Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Save The Children Letter To McKinnon

7 September 1999

Hon Don McKinnon
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Parliament Buildings,

Dear Mr McKinnon,

Re: East Timor

I write on behalf of Save the Children New Zealand to register our grave concern at the current inaction by the United Nations in East Timor and to convey the strongest possible encouragement to the New Zealand Government to take a leading role in bringing the current violence to an immediate end.

We urge the New Zealand Government to take positive practical and immediate actions aimed at protecting the innocent civilians in East Timor. We understand Government’s desire to use normal diplomatic approaches first but these will clearly not prevent further bloodshed in the current East Timor situation. New Zealand has a reputation for finding practical solutions to seemingly impossible situations such as we saw in Bougainville. The people of New Zealand are expecting a stronger lead in this issue.

The current violence and slaughter of innocent civilians is quite unacceptable. We must prevent East Timor from becoming another Rwanda or Kosovo where the United Nations were guilty of inadequate action. We note that you and your Australian counterpart has claimed that sending troops would be an act of invasion. We in Save the Children would prefer to think of it as an act of protection.

Our particular interest is innocent Children who will be separated from parents; who will have parents killed, possibly right in front of them, and who will be subjected to the horrors of rampaging militia marauders. Strong positive and immediate action now will limit their trauma and the high cost of community rehabilitation which New Zealand and other countries in the region will be expected to contribute to.

There has been talk that peace keeping is not possible because there is no peace to keep. It seems to us that a multi-national armed force, preferably under UN sponsorship, would ensure that the Indonesian Army is accountable and the activities of the local militia is monitored, thereby reducing violence. It was totally predictable that the militia would create havoc on the streets of East Timor when the vote

announcement came; and that the Indonesian Army, who after all had taken East Timor into Indonesian control 24 years ago, would stand by and watch. The only solution is for foreign troops to be present in East Timor immediately as every day involved in talking provides the local militia with time to continue their mayhem.

We urge you to take immediate steps to initiate a foreign Military presence from New Zealand, Australia, the United states, and other South East Asia Nations with urgency.

Yours sincerely

John Bowis

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels