Kia Ora Peace Friends,
It’s that time of the year again – the Weapons Expo is coming – and we’re gearing up for actions opposing the 500+ weapons dealers who are rolling into New Zealand to sell death, misery and mayhem. Our campaign has been hugely successful so far: the Expo has been driven out of Wellington and forced to relocate to Palmerston North because of the amazing resistance by the community. Now, we want to make sure that all the weapons dealers know they aren’t welcome in Palmy either. So please join the campaign and help us SHUT DOWN THE WEAPONS EXPO FOR GOOD!
What you can do to Stop the Weapons Expo
1. Come to Palmerston North and participate in peace actions (fb event page)
- Auckland Peace Action will be traveling down to Palmerston North to be aucklandpeaceaction. If you would like to travel from Hamilton/Waikato, please email haminoon
2. Help educate people about the Weapons Expo and military spending and encourage them to take action
- The Weapons Expo is an annual meeting of over 500 delegates from some of the world’s largest weapons companies including Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Thales, Sagem and Saab. This year it includes security companies that will be selling surveillance systems. You can read more about in our report Profiting from War.
- The new government has committed billions to new weapons spending. This includes $2.3 billion for new aircraft, $103 million for a new Navy boat and $23 million for a US “command and control” system. This is on top of the other weapons spending bonanza: a different $500 million new Navy boat, $639 million for the frigate upgrades and 9000 new guns (that were supplied with faulty firing pins) that cost another $59 million. The frigate upgrade has gone over-budget by $148 million dollars – our money poured into the coffers of nuclear-weapons maker Lockheed Martin.
3. Amplify our messages on social media
- One of the best ways to grow our collective knowledge and power is to share our material on social media. You can find Auckland Peace Action on Facebook and Twitter.
4. Get in touch with the politicians responsible for this
- Write an email to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Disarmament, the Minister of Defence and your local Member of Parliament and tell them you do not support spending billions of dollars on weapons and war. Ask your friends and family to do the same. See the draft letter below (please change/add to as you see appropriate) & email addresses:
I am fundamentally opposed to the government’s decision to spend billions on new weapons of war, and in the continuing support for the annual Weapons Expo due to take place in Palmerston North from 30 October-1 November 2018.
The decision to buy new aircraft is disturbing. It indicates your willingness to align and embed the NZDF further with the US military. As numerous commentators have indicated, the purchase of these aircraft as configured are not necessary for New Zealand’s own defensive purposes. Instead they are intended to provide support for US military activities in the Pacific, particularly with regard to China.
New Zealand can and should play a role as a non-aligned, neutral and weapons-free peacemaker – in the Pacific and beyond. Instead recent decisions by your government indicate a desire to be part of a warmaking alliance with the US and Australia. This is totally out-of-step with the aspirations of the vast majority of New Zealanders, and contrary to our interests.
On the same note, I am opposed to all government support for the development of a home-grown weapons industry, and the ongoing support of the State Sector for the annual Defence Industry Association. This includes: 1. the participation of the NZDF and Ministry of Defence in the preparation and planning of the annual Weapons Expo 2. the membership of state sector organisations in the Defence Industry Association (including but not limited to Callaghan Innovation and Auckland University Uniservices) 3. Participation by the Minister of Defence in the annual Weapons Expo prizegiving awards for best military contractor 4. The award of research grants to weapons companies.
The global weapons trade profits from war and human misery. The government should be actively working to shut down the arms trade, not provide financial support to it. It is your responsibility to work in the interests of ordinary New Zealanders, not global weapons companies. It is also your responsibility to stand up for peace and justice in international affairs, not support US military expansion in the Pacific and elsewhere.
General Roll – Auckland area Members of Parliament
The peace movement is a movement of action. It requires all of us to take concrete steps to build peace in the world. One way we can do that is to join actions on the front lines against the arms trade. Another way we can do this is to make sure that Members of Parliament know that we are watching what they are doing, and keeping track of who amongst them is really working for peace and who is supporting war. Don’t let murder and misery be committed in your name: stand up against war and war profiteering this year.
Ngā mihi mahana,
Auckland Peace Action