1945 - First nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing over 200,000 civilians
1955 - Russell/Einstein Manifesto declares nuclear weapons threaten all life and must be prohibited
1958 - The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was established in Britain and internationally. It was a major organisation in NZ working to ban the bomb and abolish nuclear weapons. Also Womens International League for Peace and Freedom and the Quakers were active since early 1920s and United Nations since 1946 working to prevent war and ban nuclear weapons.
1968 - Non-Proliferation Treaty-to stop more nations from acquiring nuclear weapons (originally 5 states -now 9 states)
1973 - focus was on stopping French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Both Greenpeace and the NZ government made effective protests at Mururoa.
1975 - NZ Foundation for Peace Studies established (leading peace education in NZ schools 2017)
1976 - 1984 - Peace Squadron protests on the water organised by George Armstrong against US nuclear warship visits due to involvement in the ANZUS alliance.
Home Base Pacific Pilgrimage encouraged individuals to declare their homes nuclear free zones. Devonport was the first borough council to declare itself a Nuclear Free Zone in March 1981.
1981-2007 - New Zealand Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Committee (Peacemaking Association) spearheaded by Larry Ross who provided the strategy and coordination of a national political campaign for achieving a NZ Nuclear Weapon Free Zone policy. His plan was adopted at the Annual NZ Peace Conference Oct.1981. Based on UN Resolutions of 1978 advocating countries declare Nuclear Free Zones to support nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and global security.
The NZ Nuclear Free Zone Campaign Plan was carried out as follows:
1/Public education materials on horror of nuclear weapons- mass produced desseminated.
2/Petitions to parliament to adopt Nuclear Free Zone policy and withdrawal from ANZUS, instituting a Peacemaking defence and foreign policy and delivery of humanitarian aid
3/Protest -Anti-nuclear demonstrations, marches, rallies, etc
4/Promotion and marketing and popularising the idea in mainstream society with badges, stickers, stalls, organisation of lecture tours, media publicity, events and newsletters.
5/Peace Groups established for lobbying local councils to declare Nuclear Free Zones
1984 snap election there were 86 local Councils who had declared Nuclear Free Zones (61% pop) and the government was voted in on this platform.
1985 - French bombing of the GreenPeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland attracts international support for Nuclear Free New Zealand.
1986 - South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (Treaty of Raratonga)
1987 - NZ Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act was passed by parliament and securely rooted in 105 local Nuclear Free Zones (72%pop)
1990 - National Party adopts the NZNFZ policy
1996 - New Zealand at the forefront of the World Court Project to declare nuclear weapons illegal
1996 - Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (still not ratified)
2007 - Model Nuclear Weapons Convention for elimination and verification plan
2013 - 2014 - Humanitarian Conferences (3) focus on unbearable suffering of civilians, mobilised by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Indefencible that 9 states have 15000 Nuclear weapons, 100 could destroy most life on earth, therefore must be prohibited)
2017 - United Nations Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty is achieved by 122 states
2017 - United Nations Millenium Development Goals address the real threats to humanity and the ecosystem and the commitment to meeting the real needs for health, housing, education, social justice and environmental restoration. Military solutions and massive spending of public funds on warfare exacerbates the problems. Peace requires that all nations uphold the United Nations Charter and eschew the old barbaric cultures of warfare.
2017 - NZ election year is an important opportunity to reinforce our Nuclear Free Defence and Foreign policy as an International Peacemaker to better pursue fulfilment of the UN Charter and UN Millenium Development Goals. This involves developing our role in Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, Peacebuilding, Peace Education and Peace Culture.
The Nuclear Free Peacemaker exhibition features these elements in the visual artwork with succinct wording to illuminate the meaning of peacework.
New Zealand/Aotearoa is in the vanguard of this movement to liberate humanity from the history and perpetuation of violence and warfare.
To achieve this we need to establish the infrastructure for training and employment of thousands of Peace workers and Peace educators.
This requires government investment in cultural proliferation of these ideas. Illumination of our 'Peace History' is necessary for society to remember what the people of New Zealand achieved in the 1980s to protect humanity from the horror of nuclear war and annihilation. This is especially valuable for our young people and new migrants who do not know this history.
It is our national cultural heritage worthy of wholesome civic pride and it should be honoured.
From a Nuclear Free New Zealand to a Nuclear Free World working for Peace.
Hurihia to aroaro ki te ra tukuna to
atarangi kia taka ki muri i a koe
Turn your face to the sun
and the shadows fall behind you
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