Peace Groups Say Cancel Public Transport Contract With Arms Company

Peace groups have written to Minister of Transport Michael Wood seeking the cancellation of a contract with Cubic Corporation for the provision of a public transport ticketing system. Cubic provides weapons training systems, including training on the notorious Predator and Reaper drone systems.

“We are calling on the Minister to intervene and cancel this contract. Overwhelmingly New Zealanders do not want their money invested in weapons companies, yet the government continues to sign large contracts with global weapons dealers handing over tax dollars that strengthen these very companies,” said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

“Cubic Corporation is a US-based weapons company. They make their money by promoting Islamophobic images where Muslim men are identified as targets.”

“Given the Christchurch massacre and growing Islamophobia in Aotearoa NZ, it is obscene that a government department is signing contracts with a company that directly profits from promoting religious and ethnic violence.”

“The NZ government needs to institute some ethical investment parameters for government contracts. It does not make sense to talk about addressing violent extremism and the growth of militarism on one hand, as the government has done just this year, and on the other hand, sign state contracts with companies that are actively engaged in those things.”

“Aside from Cubic’s Islamophobic war profiteering, the company’s New Zealand subsidiary has a history of evading export controls for military goods. It is not a good look for the government to be doing business with a company that has such a background.”

“The quick and easy way to solve this problem is to make public transport free across the whole country. Then we don’t need a ticketing system, and we don’t need to deal with a weapons company. It would also go a long way to easing the soaring cost of transport and climate emissions at the same time.”

“We call on the Minister to take urgent action and stop this contract now.”

The letter was authored by Peace Action Wellington, Auckland Peace Action, the Foundation Against Islamophobia & Racism, and the Director of the National Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies at Otago University.


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