Below are submissions we have recently made to the New Zealand government regarding some issues we are actively advocating on:

Submission to NZ Government re the TPPA (February 2016).

Download here:  Submission_TPPA.pdf

Submission to NZ Government re West Papua (November 2015).  

Download here: West%20Papua%20final%20submission.pdf


Letter to NZ Government on "NZ Herald" report on planned collaboration with Australia against ISIL - 'a new ANZAC?'

Dear Prime Minister
I note with some concern, reports in today's "NZ Herald" that your government is considering: "forming a joint force to serve in Iraq against Isis (Islamic State) a century after the first Anzac force was created". Do you do this with the consent of our people?


We in Pax Christi have viewed suggestions along these lines with alarm and have expressed our disfavour to members of your government already.
 

As you know, Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand is an independent section of the international Pax Christi movement, formed at the end of World War II with the objective of avoiding yet another descent into the kind of tragic military confrontation which had involved so many nations of the world in 1914 and 1939. The founders of the movement had survived direct involvement in the war including incarceration in concentration camps for defending French Jews from being deported to almost certain death in Germany and Poland. Since then sections around the world have done whatever they can to avoid military conflict, largely by advocating for dialogue across disputing communities and nations and calling for support for this in governments and international bodies like the UN Security Council.
  
To begin with the last point, surely it is incumbent upon New Zealand which has recently achieved a seat on the Security Council to remain outside even the hint of military intervention and to focus on using whatever facilities and powers are acccessible to the Council to support dialogue and negotiation.
  
Earlier this year, I attended the AGM of Pax Christi International in Sarajevo, itself the scene of senselessly brutal massacres in recent decades. Part of the meeting was given to awarding the Pax Christi Peace Award which this year was given to representatives of the Jesuit Refugee Service for their humanitarian work in Syria. They have been working alongside other Christian and Muslim relief workers in besieged cities to minister to the everyday needs of people of all and no faith/s. There is no enmity at their level of operation, only shared hope that the militarisation of the country will stop and that people will be enabled to get on with their lives, freed from the curse of international intervention in their domestic affairs. They are quite clear that ISIL will not be stopped by senseless military"crusades" (for that is how Western intervention has been perceived at the grassroots both in the Middle East and across the world) but rather by the fostering of common endeavour at the local level which engages people of all creeds and none in the relief of war-linked disaster and the fostering of mutual action for the common good. In May, I was able to look these courageous Syrian workers in the eye and assure them that New Zealand had no presence in their country except in non-military relief operations.I'm not sure that I could face them, if New Zealand becomes a party to "a joint force", even in the form of non-transparent "training" operations, committed to military intervention.
  
Finally, it is quite ironic that you show such a disregard for history by linking current military adventures to "the first ANZAC force". If anything, the ill-conceived disaster that was Gallipoli should turn us off having anything to do with repeating the mistakes of that time. Just look at the casualties of that campaign, transfer them to the growing level of civilian deaths as the level of militarisation expands in Syria and Iraq and think of what you are suggesting.
Then think again, consult the opinion of the whole nation and focus our attention on relieving the tragic consequences of war and developing wide-ranging dialogue and negotiations which will address the real needs and fears of the suffering people of these beleagured countries.
In peace
  
Kevin McBride
for Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand

New Zealand's Involvement in the war against ISIS
The Peace and International Justice Committee of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland and the Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand believes that neither New Zealand nor any country should be drawn into another “coalition of the willing” without engaging in wide ranging diplomacy, reaching out to the Muslim and Middle Eastern population in this country and seeking the broadest possible coalition of partners willing to engage in a search for a peaceful solution to the terrible situation in Iraq and Syria.
WarOnIsis.docx (23.54KB)
New Zealand's Involvement in the war against ISIS
The Peace and International Justice Committee of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland and the Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand believes that neither New Zealand nor any country should be drawn into another “coalition of the willing” without engaging in wide ranging diplomacy, reaching out to the Muslim and Middle Eastern population in this country and seeking the broadest possible coalition of partners willing to engage in a search for a peaceful solution to the terrible situation in Iraq and Syria.
WarOnIsis.docx (23.54KB)
Submission on Syria
With over 160 000 deaths and six million displaced persons, the Syrian conflict continues to destroy Syria’s population and its rich culture, inflicting tremendous suffering on all Syrians. The international community has a responsibility to do all it can to halt the atrocities. Even before substantive progress is made in diplomatic negotiations, all states have an imperative to do all that is feasible to prevent the atrocities from continuing. Applying pressure to halt the arms flow to Syria will lessen the amount of blood that is spilled in this ongoing conflict.
syria submission.pdf (45.23KB)
Submission on Syria
With over 160 000 deaths and six million displaced persons, the Syrian conflict continues to destroy Syria’s population and its rich culture, inflicting tremendous suffering on all Syrians. The international community has a responsibility to do all it can to halt the atrocities. Even before substantive progress is made in diplomatic negotiations, all states have an imperative to do all that is feasible to prevent the atrocities from continuing. Applying pressure to halt the arms flow to Syria will lessen the amount of blood that is spilled in this ongoing conflict.
syria submission.pdf (45.23KB)
Immediate action on Iraq
On Thursday 14 August, Pax Christi Member Organisations in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States have sent letters to their Ministers of Foreign Affairs calling for an immediate action to safeguard the right of life of all vulnerable populations in Northern Iraq.
Northern Iraq.pdf (75.99KB)
Immediate action on Iraq
On Thursday 14 August, Pax Christi Member Organisations in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States have sent letters to their Ministers of Foreign Affairs calling for an immediate action to safeguard the right of life of all vulnerable populations in Northern Iraq.
Northern Iraq.pdf (75.99KB)