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'Made in New Zealand' - a label to be proud of?


'Made in New Zealand' - a label to be proud of?

Not when the label is on: - grenades - weapons firing control systems - shoot-to-kill training equipment - 'special purpose' munitions - aerial bombing score systems

NZ companies which manufacture and export weapons, weapons components, and shoot-to-kill training equipment are members of the NZ Defence Industries Association. They are having their 5th annual get-together in Wellington today and tomorrow. NZDIA members include:

* Serco Group NZ Ltd, Wellington HQ - their General Manager, Neal Garnett, is Chairman of NZDIA. Serco NZ is part of Serco Group Plc, who together with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd and Lockheed Martin manage Britain's atomic weapons establishments - which make and 'refurbish' nuclear warheads.

* Flexisolutions Ltd, Foxton Beach - 'Jungle Sweeper' Combat Grenades and 40mm Practice Rifle Grenades; made in the garage of backyard bombmaker Bill Sharplin, former life insurance salesman.

* Marine Air Systems, Lower Hutt - manufactures weapons firing control systems, the Bullseye aerial bombing scoring system, and more.

* Oscmar International Ltd, Auckland HQ - 'realistic' shoot-to-kill laser training equipment, infantry weapons effects simulators, and shoulder launched anti-tank weapon simulators; believed to have sold 9,000 combat simulator sets to the Indonesian armed forces.

* Safe Air Limited, Woodbourne - military contracts and components supply; infamous for their work on Indonesian war planes as Indonesia's occupation of East Timor ended in bloodshed and flames in 1999.

* Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd, Hamilton - chasing a contract to supply up to fifty CT4 air trainers to the Israeli air force.

* Ordnance Development Limited, Wanganui - special purpose ammunition, training ammunition, and Anti Material ammunition.

* Babcock New Zealand Limited, Devonport naval base - part of the Babcock International Group which manages Britain's nuclear submarine bases in Scotland, including Faslane, the 'Trident' submarine base. Each 'Trident' submarine is armed with 48 independently-targeted nuclear warheads.

NZDIA member companies are promoted and supported by the NZ government - "There is tremendous potential for future export growth of New Zealand's successful and diverse defence technologies industry" (Tradenz press release, 14 Nov 2001). NZ government involvement includes:

* Trade NZ - provides funding to NZDIA members to promote their wares at arms fairs overseas. This misuse of public money has been crucial in ensuring the rapid expansion of NZ 'defence' exports - in just five years, 1996 to 2001, the $ value more than doubled from under $70,000,000 to around $145,000,000.

* Industrial Research Ltd (a Crown Research Institute) - gives advice and "close guidance" on testing 'defence' companies products.

* Industry NZ - "working with the Ministry of Defence to maximise New Zealand content in defence capital purchases."

* Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of NZ - venue for 'Innovation and Excellence for a Sustainable Defence Industry', the 5th annual get together of the NZDIA. Te Papa is a Crown Entity, the responsible Minister is Helen Clark, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

"Mum, look! there's blood dripping from that thumb print"

"yes dear, that's what happens when the people who profit from bloodshed and death come to your place"

(see the new look thumb print at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nowarp.htm)

* Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - MFAT officials "have urged the government to enter the arms race and make a killing from the war in Afghanistan." From an MFAT Briefing to Helen Clark: "Defence spending was already expected to climb before the tragedy of September 11, with the on-going war against terrorism expanding the existing trends." "While most defence contracts still go to the big prime contractors, there are opportunities for New Zealand companies to target this sector through partnering with US suppliers to the Pentagon. "The opportunities are not just for weapons - defence is a huge customer for nearly every product - from clothing to IT to consulting services." 'Officials urge Clark to join weapons race', David Fisher, Sunday Star Times, 14 July 2002.

Every day, close to thirty one and a half thousand children under the age of five die from disease and malnutrition because of lack of access to clean water, food or basic health care. It is estimated by UNICEF that every day two thousand children are maimed or killed in armed conflict; and countless thousands more are traumatised by war.

Every day, average global military expenditure is $5,300,000,000. When armed conflict escalates, so does spending on weapons.

Knowing this, the New Zealand government chooses to promote and support companies who manufacture and export weapons and related products.

*** Act now to stop this deadly business! ***

* If you are in Wellington, join the protests - 5pm to 6pm, Tuesday and Wednesday (1 and 2 October), Te Papa forecourt.

* Tell the NZ government what you think about public money being used to fund people who make money out of death and destruction.

Ask them why NZ Ministry of Defence contracts are given to companies involved with nuclear weapons production and deployment overseas.

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