“The shocking revelations that Air New Zealand has been assisting the Saudi military in the war on Yemen must prompt a wider inquiry into the Crown’s involvement in the arms trade,” said Peace Action Wellington member Valerie Morse.
“It is absolutely not credible for the Minister of Finance to say that this is an operational matter. This is a national security and foreign affairs issue, and the government cannot avoid taking responsibility for it solely by blaming Air New Zealand.”
“The war on Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. Our national airline is implicated in a naval blockade that has led to the mass starvation of millions of people. It is beyond comprehension. At the same time, that the government was unaware that a company in which they are the majority shareholder is undertaking this kind of work shows a level of negligence which is unacceptable in the extreme.”
“While the actions of Air New Zealand are shocking, they are not surprising to us. We know that the New Zealand government has been pursuing international weapons sales and services as a trade strategy for nearly two decades. There are other crown institutions and government agencies that are deeply involved in the international arms trade.”
“It is time to put a stop to this. It is morally bankrupt and indefensible to profit from war, death and human misery. The New Zealand government should move to ban any and all contracts with militaries that commit human rights abuses. This is not hard.”
“We are calling for a wider inquiry into the actions of Air New Zealand and all crown institutions involved in the arms trade. At this stage we know that this includes New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Callaghan Innovation, University of Auckland Uniservices, the NZ Superfund, University of Canterbury Geospatial Research Institute and ACC. We are sure that there are more.”