SGI-NZ co-organises Auckland City for Peace Declaration and the Anniversary of NZ’s Nuclear Free Legislation
Auckland City celebrated the launch of Auckland as a Peace City and the 25th anniversary of New Zealand’s nuclear free legislation on 8 and 9 June. The events were organised by the Peace City Committee, including representatives from Soka Gakkai International of NZ (SGINZ) and other civil society organisations. The Committee is headed by Laurie Ross, a long time anti-nuclear activist and an SGI-NZ member.
Among those recognised with the Peacemakers Award was Larry Ross, a pioneering anti-nuclear activist, who passed away recently. Larry’s daughter Laurie received the award on her father’s behalf.
SGI-NZ’s exhibition “Transforming the Human Spirit: From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace” was shown at the mayoral event. Guests praised the exhibition and SGI’s educational efforts for a nuclear-free world. At the mayoral reception, Mayor Len Brown met with representatives of SGINZ and expressed interest in visiting the SGINZ Auckland Cultural Centre.
On 9 June, a public celebration was held at the Aotea Square. SGINZ members participated in a Peace Parade along with other organisations carrying flags, banners and flaming torches. The parade paid tribute to the inherent goodness of humankind and celebrated the diversity that made each individual, race and culture unique.
The celebration included speeches from activists and community groups including Alyn Ware, Former Mayor Bob Harvey, Maire Leadbeater, Greenpeace and General Director Jimi Wallace. There were songs and performances from well- known NZ performers like Shona Laing and school children. The SGINZ’s Victorious March Band which performed two numbers.
SGINZ Auckland members turned out in high numbers to volunteer at the SGINZ stall and set up the Culture of Peace exhibition.
Events organiser Laurie Ross praised the SGI-NZ youth for working for peace. “I am so grateful for the unstinting support of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist group in Auckland for all their practical help and dynamic contribution to the two events for Auckland Peace City public launch and Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Nuclear Free New Zealand.”
“I give thanks to Sensei Daisaku Ikeda for his leadership for a nuclear free world that allows me to continue with faith and renewed energy and action towards the realisation of this goal for humanity and the world”.