Schools’ Peace Week 2017

Schools' Peace Week 2017: Aotearoa New Zealand 30 years Nuclear Free

Schools' Peace Week 2017 was held from August 7th - 11th 2017, so put this in your school calendar and 'Save the Date'! In 2016 we had 264 schools take part in Schools’ Peace Week across Aotearoa NZ, and the globe, and we're planning for 2017 to be even bigger! 

2017 was an especially important year for Schools' Peace Week, as it is also the 30th Anniversary of New Zealand's Nuclear Free Zone Act. As such, the Schools' Peace Week theme for 2017 was: Aotearoa New Zealand - 30 years Nuclear Free (#nuclearfreeNZ #nznf30 #schoolspeaceweek). Peace groups, schools and students across the country will be getting involved in peace and disarmament education and celebrating New Zealand's success as a peacemaking nation and a world leader in nuclear disarmament. 

If you haven't been involved in Schools' Peace Week before, you might like to check out last year's event here:

And our Facebook page:

All the best and we've celebrated Schools' Peace Week 2017 with you and your school community.

This year marks thirty years since New Zealand became a Nuclear Free Zone through the Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act. Let’s celebrate together!

From August 7th to 11th, more than 120 schools across the country got involved in peace education activities. This is a unique opportunity to acknowledge New Zealand’s leadership in nuclear disarmament and celebrate our success as a peacemaking nation! 

New Zealand is Nuclear Free, and has been now for thirty years - we think that is awesome! In a world that is increasingly unstable and President Donald Trump is at the helm of the current superpower the USA, we as global citizens need global nuclear disarmament! And we need countries, like New Zealand, that are brave enough to be nuclear free and have the intention of staying nuclear free. New Zealand’s nuclear free law was the result of a broad-based movement of ordinary New Zealanders, who worked tirelessly over decades to convince other New Zealanders, and their government, to oppose the most destructive, inhumane weapons ever invented. This citizens’ movement included faith-based organisations, sports groups, students, Māori/ tangata whenua, women’s groups, business networks, doctors’ and lawyers’ associations and many others. By 1986, there were 350 active, local-area peace groups working on nuclear issues. In the process of becoming nuclear free, the nuclear free movement helped to redefine what it means to be a New Zealander. New Zealand’s identity as an independent, principled nation still resonates today in venues such as the United Nations Security Council, on which New Zealand served in 2015-17. We think our Nuclear Free stance in New Zealand is something we can all be proud of and it deserves celebrating - that’s why it’s the theme of Schools’ Peace Week this year. 


Meanwhile, nuclear disarmament isn't just something that happened in NZ 30 years ago, people across the world are uniting on this today! SPW 2017 allowed students from NZ to connect with schools across the globe and share their projects on disarmament and learn more about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that has just been adopted at the U.N. by the majority of the world's countries!

The message is loud and clear: 122 nations want to get rid of nuclear weapons for good. This groundbreaking treaty finally allows diverse voices calling for disarmament to be heard globally. The text bans all kinds of activities related to nuclear weapons, and it also acknowledges the harm done to victims and to the environment and forces governments to give remediation.

Long story short, we’re on our way to solve the nuclear weapons issue. How incredible is that?

The fight is far from being over, which is why it is essential for the youth to raise their voice against those weapons of mass destruction. The US alone feeds the nuclear weapons industry with more than $60 billion per year, an amount that could be spent for pressing issues like education, healthcare, or climate change. The next generation has a say when it comes to forging a safer and fairer world, and this Treaty is proof that the power of the little people like us can go a long way!

What can you do to continue this fantastic momentum? Well, the Treaty opens for ratification on September 20th. Let’s now head to the next step: getting the NZ government to sign and ratify the text!

Get involved in SPW 2017 and take part in many activities to support nuclear disarmament within your school and your community.


SPW 2017 runs from 7-11 August. Register your school here to receive our toolkit and updates!

Check out last year’s event here:

Like us on Facebook for updates!

#nuclearfreeNZ #nznf30 #schoolspeaceweek