Nuclear Weapon Free Declaration Celebrations This Saturday

11 April 2012

Wellington's Civic Square will rock to the music of peace this Saturday when some of New Zealand's best loved musicians headline a free concert to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Wellington's Nuclear Weapon Free declaration.

APRA Silver Scroll winner Don McGlashan joins multiple award-winning musicians Warren Maxwell and Anika Moa this Saturday, alongside Bella Kalolo and Sam Manzanza and band.

Wellington City Council with Soka Gakkai International New Zealand have organised the family-friendly concert in Civic Square, beginning 10.30am 14 April 2012.

There will also be food and drink vendors, community information stalls and a special activity area for the kids where they can make their own peace badge, flags and various other mementos.

A Mayoral reception will be held in Wellington City Council Chambers from midday for invited guests, diplomats and participants in the Nuclear Weapon Free movement.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the event aims to be fun for families and people of all ages, while being informative to a new generation of Wellingtonians.

"Thirty years ago people had to struggle for what we take for granted now - a nuclear weapon free New Zealand. The movement for a nuclear weapon free world is highly relevant today," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

Councillor Helene Ritchie, who moved the declaration that took effect April 14 1982, said that the Declaration in the Capital in 1982 had "significant repercussions, both for national and international politics".

"In 1982 when the Declaration was passed, there were ships coming into Wellington Harbour with nuclear capability whose country of origin would neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weaponry on them," says Cr Ritchie.

"Within one year, through the effort of local Councils, half of New Zealand was living in nuclear free zones; by 1987 when the national legislation was passed, 72% of New Zealanders already lived in these declared zones."

Wellington based members of the Buddhist movement Soka Gakkai International say they are delighted co-host this weekend's concert to commemorate 30 years since Wellington declared itself nuclear weapon free.

SGI New Zealand General Director Jimi Wallace says the movement worldwide has advocated nuclear disarmament for the past fifty years.  "We feel it is important that ordinary people take the lead in generating a groundswell of support for nuclear abolition, which is really what Wellington's nuclear weapon free declaration symbolises.

"We're proud to support this bold and visionary declaration that our City Council has maintained for 30 years and look forward to continued progress towards a world free of nuclear weapons which - while extremely difficult - is the only sound, rational and humanistic option."

Wellington's Nuclear Weapon Free Declaration: 30th Anniversary Concert

Featuring Don McGlashan, Warren Maxwell, Anika Moa, Bella Kalolo and Sam Manzanza and band

14 April 2012, 10.30am

Civic Square, Wellington

Speeches Given at the Celebrations

Mayor's Speech

Graham Kelly (74Kb PDF) | Text version (7Kb RTF)

Lachlan Mackay (35Kb PDF) | Text version (5Kb RTF)

Councillor Helene Ritchie (23Kb PDF) | Text version (9Kb RTF)

Laurie Ross (29Kb PDF) | Text version (7Kb RTF)

Photos of the Event

Photos of 30th Anniversary Celebrations - Flickr website