By New Zealand/Aotearoa for a World BEYOND War, May 18, 2023
A New Zealand peace network says the budget’s record military spending will please our most dangerous ally — the United States — but dramatically increase the risk of propelling us into a nuclear war.
World BEYOND War spokesman and former Disarmament Minister, the Hon. Matt Robson, says the dramatically increased military spending — a record $6.6 Billion — is not driven by any real security needs but rather that Prime Ministers Ardern and Hipkins signed up to the containment policies of nuclear armed NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation).
“The steady increases over the last five years, and the planned future big ticket items to make New Zealand interoperable with NATO, are justified by the lie that New Zealand is threatened by China and Russia,” he says.
“The real security threat is New Zealand having a dangerous ally in US- led NATO, which is increasing its bases and concentrating its military might on China’s doorstep”, says Mr Robson.
As an Asian partner, along with big military spenders Japan, Australia and South Korea the price tag of interoperability with NATO is to continually increase military spending, he says.
“Our biggest trading partner China has but two military bases outside of its territory, while the US and its NATO allies have them globally with almost 500, and expanding, in the Pacific”.
“The US is now seeking to add Papua New Guinea to that list. That tells you which country is driving militarisation of the Pacific — our most dangerous ally, the US,” says Mr Robson.
World BEYOND War’s Vice President Liz Remmerswaal says this spending takes away from New Zealand’s social and economic needs at a time when people are hurting.
“We are dealing with the effects of a global pandemic as well as cyclone damage and a climate crises,” she says.
“New Zealand’s social and economic development, the basis of our actual security, require cooperation with China on multiple levels, including climate change and development strategies with and for our Pacific neighbours, and this should be our focus,” says Mrs Remmerswaal.
“Our security is not served by going deeper into the nuclear arms of NATO and being at war with China and Russia.”