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PMA newsletter - January 2000
PMA Alerts and Updates
We are continuing with distributing our Alerts and Updates by email only as we are experiencing a huge information overload. It seems we have been rather too successful
in our networking !
We are concerned that the sheer volume of material we now receive is acting against
our effectively updating you all on the issues of most importance to you. The Working
Group is currently considering how we can begin to resolve this conundrum. If you
have specialised knowledge in the area of information management in the 'email age' we
would be most interested in any advice you have on this topic.
Looking at the figures for the past two months, we have posted in excess of 136 articles,
updates and PMA alerts to our website - and this is but a fraction of what we have
received in this time period !
During November and December our work included: the distribution of more than 1,000
leaflets in Wellington in the weeks before the election and three protest vigils
to draw attention to the NZ navy's involvement in the economic blockade on Iraq (in
conjunction with the CEC); publicising the International Day of Action to End Violence Against
Women, Prisoners for Peace and Human Rights Days; updates on the GCSB and the spybases,
East Timor, West Papua, the F16s and the armed forces spending review, US 'star wars' Ballistic Missile Defence tests in the Pacific; new information on Fijian nuclear
test veterans, and other nuclear matters.
In the past month we have been catching up with admin tasks and attempting to have
some time off, albeit not very successfully. Two areas of focus this month have been
the 9th anniversary of the Gulf War and the European Union decision to resume arms
sales to Indonesia (summaries of both these alerts are included in this newsletter).
Many thanks to our volunteers Catherine, Gayle, Hannah, Chris K, Deborah, Cecilia
and Wan Xia; and to all who have supported our work in many different and valuable
ways since the last mailing.
F16 warplanes ? No thanks !
Are they a bargain price ?
Helen Clark said no. "The [National] government's line on this purchase has always
been that these planes are a bargain. Well, I understand a fairly simple home truth
about bargains; nothing is a bargain if we do not need it!" (Helen Clark, parliamentary
debate, 27 July 1999)
How much will they cost to run ?
We still don't know. Helen Clark said 'a lot'. "I suspect that the country has seen
only the start of the kind of escalation of expenditure that would occur if the F16s
purchase and lease were to proceed. Already there has been a cost blow-out." (Helen
Clark, parliamentary debate, 27 July 1999)
Even if the US government were to waive the purchase price and give the airforce the
F16 warplanes, there is still the cost of servicing, maintaining, re-tooling, re-training
pilots and their day to day running costs (of pilots and planes !) - the fuel alone costs more than $2500 per plane per hour.
... "Air combat forces are expensive to retain and operate (14 per cent of the NZDF
budget), and possibly beyond NZ's economic capacity to keep up to date without detracting
from other more necessary military capabilities." (Interim Report of the Foreign
Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee 'Inquiry into defence beyond 2000'). How
about their detracting from other more necessary SOCIAL expenditures ?
Do we need them ?
Helen Clark said no. " We are constantly told by the Minister of Defence in his interviews
that they are to give ground support to our troops. Our advice is that an F16 is
really not that sort of plane ... F16s are not the sort of aircraft one would go
out to buy if one's purpose was to provide ground support for land troops." (Helen Clark,
parliamentary debate, 27 July 1999)
Why then would we get them ?
"The National government has spent 9 years trying to breathe life back into a dormant
ANZUS alliance, inoperative for 15 years. I do not believe the decision to purchase
these planes was driven by the USA at all; it was driven by a National government
that wants to revive an alliance forged in other times for other reasons, and those times
and reasons have long passed." (Helen Clark, parliamentary debate, 27 July 1999)
F16 warplanes - we don't need them and we don't want them.
Remind Helen Clark of what she said last year, tell the new government what you think
about the F16s deal NOW before it's too late.
Contact list for MPs, Ministers and media is available from PMA.
F16s / Armed Forces Spending Review
As widely reported in the mass media, Derek Quigley is currently reviewing the lease-to-buy
F16s deal signed with the US government last year. While it was originally thought
his recommendation would be cancellation of the deal, there is now suspicion that his position may be changing, or that it will be sufficiently open to interpretation
to delay the decision on cancellation further.
Certainly the F16s deal is not in line with the Labour Party's general defence priorities:
"Labour considers peacekeeping to be a very important international role of the NZ Defence Force. The principal service in this activity is the army, with the navy
and air force also having important roles to play. The navy should provide transportation,
initial base operations support, logistic support, and off-shore fire support. The air force, where required and practicable, should supply the means of rapid transportation
and support for smaller army units." Their commitment to armed peacekeepers will
likely result in the stepping up of the planned $500 million re-equipping of the
As there will not be an opportunity for public submissions to Derek Quigley's review,
you should send your views on the F16s deal and/or the re-equipping of the army
to him c/o Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament Buildings, Wellington,
fax (04) 472 3181. His report is due to go to Cabinet 'no later than 6 March'.
If you need more information, have a look at the
PMA index page on the F16s and military spending.
Close down Waihopai, Tangimoana & the GCSB ?
Following the admission by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security last
December that foreign spy agencies have access to Waihopai and Tangimoana (as if
we didn't all know that already), the Anti-Bases Campaign
(ABC) has renewed its call for the spybases and the Government Communications and
Security Bureau (the NZ organisation involved with Waihopai and Tangimoana) to be
closed down immediately. As ABC says, they do not operate in our, nor our neighbours,
interests; they are not accountable to parliament nor the people; they are exempt from
key provisions of the Privacy Act and Crimes Act; and to all intents and purposes,
Waihopai and Tangimoana are foreign spybases, working for US interests.
Alas, this sensible course of action proposed by ABC is unlikely to be followed by
the new government - so, following the enjoyable and well-attended Waihopai 2000
Protest Camp in January, Keith Locke is now calling for the Foreign Affairs, Defence
and Trade Select Committee to hold an enquiry into Waihopai, Tangimoana and the GCSB.
If you wish to add your voice to those calling for an enquiry into the activity of
the two foreign spybases and of the GCSB, you should write to Graham Kelly (chair
of the Select Committee) at Parliament Buildings, Wellington (no stamp needed) and
/ or to one of the other Committee members: Chris Carter, Harry Duynhoven, Maire Hasler, Keith
Locke, John Luxton, Ron Mark, Ross Robertson and Simon Upton.
If you require more information before writing your letter, try
our index page on Spies and the SIS
or contact Anti-Bases Campaign, PO Box 2258, Christchurch, firstname.lastname@example.org
tel / fax (03) 3663988.
Laying the foundations for the next 'East Timor' ...
This is an extract from our Alert on the silence surrounding the European Union's
decision of 16 January to resume arms sales to Indonesia. The following is an edited
version of the fax we sent to Kim Hill's programme after her interview with NZ's
ambassador to Indonesia on 20 January.
... " we feel an important and deeply troubling aspect of the situation escaped attention.
Your listeners would no doubt have been very interested in your asking for his viewpoint
on the decision of the European Union to resume arms sales to Indonesia. The decision was made on Tuesday evening (our time), and there has not to our knowledge
been any mention made of it on Radio NZ or TVNZ.
There has not as yet been any statement about the EU decision from the NZ government.
Given Helen Clark's valid criticism yesterday of the Japanese government for their
whaling practices, we had anticipated an equally strong response from her to the
Their decision will result in an increase in the weapons available to an all-ready
over armed military which has a proven record of murdering civilians in large numbers
- somewhat akin to pouring petrol on a fire, one would've thought. As well, it may
increase the risk to the safety of NZ soldiers on duty in East Timor.
Only five months ago, those members of parliament then in opposition, now in government,
and the journalists reporting on Radio NZ and TVNZ were expressing horror and dismay
as the situation in East Timor deteriorated into total chaos and carnage.
Yet this week those very same people remain silent as the foundations are laid for
the next 'East Timor'.
Please don't let this silence continue."
See our index page on East Timor for further information.
Stop killing the people of Iraq
This is an extract from our Alert on the 9th anniversary of the Gulf War, 17 January
"Today is the ninth anniversary of the war against the people of Iraq. This war has
been carried out primarily by the US and British governments (with the support of
others including previous NZ governments) - starting with the Gulf War, and then
nine years of devastating economic sanctions as well as regular cruise missile attacks and
aerial bombing raids. The effects of the sanctions alone have resulted in the deaths
of more than 1.5 million Iraqi people since 1991, most of them children. Children
continue to die at the rate of more than 4,500 each month as a result of diseases of malnutrition,
insanitary conditions and the lack of even the most basic medical supplies.
It is crucially important that you write to the new NZ government and ask them to
a) stop supporting / speak out against the economic sanctions and any military attacks
on the people of Iraq;
b) make a commitment to desist in future from sending any NZ armed forces personnel
or vessels to enforce the sanctions or take part in any US led attack on Iraq;
c) work in such international forums as the United Nations to have the sanctions lifted
as soon as possible to remove all restrictions on the importation of food and medicine,
and that humanitarian aid be provided immediately on a scale sufficient to remedy the destruction caused by the sanctions and attacks on the people of Iraq over
the past nine years."
For further information, please see our index page on Iraq.
Notice of Motion No. 10
Congratulations to Abolition 2000 (Wellington) in particular who have followed up
on Harold Evans' initiative, begun more than two years ago, and have succeeded in
Government Notice of Motion No. 10 which says ... 'that the parliament of NZ resolves,
as a mark of the dawning of the year 2000, to appeal to all fellow states of the United
Nations to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to
nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.'
Well, that's the gist of it anyway, the actual text is a tad more wordy ! It is hoped
that Notice of Motion No. 10 will have been passed between our sending and you receiving
Same-sex couples and the law ( Ministry of Justice)
- The Ministry of Justice has released a public discussion paper on same-sex couples
and the law which can be read on the Ministry of Justice web site. Alternatively,
write to the Communications Unit, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 180, Wellington for
a hardcopy of the Discussion paper. Submissions may be made in writing to the Deputy Secretary,
Public Law Group, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 180, Wellington, or the online facility
provided in the web site may be used for submissions. The deadline for receipt of submissions is 31 March 2000.
For more info check out http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/reports/1999/same_sex/index.htm
Riverside Music Festival for Environmental Peace - 4 March
12 noon to 8pm at Riverside
, Moutere Valley (near Nelson). Main speaker - Nandor Tanczos; bands, soloists and
DJs including Project, New Druids, Bunyip, Rapata, Michaela and Saali plus demo tapes
of loads more bands ! Stalls with info on environmental issues, speakers on aspects
of care for the environment. Tickets $5 on the day at the gate. Sponsors required. For
more info contact Jessie, tel (03) 526 7033 x22; fax (03) 526 7037; email@example.com
World March of Women 2000
- the international campaign calling for an end to poverty and violence against women.
Women from more than 143 countries are this year demanding that the United Nations
and its member states take concrete measures to eliminate poverty and ensure a fair distribution of the planet's wealth between the
rich and poor, and between women and men, eliminate violence against women and ensure equality between women and men.
The campaign will be launched around the world on International Women's Day (8 March)
- a wide variety of events are planned in different countries, and all will feature
the World March of Women 2000 postcards. The March will end on the International Day for the Elimination of Poverty
(17 October) with the presentation of all signed postcards to the UN Secretary General
in New York.
The World March of Women 2000 postcards are available here from the Women's International League for Peace and
Freedom. To order yours, send your name and address, a request for the number of
postcards you want (and if possible a donation to help with the cost of producing
the postcards) to World March of Women 2000, WILPF, PO Box 47-189, Auckland (cheques should be made payable to WILPF).
Angie Zelter - national speaking tour
For the past seventeen years Angie Zelter has specialised in non-violent direct action
against militarism, nuclear weapons, and environmental degradation. From blockades
at Greenham Common, through ethical shoplifting, Snowball campaigns, to trespasses
at military bases, and Women's Ploughshares actions such as the disarming of a Hawk warplane
bound for Indonesia and those against Britain's nuclear-armed submarines ... she
has used facets of international law in defence of her actions.
Her most recent court case (with Ulla and Ellen), which followed a Trident Ploughshares
action, resulted in the landmark decision to acquit the women by Scottish Sheriff
Margaret Gimblett who agreed that the deployment of Trident nuclear missiles was
illegal under international law.
We are very pleased to provide this opportunity for you to meet Angie, hear her story
and discuss "finding creative ways of resisting unethical and unsustainable practices
and lifestyles and finding ways of empowering ordinary people to confront the decision makers as fellow global citizens and to find joint solutions to our common problems"
(extract from Angie's CV).
Angie's speaking tour is tentatively booked for early 2001; this preliminary announcement
is to gauge the level of interest in her visit. If you are interested in hosting
Angie in your area, and / or assisting costs (mainly her airfare from England, and
travel here), please get in touch with the PMA office with your offer !
Angie's latest fascinating article 'Putting Nuclear Weapons on Trial' is now
available on our website.
Computers for East Timor Project
Many thanks to all who have donated computer equipment, and those who provided transport
up to Auckland. Thus far, the project has sent 13 Macs, 11 PCs, printers, software, manuals and other equipment
to East Timor. These left on the Endeavour on 12 January.
The Project still needs transportation for computers from Christchurch and Wellington
to Auckland. If you can help with this, and/or you would like a copy of the full
update on the Project, please contact either the PMA office or the Computers for East Timor Project, Stuart Sontier, tel (09) 620 6018, firstname.lastname@example.org
What's on where
1 March - Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day
8 March - International Women's Day
All of 2000 -
UN Year for the Culture of Peace;
2001 to 2010
- International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of
18 February - Announcement of the winner of the Roger Award for the Worst Transnational
Corporation in NZ in 1999
, 12 noon, Cathedral Square, Christchurch. Then onwards from the Square to the winner's building ... the seven finalists are: News Ltd, which
owns the INL media chain; WestpacTrust; Tranz Rail; Monsanto; Telecom; Waste Management
and TransAlta. More info from the organisers - CAFCA, GATT Watchdog, Corso - ph/fax (03) 3663988 day/night.
8 March - International Women's Day -
launch of World March of Women 2000
in Auckland and Wellington, to be confirmed, for more info tel WILPF (09) 360 8001
or (04) 383 5688, or check out PMA's email 'what's on' listings later this month.
8 March - International Women's Day -
UNIFEM, in co-operation with other women's organisations, are having their IWD breakfasts
in towns and cities around the country, contact UNIFEM National Office, tel (04)
384 8116, UNIFEM@xtra.co.nz
17-18 April - 'Flaxroots Technology: Claiming the Internet for Community'
inaugural national conference for people interested in community development through
the use of information and communication technologies to empower their communities.
For more info contact Stephen Blyth, Community Development Group, PO Box 805, Wellington, email@example.com
tel (04) 494 0580, fax 495 9444, http://www.community.net.nz/flaxroots-technology
24 - 28 April - 'Just Peace?' Conference
, to be held at Massey's Albany campus.
1 May (MayDay2k) -
a global day of action against capitalism is planned, in the spirit of the June 18
protests last year. For info on what is happening in Aotearoa, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(for Wellington details) or email@example.com (Christchurch).
6 - 8 July - 'Treaty Conference 2000 and beyond
', to be held in Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland, details and a registration form enclosed
with this mailing.
National Peace Workshops 2000
- planning is underway, details and call for expressions of interest in the next
Christchurch / Otautahi
19 February - CAFCA's 25th birthday celebration at the Richmond Workingmen's Club,
February 2000 is the 25th anniversary of the 1975 South Island Resistance Ride, CAFCA's
founding event. For more info contact CAFCA, PO Box 2258, Christchurch firstname.lastname@example.org Don't miss this social highlight, as CAFCA starts its next 1,000 years
Wellington / Whanganui a Tara
15 February - Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu,
meeting to discuss amongst other things the possibility of organising a national
speaking tour by Meir (Mordechai's brother), 2pm at the PMA offices, first floor,
Trades Hall, 126 Vivian Street. For more info tel Arthur Quinn, (04) 567 0533.
17 February - Defence Policy After East Timor, an open discussion
, with Mark Burton, Derek Quigley, Denis McLean, Terence O'Brien, Piers Reid, Andrew
Ladley, Robin Klitsher, Jim Rolfe, David Dickens, Jack Welch and Bryce Harland. 9am
to 5pm, contact NZ Institute of International Affairs, tel (04) 463 5356, fax (04)
473 1261, email@example.com for venue.
18 February - Effects of Modern Warfare on Civilian Populations: What the media didn't
show about the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia
- opening of the photographic exhibition. The exhibition will continue as follows:
Civic Square, 18 - 19 Feb, 25 - 26 Feb, 3 - 4 March; Faculty of Law: 6 - 17 March; Wellington
Central Library, 19 March - 1 April; St Andrews on the Terrace: 4 - 7 April; St Aidan's
Parish Church, 8 April. Contact Sophia Kovachecich, tel (04) 380 7378, firstname.lastname@example.org or Barney Richards (06) 364 8940. Sponsored by the Peace Council of
Aotearoa / New Zealand.
Lower Hutt / Te Awakairangi
7 March - Alistair Morrison
, radio NZ political journalist, speaks at the Waiwhetu-Lower Hutt Peace Group meeting,
8pm, Waiwhetu Uniting Church Hall, 6 Trafalgar St. For more info tel Arthur Quinn,
(04) 567 0533. (Note - the date of this meeting was changed from 22 and 29 Feb).
Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of all PMA members or
the Working Group.
COPYRIGHT Peace Movement Aotearoa 2000. Permission is given for written material to be used
by groups and individuals sharing our aims and objectives as long as sourced material
is credited to its original source and unsourced material is credited to PMA.
Link to earlier PMA newsletters.
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