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Thirty years opposing nukes
Posted at 11:16am Friday 09 Jun, 2017 | By Ryan Wood email@example.com
It’s been 30 years since New Zealand forged its own path and proclaimed itself nuclear-free.
In 1987 Labour passed the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act, enshrining our nuclear-free status in law.
However, it also riled the United States, which downgraded our status from ‘ally’ to merely ‘friend’.
Tauranga women Mary Rose and Joy Rising are self-proclaimed ‘elderly peaceniks’ who will be marking the occasion this Sunday with placards. They hope to get out and about and remind people to be committed to peace.
Mary says in 1987, she didn’t realise how important the nuclear-free legislation was.
“I was living on a farm in Opotiki at the time. I wasn’t yet politically aware.”
In 1995 she joined the Quakers, however, and embraced their ideas around promoting peace.
“I found they were a faith community that worked on a cooperative basis,” says Mary. “Each person has ministry and responsibility. There’s no dogma or creed – each person has their own experience of God.”
Since then she has actively promoted peace, including going up to Auckland to protest the recent arms conference, as well as an oil conference in New Plymouth. She considers both nuclear weapons and climate change to be equally dangerous threats to human survival.
And both of them are influenced by big business.
“It’s almost terrifying when you realise the influence these industries have on governments, too.”
She and Joy have come up with the idea to get out and be a presence in places such as parks or intersections this Sunday, to let people know both what we have achieved, but also how much further we have to go.
Anyone interested in helping out or taking part can contact Mary via firstname.lastname@example.org.