We want the Crown to honour its exisiting agreements with Tangata Whenua.
To create better and more diverse representation in local government
To protect mana whenua rights
To protect the land, sea and people
14 June 2009
18:00 - 22:00
Hermann's Bar, Sydney University
Corner of City Road and Butlin Avenue (opposite university main gates)
Over June and July, 3 people will finally go to trial for their role in the G20 protests in Melbourne in November, 2006. These people; Sina Brown-Davis, Tim Davis Frank, and Sunil Menon; are facing charges ranging from Riot to Unlawful Assembly, with Aggravated Burglary and Assault Police in the middle. (The maximum sentence for Agg. Burg. is 25 years!!!)
On the day of rest - Sunday the 14th of June - there will be a fundraiser to help pay for the legal defence of these people and keep them out of gaol!!! All proceeds from this gig will go to the G20 Defence Fund.
Bands playing are:
Ticket prices: $10 (students/centrelink recipients) - $15 (others)
PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON AND HELP KEEP GOOD PEOPLE OUT OF BAD PLACES!
Protection of minorities from torture and ill-treatment
5. While taking note of the Maori Strategic Plan developed by the Department of Corrections, as well as the various initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Justice to reduce Maori offending, the Committee is alarmed at the disproportionately high number of Maoris and Pacific Islands people incarcerated, in particular women who, according to information available to the Committee represent 60% of the female prison population. The Committee is further concerned at the over-representation of Maoris at all levels of the criminal justice process, as well as at the insufficient safeguards in place to protect the rights of minorities from discrimination and marginalization, which put them at a higher risk of torture and ill-treatment. (art.2)
The Committee recalls that the protection of certain minorities or marginalized individuals or populations especially at risk of torture is a part of the obligation of the State party to prevent torture and ill-treatment. In this regard, the State party should take further measures including legal, administrative and judicial measures, to reduce the over-representation of Maoris and Pacific Islands people in prison, in particular women. The State party should also provide adequate training to the judiciary and law enforcement personnel that takes into account the obligation to protect minorities, and integrates a gender perspective. Also, the State party should undertake an in-depth research on the root causes of this phenomenon in order to put in place adequate safeguards to ensure full protection of minorities from discrimination and marginalization, which put them at a higher risk of torture and ill-treatment.
Use of taser weapons
16. While taking note of the assurances by the State party whereby tasers are only to be used by trained and certified staff and only when the officer has an honest belief that the subject is capable of carrying out the threat posed and that the use of the taser is warranted, the Committee is deeply concerned about the introduction of these weapons in the New Zealand police. The Committee is concerned that the use of these weapons causes severe pain constituting a form of torture, and that in some cases it may even cause death. In addition, the Committee is concerned at reports whereby during the trial period tasers were predominantly used on Maoris and youths. (arts. 2 and 16)
The State party should consider relinquishing the use of electric taser weapons, the impact of which on the physical and mental state of targeted persons would appear to violate articles 2 and 16 of the Convention.
|Friday, 15 May 2009, 8:45 am|
Press Release: Key Events
Public Lecture: PACER A Tool To Recolonise The Pacific - Jane Kelsey
Prof. Jane Kelsey will present a public lecture at AUT University's School of Art and Design, focusing on recent developments in the negotiation of free trade agreements in the Pacific.
In her 2001 reports for the Pacific Network on Globalisation, Big Brothers Behaving Badly and A People’s Guide to PACER, Jane Kelsey outlined what the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Countries might mean for Pacific peoples. Australia and NZ are now pushing for Pacific leaders at the Forum Leaders’ meeting in Cairns in August to agree to negotiations for a free trade agreement known as PACER-plus. Jane Kelsey’s talk will examine the geopolitical, social and economic implications of a ‘trade’ treaty that is the latest tool for recolonising the Pacific.
Prof. Jane Kelsey is one of New Zealand’s best-known critical commentators on issues of globalisation, structural adjustment and decolonisation. She is an active member of a number of international coalitions of academics, trade unionists, NGOs and social movements working for social justice. She has written numerous books and articles on the neoliberal restructuring of New Zealand since 1984, including the best-selling ‘The New Zealand Experiment. A World Model for Structural Adjustment?’. Her latest book on globalisation, ‘Serving Whose Interests? The Political Economy of Trade in Services Agreements’, was published in 2008.
Jane Kelsey will be welcomed by Tina Engels-Schwarzpaul (School of Art and Design), Isabella Rasch (Pacific Media Centre), and Wayne Hope (School of Communications). I'u Tuagalu, Pasifika Academic Lecturer, will provide a response to Prof. Kelsey’s presentation. The lecture is open to the public.
Venue and Time:
WE240, Art and Design Building, Gate 4 (off Lorne Street)
Thursday, May 21, 5-6pm
The lecture is co-hosted by AUT University’s School of Art and Design, the Pacific Media Centre, and the School of Communication.
|Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 4:23 pm|
Press Release: Arena
PRESS RELEASE - 6/05/09
Australia and New Zealand call emergency meeting to fast-track Pacific free trade deal
Australian and New Zealand Trade Ministers will this weekend attempt to convince their Pacific counterparts to ignore the Islands' own trade officials and press ahead with a free trade deal - warns regional trade justice campaigners.
Trade Ministers from 13 Pacific island countries have been invited to Auckland for a last-minute meeting with their Australian and New Zealand counterparts to discuss extending the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) to a regional free trade agreement. Any new free trade deal would be named PACER-Plus.
Coordinator of the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG), Maureen Penjueli, said Australia and New Zealand were pushing hard to launch PACER-Plus at the 2009 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting - to be held in Cairns in mid-August. "This timeline is all about the political priorities of the Australian government in particular," said Ms Penjueli. "It certainly has nothing to do with the development needs of the Pacific." She said the meeting had been called to try to secure a 'ministerial mandate' for negotiations on PACER-Plus in the lead up to a meeting of Pacific, Australian and New Zealand trade officials in Vanuatu next week.
The invitation letter for this weekend's meeting, from New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser, said discussions would "serve to give high level direction to the final meeting of regional trade officials in May".
At the 2008 Pacific Islands Forum Leader's Meeting, Pacific trade officials were mandated to prepare a roadmap for possible negotiations. The draft roadmap, prepared earlier this year, indicated PACER-Plus negotiations could not go ahead until the Pacific had ceased trade negotiations with the European Union, a regional office for a Chief Trade Advisor had been established, national consultations were undertaken in each country, and consultations about the coverage and modality of negotiations were completed. The roadmap gave a detailed timeline for these things to happen, indicating formal consultations would not begin until 2011, with actual negotiations to begin in 2013.
However, the Australian and New Zealand governments are unhappy with the proposed timeline and will this weekend push for agreement to begin negotiations much earlier. Ms Penjueli said this tactic served to drive a wedge between the Pacific Trade Ministers and their own officials.
Pacific Island Leaders issued a press release at the 2008 Forum Leaders' Meeting in Niue stressing the need for "careful preparations by Forum Island Countries (FICs) both individually and collectively, before consultations began with Australia and New Zealand."  Ms Penjueli said it was important for Pacific Trade Ministers to take heed of this decision. "To tie ourselves down to beginning negotiations early is just not in our interests," said Ms Penjueli. She said that if Pacific countries got PACER-Plus wrong, they could face massive losses of government revenue, business closures and job losses, a loss of policy space needed for development, an undermining of access to essential services and a loss of indigenous land rights.
Dr Jane Kelsey, from the New Zealand-based ARENA network said the meeting had "all the hallmarks of an Australian and New Zealand ambush". "The current Solomon Islands roadmap for PACER-Plus has two sets of square brackets - one for the slow process proposed by the Pacific island countries, and the other for the rapid timeline sought by Australia and New Zealand," said Dr Kelsey.
Adam Wolfenden, campaign coordinator for the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET), said the informal ministerial was nothing more than "informal bullying". "This informal Ministerial will once again see Trade Ministers from Australia and New Zealand spin the same stories about PACER-Plus being a blessing for the Pacific despite an AusAID feasibility study stating that it can't be sure just what the benefits will be for the Pacific," said Mr Wolfenden. "There may well be an increase in trade, but it's going to be an increase in Australian and New Zealand exports to region. "With Fiji out of the picture it seems like Australia and New Zealand are trying to get what they can out of the rest of the region."
The 'informal' meeting of Pacific Trade Ministers and their Australian and New Zealand counterparts will be held at the Westin Auckland hotel on Friday May 8 and Saturday May 9.
|Wednesday, 06 May 2009, 7:49 am|
Press Release: Arena
Arena accuses NZ Govt of ambushing Pacific on trade deal
This weekend’s meeting of Pacific trade ministers in Auckland to progress the launch of PACER+ trade negotiations has all the hallmarks of an Australian and New Zealand ambush, the Arena network said today.
“Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said last Friday that he and the Australians have agreed on a joint strategy to link aid and trade ahead of a meeting with Pacific trade ministers on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER),” Arena spokesperson Dr Jane Kelsey said.
“This sounds like the bullying tactics of old, with aid used as a carrot or stick to get Pacific Island Countries to agree to what the ‘big brothers’ are demanding.”
“The current Solomon Islands ‘roadmap’ for PACER+ has two sets of square brackets – one for the slow process proposed by the Pacific Island Countries, and the other for the rapid timeline sought by Australia and New Zealand.”
The agenda for the weekend’s meeting suggests they plan to push Pacific ministers to agree to a date for launching the negotiations before the senior officials meet in Vanuatu in mid-May, Jane Kelsey said.
“The studies on PACER+ that will be discussed on the weekend have mainly been commissioned by Australia and New Zealand to bolster their case.”
“The ‘consensus’ approach to decision making means once Pacific countries have been pressured into an agreement even informally, Australia and New Zealand will insist on a consensus to change it.”
“At this stage not all the Pacific trade ministers have agreed to come to Auckland, which will further undermine any claim to consensus.”
“Fiji also thinks it is still invited, although New Zealand says otherwise.”
“The government pretends that its aim is to promote Pacific development. NGOs and churches in the region point out that it is really about ideology and old colonial powers using trade agreements as a weapon to dominate the region.”
Arena supports the call for the PACER negotiations to be abandoned in favour of a genuine development programme for the region, Jane Kelsey said.
Arena is an Aotearoa/New Zealand network of individuals and organizations committed to resist corporate ‘globalization’ in all its forms. Arena stands for an alternative development model based on self-determination, social justice, genuine people-centered development and environmental sustainability.