Tag: Military and Defence Issues

Post Cabinet Conference: Dr Zarif and the Security Review

Article – Robert Kelly Todays post-cabinet press conference was dominated by discussion of the security agencies review and the visit last weekend of the Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Zarif. Key also addressed concerns about the Clutha Southland electorate and the effect …Today’s post-cabinet press conference was dominated by discussion of the security agencies review and the visit last weekend of the Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Zarif. Key also addressed concerns about the Clutha Southland electorate and the effect of the American primaries on the likelihood of the TPP being ratified. Prime Minister John Key said that the first visit from an Iranian Foreign Minister in ten years had gone well. His conversations with Dr Zarif had centred on regional issues for Iran in relation to New Zealand’s role on the United Nations Security Council. Mr Key said that he not raised the treatment of minorities in Iran with Dr Zarif but said a relationship is being built with Iran where a wider discussion about domestic and foreign policy could be had. He emphasised the possibilities of trade with Iran as sanctions against it begin to ease. The Prime Minister fielded many questions about the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security and its effect on policy but answered very few. He would not put a date on further announcements or on conversations with Labour members of the Security and Intelligence...

Read More

Gordon Campbell on the Defence Force’s spending bonanza

Column – Gordon Campbell It has been a fairly typical week for this government mental health services in Christchurch slashed , further massive cuts to DHB funding , and the abdication of its responsibility for social housing . Gordon Campbell on the Defence Force’s spending bonanza It has been a fairly typical week for this government… mental health services in Christchurch slashed, further massive cuts to DHB funding, and the abdication of its responsibility for social housing. Incredibly, the editorial writers at the New Zealand Herald have suggested that the latest health system cutbacks are ‘brave’ politics. Hmmm… ‘brave’ isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind. Callous, heartless, stupid, and shortsighted all seem more appropriate, given an ageing population and the levels of unmet need in the health system. Just a small definitional point: ‘brave’ used to be a term for those risking harm to themselves to prevent harm to vulnerable people. Now it’s a term for ‘daring’ to inflict harm on vulnerable people. Simultaneously, a government that’s willing to slash the health system is planning to spend $11 billion dollars in the next ten years on new gear for our Defence Forces. That’s not a misprint. The scale of the Defence spend-up over the next decade is truly stupendous. As yet, it simply has not sunk in with the general public just how much they stand to...

Read More

Lisa Owen talks to US Ambassador Mark Gilbert

Press Release – The Nation US ambassador says he would like the United States to send a ship to naval celebrations in New Zealand next year, but we will always stay with our neither confirm nor deny [nuclear] policy. Denies that sending a vessel under NZs … On The Nation: Lisa Owen talks to US Ambassador Mark Gilbert US ambassador says he “would like” the United States to send a ship to naval celebrations in New Zealand next year, but “we will always stay with our ‘neither confirm nor deny’ [nuclear] policy”. Denies that sending a vessel under NZ’s nuclear-free law amounts to a backdown: “When we’ve always talked about sending vessels here, it’s never been on any terms but the ones that we’ve always had, which is the ‘neither confirm nor deny’… IU wouldn’t say that it was bowing down”. Says Islamic State must be defeated at all costs: “We need to stop it. And whatever we need to do to stop it is what has to be done.” New Zealand’s contribution to the coalition of countries fighting Islamic State is “a really good commitment” Ambassador is confident President Obama can get the TPP passed through the US House of Representatives: “I believe he will be successful”. Predicts the US presidential election next year will be won and lost on security issues. Lisa Owen: Good morning, Ambassador. Mark...

Read More

Economic Wellbeing for Northland, not the Arms Industry

Press Release – Coalition for Peace Northland doesnt need local companies tendering for contracts overseas in the arms industry and similar dodgy industries, said Whangareis Coalition for Peace spokesperson Tim Howard. This is not the sort of economic development people want …“Economic Wellbeing for Northland, not the Arms Industry” 18 October 2015 “Northland doesn’t need local companies tendering for contracts overseas in the arms industry and similar dodgy industries,” said Whangarei’s Coalition for Peace spokesperson Tim Howard. “This is not the sort of economic development people want in Northland, and Northland Inc needs to review its decision to promote the arms industry.” Coalition for Peace, Whangarei, will be picketing the seminar at Kingsgate Hotel, Riverside, from 8.30am this Monday (19th) morning. The Coalition for Peace and Justice is a coalition of local groups, initially responding to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and to the US-led ‘war on terrorism’ after 9/11. Northland Inc is endorsing a government promotion of the so-called ‘benefits’ of the TPPA and the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), a promotional tour being carried out by NZ Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). They have invited Lockheed Martin, largest arms manufacturer in the world, to be the keynote speaker at their upcoming seminar in Whangarei. “Is the sort of ‘good business’ Northland Inc promotes typified by the arms industry? Is this the sort of business that they want local...

Read More

PM Post-Cab: Deportation and the TPP Signing

Article – Robert Kelly Prime Minister John Key commented on the previous week’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He stressed that it had taken seven years to reach this point and he congratulated Minister of Trade Tim Grosser on his efforts representing New Zealand … PM Post Cabinet Press Conference: Deportation and the TPP Signing Robert Kelly Photo by Alastair Thompson Prime Minister John Key commented on the previous week’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He stressed that it had taken seven years to reach this point and he congratulated Minister of Trade Tim Grosser on his efforts representing New Zealand at the negotiations. Key also elaborated on what his Government saw as the major benefits of the TPP: $259 million a year in tariff savings and the possibility of expansion in new and existing trade markets. The Prime Minister announced that he will be meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull at Government House in Auckland next weekend. He indicated that the issue of deportation of New Zealand citizens will be high priority but that economic matters, Australian elections, and both countries’ involvement in the Middle East will be discussed. Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either MP3 format or in OGG format. On the deportation matter Key stressed the “special relationship” that New Zealand and Australia have and said there was a...

Read More