Fuseworks Media

USA assistant secretary of state pressuring NZ to join AUKUS will be met with protest

The Stop AUKUS coalition will protest during a visit by the US Assistant Secretary of State Bonnie Jenkins to Wellington this morning. She will be greeted with a large banner saying “No thanks Bonnie, New Zealanders don’t want war with China”.

“If AUKUS is so good for New Zealand, why is there a constant flow of American officials to New Zealand pressuring the National-led government to join AUKUS?”, spokesperson for Stop AUKUS, Kevin Hackwell, said.

“Bonnie Jenkins, the US government’s pro-AUKUS lobbyist, presents AUKUS as a technology sharing agreement. This is insincere and deceptive. The rationale for AUKUS is that it is anti-China and builds up forces for possible war with China, a war that would be devastating to New Zealand and the Pacific.”

“This is reminiscent of the regular visits of US officials to New Zealand in the 1960’s pressuring us to be involved in the Vietnam War, a war that was both unnecessary and shockingly bloody. Two generations later, we mustn’t repeat the same foolishness.”

“AUKUS has no benefits for New Zealand but plenty of risks.”

“Australia’s membership of AUKUS has seen it commit to spending an extra $300 billion on nuclear powered attack submarines that will operate in the South China Sea.”

“Joining AUKUS would require New Zealand to increase its military spending at a time when the government says it can’t afford to buy new ferries, maintain benefit levels, build new schools, hospitals and houses, or even school lunches for children in need.”