The government has indicated it plans to deploy the NZ military against a peaceful flotilla opposing the entry of warships into Auckland Harbour in November.
This is a major crackdown on protests. It even bans swimming in parts of the Harbour while these warships are around.
The NZ Navy is hosting wargames with a US warship in mid-November in the Hauraki Gulf. Auckland Peace Action is organising a flotilla to demonstrate New Zealanders’ opposition to war and weapons.
This country has an incredibly proud history of on-water actions against war and nuclear weapons. However, this government is determined that it won’t be embarrassed while it is hosting the US military here. It is effectively declaring martial law in these particular parts of the Harbour, and denying people freedom to use the water.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges issued an intention to declare a Major Maritime Event starting 10 November. It allows the NZDF to be used as enforcement officers to ensure that people stay out of the areas listed in the declaration, and to use force if necessary.
The NZ Navy war games, dubbed ‘Operation Mahi Tangaroa,’ are part of a demonstration of US naval superiority for the protection of multinational big business, including deep sea oil exploration, GMO aquaculture, seabed mining and fisheries exploitation.