Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Whanganui Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa Successfully Petitions District Council To Call For Ceasefire In Gaza

The Whanganui Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) has today successfully petitioned the Whanganui District Council to become the first regional, district or city council in New Zealand to support an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. The group presented two motions to the council today alongside a petition with over 2,000 signatures from across the Whanganui community – the largest ever received by the council. Also included were signed letters of support from 48 local businesses and organisations.

Organiser/Whanganui PSNA member Sophi Reinholt says “while collecting signatures at our local events we received significant support for action to be taken by our local council. Many people have been distressed by the constant and horrific news and images coming out of Gaza and. frustrated with the lack of international progress.” “We want it on record that Whanganui stood on the right side of history. It’s positive to see today’s decision reflect the attitude of the community”, says Jewish Whanganui resident Mark Russell.

Included in the motion passed by councillors today is a call on the government to also support a permanent and immediate ceasefire in Gaza. “So far, there has been more rhetoric than action”, says Sophi Reinholt. “New Zealand’s joint statement with Australia and Canada calling for a temporary humanitarian pause is outdated and weak.” “We know from New Zealanders’ involvement in global movements across history that our voice matters and makes a difference. New Zealand can and should do more to take a stand against this crisis - silence is not a neutral position.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Today, our council has upheld human rights. Our hope is that this will encourage other councils, organisations and businesses to follow suit and put pressure on the New Zealand government to do what is right.” The final clause of the motion condemns all acts of violence and terror against civilians on all sides. Sophi Reinholt says that while this is an important milestone, there is still more meaningful change that can come from within the District Council.

Whanganui PSNA presented a second motion to the council today to change its procurement policy to align with the UN resolution 2334 which involves the council not contracting with a ‘list of companies identified by the United Nations Human Rights Council as being involved in the building or maintenance of illegal Israeli settlements’. “Boycott and sanctions have always been a powerful tool to apply pressure and end state violence. Backing up calls for a ceasefire with real, economic decisions is a meaningful avenue to spark change. There is also a moral obligation to ensure we are not contributing to the financing of Israel’s war on Gaza”, says Sophi Reinholt.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.