nuclear weapons-free world', public meeting with Rebecca Johnson. Contact WILPF, Megan Hutching, (04) 494 0631.
30 September- 10am to 2pm, vigil outside Israeli Embassy, 111 The Terrace, calling for the release of Mordechai Vanunu. Contact Arthur Quinn, (04) 567 0533.
1 October- at Te Papa (Museum of NZ), second Erich Geiringer Oration, delivered by General Lee Butler. Contact IPPNW for invitation, tel (04) 385 5999 x 6050, fax (04) 389 5725, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
2 October- 9-30am, Wellington School of Medicine, review of main peace themes and work to be done, with panel - Rebecca Johnson, Lee Butler, Dr Ron McCoy (Malaysian Canberra Commission member), Kate Dewes and Rob Green, contact IPPNW (see above).
16 October -7-30pm, St John's Centre, Willis Street, Richard Douthwaite on ways to get around the power of multinationals, $10 / $?, contact Alan Fricker (04) 589 1572.
17 October- 12 noon, St Andrew's on The Terrace, Richard Douthwaite, koha.
Kirikiriroa / Hamilton
12 - 14 September -national meeting of East Timor Solidarity groups, contact Joe Davies, ETIC, (03) 366 2803, fax 366 8035, <email@example.com>
Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland
18 September- 7pm at Old Government House (Uni. of Auckland grounds) 'Nuclear disarmament - the final stages ?', public meeting with Rebecca Johnson, contact Foundation for Peace Studies (09) 373 2379.
29 September- 5-30pm / 6-30pm, at Old Government House (Uni. of Auckland grounds), reception / public meeting with Lee Butler. Contact Jim Methven (09) 817 9075.
23 October- Media Peace Awards, main speaker Scott Burchill of Deakin University (Melbourne) contact FPS, (09) 373 2379.
During September -the
SURF (Stop Uranium - Reclaim the Future) Pilgrimage continues - a journey to sites of nuclear menace and special cultural and spiritual significance, talking with the Aboriginal custodians of the land now desecrated by uranium mining, linking the global to the local. Contact Gaia Foundation, PO Box 1417, East Victoria Park, WA 6981, tel/fax (08) 9272 4252, email <firstname.lastname@example.org>
25-26 September- International Peace Bureau Triennial Assembly 'the role of civic society' in Moscow, contact IPB +41 22 738 9419 (fax), <email@example.com>
12 October- International Indigenous Peoples' Day - reports in so far:
10-13 October- 'Call to the Desert' gathering at the Nevada Test site, Healing Global Wounds;
12 October- march on the US / Canada border for justice for the First Nations, Northwest Leonard Peltier Support Network.
24-26 October - Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Fast for Sanity weekend, details from PMA.
The most comprehensive guide to Pacific issuesis very conveniently available in the form of the resolutions from the most recent Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific conference, get yours from PMA.
'Hiti Tau - building a new nation', video describing the effect of French nuclear testing and colonialism on the Maohi people, and their activities to establish an independent economy. The order form for this is a little too complex to describe, so please contact PMA for the details.
'Metal of Dishonour', the book and video on depleted uranium weapons first used in war against Iraq. $US12.95 / $US20.00, available from International Action Centre, 39 W. 14 St, Room 206, New York, NY 10011. Credit card orders taken on +1 800 247 6553.
Human Rights Action Group(based at Victoria University) now has an official web site. Their URL is <http://www.sans.vuw.ac.nz/~vuw_hrag>
Books, books, books- order your copy of Jane Kelsey's '
The New Zealand Experiment'; Marilyn Waring's '
Three Masquerades'; Richard Mulgan's '
Politics In NZ'; or Brian Easton's '
The Commercialisation of New Zealand'from GATT Watchdog, PO Box 1905, Chch and they will benefit from your purchase.
'Protest at Moruroa: first hand accounts from the NZ based flotilla', edited by Claudia Pond Eyley, get yours from One World Books, Box 68-419, Auckland for $39.95 - post free within NZ.
kia kaha till next month
Link to earlier PMA newsletters.
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