Staying vigilant for peace

Joy Rising, Gray Southon, Shirley Freeman, and Mary Rose. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

New Zealand has been a world-leader in being nuclear-free since the 1980s – and it was that spirit peace activists were tapping into yesterday on The Strand.

A peace vigil was held on the waterfront during the afternoon, with people bringing placards to promote the dream of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Committed proponent of peace, and opponent of nuclear weapons, Mary Rose was among those who attended.

“I’ve become deeply concerned about the global impact of nuclear weapons. They are one of the primary threats to survival of humanity, along with climate change.”

The vigil also intended to raise awareness about a United Nations conference in New York, in which more than 130 countries were attempting to draft a treaty calling for a ban on nuclear weapons.

However, none of the countries involved in the process have nuclear weapons – while those countries that are nuclear-armed have expressed their opposition to such a treaty.

Gray Southon, who attended the vigil, says most of New Zealand’s traditional allies are against the negotiations to end nuclear weapons.

“But we are with the majority of the world’s nations, and we are one of the leaders in promoting these negotiations to permanently ban nuclear weapons.”

Joy Rising, another attendee, thinks the rise of President Trump has contributed to a groundswell in activism of this kind around the world.

“He’s actually encouraging people to take it upon themselves to do something. By saying ‘no, we can’t do it’, people are defying him.”

More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now


Posted on 22-06-2017 09:27 | By Papamoaner

A couple of high profile accidents has created an unfortunate stigma, but there have been some quite spectacular hydro dam failures worldwide that don’t attract the same media profile. Geotechnical engineers have been concerned for a number of years about the integrity of some of our own hydro dams, and the Cook Strait cable in a major seismic event. A nuclear fusion generating plant is not going anywhere in an event if it is embedded into basement rock of solid greywacke. Evidently fusion produces only a fraction of active waste compared to fission, and the half-life is less. As to environmental radiation, we are more at risk from medical and industrial isotopes, that we have been using here for decades. We will never quell suspicion whilst there are superstitious people who have always believed in ghosts.

@ Papamoaner

Posted on 20-06-2017 22:35 | By astex

Couldn’t agree more. The ban on weapons was fine but we are also restricted from using the cleanest, greenest, safest power source there is. One plant in the North Island and one in the South could take care of most of our needs. There is no argument about nuclear power and even the greens never mention it as bad.

Yes and no

Posted on 18-06-2017 12:10 | By Papamoaner

I respect and support your stance against nuclear weapons guys, but nuclear electric power generation is the way of the future. All the literature indicates that once perfected (soon), nuclear fusion, as opposed to the present fission, will be almost as safe as hydro dams.