Is there a Conflict of Interest Regarding Weapons Industry?
Tuesday 29 November
Press Release: People for Peace
Does PM John Key have a Conflict of Interest Regarding the Weapons Industry?
Lockheed Martin, the corporation that was the chief sponsor of the 2016 NZ Defence Association Forum weapons conference held in Auckland on 16-17 November, is the world’s largest weapons producer.
It produces and maintains a wide variety of conventional weapons around the world, as well as nuclear weapons for both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Lockheed Martin is responsible for the construction of the Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles for the US Ohio-class submarines and the British Vanguard-class submarines.
Other ‘products’ include the Black Hawk helicopter, the F-16 and the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.
For New Zealand to be allowing this corporation to be active in our nuclear free country is undoubtedly inappropriate and yet not only does Lockheed Martin have influence selling weapons here, it also employs over 200 people in this country in its delivery of transformational logistics to the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police. It is Lockheed Martin Canada who have the contract to refurbish the NZ Navy’s frigates Te Mana and Te Kaha, which will give them 10 more years of life, and which is already over $100 million over budget.
The Bank Of America Corp recently increased its holding in Lockheed Martin Corp by US $2.20 Billion citing aging equipment and global threats as a boon for Lockheed Martin’s outlook.
“Prime Minister John Key is known to have shares in the Bank of America.
“Is our Prime Minister indirectly profiting from the manufacture of nuclear weapons that the majority of the world’s countries would like to see made illegal’ questions Lisa Er, spokesperson for People for Peace.
“The United Nations recently adopted a resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. New Zealand and 123 nations voted in favour of the resolution. It would then be inappropriate to have our Prime Minister profiting from the manufacture of such weapons, via his investments,” she said.
People for Peace would like to see the mainstream media question the shares the Prime Minister has in The Bank of America, and question whether he has a conflict of interest by allowing Lockheed Martin to operate in this country, if John Key is profiting from it through his Bank of America shares.
Anti – corruption campaigner, Penny Bright, says “If, arguably, our NZ Prime Minister is personally profiting from war and the weapons industry, we should be demanding an urgent inquiry into this alleged 'conflict of interest.”
“This also raises an allied question - should New Zealand MPs, particularly Ministers, be allowed to own shares in any companies, from which there may be, or may perceived to be, alleged 'conflicts of interest'?” she said.