2015: Stop the Weapons Conference

weapons conference logo

Stop the Weapons Industry and Annual Weapons Conference

This campaign is focused on the opposing the annual weapons conference held in Wellington every year. This year the conference is on 17 & 18 November at the TSB Arena in Wellington. The conference is organised by the New Zealand Defence Industry Association and is sponsored by the world’s largest weapons manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. It is attended by over 200 delegates from some of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers. There are 82 companies that are part of the NZ Defence Industry Association.

Get involved

This year, we want to shut the conference down for good. In the months leading up to the conference, we are rallying community support in opposition to the conference – and to the development of a home-grown weapons industry. We will be organising protests, blockades and demonstrations during the conference. Check out our Facebook event page for more details.

You can be a part of Peace Action Wellington and work as part of our crew to shut down the conference. We meet fortnightly on Wednesdays at Trades Hall, 126 Vivian Street at 6pm. Please contact us – peacewellington(at)riseup.net or send us a facebook message– if you would like to come along. We are a grassroots community group and we work on the basis of consensus. We are not aligned to any political party or other organisation, but members of PAW do belong to other groups and we aim to maintain strong links with other campaigns involved in the struggle for social justice.

What you can do

  1. Plan now to come to our actions – take the day off & stand up for peace and justice in our community
    Blockade the Conference – Tuesday, 17 Nov 8am meet @ Frank Kitts Park
    Block Party against weapons & war – Wednesday, 18 Nov 6pm at TSB Arena
  2. Come to our public meeting – Wednesday, 21 October @ St Johns Church Hall, corner Willis/Dixon Streets at 6pm
  3. Join our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter (@PeaceActionWGTN)
  4. Spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues – you can print posters, leaflets or make a stencil
  5. Visit our regular stall, sign the petition and get a cool “Stop the Weapons conference” t-shirt, badge or bag
  6. Tell the Mayor and Councillors to take a principled position. We are encouraging Celia Wade-Brown, the Executive Leader of the Mayors for Peace to take a principled stand against the Weapons Conference. Please contact the Mayor and other Councillors and encourage them to say “NO” to hosting the Weapons Conference in Wellington, a Peace City.

The weapons & defence industry in New Zealand

Weapons producers are also called war profiteers because they exist to make money from bloodshed and violence. Every time ammunition is used or a weapon deployed, it is money in the bank for these companies. Today, military exports and companies that supply armies are not just producing weapons – many of them offer services such as the management of weapons facilities, training of soldiers or maintenance of weapons.

The definition that we use to define companies is taken from Peace Movement Aotearoa & the Network Opposed to Weapons and Related Production:

Definition of military export:

  • weapons or components for weapons systems or their guidance and control systems;
  • communications equipment, or components for such systems, used by armed forces;
  • military training equipment, including aircraft used for military training purposes, weapons and combat simulators, bomb scoring systems, and remote detonation systems;
  • loading equipment, vehicles, vessels, or parts of these, for military use;
  • ammunition, clothing, rations or any other supplies for armed forces;
  • all other products and services for military purposes, including IT, management, consultancy, maintenance, and refurbishment of military equipment.

New Zealand Defence Industry

  • Includes both companies that are members of the NZ Defence Industry Association and companies that supply any of the above products and services but are not members of the association
  • A home grown weapons industry has been a trade diversification strategy of successive New Zealand governments to develop export sector to supply militaries. MFAT officials advised Helen Clark in 2002 that,“The opportunities are not just for weapons – defence is a huge customer for nearly every product – from clothing to IT to consulting services.”
  • MoD employ specific Industry Relationship Staff to work with companies to develop weapons companies’ business
  • There is a New Zealand Defence Industry Advisory Council with a primary objective to: “To provide the Minister with advice relating to developments, issues, opportunities and sustainability in the national and international defence industry”
  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) have attended the 2013 Canadian Security Conference (CANSEC) and the Pacific 13, a large naval conference in Australia.

These companies conduct extensive research and product testing for the extra advantage that will make their weapons, training systems, or components best sellers with militaries and mercenaries around the world. Here in NZ our tax dollars are supporting this so-called ‘research’. In 2003, Trade and Industry NZ (now Trade and Enterprise) gave $100,000 to Flexisolutions to develop its jungle-sweeper grenade. This item was described as likely to be popular with anti-terrorism forces. Along with these grants, Trade and Enterprise assist members to capitalise on export markets by sponsoring trade displays at overseas weapons conferences & military trade shows. Members of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MOD) are active supporters and participants in NZDIA activities. They participate through their Industry Liaison Managers who work closely with New Zealand companies, to promote commercial opportunities in the supply of products and services.

Resources

Profiting from War: NZ weapons & military-related industry – our comprehensive report dated November 2015 into the industry and the NZ government support of it.

Stop the Weapons conference poster and 4 to a page weapons conference leaflets

Petition Weapons conference 2015

What you need to know about weapons conference 2015 (A4 double-sided, flip on the short-edge)

No weapons conference leaflet

What is the weapons conference display panels (pdfs here same as jpgs below)

What is the weapons conference display panels

What is the weapons conference display panels2 smaller

These are our new badge designs. We’re selling them 3 for $10 – please get in touch – peacewellington@riseup.net if you would like some badges posted to you…

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