25 signatures reached
To: NZ Government
Transfer defence force funds to peaceful purposes
We request that the 2016 Defence White Paper proposal to spend an extra $20 billion over the next 15 years be reconsidered, and instead that this money be redirected into purposeful peacemaking and non-violent ends - specifically on child safety education and other welfare work.
Why is this important?
This petition is supporting the Peace Hikoi of Ian Upton, who is walking from Cape Reinga to Parliament. Ian believes the use of taxpayer money to fund the capability of making war is unacceptable.
In November 2016 the Government announced a $20 billion budget for the NZ Defence Force, with plans to replace the Air Force Boeing 757, the C130-Hercules, the Orion maritime patrol aircraft and the ANZAC frigates.
This is while homelessness reaches new levels and the prison population recently passed 10,000. The number of children living below the poverty line is estimated at 300,000.[3,4,5]
Huge capital expenditure for military purposes is inevitably at the expense of other spending the country needs in areas like transport and housing.
Ian is walking to Parliament to give the message that the funds will be much better spent on peaceful purposes. There are many good organisations doing essential work that could benefit with more funding, for example work such as that carried out by the 1000 Days Trust, which supports children through their first 1000 days of life.
Taking the example of Costa Rica, who have had only a civil defence force and border patrol since 1949, why can we not do something similar? It is reasonable to defend our borders with vigilance, but we don't need the capability to wage war overseas.
We teach our children that fighting is wrong. Common sense security is all that is required, not offensive capability.
Ian expects to arrive at Parliament on 28 June.
1 - Peace campaigner hits Tauranga on marathon march http://beta.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11866168
2 - http://beta.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11652807
3 - Homelessness http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/332032/urgent-housing-need-big-concern-going-into-winter
4 - Protest as prison population hits 10,000 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/324283/protest-as-prison-population-hits-10,000
5 - New Zealand child poverty a source of deep concern, says UN https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/07/new-zealand-child-poverty-a-source-of-deep-concern-says-un
6 - The first 1000 days of a child's life http://www.1000days.org.nz/
How it will be delivered
The Peace Hikoi will deliver it to Parliament.