Calls for the end of RIMPAC: May 6, 2020
Calls for the end of RIMPAC: May 6, 2020Calls for the end of RIMPAC: May 6, 2020
Emalani Case is Kanaka Maoli from Hawai’i’ and currently lecturing in the Department of Pacific Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Emalani is part of a Cancel RIMPAC Aotearoa coalition made up of peace advocates and human rights justice seekers. They are concerned for the welfare of those in Hawai’i due to the Rim of the Pacific International Maritime war exercise that takes place every two years in Hawai’i. It is understood that NZ will be taking part in the exercise this year, as they have before, and will be sending around 300 troops. The coalition has written an open letter to the Prime Minister of Aotearoa requesting the country withdraw from the exercise and not participate. Lillian spoke to Emalani to find out more and started by asking her to explain more about what RIMPAC is.
Lillian reached out to the Minister for Defence to follow up but he was unavailable for an interview, providing this statement instead:
"New Zealand has regularly participated in the US-led RIMPAC exercise since it commenced in 1971. RIMPAC is the largest exercise in the world, and provides a unique training opportunity for the NZDF. It’s a highlight for our personnel to exercise alongside our Indo-Pacific friends and partners as this exercise allows the NZDF to test a wide range of capabilities in a number of scenarios, from disaster response to maritime security operations.
COVID-19 has inevitably impacted the event and I have been advised the US is planning to continue with the exercise in a reduced format.
The NZDF is currently considering whether it is feasible for our personnel to participate and what our participation might look like."