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 Rapid Antigen Testing

National Party leader Christopher Luxon is being allowed to get away with murder. Luxon is not being challenged over his repeated assertions that the rest of the world has enjoyed ready access to rapid antigen tests (aka RATS) for a year, so why aren’t we? In fact, the reality across the Tasman for the past month has seen a colossal shambles unfold over (a) the availability and (b) the affordability of these tests. RATS have become a case of panic buying on steroids. Amid reports of price gouging, stock-piling, socially inequitable access and empty shelves...


The Treasury: Financial Statements Of The Government Of NZ For The 5 Months Ended 30 November 2021
Interim Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the 5 months ended 30 November 2021... More>>


Government: Announces Three Phase Public Health Response To Omicron
The Government has announced a three phase Omicron plan that aims to slow down and limit the spread of an outbreak, Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Through the course of managing Omicron, we will be taking a phased approach. As case numbers grow both testing and isolation approaches will change in response... More>>

Save The Children: Thousands Join Call To Retain New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner

More than 6000 Kiwis have joined Save the Children New Zealand’s call to retain the vital role of Children’s Commissioner, as the Government considers a new bill proposing major changes to the office, including the removal of a named Children’s Commissioner... More>>

Transparency International: New Zealand Retains Top Ranking In Annual Corruption Perceptions Index
New Zealand is once again ranked least corrupt in the world by Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index. This year New Zealand’s score of 88 out of 100 is unchanged resulting in it being first equal with Denmark and Finland... More>>

TradeMe: Property Prices Increase By A Record 25% In One Year
In December, the national average asking price jumped by a quarter year on year, to reach a new high of $956,150, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index. Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said last month’s national average asking price increase was the largest on record... More>>

Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>




InfoPages News Channels