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Peace Action Wellington: War mongers at Te Papa

Media Release: War mongers at Te Papa
From: Peace Action Wellington
Date: Friday, April 22

The NZDF activities on Te Papa's forecourt on Sunday from 11-1pm will be met with peace actions aimed at educating and informing parents as to the reality of a career in the military.

Te Papa, the nation's museum is hosting 'military week' this week. 'The activities planned target children in what appears to be a concerted recruitment drive by the NZDF' said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington. Advertisements read: 'learn how soldiers go on reconnaissance to gather military information and identify distant targets' and then go on to read, 'Have you got what it takes?'

Many in the NZDF do have 'what it takes.' The SAS (Special Air Service) was deployed to Afghanistan to conduct secret missions potentially involving civilian deaths. The Prime Minister said they were involved in Afghanistan to conduct raids, ambushes, direct assaults, attacks from the air, ground and sea, guide ‘precision weaponry’, conduct independent sabotage and ‘anti-ship’ operations.

The NZDF is keen to bolster its numbers. Its 2004 financial review tabled to the Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade select committee says that ‘The popular perception of the armed forces is of concern and recruiters are looking at ways to improve their image.’ Refusing to serve in illegal invasions of other countries would be the first step to improving their image. They can also stop recruiting six-year olds.

According to the UN, 6 million children were injured in the last decade due to war. It is therefore terribly obscene to be promoting war as holiday entertainment' for children.

Members of the public are invited to join Peace Action's opposition to New Zealand's involvement in the US occupation of Afghanistan.


Note: The 2003/04 Financial Review of the New Zealand Defence Force and Ministry of Defence is available at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Content/SelectCommitteeReports/fdfrdefence04.pdf

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