Network Opposed to Weapons and Related Production

Say NO to the NZ ‘defence’ industry

1 October 2005

"Made in New Zealand: a label to be proud of ?

Not when it is the label on deadly products such as shoot-to-kill training equipment, missile and bomb loading vehicles, weapons effect simulators, grenades, ammunition, weapons firing control systems, and aerial bombing score systems ... And not when the label is used by NZ companies involved with overseas companies that manufacture nuclear weapons and manage military bases where nuclear weapons are deployed." [quote from the No WARP! leaflet]

The annual get-together of the NZ Defence Industry Association (NZDIA) - the lobby group for companies that profit from bloodshed and war - takes place at Te Papa this year on 18 and 19 October. Below is a brief summary of some of the companies involved; of NZ government support for the ‘defence’ industry; and ‘Act now to stop this deadly business!’ - what you can do about this. For more information about the NZDIA, see this section in 'Profiting from bloodshed and war: the 'defence' industry and the companies involved'.

NZDIA member companies include:

  • Flexisolutions Ltd, Foxton Beach - 'Jungle Sweeper' combat grenades, practice rifle grenades, simulated artillery grenades; made in the garage of backyard bomb maker Bill Sharplin, former life insurance salesman.
  • MAS Zengrange (formerly Marine Air Systems), Lower Hutt - manufacture weapons firing control systems, communication systems for mortar and artillery batteries, remote detonation systems, devices for remote initiation of explosives and pyrotechnics for battlefield 'inoculation' exercises, and armed forces command and control systems. Their products include the Vanguard artillery computer, the Morfire hand held IBM compatible battlefield computer which "puts the future of the mortar into the palm of your hand"; the Bullseye aerial bombing scoring system; the Swordfish system for the demolition of underwater obstacles and targets in shallow waters; MAS Burst Radio modems for military HF, VHF, and UHF radios to connect battlefield computer systems; and more.

    Marine Air Systems (MAS) became MAS Zengrange when British based Zengrange Defence Systems combined their design and manufacturing activities with Marine Air Systems in their NZ factory. Both are part of the British based Hall and Watts Defence Group.

  • Oscmar International Ltd, Auckland - 'realistic' shoot-to-kill laser training equipment, including equipment for use in urban warfare training centres; infantry weapons effects simulators, shoulder launched anti-tank weapon simulators, land mines effects simulators, and more - "a world leader in the field of Realistic Combat Simulation" ... They have exported more than 60,000 simulators to 15 countries; including Australia, Thailand, Denmark, India, and France. There have been reports that Oscmar have sold more than 9,000 simulator sets to the Indonesian armed forces.
  • Initially a NZ owned and operated company, Oscmar International was acquired by the Cubic Corporation (based in California) in 2000. Cubic includes the Cubic Defence Applications group which "provides a broad spectrum of world-class integrated systems, electronic products and high-caliber services supporting the training and operational readiness of US armed forces and allied militaries ... We provide the complete spectrum of training that warfighters need to survive on today's battlefield. This includes live combat training systems, mission support, doctrine and leader development, simulation development and technical support." Their slogan is: 'Helping Our Forces Fight, Win and Return'.

    During 2005, Oscmar has been investigated by Customs for an apparent breach of the NZ Strategic Goods export regulations, for more information about that see NZ company involved in suspect military export to Israeli Defence Force.

  • Safe Air Limited, Woodbourne - air force contracts and components supply; infamous for their work on Indonesian war planes as Indonesia's occupation of East Timor ended in bloodshed and flames in 1999. They have been involved in a range of military contracts in the past for assorted air forces, primarily those of NZ and Australia, and have done some work for the Israeli air force. Safe Air is owned by Air New Zealand and works closely with Air New Zealand Engineering Services.
  • Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd, Hamilton - manufactures aircraft including the Airtrainer basic military training aircraft, which is used by the RNZAF and other air forces. Pacific Aerospace has built 50 CT4 airtrainers for the Australian air force, and 46 for Thailand's air force in the past - and in 2000 was chasing a contract to supply up to fifty CT4 air trainers to the Israeli air force. It makes components for the F18 warplane; and has produced components for the ANZAC frigates and US Marine amphibious armoured personnel carriers.
  • Ordnance Development Limited, Wanganui - manufactures special purpose ammunition, training ammunition, and Anti Material ammunition; supplies a range of ammunition to "several military forces worldwide" including tracer, armour piercing and incendiary bullets and shells.
  • Ordnance Development was named as an exciting export growth company in a Microsoft Search for New Zealand's Most Exciting Companies: "Ordnance Development's turnover is up 30% on two years ago and its blank ammunition is being exported to Australia and the United Arab Emirates" ... "The 30-year-old company invested 18 months ago in a plant upgrade that will better position it for export sales. Its capacity has increased from eight million to 13 million rounds a year. The company is investigating further export opportunities, this time to Asian markets." [National Business Review, 26 September 2003]. Ordnance Development also has 'current business' in Australia, Britain, Canada and the US.

  • Serco Project Engineering Ltd, Wellington - has Ministry of Defence contracts for logistic support at NZ army bases. SPEL is a joint venture of Serco Group (Britain) and Projeng Pty Ltd (Australia). Serco Group, together with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd and Lockheed Martin, manages Britain's atomic weapons establishments - where British nuclear weapons are designed, manufactured and refurbished.
  • Fitzroy Engineering Group Limited, New Plymouth - recently joined with VT Integrated Services (part of the VT Group, Britain) to form VT Fitzroy. VT Fitzroy now has the Ministry of Defence contract to manage the Devonport naval base in Auckland. Another part of the VT Group, VT Griffin Services (USA) has the base support contract for Kings Bay, Georgia - where US submarines armed with nuclear warheads are based.

  • NZ government involvement

    NZDIA member companies are promoted and supported by the NZ government. Their involvement includes:

  • Trade NZ (now New Zealand Trade and Enterprise) - has provided funding to NZDIA members to promote their wares at arms fairs overseas. This misuse of public money has been crucial in ensuring the rapid expansion of NZ 'defence' exports - in just five years, from 1996 to 2001, the $ value more than doubled from under $70,000,000 to around $145,000,000.
  • Trade NZ sees:"tremendous potential for future export growth of New Zealand's successful and diverse defence technologies industry" [Trade NZ Press Release, 14 November 2001].

    More recently NZTE enthused: "Opportunities abound for New Zealand companies able to meet US demands for defence and Homeland Security products and services, according to New Zealand Trade and  Enterprise (NZTE) trade development consultant Kathleen Moore." [New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Media Release, 18 October 2004]

  • Industrial Research Ltd (a Crown Research Institute) - gives advice and "close guidance" on testing 'defence' companies products.
  • Industry NZ - "working with the Ministry of Defence to maximise New Zealand content in defence capital purchases."
  • Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of NZ - venue for the 2003, 2004 and 2005 annual get-togethers of the NZDIA. Te Papa is a Crown Entity, the responsible Minister is Helen Clark, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - MFAT officials ...
  • "have urged the government to enter the arms race and make a killing from the war in Afghanistan."

    "Defence spending was already expected to climb before the tragedy of September 11, with the on-going war against terrorism expanding the existing trends." ... "While most defence contracts still go to the big prime contractors, there are opportunities for New Zealand companies to target this sector through partnering with US suppliers to the Pentagon. "The opportunities are not just for weapons - defence is a huge customer for nearly every product - from clothing to IT to consulting services." [From an MFAT Briefing to Helen Clark, quoted in Officials urge Clark to join weapons race, David Fisher, Sunday Star Times, 14 July 2002]

    Every day global military expenditure is equivalent to (US) $ 2,835,616,438.

    Every day, on average, close to thirty thousand children under the age of five die from malnutrition or disease because they do not have access to adequate food, clean water, or basic health care. Thousands more children are maimed, traumatised or killed in armed conflict and war.

    Knowing this, the New Zealand government chooses to promote and support companies that manufacture and export weapons related products.

    Act now to stop this deadly business!

  • Tell the NZ government what you think about their support for companies which profit from bloodshed and war. Ask them why NZ Ministry of Defence contracts are given to companies involved with nuclear weapons production and deployment overseas.
  • Contact: Helen Clark, Prime Minister and Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, email tel (04) 471 9998, fax (04) 473 3579. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, email tel (04) 470 6553 (04) 495 8444. Marian Hobbs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, email tel (04) 470 6566, fax (04) 495 8467. Mark Burton, Minister of Defence, email tel (04) 470 6564, fax (04) 495 8465. Jim Anderton, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Industry and Regional Development, email tel (04) 470 6550, fax (04) 495 8441. Or write to them at Parliament Buildings, Wellington (no stamp needed).

  • Tell Te Papa what you think about 'our place' being the meeting venue for companies involved with conventional and nuclear weapons production. Contact: Dr Seddon Bennington (CEO) and Dr Rod Deane (Board Chairman), Te Papa Tongarewa, PO Box 467, Wellington; email or tel (04) 381-7000, fax (04) 381 7070.
  • It is very helpful for our work if you can send a copy of any letter you write about this topic, and of any replies you receive - fax to (04) 382 8173, post to No WARP! c/o Peace Movement Aotearoa, PO Box 9314, Wellington, or bcc to email
  • Help distribute the new No WARP! leaflet ‘Made in New Zealand: a label to be proud of?’ The leaflet is available online at or paper copies are available on request from NO WARP! - email telling us how many you want, and where to post them to; tel (04) 382 8129 and leave a message with those details; or write to No WARP! c/o Peace Movement Aotearoa, PO Box 9314, Wellington.

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