The Green Party strongly condemns the revelation that Air New Zealand may have provided assistance and maintenance to Saudi Arabian vessels involved in committing atrocities in Yemen.
“My thoughts go to the Yemeni community who continue to suffer one of the worst atrocities in human history, including mass starvation and violence causing hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, leaving millions displaced”, Green Party spokesperson on Human Rights Golriz Ghahraman said today.
“New Zealanders will be heartbroken to find our national carrier may have helped commit these mass crimes for financial gain.
“As a child in Iran I saw a little of the ravages of another Middle Eastern war, which waged on for far too long because there was profit in our suffering. After celebrating the reinstatement of our refugee resettlement programme last week, this latest revelation is a reminder that the best way to help refugees is to prevent our displacement. Air New Zealand has breached that duty of care.
“We must now be vigilant here in Aotearoa against the culture of impunity when it comes to corporate profit from war industries.
“We welcome Air New Zealand’s move to cease all support for the Saudi military after the matter came to light, and to apply this lesson to all future third party contracts.
“However, we as a nation have an absolute legal and moral duty to investigate, and hold to account anyone in Air New Zealand’s leadership who may be found to have knowingly provided support and assistance to the atrocities committed in Yemen. If those in Air New Zealand HQ were not aware of what was going on, it needs to be established how that was allowed to happen.
“Now, as always, is a time for Aotearoa New Zealand to stand as an independent principled voice for peace.”