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October 15, 2018 | by  | in Politics | [ssba]

The Party Line

This year, the defence industry’s annual Defence Industry and National Security Forum will take place at a Palmerston North Council venue. Protestors are pressuring the council to cancel the event for its “truly vile weapons” and “blood money”. Should local councils have the right to restrict controversial forums? Why?


Let’s remember why the expo is happening in Palmerston North in the first place. Last year the “weapon’s expo” was held in Wellington and after the great opposition that was displayed, our Labour mayor, Justin Lester, refused to allow city council venues to be used for the industry trade fair in the future. In Palmerston North, Labour Councillor Lorna Johnson has been vocal about reviewing the policy of venue use, due to the protests against the event. Councils are allowed to restrict controversial forums if they encourage negative behaviour and enact harm onto the city. This is not dissimilar to Auckland City Council forbidding Lauren Southern and Stephen Molyneux because of their vile stances that the people of their city do not support. Wellington City Council has done it, Palmerston North City Council can do it, and any other city council can do it too.


No. Unless the event advocates against or breaks New Zealand law, it is not the position of councils to pass judgement on the content of an event.

– Grahame Woods


Non-violence is at the core of Green politics; it is one of our party’s central charter principles. The expo is a forum for manufacturers to sell destructive capability to nations; in short, it facilitates war, and it facilitates profit from war. If Aotearoa sees itself as a peaceful, non-violent nation, then we cannot allow unethical forums to take place on our soil. Greens@Vic believes that just as we oppose nuclear weapons, we should also oppose cluster bombs, land mines, drone strikes, machine guns, and all forms of state-sanctioned violence. Kia kaha to Peace Action Manawatū, and all of the local leaders fighting for peace on the ground; kaua e mate wheke mate ururoa.

– Zachary Rose

ACT on Campus

People will always find something to protest about. ACT believes that defence is very important to our country. Private venues have the right to decide who they allow to use the space however council venues should be impartial.


About the Author ()

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