Waihopai Ploughshares

At 6am on the morning of 30 April 2008, three members of a New Zealand Ploughshares group, Sam Land. Adi Leeson, and Peter Murnane ,entered the Waihopai spy base and used sickles to deflate one of the two 30 metre domes covering satellite interception dishes. They then built a shrine and prayed for the victims of the war with no end – the so-called ‘War on Terror’ led by the United States government which also controls the NZ taxpayer funded Waihopai base. The government claimed damages were over a million dollars.

The Waihopi spy base is part of the US ECHELON system and gathers satellite intelligence for US wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. In some ways it is a much smaller version of Australias Pine Gap.

On March 8th the three go to trial in Wellington, and face possible jail sentences. People are converging on Wellington to support their act of resistance.

More information about Waihopai Ploughshares is available at http://ploughshares.org.nz and http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/plshares.htm and information about the Waihopai spy base is at http://www.converge.org.nz/abc/waihopai.html

*IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHOW SUPPORT but cant make it to NZ ( just across the ditch as our friends say), we have a copy of a great CD by Jeff Simmonds. Jeff made the CD in solidarity with the Ploughshares activists. Below is an image of the front and back covers.

For $20 each donation I will post you a copy of one or more CDs. All the money will go towards the expenses of organizing around the trial.


We are having a benefit night on FRIDAY 26th Feb at BlackStar coffee shop.

Attached is the Flyer for it. Hope you can make it.

*ALSO ATTACHED (Because I think it is the best Front page of a paper I have seen) is a copy of the Newzealander newspaper report of the action. Makes me think Australian Journalists dont have a sense of humour.

BENEFIT NIGHT for Waihopai three.docx

Really can you pop it?

5 thoughts on “Waihopai Ploughshares

  1. Waihopai Dome-busters On Trial says:

    by Bryan Law from Cairns Peace by Peace – Penguins for peace

    Last Saturday I went to Brisbane for gathering of Catholic Workers and friends. The guest of honour was a 69 year old Dominican friar, Fr Peter Murnane. Peter was born in Cobden, western Victoria. He’s spent the last eighteen years living in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    In April 2008 Peter was one of three Catholic Worker activists who, calling themselves ANZAC Ploughshares, broke into the US run Waihopai spy base outside Blenheim in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. After they broke in they deflated a radome, exposing the satellite dish within. Waihopai is a ground receiving station for space-based signals and electronic “intelligence”, which is then fed into the US “Defence” (war-fighting) system. The other Catholic Workers are young organic farmers, Sam land and Adi Leason…

    Read more at Waihopai Dome-busters On Trial

  2. Jim Dowling says:

    Message from Jim Dowling :

    Dear friends, I have been in Wellington for three days, supporting the Anzac (Waihopai) ploughshares.

    It is now day four of the trial.

    THere has been a wonderful atmosphere of solidarity an friendship as up to sixty supporters have attended court and met around a shrine for meals and prayer, in a local park.

    For a report of the trial please read Brayn’s blog so far at

    I will write more soon.


  3. Ciaron O'Reilly says:

    NZ Scoop Article in Solidarity with Wahopai Ploughshares on Trial in Wellington NZ
    Report and Images by Carey Davies

    The scene in the packed public gallery of Wellington District Court resembled an anti-war rally yesterday, with friends and supporters of three Christian peace activists facing charges for deflating a radar dome at the Waihopai monitoring station in 2008 turning up from as far away as Australia to show their support… http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1003/S00138.htm

    Ploughshares Mob NZ

    Ploughshares Mob NZ at Waihopai Dome-busters Trial

  4. Brian law's reflections from New Zealand trial says:

    Day 4

    I’m ordered by the Court to cease reporting on this trial.

    This morning I was called into the closed Court by Judge Harrop and shown an extract of my blog from Day 2. The extract contained a photo of Adi Leason that I captured from a TV3 broadcast, and a paragraph that I wrote saying that legal argument had taken place.

    Judge Harrop never mentioned the photo, but he said that the mention of things which happened in the absence of the jury was against the court reporting rules in New Zealand.

    He ordered me “to desist from any further reporting of this trial until after it is finished” and he reminded me of his powers to find me in contempt and imprison me for the duration if I disobeyed his order.

    Upon my request he allowed me to publish his order, and explain the sudden absence of reports on this site about the trial.

    I WILL OBEY the Judge’s orders, because I agree with him that no-one wants to see this trial aborted. Indeed, I have gone further and removed the offending paragraph.

    The freedom of speech around court hearings is an important part of democracy, and one I will take up after this trial is over – but it is not the central issue just now. The central issue is the conscience, action and trial of Adi, Peter and Sam…

    Read More at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1003/S00194.htm

  5. Acquitted on all charges says:

    *For background and updates on the Waihopai Ploughshares action, trial and acquittal go to…http://www.ploughshares.org.nz

    – 6.30PM – March 17, 2010

    Ciaron O’Reilly
    March 2010

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