Anti-Nuclear Protest Banner

Thursday 19 July 2018

A giant, colourful banner used by New Zealanders at anti-nuclear protests around the world has been gifted to the Museum.

Kate Dewes leads anti-nuclear demonstrators, with banner, on a march in 1988

Kate Dewes and others carrying the banner at the NGO march in New York City in 1998. Image courtesy of Kate Dewes

Christchurch anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Kate Dewes donated the 5.5 metre-long banner, which she and others carried at demonstrations over the last 30 years, earlier this year.

The banner bears the message, “Nuclear Free New Zealand/Aotearoa”. It was created for Dewes’ 1988 trip to New York, where she represented citizen groups on the New Zealand Government delegation to the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament III.

During that trip, Dewes and a group of New Zealanders carried the banner at a march through New York’s streets to promote the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987.

In subsequent years the banner appeared at protests, events and conferences, including being displayed at a French submarine base protest in 1991 and attached to the side of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

It was also taken to most international meetings of the World Court Project, a 20-year international campaign to get the International Court of Justice to rule on the legality of nuclear weapons.

The banner’s most recent outing was in July 2017 in New York, when the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The banner will form part of the Museum's Peace Collection, which Dewes helped to start in 2005.

2019.93.1 Banner

The banner reads "Nuclear Free New Zealand/Aotearoa". Canterbury Museum 2018.93.1

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