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dove picturePMA newsletter - December - January 1998


Peace Movement Aotearoa
PO Box 9314, Wellington.

Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,


Link to earlier PMA newsletters.

News from the office
Bougainville Peace Process
Military exercises and training
Food Not Bombs
Alternative media
Spies, spies and more spies
Snippets from across the Tasman
What's on

News from the office

Kia ora, another busy six weeks have gone by since we put the last Newsletter out, the increasing number of visitors to the office in search of information on peace issues, as well as to share their peace news, has been an enjoyable surprise during the usually quieter new year period.
Among the overseas visitors was Sally Hodges, of Project Ploughshares (Calgary, Canada) - we had a most useful discussion with her as they are also working on something similar to the alternative 'Why a Defence Force ' booklet which we have been involved in producing here for secondary schools. The booklet is expected to be completed in mid-March, so more details about that in the next Newsletter.

The third stimulating national Activism in Aotearoa camp was held in Wainuiomata last weekend - lots of praise to those who worked so hard to ensure this went smoothly, especially to Francesca and Kyle, organisers extraordinnaire.

We have another new volunteer to welcome to PMA, Briony, and would also like to thank Medini, Mike, Helena, Christine and Michelle for their ongoing work in the office. As well, we have another part-time paid worker (for six months) starting in February, and she will introduce herself to you in the next PMA Newsletter .

Kia kaha til then.

Getting the message out !

Golden Bay Peace Group have been awarded the 'most interesting interview of 1997' by Fresh FM (the Nelson regional Access Radio station) for Virginia Stocker's interview with Sam Day, the US activist campaigning for the release of Mordechai Vanunu, recorded during his national speaking tour here last year.

The peace programme goes out on Fresh FM on the second Sunday of each month at 12 noon, Fresh FM's frequency is 99.4FM - so tune in if you can !

Things to do, news and views ...

Bougainville Peace Process

With the signing of the agreement on 'Peace, Security and Development on Bougainville', another step has been taken towards rebuilding the war-torn communities on the island. A 'permanent irrevocable ceasefire' will take effect at midnight on 30 April - and the war which has resulted in up to 20,000 Bougainvillian deaths, and 40,000 fleeing as refugees, will end.
The agreement allows for a transition from the truce monitoring group to a local police force as the ceasefire comes into effect, although it is not as yet clear if this will be organised in time. Bougainville's independence from Papua New Guinea will be discussed in April at meetings on the island as the next stage of the peace process.

During the latest round of meetings, the PNG prime-minister announced an amnesty for Bougainville 'rebels' living in exile, confirmed that the bounty on several leaders' heads had been removed; and apologised to the people of Bougainville and PNG for the pain and suffering experienced during the nine year war.

So, the peace process is looking good - if the economic and structural inequalities which lead to the war are addressed in a genuine way, then at last the people of Bougainville will enjoy a permanent and just peace.

While Don McKinnon appears to have played a positive role in the process to date, it would perhaps be useful for him to reflect on the past involvement of the NZ defence forces in training PNG soldiers, and possibly even reach a decision to withdraw from training the armed forces of other invading governments in the future - an immediate end to the training of Indonesian troops seems a good place to start.

Speaking of which, wouldn't it be great if he could also employ his peace enabling talents for the people of East Timor (you could assist in bringing this to his attention by collecting signatures for the enclosed petition !) and West Papua . In addition to the traumas of invasion and war, thousands of people in both areas are now facing starvation from the effects of drought.

Why a defence force ?

We have received a copy of the Defence Ministry's kit for secondary schools which we are happy to share ! If you or your group would like to borrow it to examine and discuss the messages therein, please let us know and we will send it out to you. It would be helpful if you could assist with post costs, rates are : Wellington, collect or $2-50 / $4-00; North Island $3-50 / $4-60; South Island $5-50 / $8-80 (post / fast post).

Defence forces 'savings'

Despite having been allocated vastly increased sums of money for new bits and pieces over the next couple of years, the defence forces have not abandoned their 'poor us' approach.
A brief roundup of some of the newspaper headlines over the past couple of months tells us : 'More problems for Air Force Jets' (Dominion , 05-12-97), 'Army Equipment not 'up to the job' ' (23-12-97) - at the same time, you'll be pleased to know that the defence force has 'SAVED' $79 million a year since 1990 by privatising services ! (09-01-98).

Coopers and Lybrand have been contracted by the defence forces to carry out a review of their property holdings - and we understand the preliminary report has suggested each of the three services should have only one base each. It's not clear if this is intended to save money or what, as the proposal to base the navy somewhere other than Devonport could cost up to $200 million (20-01-98).

Meanwhile that great Navy buy, the Charles Upham, (tied up since it was purchased because it needs $34 million worth of modifications before it can be used) may be chartered out for two years from March. Goodness - not only 'saving' money but earning it too ?

Navy exercise cancelled ?

The NZ navy is uncertain of its participation in Exercise Tasmanex (the bi-annual event with Australia in the Tasman Sea) because ... can you guess why ... they don't have enough frigates ! For those of you interested in the whereabouts of the naval forces, Wellington will be used for training this year; Canterbury will be in refit until June and Waikato is tied up awaiting decommissioning in the next two months.

Presumably Te Kaha is undergoing trials to make sure everything works ... a curious tale has emerged re that frigate following the investigation into its near collision with a merchant ship off Cape Reinga as it sailed here from Melbourne last July. Apparently the merchant ship could not detect Te Kaha on its radar - as a documented maritime hazard, perhaps Te Kaha should not be allowed to go to sea - ever !

Military exercises and training

New(ish) defence minister Max Bradford recently stated that New Zealanders don't know enough about what their defence forces are doing overseas - and for once we find ourselves in total agreement with him, although we suspect our reasons may be somewhat different !

One way of making sure you at least have some idea of what they are up to and who they are working with is this regular feature of the Newsletter which provides details of military exercises. Scheduled for the next few months :
G til 15 Feb - Tasman Reserve, NZ / Australian territorial force units annual exchange, Australia; G 1 March to 6 April - Valkyrie, NZ / Australian SAS joint exercise, NZ; G 16 May - 1 June - Tasman Link, NZ / Australian soldiers joint offensive (very !) support and airspace co-ordination exercise, Australia.

Weapons destroyed

This bit of good news just missed our November Newsletter - 6,400 small arms and their spare parts, which had been in storage for the past decade at Trentham, were crushed for smelting at a metal recycling depot in Otahuhu on 26 November.

Cost of violent deaths

Not such good news in a report released on 16 January from the Auckland University Injury Prevention Research Centre which said that in addition to the emotional trauma and grief caused by murder and manslaughter, the direct and indirect financial cost of violent deaths in 1992 was more than $82.9 million - an average of $1.01 million each. This included the cost of police enquiries, coroners, legal costs and keeping the perpetrators in prison; and for the victims, costs involved in funerals, loss of earnings, and counselling.

Perhaps this will prompt the government to finally listen to those who have been working for years to have conflict resolution taught at all levels in our schools.

Food Not Bombs

The latest group in this international network has just started up in Wellington - Food not Bombs is a non-violent all-volunteer network which provides free, hot, vegetarian meals and political support to low income people in 130 communities in the Americas, Europe Australia and here. Food not Bombs is an active demonstration of opposition to militarism and poverty.

The Wellington group welcome support in the form of :
* help with cooking and preparing food
* donations of food
* koha to help with purchase of cooking equipment, transport and publicity.
Contact Wellington Food not Bombs, PO Box 6387, Wellington, tel (04) 385 6728 <>

Meanwhile, another Food not Bombs group is being taken to court in the US, this time by the City of Worcester, for serving free food without a permit - prosecutions following the establishment of Food not Bomb groups have been common in the US.

Spies, spies and more spies ...

Of late there has been more mainstream media coverage on spies and their activities than usual :

There was the announcement of the ongoing investigation by Justice Grieg (inspector-general of intelligence and security) to ensure that the GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) is operating within its limits; then Simon Upton's response when Tim Barnett expressed further concerns re the second dome being built at Waihopai ($3.6 million for that) .... Upton stated that those at the Waihopai base were "not allowed by law to collect conversations between New Zealanders and any communications unintentionally picked up were disposed of"' (Dominion , 10-01-98).

Bob Leonard's response that Upton's statement was misleading, as most international phone calls to and from NZ would be considered 'foreign communications' and therefore fair game for the spies, was also (rather surprisingly!) reported by the Dominion (12-01-98). Both articles mentioned Jenny Shipley's announcement that $300,000 extra had been spent on security at Waihopai since last year's protests there. Shame they didn't know this January's camp was cancelled ...

In addition, apparently the GCSB celebrated its 20th anniversary last year with a morning tea for staff (19-01-98); and news too that the first civilian spy satellite, Earlybird 1, will enable anyone with a credit card to spy on their neighbours - whoops, sorry, that should read ... anyone - other than the governments of Cuba, N. Korea, Libya, Iraq and Iran.

So that's the mainstream media - even more interesting articles have been appearing in the alternative media :

Exposing the Global Surveillance System , the article by Nicky Hager on the Echelon system, published in the CovertAction Quarterly (subscribe by sending $US35 to CAQ, 1500 Massachusetts Ave #732, Washington DC 2005, USA) or check out their web sites at http://medi or

This article is also available by email from A-infos News Service, the Anarchist news service which provides a very useful antidote to the mainstream media - get them on <> or
An article on the tabling of the report to the European Parliament on Echelon, apparently the first 'official' acknowledgement of the system in Europe (although peace people been going on about it there for some time now), has been circulated widely. Copies of both articles are also available from PMA.

And the recent 'Gandalf' trial in Britain which resulted in three Green Anarchist journalists each receiving three year prison sentences for 'incitement' has similarly received wide coverage partly because of the total suppression of the activities of the secret service in collecting evidence for the case which added greatly to its sinister aspects.

The January 98 edition of Peace News devotes an editorial to discussion of this case and the implications for freedom of the press - including Peace News .

Finally on spies, the Anti-Bases Campaign petition demanding the closure of Waihopai is enclosed with this Newsletter there is also an information sheet which is designed for use by signature collectors.

And speaking of the ABC - the latest issue of the always fascinating Peace Researcher came out in December - you can get yours from ABC, PO Box 2258, Christchurch. For only $20, you will receive four issues each year.

Consistency 2000 update

As reported in previous Newsletters , the government appears to be reneging on its commitment to ensure that all legislation, government policy and practice would be in compliance with the Human Rights Act by 2000.

The latest news on this is that neither the Human Rights Commission nor the Race Relations Office are being funded to continue their audits for Consistency 2000, and a Ministry of Justice report will be made to Cabinet on 28 February on new legislation regarding the government's approach (! apparently they no longer have obligations) to the Human Rights Act.

Speaking of inconsistencies ...

We received a press release from Richard Prebble late last year which went on about how absolutely essential US trade is to the NZ economy, called for a new look at our nuclear-free legislation in the light of this and ended ... "I might introduce a Bill to repeal the Nuclear Free Bill".

Well, what could we do but circulate it to particularly interested people ... and lo and behold, he was informed very clearly of peace peoples' responses to that !

Quest for Peace : Confessions, Lies and Heroes

is the title of the latest publication by someone who has remained very consistent in his attitudes to peace over the years - yes indeed, Nelson author Will Foote has been at it again. Written in Will's witty and informative style, this 64 page booklet takes you on a very enjoyable and fascinating trip through his peace work of the past sixty years.

As he carefully explains in the Preface, it is a personal history of his involvement, and mentions peace people and organisations he has met or heard about. It really is great reading, a celebration of peace, and you can get your very own copy for the bargain price of $11-00 (includes p & p) from W.J. Foote, 17 Enner Glynn Road, Nelson

Betty Holt

it is with regret that we bring you the news that Betty Holt died recently in Auckland. Until a few years ago, Betty was a tireless worker for peace, justice and women's rights through organisations such as the Student Christian Movement, Federation of University Women, National Council of Women, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (of which she was National President for seven years) and Foundation for Peace Studies (of which she was a founding patron). She also wrote histories of both WILPF and the NCW.

Together with the death of her sisters Jean Archibald and Mollie Leathem in the past few years, Betty's marks the end of an era - all three were great workers on race relations, justice and peace issues.
- WILPF, Tamaki Makaurau

Wellington peace people !

Thanks to those of you who responded to our recent alertre the serious lack of programme makers for the Peace Forum Access Radio programme - we now have bookings until mid-March.

However, it would be helpful to both PMA and the Peace Council, if you could let us know which dates you can make programmes for in April, May, June ... Please contact Mike at the PMA office to get your copy of the roster and / or book your dates. Thank you.

Snippets from across the Tasman

Spies across the seas - inadvertently left out of the spies roundup earlier is the news that Victoria police special branch files on left-wing political activists, which the state government had ordered destroyed in 1983 (ummm - that's the files which should have ceased to exist, not the activists), have been obtained by The Age ... the Melbourne paper found those files which the branch said in 1989 had been destroyed. Fancy that - could this mean spies tell lies ?

Defence forces to be cut ! can you believe it, after all those endless lectures by the Australian Defence Minister that NZ's defence forces must absolutely NOT be cut anymore, that ANZAC frigates are an absolute must for the NZ navy .... he announced in December that their defence force would be cut by 7,000 persons ! Ahh, but wait - these job cuts are in catering and maintenance, combat and 'related positions' would be increased by 8,000 persons ... we thought it was too good to be true.

And in a new approach to 'defence', he also announced in December that the Australian government has ended its former national defence policy that started once enemy forces reached Australian shores ... now the ADF will be pro-active !

Mercenary training - perhaps it was this new policy which lead to the highly publicised training of men who answered ads in the defence force magazine Army - who were then sent to Dubai for 'stevedoring and mercenary' training. On their return to Australia they may be deployed to the nation's docks as the government's latest attempt to break the power of the Maritime Union.

Amnesty International - have issued two statements condemning the Australian governments actions recently. One relates to the arbitrary detention of a Cambodian boat person for four years; the other a warning to the Senate as they began to debate

stranger than fiction ...

What's on

23 - 25 February - People's Global Action, founding conference in Geneva with over 600 representatives of peoples movements to establish a platform for worldwide action against globalisation. Mobilisation against the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference (18-20 May) will be a focus of the conference. The PGA calls for non-violent resistance and the construction of local community alternatives to work against globalisation and to take away the power of the multinational corporations.


Sharon Venne

National speaking tour

Sharon is a highly respected indigenous lawyer, of the Joseph Bighead Cree Nation, Saskatchewan who has worked extensively on the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and represented the Treaty Six peoples at the UN. She in involved with ongoing work with Indigenous peoples to resist the onslaught of multinational corporations and colonial governments, is the author of many articles and books and a dynamic speaker.

Sharon's speaks are not fully confirmed, but the dates we have are :

Otautahi / Christchurch

: 27 Feb - 1 March, keynote speaker at the 'Taking Control' conference (see local listings); 5 March, 12pm, lecture theatre A2, Uni of Canterbury - contact Corso (03) 366 2803;

Otepoti / Dunedin

- possibly on 3 or 4 March, contact Corso (03) 477 3395;


on 6 March, contact Corso (04) 385 0579;

Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland

on 9 March, contact NFIP Tamaki Makaurau (09) 302 2496 x844.

Moutere Valley

21 February - Top of the South Regional Peace Groups meeting at Riverside Community.

Link to earlier PMA newsletters.

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