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- Light At The End Of The Zimbabwe Tour Tunnel
- Goff Does Too Little On Zimbabwe, Lets Hope Its Not Too Late
- Govt Misleading Public On Zimbabwe
- Players Urged To Boycott Tour, Invite Henry Olonga
- New Law Needed To Stop Cricket Tour
- Greens Calls On Goff To Deny Visas To Zimbabwe Bankers
- Zimbabwean Residency Is A Welcome Show Of Compassion
- Passport Office Should Rubberstamp Smiling :o)
- Greens Support ‘Make Poverty History’ Campaign
- Greens Suggest Agenda For Dialogue With US
- Don Shows He Has Uranium On The Breath
were Rod’s words of hope two weeks ago on 24 June in congratulating the government on moving against a Zimbabwe cricket tour of New Zealand later this year:
“The Government’s decision to block the Zimbabwean cricket team from touring New Zealand in December is a welcome first step in cutting all sporting ties between our two countries, he said.
“I congratulate the Government for taking this stand against Robert Mugabe’s odious regime. This ban illustrates that New Zealand can and will use sporting sanctions to protest against and undermine the world’s worst dictators.”
Much has happened since then, much of it deeply disappointing, and Rod has been highly involved in the issue.
. The Greens applauded Foreign Minister Phil Goff’s latest effort to stop the Black Caps going to Zimbabwe, said Rod on 26th June 2005. Mr Goff had said he was asking the British and Australian governments to join him in making a tripartite representation to the ICC’s meeting in London to get cricket contacts with Zimbabwe severed.
was his reaction to Goff’s claim that the Government was powerless to prevent the Black Caps’ tour from going ahead on 27 June. “The ICC says it acknowledges the right of governments to impose sporting sanctions,” Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.
“It’s time for our Government to adopt that course of action if it’s serious about its opposition to the Mugabe regime. The Government should implement a comprehensive sporting boycott of Zimbabwe in light of that country’s deteriorating human rights record.
“I urge Phil Goff to put pen to paper and tell the ICC and NZ Cricket that from now on, no cricketing ties between New Zealand and Zimbabwe will be tolerated. The ICC accepted the Indian Government’s decision to do just this with respect to Pakistan, and I would be astonished if it ruled differently with respect to New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
“Taking this firm action would mean that the force majeure clause in NZ Cricket’s contract would be invoked, allowing the tour to be cancelled at no financial penalty.”
Mr Donald is also called on the Government to release the legal advice it’s using to justify its failure to intervene (it hasn’t to date).
. As human rights abuses escalated in Zimbabwe, the Green Party turned the spotlight back on the Black Caps on July 1, urging the players to withdraw from the tour and invite exiled Zimbabwean cricketers to tour New Zealand. “The Black Caps can’t fail to have been moved by the destruction the Mugabe regime has been wreaking against the poorest people of Zimbabwe in the weeks since they each decided to tour,” Rod said. “How about withdrawing from the tour and inviting Henry Olonga and Andy Flower to lead a tour to New Zealand of a team of Zimbabwean cricketers who are exiled from their homeland because of Mugabe’s oppressive regime? I am confident that such a tour would be a stunning financial success for NZ Cricket.”
was Rod’s response to continued Government inaction on 3 July. He sought cross-party support for a Bill that would make all New Zealand sporting tours to Zimbabwe illegal and would prevent all Zimbabwean sporting sides from touring New Zealand. The Zimbabwe Sporting Sanction Bill would make it an offence for any New Zealand national sporting organisation to send a team on a tour of Zimbabwe.
“New Zealanders don’t want the Black Caps to tour Zimbabwe and they don’t want NZ Cricket punished financially if the tour is called off,” Mr Donald said. “This Green Bill offers the best of both worlds: it stops the tour and gets NZ Cricket off the hook with regard to any ICC fine.
“I have drafted the Bill in such a way that it preserves the freedoms of individual New Zealanders enshrined in the Bill of Rights Act. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that no national sports team can give comfort to Robert Mugabe’s genocidal regime, bringing New Zealand into disrepute and opening us up to the accusation that we are failing to live up to our international human rights commitments.
Rod said the Bill ensured all New Zealanders would retain their individual human rights, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights Act 1990, to travel to Zimbabwe. “For example, individual New Zealanders seeking to travel to Zimbabwe for their own purposes, whether as journalists to expose Robert Mugabe’s heinous crimes or as charity workers to help poor Zimbabweans, will continue to be free to do so. This Bill targets sporting organizations purporting to represent New Zealand, not individuals.”
. Still on Zimbabwe, but not on cricket. Rod called on Phil Goff to deny visas to a delegation from the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank, who are currently in Canada and are hoping to visit New Zealand.
“I’ve been reliably informed that representatives of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank intend to try and get into New Zealand so they can attempt to persuade local black Zimbabweans to use the bank for sending remittances home to their relatives,” Mr Donald says.
“Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank has run out of foreign exchange and its representatives are currently in Canada trying to put pressure on expatriate Zimbabweans there and are believed to be trying to come to New Zealand within the next week.
was Keith’s reaction to the Government extending permanent residency to some Zimbabweans living in New Zealand. “The 450 or so people it will affect have been living here for nearly a year and are generally well-settled. It would be inhuman to ask them to go back to the chaos and violence that is Zimbabwe today”, Keith said. “These people would certainly be picked on by Mugabe if they went home, because expatriates have been at the core of the international protest against his regime’s suppression of dissent. Just being in a democratic country like New Zealand could be a cause for suspicion for the paranoid dictator.”
More On Proposed Zimbabwe Cricket Tour
. But if you thought we’d finished with cricket, there’s more…
Rod rejected the misrepresentation of his Bill by other parties
And kept up efforts to gain support
And, after meeting with New Zealand Cricket, explained that legislative action was now the only way forward
And expressed disappointment at Pita Sharples becoming an apologist for Mugabe
was Keith’s reaction to the Department of Internal Affairs banning smiling in passport photos. “The Passport Office should lighten up,” he said, “Most people arriving in our fair land have smiles on their faces and there is nothing wrong with having passport photos to match.”
“Is the next step to be that people won’t be allowed to smile at Customs so they match their miserable passport photos? Does our Government really want to suppress joy and happiness?”
. Speaking in support of the campaign, Keith said: “Living in a relatively rich nation we have a particular responsibility to help developing countries where poverty is rife. Around the world a child dies every three seconds through lack of food or proper sanitation. We have serious poverty in New Zealand, which the Green Party is addressing, but it is nothing like the poverty in many other countries.
“New Zealand’s aid budget is only 0.27 percent of our Gross National Income, scheduled to rise to 0.28 percent in 2007. The UN goal for the OECD countries is 0.7 percent of GNI, with the European Union having committed to getting to 0.56 percent by 2010 and 0.7 percent by 2015.
“The pressure is going on the richer countries to come to the aid party and to cancel the debts of the poorer countries. The G8 countries, supported by a small contribution from New Zealand, are now going to cancel the poorest countries’ debts to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank”.
. Keith welcomed the call from departing US Ambassador Charles Swindells for more dialogue between his nation and New Zealand on July 5.
“It would be good if the United States would engage more with New Zealand on the nuclear issue,” Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke says.
“The Greens would like to see a particular focus on the Bush Administration’s failure to meet its nuclear disarmament obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“Nuclear power should also be up for discussion, with the United States’ reporting on accidents at its nuclear power stations and its failure to find a completely safe and long-lasting way to dispose of nuclear wastes being the first matters that could be covered.
“New Zealand’s ban on nuclear-armed and powered ships could then be looked at in the context of these considerations.
“The dialogue could also address other diplomatic issues, such as why the United States is, per capita, one of the world’s smallest aid donors.
“Finally, the dialogue could look at international human rights problems, such as the denial of due process to those interned at the American detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.
“Clearly there is much to talk about,” says Mr Locke.
was the observation of Keith and Rod over Don Brash saying that National could repeal New Zealand’s anti-nuclear legislation without a referendum on the issue.
“These latest comments show Dr Brash cannot be trusted to keep New Zealand nuclear-free,” said Keith on 5 July, “Dr Brash might claim he is speaking ‘hypothetically’, but why would he even talk about changing the anti-nuclear legislation, without a referendum, if he didn’t see it as a possible course of action?
And on July 6 the National Party Leader said that if he became Prime Minister he would have to consult the United States before deciding whether to revoke New Zealand’s nuclear-free status, while at the same time backing away from his previous commitment to let Kiwis decide this fundamental issue through a referendum.
Rod said in response “It is clear that Dr Brash wants to end New Zealand’s nuclear-free status, despite chopping and changing about how he would go about it if he ever got the chance… It is time Dr Brash joined the mainstream, instead of trying to turn New Zealand into the 52nd state of America. Kiwis do not want to surrender our identity and foreign policy to Washington, or become a lapdog to the 51st state deputy sheriff, Australia.”
- It’s Just Not Cricket
- Wellington Saturday 9 July 7:00pm St John’s Hall
- Human Rights Under Challenge
. Join GPJA’s march supporting human rights in Zimbabwe and opposing the New Zealand cricket tour.
Saturday 16 June, Noon, Queen And Customs Streets, Auckland
. More information and posters available for download at:
Global Peace and Justice Auckland
(cnr Dixon and Willis Street) Palestinian Group and Acheh Support Group Community Dinner.
A night of fabulous Achehnese and Palestine food, music, and great speakers including Keith Locke, on a recent visit to West Papua, Cameron Burnell (Photographer) who recently returned from 15 days in Acheh, and Katrina Baylis, whose family fled in the Palestinian Exodus of 1948.
. The Green vision for a Tolerant, Diverse Society.
Christchurch, 7.30pm Tuesday 19 July, WEA, 59 Gloucester Street.
Are you worried that Winston Peters’ attacks on migrants, and the Labour government’s weak response, is making us a less tolerant society? Are you concerned that some of New Zealand’s law-and-order legislation is driven by George Bush’s so-called “war on terror” and is affecting our civil liberties? Want to hear the latest on the Zaoui case?
Hear Green MP Keith Locke talk about the challenges to human rights today, and outline the Green vision for a tolerant multi-ethnic society.
- They Will Not Stop Until They Are Stopped
. Veteran human rights activist Judith Todd, the Zimbabwe-born daughter of former prime minister Garfield Todd, and a New Zealand citizen after having her Zimbabwean citizenship revoked by the Mugabe regime, spoke to the Cape Town Press Club on June 30. We give an extract below and encourage you to
read the whole analysis
– and explore that website further…
“…What is happening today is nothing new. It is simply an intensified operation to get rid of the last vestiges of perceived opponents now described by the head of police Augustine Chihuri as a crawling mass of maggots. No one must allow themselves to be deluded about what is going on in Zimbabwe. Just as Gukuruhundi was designed to kill, so is Operation Murambatsvina. If, in bitter winter, you deprive people and their children of shelter and thus also their food and clothing and warmth; if you deprive them of their tools of trade and their means of survival you do this for one reason only; you intend them to die. As a report published in the UK Independent last week stated: “Aids, starvation and depopulation of the cities is sending tens of thousands to a silent death in the rural areas” where, jobless and homeless, they are waiting to die. Daniel Howden was reporting from Brunapeg Hospital on the border of Botswana from where help could still be made available to the dying people he writes about, if the will was there to provide it. It was the Independent Howden who published the chilling statistic that already the death rate is outstripping the birth rate by 4000 per week.
I remind you once more of the words of Didymus Mutasa now Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Lands Reform and Resettlement in the office of the President. In August 2002 he said “We would be better off with only six million people [Zimbabwe’s population now is over twelve million], with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don’t want all these extra people.”
They have been planning Operation Murambatsvina for a long time. As Mugabe was reported just this morning on South African radio it has been a campaign planned well in advance and has been “a long cherished desire”…
Again, Read Judith’s
background to the situation and ideas for action
JustPeace was produced by Christine Dann, Tim Hannah and Keith Locke, MP
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