Profiting from War: new report on NZ’s weapons and military-related industry released

Profiting_from_war

Peace Action Wellington has today released a report into New Zealand’s weapons and military-related industry.

This report, entitled Profiting from War, has been produced in support of the campaign to stop the annual New Zealand Defence Industry Association conference starting Tuesday morning at the TSB Arena in Wellington.

Peace Action Wellington has today released a report into New Zealand’s weapons and military-related industry. This report, entitled Profiting from War, has been produced in support of the campaign to stop the annual New Zealand Defence Industry Association conference starting Tuesday morning at the TSB Arena in Wellington.

The report outlines links between the New Zealand Government and the local and international weapons and military-related industry. It provides background information about the companies involved, their clients and the New Zealand government’s support for that industry.

“Sadly, what we found doing this research is that despite NZ participating in numerous arms control treaties, it is actively encouraging the export of weapons componentry and military-related goods and services,” said Valerie Morse from Peace Action Wellington.

The support for the industry comes in three forms: funding for research and development, funding of trade promotional activities, and government contracting and investments with multinational arms companies.

“One of the discoveries we made was the Callaghan Innovation Fund’s* provision of multiple taxpayer-subsidised grants over the years 2012-2016 to Cubic Defence, the NZ subsidiary of US arms-producing companies, the Cubic Corporation, that holds contracts with the Israeli Defence Force and the US military and is listed among the world's top 100 arms producers.”

“Trade promotional activities have included funding weapons and military-related companies to travel to overseas weapons conferences. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has sponsored trade stalls in Australia for the NZ weapons lobby group to seek new business opportunities.”

“Meanwhile, the New Zealand government has outstanding contracts with the world’s largest weapons manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, for a half-billion dollars. This is a company that recently justified the widespread horrific bombing of civilians in Yemen by the Saudi Air Force using Lockheed-made F-16 fighter jets and Hellfire missiles.”

“Similarly, there is $136 million of New Zealand taxpayer money that is going towards Super Fund investments in major arms manufacturers. We think that most ordinary New Zealanders would be appalled to know that their retirement fund is essentially seeking to profit from war and conflict. Arms companies like Boeing, BAE and Raytheon make money when they sell more weapons. Wars make the use of weapons much more likely, so these companies have a vested interest in more conflict. These companies don’t just wait for war to happen, they are heavily involved in lobbying for more war spending.”

“The weapons and military-related industry is not legitimate. It is not ethical to cash in on murder and maiming. We will continue to work to stop the operation of the industry, in particular its annual weapons conference, and the NZ government support of it. On Tuesday, there will be a community blockade of the conference starting at 8am. People from all around the country are coming to help shut down this war profiteering.”

*The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment administered this fund prior to that role being transferred to Callaghan.

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