A fortnightly Green Bulletin of News, Action and Analysis
IS NEW ZEALAND EXPORTING COMPONENTS FOR WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?
On 28 May the Green Party’s Defence and Disarmament Spokesperson Keith Locke said that military technology manufacturer Rakon’s story does not add up.
A statement from Rakon over claims that it is supplying crystal oscillators for use in American military smart bombs, shells and missiles, contradicts information in internal company emails, Keith said.
“In a statement this morning the company said it ‘has not invented technology specifically for US smart bombs’, but this doesn’t square with the emails disclosed in the Weekend Herald that show it was developing a ‘high-G-shock crystal’. The emails talk about producing ‘radiation-hardened’ and ‘nuclear-hardened’ crystal oscillators, and specifications for oscillators to be able to function at a depth of 135 metres and an altitude of 24,000 metres.
“It seems clear that the oscillators could be used for missiles operating from silos or submarines.
“This issue could have been sorted when it arose last August if the Government had then acted to confirm Rakon’s assurances that the GPS crystal oscillators were not specifically developed ‘for use in smart bombs or missiles’.
“The Ministry of Economic Development should have checked whether the crystal oscillators did have military specifications, and if so excluded them under the strategic goods export regulations as being ‘equipment specially designed for the … control of … missiles’ when those missiles are being used in a war New Zealand is opposed to, namely in Iraq.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade should also have investigated in its role to uphold New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy, and enforce its own criteria, stated on its website, to deny the export of items ‘to be used in the delivery of weapons of mass destruction’. ”
At her press conference on May 29 the Prime Minister admited that if the company had been making items specifically for use in military equipment then they should have sought clearance from the government, and that they would be denied a permit “if it was used for anything to do with delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.”
Keith is pursuing this matter through Parliamentary Written Questions
and see Action, below for how you can nominate Rakon or other suitable companies for the 2006 DICK (Destructive Industry Connected to Killing) awards.
AUSTRALIAN GREENS CONCERNED ABOUT THE NUCLEAR PUSH.
On 28 May Australian Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said that Prime Minister John Howard’s focus on nuclear power as a solution to energy security and climate change is misplaced because he is starting from the wrong premise.
Senator Milne said the Prime Minister appeared intent on establishing a selective inquiry into uranium enrichment and nuclear power for Australia.
“This is a long way from the ‘full-blooded debate’ the Prime Minister called for during his recent overseas trip,” Senator Milne said.
“Instead of a selective examination of the Prime Minister’s preferred energy options, the Australian Greens want a full public inquiry into the best mix of energy sources to meet future energy needs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We will be moving for such an inquiry when the Senate resumes next month.”
On 25 May Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said that both Prime Minister Howard, and Labour Party leader Kim Beazley, were hypocritical on nuclear policy, by ruling out the storage of nuclear waste from the countries to which Australia exports uranium.
“The Prime Minister says Mr Beazley’s policy of allowing uranium mining but banning nuclear reactors is hypocritical and he is right,” Senator Brown said.
“But his own policy is a double standard. Profiteering from uranium exports to the world’s nuclear industry, but saying the waste is a matter for other countries to deal with is pure hypocrisy,” Senator Brown said.
The Greens will go to the next year’s federal election calling for no uranium mining or nuclear reactors in Australia.
and the Australian Greens webpage on the new nuclear threat, and how to combat it, is at
Resources on the page include the booklet ‘Let the facts speak for themselves’, which covers 50 years of accidents associated with the production and disposal of radioactive materials. The Aussie Greens are reminding people that ”Decades of community organising almost beat the nuclear industry to a standstill. – It’s time to finish the job.”
For more on why and how the revival of uranium mining in Australia, and the production of nuclear energy there, poses a huge regional environmental and security threat, see Analysis, below.
BUDGET BONANZA FOR SPIES.
The near-doubling of the vote for Security and Intelligence in the Budget calls for an explanation now, and effective oversight of the security services afterwards, Green Party Security and Intelligence Spokesperson Keith Locke said on 19 May.
“Our spies got $23.28 million to do their job last time around. But in the year 2006/07, this will rocket up to $43.49 million – without any explanation in the Budget about what this money is for, what dangers it is intended to dispel, or how this massive increase will make any of us any more secure.
“Could any other department virtually double its Budget allocation without a word of justification ? This increase comes at the same time that our aid vote – which could actually help to reduce income disparity and instability in our region, if properly funded – is being held to its current paltry ratio of our national income,” Keith said.
“In New Zealand, more money is being allocated without any improvement in the oversight mechanisms so obviously needed. We have seen the security service bungles over the course of the Ahmed Zaoui case.
“Under the Labour-led Government, the security services budget has more than trebled. This spendup has occurred even though New Zealand has not been part of enforcing the military occupation of Iraq, and has therefore not generated the kind of resentments that have fuelled the security concerns in Britain, Australia and the United States.
“We should not allow ourselves to be stampeded into giving the security services a blank cheque to commit further bungles, in the name of countering a largely non-existent threat to this country.”
The Prime Minister when questioned later referred to the costs of moving into a new building in Wellington. However, the base cost of the SIS has gone up substantially, as indicated in the following year’s Budget projection for the SIS of $32 million.
PEACE MOVEMENT AOTEAROA OPENS NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2006 DICK NZ AWARDS.
The 2006 DICK (Destructive Industry Connected to Killing) NZ Awards and the ‘Guided Missiles and Misguided Men’ Awards for Government Politicians are now open.
The 2006 DICK NZ Awards are an opportunity to say what you think about the companies who profit from bloodshed and war, and the politicians who support it.
Background to the Awards (from PMA)
” Since 1998, the Defence Industry Committee of New Zealand has presented Awards for Excellence at the annual get-together of the NZ Defence Industry Association, the lobby group for companies that profit from bloodshed and war. The criteria for their awards are a mystery – are they for the company whose products have caused the most death and destruction? the company which has had the biggest public subsidy for private profit? the company which has contracts with the most oppressive governments and armed forces around the world?
There is no mystery about the DICK NZ Awards. They recognise the reality of the business of the NZ ‘defence’ industry. First held in 2001, the DICK NZ Awards returned last year and they are now an annual event.
And there is no mystery about the ‘Guided Missiles and Misguided Men’ Awards for Government Politicians either – they are awarded to those who by their words and/or actions support bloodshed and war. The name for these Awards is from a statement by Martin Luther King, Jr: “we have guided missiles and misguided men”. ”
The closing date for nominations is Friday, 1 September 2006. For more on the awards and how to nominate, go to
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE TASER (CATT)
A new coalition has been formed to campaign against New Zealand Police plans to trial the Taser stun gun in New Zealand from September this year. (CATT is a coalition which includes the Human Rights Foundation, GPJA, Peace Movement Aotearoa, the Council of Trade Unions and several other groups.)
The Taser is a gun which fires two steel barbs attached to wires which penetrate the skin and then deliver a 50,000 volt electric shock to the victim.
CATT is opposed to the trial because –
• More than 150 people have died overseas as a result of being tasered
• Police overseas have used them to enforce “compliance” on victims…
• NZ Police have shown they are unable to follow guidelines on use of pepper spray so why would their use of tasers be any different
• Do we have to wait for deaths in New Zealand before we do anything?
• There has been no independent evaluation of the taser before its introduction by police
CATT is having its first public meeting at 7.30pm on Tuesday June 6th the Columba Centre, Vermont Street, Ponsonby, Auckland.
Chair: Sir Paul Reeves
Speakers: Rodney Harrison QC, John Minto of GPJA (Global Peace and Justice Auckland), Dr Murray Hing GP, Marie Dyhrberg Criminal Lawyer (CATT Spokesperson)
Video footage of tasers being used by police will also be shown.
Everyone Welcome – Please Spread the Word!
NO NUKES NEXT DOOR, PLEASE
is the message New Zealanders should be sending to Australia in support of the efforts by environmentalists, peace activists and Greens to stop the push towards further nuclearisation. The Australian Conservation Foundation is actively opposing the push (see
for its anti-nuclear campaign) and the media release and article below cover why the ACF is objecting strongly to the Howard government’s plans for a more nuclear Australia.
NO NEED FOR NUKES
Fifty years of overseas experiences show that the nuclear power industry is incapable of surviving without ongoing Government subsidies and massive taxpayer-funded insurance, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said today.
As Education Minister Julie Bishop received a report by the Government’s pro-nuclear Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) talking about the viability of nuclear power, ACF said nuclear’s huge financial risks are inevitably covered by ordinary citizens.
“Governments always cover the risks of constructing nuclear reactors – insuring them against terrorist attacks, storing and managing the ever-growing radioactive waste and dealing with the effects of radiation when accidents happen,” said ACF Executive Director Don Henry.
“Taking ANSTO’s advice on nuclear power is like getting advice from the fox on how to construct the chicken coop. Australia doesn’t need to go nuclear. We must get on with the job of tackling climate change right now with a mix of renewable energy, energy efficiency and strong laws to cut our CO