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


Peace Groups Call On Prime Minister To Withdraw From RIMPAC

Today, dozens of peace groups, academics and human rights campaigners are calling on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to withdraw from RIMPAC, the world’s largest, US-led military exercise due to begin in June. 

The text of the letter and signatories follow:

Tēnā koe Prime Minister,

We are writing to urge New Zealand's withdrawal of participation and support of RIMPAC, the world’s largest, US-led military exercise due to begin in June.

RIMPAC includes over 26,000 troops from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam. Prior to the global spread of Covid-19, New Zealand had planned to send in excess of 300 troops.

Given the global Covid-19 pandemic, it is irresponsible to send New Zealand soldiers to interact with local communities in Hawai’i and to interact with soldiers from dozens of other nations. There is every probability that soldiers will transmit the virus, exacerbating the spread and imposing heavy tolls on vulnerable communities.

At present the nuclear-powered US Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is evacuating 2700 troops, due to Covid-19 infections, onto the island of Guam, where soldiers will be housed in hotels or other private facilities putting further strain on the community where there have already been three deaths from Covid-19. On Thursday, two sailors assigned to separate San Diego-based military vessels tested positive for the disease. This is just a prelude to the spread of Covid-19 within armed forces across the globe.

As important as the Covid-19 issue is to RIMPAC this year, it is not the only reason why New Zealand should not be there. RIMPAC is primarily intended to cement US military domination of the Pacific. As a participant, New Zealand is contributing to this military showcase of imperial violence and ecological destruction in places such as Hawai’i and Guam.

We know the threats brought by militarisation are many, one being the increase in sex trafficking of indigenous children in Hawai'i. It is just one of the aspects of RIMPAC that repeats the reckless spread of disease used to erase indigenous communities by military voyages in the Pacific over generations.

The New Zealand public never agreed to be a part of the US-led alliance, and our values stand at odds with the abuse of our Pacific neighbours caused by RIMPAC. In 2018, RIMPAC used humanitarian aid and disaster relief to cloak these exercises in a veil of legitimacy. This language seeks to obscure the very real death and destruction caused by these same militaries across the globe.

In light of the appeal from the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, endorsed by the Pope, for a global ceasefire and to instead focus on combating Covid-19, it is especially inappropriate for the NZDF to participate in such extravagant war preparations as RIMPAC 2020.

New Zealand has the chance now to be a global partner and a model for other countries by choosing not to participate. New Zealand should completely withdraw from RIMPAC, this year and every year.

We look forward to your confirmation that New Zealand will not be participating in RIMPAC 2020.

Thank you.

Ngā mihi mahana,

Valerie Morse
John Anderson 
for Peace Action Wellington

Eliana Darroch
Sam Vincent
for Auckland Peace Action

Roger Fowler QSM
Chair, Mangere East Community Centre

Dr. Emalani Case
Lecturer in Pacific Studies 
Victoria University of Wellington

Helena Cook
Programme Director
Pasifika Pathways
Victoria University of Wellington

Te Ara Whatu

Dr Lorena Gibson
Senior Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology
Victoria University of Wellington

Teanau Tuiono
TeAo Pritchard
Co-founders, Pacific Panthers

Alice Te Punga Somerville
Assoc Professor, Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Studies
University of Waikato

Ocean Mercier
Assoc. Prof. Māori Studies
Victoria University of Wellington

Jenny Taotua
Senior Pasifika Transition Adviser
Victoria University of Wellington

Dr. April K. Henderson
Senior Lecturer in Pacific Studies
Victoria University of Wellington

Emma Powell
PhD Candidate in Pacific Studies
Victoria University of Wellington

Sadat Muaiava
Lecturer in Samoan Studies
Victoria University of Wellington

Tim Corballis
Lecturer, Science in Society
Victoria University of Wellington

Herbert Bartley
Creative Director Pacific
Toi Rauwharangi, Massey University

Dr Dylan Taylor
Lecturer in Sociology 
Victoria University of Wellington

Murray Horton
Anti-Bases Campaign

Peter Brunt
Art History
Victoria University of Wellington

Nathaniel Lennon Siguenza Rigler
PhD Candidate in Pacific Studies
Victoria University of Wellington

Walter Kawikaka'iulani Aipa
Native Hawaiian living in Aotearoa

Kassie Hartendorp
Community Organiser, ActionStation

Anne Waapu
Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu

Tarapuhi Vaeau

Gerard Hehir
National Secretary
Unite Union

Mike Treen
Global Peace and Justice Auckland

Dr Maria Peach

Sean Mallon

Robyn Dann

Maire Leadbeater

Dr. Nayantara Sheoran Appleton
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Science in Society 
Victoria University Wellington

Amanda Thomas
Lecturer in Environmental Studies
Victoria University of Wellington

Tauiwi mō Matike Mai Aotearoa

John Minto
National Chair
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

Edwina Hughes
Coordinator, Peace Movement Aotearoa

Sam Ritchie 
Maire Christeller 
Annabel Willow Bennet
Health Sector Workers Network Aotearoa

Dr Kate Dewes ONZM
Director, Disarmament and Security Centre

Dr Arama Rata
Senior Research Fellow, University of Waikato

Max Harris

Dr Evelyn Marsters
Co - Director New Zealand Alternative

Thomas Nash
Greater Wellington Regional Councillor

Nina Hall
Assistant Professor of International Relations
Johns Hopkins SAIS & Co-Founder of New Zealand Alternative

Kaya Sparke

Hone Harawira
Leader, MANA Movement

Janfrie Wakim
Palestine Human Rights Campaign

Megan Hutching
for Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, Aotearoa Section

Richard Jackson
Professor of Peace Studies
University of Otago

Gia Ngatai-Smith

Fiona Clements
Environmental Justice Ōtepoti

Megan Brady-Clark

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Using The Word “Fascist”

“Fascist” is one of those labels with the ability to capsize any debate. Call your opponents “fascists” – or “agitators” or “terrorists” or “scum” and you’ve taken the option of mutual respect and compromise off the table. Interesting then to see the ( paywalled) Washington Post seriously debating with itself yesterday over whether… Hmm, is it now finally time to bring out the f-word in connection with the presidency of Donald J. Trump, and with his enablers in the Republican Party..? More>>


RNZ: Covid-19 rules and restrictions on businesses to be lifted under alert level 1

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there will still be strict controls on the border, but all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services will be "essentially lifted" under alert level 1.
She said the lower alert level would also put an end to restrictions for hospitality businesses, and gatherings - including funerals and tangihanga - of any size could take place..... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>


Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Government: Five New Super Hercules To Join Air Force Fleet

The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. More>>


Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>






InfoPages News Channels