Protests against Navy's 75th anniversary celebrations

Protestors in Auckland (Auckland Peace Action / Facebook)
Protestors in Auckland (Auckland Peace Action / Facebook)

A series of events are taking place around Auckland on Saturday to protest the Navy's 75th anniversary celebrations.

Peace groups see the week-long celebrations as a contradiction of Auckland's status as a 'City for Peace', a title officially declared by Auckland Council in 2011.

The International Naval Review is set to take place in Waitemata Harbour this afternoon, with vessels from New Zealand and around the world gathering, in conjunction with a weapons expo that has already sparked controversy.

In response activists have held a Week of Peace, Auckland Peace Action denouncing what has been labelled a "massive celebration of war".

They have organised a 'peace flotilla' to surround the navy boats involved in the naval review on Saturday afternoon.

"This flotilla and the Week of Peace will call out this glorified display of the repugnant commercialism of war," reads the Facebook event description.

"Preparing for war perpetuates war - we don't want it, and we don't need it."

Also this afternoon, protest group People for Peace will be marching from Aotea Square to Britomart.

Spokeswoman Lisa Er said they are calling on people to unite against "new and ugly war issues that are emerging".

"We teach our children not to fight in kindergarten. We teach them not to fight in school. What happens when they get into government?" Ms Er told Newshub.

She acknowledged the role some of the battleships have played in assisting those stranded in Kaikoura, saying it is "their other role" that is abhorrent.

The two groups are not the only ones angered by this week's celebrations. During a presentation at AUT this week, anti-nuclear advocate Dr Helen Caldicott said that by letting the warships into our harbour we were, "welcoming a feast of militarism".

Greenpeace has also been out on the water in Auckland today, with executive director Russel Norman saying the organisation aims to be "a voice for peace".