From the Worldwide Faith News archives

New Zealand Bishop Joins Nuclear Testing Protest

Date 06 May 1996 06:12:15

Canon James M. Rosenthal, Director of Communications
Anglican Communion News Service
157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UT, England
Tel. 44 0171 620-1110
Fax 44 0171 620-1071

#725 ACC 

29 September 1995

(New Zealand Churches News) The Anglican Bishop of Waikato, New
Zealand, the Rt Revd David Moxon, is to join the navy vessel Tui on
its voyage from Rarotonga to Mururoa, it was announced on 11
September. Bishop Moxon will represent most of the Christian
denominations in New Zealand in their protest against French testing
of nuclear weapons in the South Pacific. The Prime Minister's office
has arranged for Bishop Moxon to be taken from Auckland to Rarotonga
to join the Tui.

During his 20-30 days near Mururoa, Bishop Moxon will minister to
the people on board the ship. The  Tui  is  acting as a support
vessel for the protest fleet in and  around  French  Polynesia.
While it does not intervene when/if protest  vessels  breach  the 
French exclusion zone around the atoll, it has been  supplying 
water, fuel and medical care to the various protest vessels. It  is
also believed that the presence of the Tui is ensuring  that  the 
French observe international law in their efforts to deal with the
embarrassment of the protest fleet. Bishop Moxon will also be
contacting Churches around the world, including those in the
Pacific, in French Polynesia and in mainland France, encouraging
them to pray about the whole issue. Almost all the Church leaders in
New Zealand have expressed concern about the impact of the testing
on the South Pacific environment, both in the immediate future and
also in the long term.

Bishop Moxon has had  considerable  experience  in  the islands of
the Pacific; he spent a year working in volunteer service in Fiji
and has also stayed in  Tonga, Samoa and Tahiti. The 10 island
nations of the South West Pacific are part of the Diocese of
Polynesia, one of the three partners in the Anglican Church in
Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.   Another New Zealand Anglican
bishop has a personal interest in the anti-nuclear Protests
currently taking place in the South Pacific.  Murray  Mills,
diocesan bishop of Waiapu, is the father of one of the key
Greenpeace communicators who was, until her arrest by the French
military, on board the Rainbow Warrior protest ship.

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