UNANZ: On What does the Security of New Zealand Depend? What is our role as community?

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Location: Online Event

Webinar Panel Discussion 

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The Covid-19 pandemic has made many of us acutely aware of how very dependent are our lives, and how we live them, on the actions of others here and beyond our borders. We are questioning aspects of New Zealand's security that we once may have assumed were being taken care of.

Internationally there is growing instability in major power relationships, uncertainty in the stability of many smaller nations, dependence on complex trading systems and rampant technological developments. A highly-interconnected world requires our increasing awareness and strengthening of human health, ecosystem functioning, community stability, and the viability of the biosphere itself.

Now is a fertile time to reassess what security means for us as a community, and as a nation. What threats are important and how can we best address them? What does this mean for how we see ourselves, our community values, our international standing, and our prosperity?

This event is an initial exploration to stimulate thinking on some selected security questions within and beyond our shores. We have gathered four very different speakers to set the scene for audience discussion and feedback.

Tony Lynch, an experienced diplomat, is now Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), where the nations’ security policy is based. He heads the National Security Group and will set out the official policy and how security is managed.

Dr. Richard Jackson, Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in the University of Otago. He will discuss how the combined impact of the covid-19 pandemic, the black lives matter protests, rising economic inequality and the climate change crisis make the orthodox security paradigm redundant. He will discuss how we might begin to rethink our notions of national security, including the idea of replacing national military forces with social defence.

Gray Southon, a long-standing member of United Nations Association and President of the Tauranga Branch. He has studied issues of security and community perspectives for decades. He will explore how our community often views security and factors that support those views. He will also outline the potential of a more constructive security through greater community engagement.

Raf Manji, a former Christchurch City Councillor and currently a strategy and risk consultant with a background in global finance. He will speak as a prominent member of the Christchurch community deeply involved in the city’s recent crises and their aftermath, and look at how national security issues impact local communities.

Facilitator: Joy Dunsheath JP, National President (2016-2018) and Honorary Life Member of United Nations Association. A former teacher and Cultural / Arts Director with involvement in human rights, justice, education, and gender equality. She is a regular speaker and radio contributor on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Following the talks, the audience will discuss their responses and questions in small zoom breakout rooms. The chat function will be used to record these for comment by the panellists.

The event will be recorded and made available for later viewing.