Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Goff introduces Bill outlawing mercenaries

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

15 October 2003

Goff introduces Bill outlawing mercenaries

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today introduced into Parliament a Bill outlawing mercenary activities.

The Mercenary Activities (Prohibition) Bill will make it an offence to recruit, use, finance or train mercenaries, or to participate in a war or act of violence as a mercenary. The offences will all be punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

Under the Bill, New Zealand nationals could be prosecuted in New Zealand for acts committed overseas. The legislation also ensures greater cooperation with other countries in the investigation and prosecution of mercenary activities.

"The use of mercenaries in armed conflicts is an age-old phenomenon but it is only in recent decades that the international community has tried to curb the practice," Mr Goff said.

"New Zealand has long opposed the use of mercenaries. Our position has been that their involvement in a conflict works against its peaceful resolution. Indeed, their involvement often tends to aggravate the scale of the conflict, as in the Angolan civil war.

“However prior to the creation of the new offences in this Bill, mercenary activities have not previously been punishable here.

"The offences will discourage mercenaries from ever trying to use New Zealand as a base for recruiting and training mercenaries, or from regarding New Zealand as a safe haven.

"It will also send a signal to any New Zealander who might consider becoming a mercenary, or who might consider providing mercenaries for external conflicts, that they risk punishment in New Zealand.''

Mr Goff said the Bill focused on two types of mercenaries – those who participate in wars, and those who participate in concerted acts of violence, including acts designed to destabilise governments.

“The common thread is that the person participation is motivated primarily by profit.”

The Bill implements the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries, which entered into force in 2001. New Zealand will accede to the Convention once the Bill is passed.

"By becoming a party to the convention, New Zealand will demonstrate to the international community that we consider the recruitment and use of mercenaries to be unacceptable as a method of conflict resolution and that we are committed to tackling the issue at the international level."

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election