Psychologists concerned about Defence Industry Forum in Wellington
The New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) is concerned that the Defence Industry and National Security Forum is to
take place in Wellington this month. This event sponsored by Lockheed Martin, currently the world’s largest arms
manufacturer, focuses on the buying, selling and marketing of war weapons.
Dr John Fitzgerald, President Elect of the NZPsS says the New Zealand Psychological Society supports the stance taken by
Wellington’s mayor Justin Lester to prevent the forum taking place in council-controlled venues. He says that promoting
the sale of weapons in a city that declared itself nuclear-free in 1982 contradicts the message that Wellington is a
place that promotes peaceful not violent solutions to conflict.
Dr Fitzgerald notes that one of the keynote speakers at the Forum is Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the
Prime Minister, and expresses the hope that Sir Peter will use this opportunity to promote ways in which science can
assist in avoiding armed conflict.
Dr Fitzgerald says that applying science to the management of climate change and alleviation of poverty and inequality
is essential in preventing human conflict.
Background to the New Zealand Psychological Society
The New Zealand Psychological Society is the largest professional association for psychologists in New Zealand. It has
over 1200 members and 600 student subscribers and aims to improve individual and community wellbeing by representing,
promoting and advancing the scientific discipline and practice of psychology.