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PMA newsletter - September -October 1998
News from the office
Things to do, news and views
Third frigate - not scuppered yet?
Do we need a navy?
Do we need an airforce?
Do we need an army?
Do we need armed forces?
APEC - something else we don't need
Arms Act Amendment?
News from groups
Stop Press - Attack on Iraq?
A Defence Force? - the alternative guide for schools
What's on where
Once again this Newsletter comes with apologies for the delay in its appearance, this time due to circumstances beyond our control as our office was broken into several weeks ago for the second time this year. It was a tad tiresome having to dust all that fingerprint powder away again; but one has to look on the bright side - our popularity with thieves at least seems to give the police some entertainment.
There has not been much of a bright side to international events since the last Newsletter; there have been several appalling natural disasters, while man-made disasters in the field of international politics proliferated.
The government of the United States had the gall to condemn India and Pakistan for their nuclear weapons tests, then exploded their own; they launched cruise missiles at alleged terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, while condemning international terrorism; they continue to be instrumental in maintaining the economic sanctions which are killing the people of Iraq in the name of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction - but do not appear even vaguely interested in getting rid of their own weapons of mass destruction. And we have politicians from National, Labour and ACT advocating closer military links with the US ? Spare us !
Meanwhile the latest moves in a truly startling example of a conflict that need not have happened, if there had been a genuine commitment to preventing it, had NATO governments threatening to bomb Belgrade unless the Serbian government stopped its attacks on the Kosovars. Do they really think this will provide a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict?
Now the OCSE (Organisation for Co-operation and Security in Europe) will deploy
2000 peace monitors to Kosova to try and create a safe environment for the people there; yet in 1992 when there was a chance to prevent the tragedies of the intervening years, only 3 monitors were sent there for six weeks.
from Peace News, Nov. 1998. Used with permission.
Keeping us from total despair as we follow the news of these and other atrocities and hypocrisies is the support we receive from you all in the form of cheerful messages and letters, donations, and news - thank you; thanks as well to Sankar, Joe, Chitra, Sam, Lillian and Bhamini. Special thanks to our web-weaver Catherine who is often found slaving away at very strange hours in the night !
the internet gateway to national and local peace groups
PMA has registered the domain name peace.org.nz so that it can be used as the gateway to the websites of all peace groups in Aotearoa / New Zealand. If you would like a link through to your site, and you have not already heard from us about this, please get in touch so we can add you to the consultation round on how this is going to be done.
get on the internet with PMA
If your group does not have a website of its own, we can offer you a free page on ours ! Your page could have your group name, logo, contact details, a description of your activities, in font and colour/s of your choice - it's up to you what you put on it. Contact PMA to arrange this.
The latest act in Frigate Follies III (the never ending pantomime production) has left us rather confused. Will they or won't they? Next time a decision is made about the purchase of a third, or even fourth, frigate will it be the final decision - or will it continue to be re-visited every couple of months ?
Certainly the latest statement from Jenny Shipley does not cast much light on the matter ... "I assure you no new money will be spent in this area because there are much greater priorities and pressures on New Zealand at this time." (Dominion , 31-10-98). What exactly does this mean ? That the third frigate will be paid for in grubby fivers sent to Tenix in a brown paper bag ?
And Max Bradford's answers to our parliamentary questions regarding the purchase provide even less illumination :
Q - When will the final decision be made ?
"A final decision on whether to purchase a third frigate has not yet been made. The Ministry of Defence is still evaluating the offer made by Tenix Defence Systems." (PQ 10618, 05-10-98);
Q - What is the anticipated purchase price ?
"The Ministry of Defence has not yet completed its evaluation of the offer made by Tenix Defence Systems to enable it to establish a purchase price. This price will also include weaponry and other items that will not be sourced from Tenix Defence Systems and other project management costs." (PQ 10619, 05-10-98);
Q - What will be the additional cost of bringing the proposed third frigate up to fully commissioned status ?
"The costs are unknown at this stage. The configuration of the proposed third frigate is still under discussion, and the negotiations are still underway to ascertain the costs of the additional training, support and logistic requirements which will enable any proposed third frigate to meet a fully commissioned status." (PQ 10620, 05-10-98).
Bradford's answers to our questions on the F16s purchase were even less infomative ! Well, what can we say ? He sure doesn't seem to know very much - should he really be in charge of the Monstrosity of Defence ?
So where does all this mystery leave us ? Jenny Shipley has now stated that 'defence decisions' will be made by the end of November. So if you find these and other re-armament plans unwelcome, offensive and/or distressing, there is still time to make your views known to the government.
Let's look again at the arguments being put forward by the supporters of a third (if not fourth) new frigate. Most of the arguments being bandied about are in fact arguments justifying the existence of the NZ Navy - there seem to be only two which are specific to this purchase :
it's important for jobs ?
Only in the short term - construction of ANZAC class frigates is nearing an end. The Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union has looked into what would support our shipbuilding and repair industry on a long term basis - and a third frigate is not one of the options.
The two most important things the government could do in this area would be to give credit guarantees to those in the industry looking to work in the export market; and to change the current open coastal shipping policy. In (for example) the US, cargo shipped between US ports must be carried on US built ships and have US crew.
Interestingly, when these views were put to David Carter (MP for Lyttleton) he said that if the NZ ship construction industry cannot survive and flourish without government assistance, then it does not deserve to survive. Tell that to Tenix !
Why should the defence industry alone be protected ? We have a government absolutely insistent that tariffs must be reduced, there will be no protectionism, free trade will reign victorious and all that - regardless of the effects of that insistence on employment prospects, yet the jobs argument is being used to support the purchase of a third frigate ? What an insult to the 20,000 people expected to have lost their jobs by mid-1999 in the car and associated manufacturing industries as a result of the tariff reductions.
it's a bargain basement price ?
Well, we don't know the price so we can't make a judgment on that, can we ? There have been rumours that the basic purchase cost may be $350 million (as opposed to the $575 million each for the other two).
This argument seems to be the one the government is most sensitive about (see Shipley's comments in previous column), and quite rightly so given the state of, for example, the health services - with people dying for want of comparatively minor health care as they await their turn to move up the waiting lists.
However, this is also the reason why the dollar cost is not always a good argument to use - it can so easily be undermined by the defence industry merely reducing the price, as may be happening here.
Which leads us to the other 'reasons' for the purchase which are based on public perception or defence officials' beliefs about why we need a navy, rather than why we need a third / fourth frigate.
Do we need a navy ?
to defend us against attack ?
Vice Admiral Somerford Teagle (Ret'd), hired by the defence industry to tour the country to campaign for a third frigate, said in his seminar in Wellington - "Put simply, there is no direct threat to NZ itself, and it is difficult to see how one might emerge. Only the United States has the capacity to mount an operation against such a distant and isolated target and it is difficult to determine a motive for them doing so." (Copies of his speech are available from PMA).
So quite clearly we don't need a navy to protect us from attack.
for fisheries protection / to protect our economic exclusion zone ?
Since 1989 the only occasion on ... "which any frigate has been assigned the task of investigating suspected infringements of New Zealand's exclusive economic zone was in May 1994, when HMNZS Southland participated in a successful interdepartmental operation to apprehend paua-poachers in Foveaux Strait" (Paul East, PQ 10822, 24-06-97). Clearly the navy does not do this often.
Further, even in Somerford Teagle's opinion the protection of the EEZ is not enough to ... "scarcely justify the maintenance of combat capable forces of any arm - land, sea or air".
So we don't need a navy for fisheries or EEZ protection; we may need a professional coast guard for these duties, but that is a different discussion.
for search and rescue / disaster relief ?
From memory, the only time the navy has been used for search and rescue in recent years was in 1996 during the ill-fated yacht race in the South Pacific. The government of the time sent the Monowai though - not a frigate. Proof perhaps that warships are not the ideal vessels for this role ? Indeed, it is merchant shipping which is overwhelmingly involved in rescues at sea, on a day to day basis around the world.
There is no evidence to suggest that warships are the best vessels for disaster relief either. As with fisheries / EEZ protection, we do not need a navy for either of these roles; a professional coast guard or other civilian sea-going outfit could readily do these duties.
to defend our trade routes / against pirates ?
Teagle's arguments for this go something like - we need to be capable of defending our trade routes because the majority of our exports are transported by sea, and there is a remote possibility that sometime in the future NZ ships venturing forth may be subject to the activities of pirates.
Well, we have looked into this one and suspect the last time the navy defended our trade routes was probably 1945. The days of gunboats blasting their way through to open new markets or allow trade goods to be delivered may survive in the navy's fantasies, but are in reality long gone. Indeed, in recent years the navy has been far more likely to be involved in blockading our trade routes (as in the Gulf) to gain favour with the US or British governments.
We have yet to find an example of NZ shipping being defended from pirates by the navy. There are three NZ registered merchant ships which leave NZ waters delivering goods, they travel to Australia and back - we are not at all convinced there is a piracy threat to these ships. Do we really need a navy to protect three ships ?
to contribute to regional and global security ?
This really comes down your definition of security - if you believe that security is what is fired from a gun or a missile launcher, and that the global world order is best maintained by supporting and contributing to US economic and nuclear colonialism, then you could justify the navy.
However, there are wider definitions of security involving such things as clean water, ample supplies of food, education, health care, assistance in the case of disaster, just social / economic / political systems, the prevention of war and the resolution of disputes by peaceful means - and for none of these things do we need a navy. Indeed the existence of a navy (and the other armed forces), the militaristic way of thinking that justifies that existence, and their consumption of resources (human and financial) goes some way towards preventing this type of security.
for peacekeeping ?
Peacekeeping at the barrel of a gun ? Time for some new thinking here ! There is absolutely no reason why NZ needs a navy to make a positive meaningful contribution on the regional or global level to conflict prevention and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
A civilian, unarmed conflict prevention / peacekeeping force would conceivably be cheaper, more effective, and enhance our reputation internationally in the long term rather more than having two/three/ four frigates and other assorted naval vessels trailing (or in the case of the Charles Upham, wallowing) along in the wake of the US, British and / or Australian navies !
Contact lists - we have a put together a very handy list of Cabinet Ministers, Ministers outside Cabinet, and assorted miscellaneous MPs, as well as the nationally distributed newspapers, for you to use in making your views about the third frigate / navy known - available from PMA.
However, there has been no reason given as to why we need to replace the Skyhawks. And of course, that leads questioning minds such as ours to wonder ...
Warplanes, on the other hand, are specific to the airforce; they have one purpose which is to attack, destroy, maim and kill. Seems to us there is enough of that in the world without NZ adding to it. In any event, the Skyhawks (thankfully) have not been used in a combat role in their 25 year deployment. What they do is ... exercise, most commonly in Australia where a Skyhawk squadron is permanently based. We need an airforce to waste huge amounts of fuel practising with the Australian defence forces ? We think not.
Surveillance aircraft are sometimes used for socially useful duties such as keeping an eye out for incursions into the EEZ, or assisting in pinpointing the position of lost and troubled mariners. However, these roles can readily (and more cheaply) be done by civilian planes and pilots, as in many other countries - there is absolutely no reason why we need an airforce for that.
Which brings us to the other bit of the defence forces - if you take into account the points previously made about peacekeeping, disaster relief and so on in the 'Do we need a navy' section, then it is readily apparent that with the exception of maiming and killing, there is nothing that could be done by the army which could not ... you guessed it ... be done just as well and more cheaply by civilian organisations.
The latest round of newspaper advertisements aimed at luring kids into the military states "ARM ME WITH A TRAINING THAT'S SECOND TO NONE" - a sad indictment on our society that the 'best' trade training for youngsters is in the armed forces, they have to learn to kill and destroy or they can't learn a trade.
It seems not. We have taken note of Jenny Shipley's oft repeated statement that we need to look realistically at what we as a nation can afford (in her case, usually in reference to why the health or education services can't have more funding).
Well, we have looked realistically at the various branches of the armed forces and found that we cannot as a nation afford the $5.45 million that they cost us each day.
We cannot afford as a nation to have our young people forced to undergo military training just so they can learn a trade and/or get a university degree (see previous PMA newsletter for details of that particular ploy).
We cannot afford as a nation to subsidise defence manufacturers, especially while we simultaneously pursue policies which are destroying the shipping industry, the car assembly and component manufacturing industries, the clothing and footwear manufacturing industries ...
We cannot afford as a nation to continue with the armed forces as they essentially comprise the most overpriced job creation scheme in our history, this distorts and provides an unrealistic picture of unemployment. The armed forces are involved in unproductive work and this is a drain on the economy.
We cannot afford them, we do not need them and we do not want them.
Along with 'free trade', 'liberalisation' and all those other funny phrases which end up with 'the economy' being considered far more important than the people, APEC is in part responsible for the tariff reduction policies which are creating so much unemployment and despair.
However, as we go to press, it seems not all share the NZ government's enthusiasm for such things, the Japanese government has ... "decided to pull out of its APEC commitments to cut tariffs on fish and forestry products after strong pressure from domestic agriculture groups" (Dominion, 04-11-98). This report also says ... "such a stance could doom the APEC leaders' summit to failure" - go for it !
To get your copy of the two excellent briefing papers on APEC, Fact Sheet 1 'What is APEC?' and Fact Sheet 2 'Workers, jobs and tariffs', or for more information or details of local groups working against APEC, contact Aotearoa/NZ APEC Monitoring Group, Box 1905, Christchurch, tel (03) 366 2803, fax (03) 366 8035, firstname.lastname@example.org
The government is looking into amending 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. Apparently President Clinton may not attend if he cannot be protected by gun-toting Americans - his entourage is expected to be about 1200 persons, will they all be armed one wonders ?
There is no precedent for this amendment - guns were banned at the Commonwealth HoG meeting in Auckland in 1995.
We have 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 ? If you are opposed to this amendment of the Arms Act, why don't you write to the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and tell them so, stamp-free to Parliament Buildings, Wellington.
news from groups ...
Youth Peace Network Aotearoa
We are pleased to announce, due to popular demand, the formation of Youth Peace Network Aotearoa. We will bring you further details of the work of the Network in the next Newsletter, as well as introducing the co-ordinators to you. As the people in the Network will be deciding their own priorities and ways of working, please let us know if you are interested in joining YPNA so we can put you in touch with the others and you have your say right from the start !
1999 - National Youth Peace Year ?The formation of the Network is very timely as 1999 is looking increasingly like the National Youth Peace Year if the following planned events are anything to go by :
6 March - the Riverside Music Festival Promoting Peace (see 'national' listings for more details);
late March - the Peace Foundation's Creating Positive Futures initiative will culminate in a gathering in Auckland. Creating Positive Futures is an invitation to school students around the country to set their minds and hearts to the task of creating positive and peaceful futures, and creating a presentation which represents their vision.
The presentations will be sent to the Peacebank which will help shape a peaceful environment for the gathering. For more details contact the Peace Foundation, tel (09) 373 2379, fax (09) 379 2688;
11 to 16 May - the Hague Appeal for Peace NGO conference in Europe - it is hoped that there will be youth representatives from Aotearoa at the conference, the Creating Positive Futures project will feed into the HAP; and in turn the HAP will feed into ...
4 to 7 June - the National Peace Workshops focussing on peace education and youth, to be held at Riverside Community. More details in the next PMA Newsletter.
Waiwhetu-Lower Hutt Peace Group - have been writing the most extraordinary amounts of letters on a wide variety of peace issues; and organised the annual Vigil to Free Mordechai Vanunu outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington.
Their reputation for excellent speakers was upheld at their most recent meeting when Rosslyn Noonan (now based in Brussels) spoke of her work for Education International - the international trade union organisation working on human rights and education issues around the world. Her focus was on child labour and the Draft Convention against the Worst Forms of Child Labour. We will be bringing you more detail on this early next year, when pressure will be required to get the NZ government to support the Convention at the ILO.
Network Waitangi Wellington - ran two workshops on Independence Day (28 October) on constitutional change for groups and government. They continue to hold training workshops on the Treaty and bi-cultural awareness. Contact Anne (04) 472 6425.
ISMAG (Iraq Sanctions Medical Alert Group) presented evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on the appalling effects of the economic sanctions on the health of the people of Iraq. They felt that the response from the MPs on the committee was very positive. However, as those of you who have had communications from the NZ government on the matter of lifting the sanctions will know, they do not appear capable of developing a position independent of that of the US government. Further, there have been statements emanating from that government of late that the sanctions will not be lifted until Saddam Hussein has been removed from power - moving the goalposts or what ?
STOP PRESS - ATTACK ON IRAQ ?
The government of Iraq's decision to no longer co-operate with UNSCOM operations unless the economic sanctions are reconsidered may, we hope, be resolved by diplomatic means. However, according to reports received last week, the US Secretary of State is again trying to drum up support from European governments for a military attack against the people of Iraq, so we are recirculating the 'what to do if the bombing starts' arrangements.
Confirmed emergency arrangements are listed below - if you are in a town or city not mentioned, and would like to join this protest, please send PMA the details of your arrangements as soon as possible.
On the day of an attack : AUCKLAND - meet at 4-30pm outside the US consulate (cnr Shortland Street); GISBORNE - meet at 5pm outside the Army Hall (cnr. Fitzherbert & Stout St), vigil every day at 5pm during the attack; WELLINGTON - meet at 5pm by the Cenotaph, vigil there every day at 5pm for the duration of the attack; TAKAKA - meet at 5pm at the Village Green; DUNEDIN - meet at 5-30pm, at the lower Octagon.
Bring your own banner, poster, candles - whatever you need to state your opposition to the bloodshed.
Written by Llyn Richards, Rob Green and Richard Northey, A Defence Force? is the alternative guide to using the Ministry of Defence's Why a Defence Force kitset which was issued free to all secondary schools last year. Get your co from PMA, it is $6 (includes p&p) - please make your cheque payable to 'Hand-in-Hand Press'.
The cost of producing the copies of the booklet which were given to all secondary schools for inclusion in the kitset has been met by the National Consultative Committee on Disarmament, WILPF, PMA and the Peace Foundation. Donations towards the cost would be gratefully received, please send to NCCD, 22 Mahoe Street, Lower Hutt.
Are you planning on going to the 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace conference in Europe?
Then PMA and the Peace Foundation would like to hear from you ! We are hoping to co-ordinate discussion between those who are attending and those who cannot, so that a representative viewpoint of peace people's concerns here can be taken to the conference.
If you would like more details about the conference, registration forms or to let us know that you are planning on going please contact Edwina at PMA tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173; or Marion Hancock at the Peace Foundation tel (09) 373 2379, fax (09) 379 2688.
Having just registered the revised constitution with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies, we have been informed by Inland Revenue that other revisions are required for PMA to have charitable status.
These revisions only apply to the wind-up and distribution of surplus asset clauses, they do not alter the fundamentals. If you wish to be consulted about these revisions, you must contact the PMA office as soon as possible. Otherwise, the Working Group (acting in accordance with the procedure decided at the Special General Meeting, 13 December 1997) will implement the required revisions with no further notice.
Wellington peace people !
From Des Brough (Peace Council), Peace Forum finished broadcasting in September. Thanks to all last contributors for their support.
Any peace groups wishing to continue programme making can do so through Peace Report, contact Des tel/fax (04) 388 3173. Any groups wishing to make their own programme should contact Access Radio, tel (04) 385 7210.
20 Nov - West Coast Beech Management plans - the submission date has been extended from 6 Nov so you have additional time to get yours in ! The issue here is the logging of native forests on the West Coast and the wicked plans of Timberlands to extend this to include beech. Native Forest Action have a one pager on this which has an excellent summary of points you could make in your submission - to get it, or for more information, contact NFA, PO Box 836, Nelson. Tel (03) 545 6040, <email@example.com> or check out http://www.converge.
Human Rights Amendment Bill- as we write, we are not sure if the Bill has had or survived its second reading in parliament. This amendment will permanently exempt the government from having to adhere to the provision of the Human Rights Act.
If it does go to Select Committee stage, then we will let you know the closing date for submissions. We have a detailed alert on the Bill, contact PMA if you would like a co .
Oct 1998 to Sept 1999 - United Nations Year of Older Persons. This is a year to focus on, acknowledge and respect the contribution older people have made, and continue to make, to every society. The NZ government, as a further demonstration of their spirit of generosity towards those who are less well off and able, chose to mark the start of this UN year with a reduction in state pensions. This was part of their Policies for Progress (to poverty) package.
12 Nov - anniversary of the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor , confirmed details to hand are those for DUNEDIN - lunchtime concert for East Timor, in the Octagon, entertainment and Mayor Sukhi Turner. Contact Corso for more info, tel (03) 477 3395, <firstname.lastname@example.org>. CHRISTCHURCH - public meeting, 7-30pm at Corso building, 206 Barbadoes St, with speakers from East Timor Independence Campaign Otautahi, refreshments provided.
For other events please contact your local East Timor Action Group.
20 Nov - Universal Children's Day
25 Nov - International Day of Action to End Violence against Women, followed by the 16 Days of Action through to 10 Dec, Human Rights Day.
27 Nov - International Buy Nothing Day - confirmed details are WELLINGTON , planning meeting, 6pm at Peace and Environment Centre, 126 Vivian Street. For other details / plans etc contact Stu, also if you want to plan something and wish more info about the day, <email@example.com>
1 Dec - Prisoners for Peace Day
10 Dec - Human Rights Day
12-17 Dec - 'Te Ohonga Ake - The Awakening' 5th World Indigenous Youth conference, at Waitangi. For more info please contact the Conference Management Committee, Box 10 207, Te Mai, Whangarei. Tel (09) 430 2207, fax (09) 430 2209, <internal firstname.lastname@example.org <http://www.wiyc.org.nz>
Noam Chomsky - on tour now !
As we write this, Noam's speaking tour is underway. By the time you get it, the following dates will be all that remain ... full tour details were emailed out well in advance, and we have had more than 200 phone calls about this visit, the man is very popular !
Tuesday 10 Nov - WELLINGTON - 7:30pm, at State Opera House, Manners Street, 'Whose World Order: Conflicting Visions'. Entry by donation - $5-$10 or more if you can afford it. No advance bookings. Contact Michael Pringle, tel (04) 938 5734 <email@example.com
Wednesday 11 Nov - CHRISTCHURCH - noon, at Canterbury University. Contact Jim Tully, School of Journalism. We understand this is fully booked.
Wednesday 11 Nov - AUCKLAND - Media Peace Awards, 8:00pm at Dorothy Winstone Theatre, Auckland Girls Grammar. Keynote speaker is Noam Chomsky. Tickets now sold out. For more info contact the Peace Foundation, tel (09) 373 2379, fax (09) 379 2688, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Media coverage : 9 Nov - TV3 John Campbell slot, TV1 Holmes Show; edited version of Wellington speak will be broadcast on National Radio, 3pm on Sat 14 Nov.
13-15 Nov - ABC Outing to Blenheim , Anti-Bases Campaign people will be in Blenheim to present the signed petitions calling for the GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) to be abolished. On 15 November they will be running public guided tours from Blenheim to Waihopai so tourists and concerned travellers can admire the scenic beauty of the area - marred only by the gleaming nasty golfballs.
For more information please contact : Murray Horton, tel / fax (03) 366 3988, <email@example.com> or write to ABC, PO Box 2258, Christchurch.
13-14 Nov - Hidden Poverty in NZ the Fourth National Foodbank Conference at Connolly Hall, Guildford Tce, off Hill St, Wellington.
Workshops include : Hidden Poverty and Foodbanks, Hidden Poverty and the Elderly, Hidden Poverty and Young Families, Hidden Poverty and Health, Hidden Poverty and Education, The 'For Profit' Poverty Industry, Declining Disposable Incomes, Political Party Responses on How They Would Eradicate Poverty in NZ.
$15 per day (cheques payable to 'National Food Bank Conference'). Billets available, and also some assistance with travel. For further information, or to register, contact: Downtown Community Ministry, P O Box 6133, Wellington. Tel (04) 384 7699, fax (04) 384 7688.
25 Nov - Walk for Tibet - from Hamilton, reaching Wellington on 10 Dec, to raise awareness of the situation in Chinese occupied Tibet. For more information or to offer support, please contact Students for a Free Tibet (NZ), P.O. Box 4366, Kamo. <http://www.igrin.co.nz/
~sfft/> Co-ordinator is Jean-Luc, tel 07 843 4458. Cheques should be made out to SFT(NZ).
11-17 Dec - A Live-in Theological Experience , ecumenical event organised by the Student Christian Movement and others for young people. Contact Ken Booth, College House Institute of Theology, 30 Church Lane, Christchurch 8001. Tel (03) 355 9145, fax (03) 355 6140, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
13-17 January 1999 - Heart Politics Summer gathering , at Tauhara Centre, Taupo. For more info on the programme contact Mark Skelding, Heart Politics, PO Box 60-236, Titirangi, Auckland. Tel (09) 817 7394.
13 Feb 1999 - The global society: issues and challenges for New Zealand , Massey University at Albany. This symposium will provide a forum for the discussion of economic, social and political issues and challenges that NZ faces as we move into the 21st century.
For more info contact the convener Dr Anne de Bruin, Department of Commerce, Massey University - Albany Campus, Private Bag 102904, North Shore Mail Centre, Auckland, tel (09) 4439633, fax (09) 4439732 <A.M.DeBruin@massey.ac.nz>
6 March 1999 - the Riverside Music Festival Promoting Peace , from 12 noon until 8pm. The festival will feature local performers - bands, soloists, actors, poets and more - games, food and craft stalls.
We are inviting any peace groups interested to bring along or send any information or other material on current peace issues; and we are looking for interested people, groups, or performers or who feel they have something to offer to become involved. For more information please contact : Jessie Francis, Riverside Community, RD2 Upper Moutere, Nelson.
28 Nov - Top of the South regional peace group meeting , 10am for a cuppa, 10-30am start at Riverside Community, RD2 Upper Moutere, Nelson.
Wellington / Whanga Nui a Tara
12 Nov - Safe Food Campaign , 7pm, AGM, Mezzanine Floor, Wgtn Public Library. 7-30pm, Eat your Genes - public meeting on genetic engineering and other safe food topics, speakers include Sue Kedgley, Philida Bunkle, Rachel Mackay and Sue Dibb.
Auckland / Tamaki Makaurau
15 Nov - WILPF Tamaki Makaurau Breakfas t, 9am at 5 Seymour Street, Ponsonby, to fundraise and share stories about the Hikoi of Hope.
23 Nov - Anti-racism / Treaty workers meeting , 7pm at 5 Seymour Street, Ponsonby.
25 Nov - Movement for Alternatives to Prison AGM, 7pm at Ferndale House, New North Road, Mt Albert.