I just interviewed Christopher Le Breton, who as the co-manager of The Peace Foundation, I wanted to know if peace is actually possible, especially with
the background din of horror, pain and loss in so many countries and expanding.
What he told me below shows that a small country like Nuclear Free New Zealand could be pivotal in world events.
This may be one of New Zealand’s greatest social and mindful exports of the 21st century. Nuclear Free New Zealand could again become the moral compass
for a planet of peace and a totally new paradigm.
The Peace Foundation
“The Peace Foundation” was established in
Auckland NZ 1975, with the vision of building peaceful local, national and global communities.
That in 1987, it helped bring about ‘Nuclear Free New Zealand’ in partnership with citizen groups around NZ all coming together. This awoke NZ and then
the world woke up to NZ.
That in 2008, it managed to initiate a ‘chair’ of Peace Studies at Otago University in Dunedin. As a result it has become a leading centre of Peace studies
in the World.
On the 8th of June 2012 was a main player in inaugurating Auckland as a ‘World Peace City.’
And over the last 20 years has been facilitating and teaching children in schools about ‘peer mediation’ and ‘conflict resolution’ in the ‘Cool Schools’ program. With children been taught how to mediate disputes for
This interview covers many avenues as to how The Peace Foundation can teach skills and methods to bring about peace in the classroom, playing fields and
community all the way to national and global situations.
Showing too, that NZ could be a major global innovator to restore world peace, by embedding the Cool Schools program beyond the 2,000 schools that presently
teach it to the rest of NZ’s schools and then exporting it with fully trained ‘ NZ Emissaries and Ambassadors’ to visit other countries, live alongside
them and show them these easy to learn skills of peer mediation.
This may be one of NZ’s ‘ greatest social and mindful exports' of the 21st century. That Nuclear Free NZ could again become the moral compass for a planet of peace and a totally new paradigm.
Once this simple method of understanding is laid out - so that both parties comprehend how the situation started - that when through a simple process is
understood and cleared - they let out a collective aha. In that moment of Yes! It changes - from what happened to what is possible - they end up high
5 - ing or fist bumps or shaking hands - hugs, - then on their way.
Where in our day in the 1950’s, 60s,& 70’ Chris (and myself) were never taught this at school, which fortunately, in the last 20 years has been introduced
to over 2000 schools across NZ.
Naturally, the enthusiasm is to have NZ become a world leader in Peace-Making - having it languaged from the 'top of the Government apparatus being imperative’
and also up from the grassroots too. Bearing in mind we have to make peace with ourselves first.
The interview covers indigenous wisdom - that comes from the Aotearoan Maori Kaitiakitanga meaning guardianship and protection. That Kaitiaki means we
are all guardians - and that we draw on the best of indigenous wisdom that maori have known for centuries.
At present, many countries are looking to NZ to find a ‘new model’ of how to live in community and as a country, because the current fragmenting neo-liberal
economic system is not working.
Two great Maori leaders, Te Whiti o Rongomai and his uncle Tohu of Parihaka who living on the seaward slopes of Mt Taranaki here in NZ are seen as a non-violent,
peaceful model and way of living and being. That there is anecdotal evidence that they inspired both Gandhi, as well as Martin Luther King. So this
is a very compelling story from the heart of NZ. That in the 1880’s government troops invaded and destroyed their pa and marae, (group living area)
arresting hundreds of maori and destroying and dispersing the whole village.
From a standpoint of The Peace Foundation, of bringing goodwill and harmony to our daily lives, the importance of Peer Mediation in schools is a win win
win situation for all concerned. The result being, there are less problems in classrooms and in the playground - teens get on better - warmer relationships,
less family violence in the home that ends up later in life with fewer divorces - and a calmer more coherent neighbourhood.
With the possibility now to teach Leadership through Peer Mediation stats show that classroom learning improves - with higher grades, classroom behaviour
improves, plus more tolerance becomes evident as well.
The Cool schools program is a superb NZ first and need encouragement at all levels of civil society.
At present, The Peace Foundation has a Crowdfunding campaign to take Peer Mediation into 160 NZ schools and then to the whole country. This would also include an understanding of Kaupapa Maori (a principle or
policy) and then upon the success of this project take this overseas to other countries and spread not only to the world but bring about peace in all
its inherent manifestations.
That when New Zealanders ‘kiwi’ go for their OE (Overseas Experience) they be ‘Peace Ambassadors’ as they will be totally skilled and equipped to solve
areas of dispute and ‘reconcile opposing points' of view.
By doing this in such an honourable way, it will increase the knowing that what is being taught in NZ schools is a major gift and asset to peaceful coexistence
especially in a world that is crying out for peace and goodwill.
The fact that the NZ government used to have a Minister of Disarmament - that was initiated by the Labour Government, speaks volumes of the past, but in
2012, the present National Government axed this bold intuitive.
However, it all comes back to the core of our being - that we need to live in harmony with our inner selves - as an extension of global family.
That David Lange the NZ Labour Prime Minister in 1987 wanted a Nuclear Free planet, but could not export this ideal, because our food exports were left
sitting on overseas docks, especially in France and not moving. So to keep our farmers financial, our PM had to rescind the desire to export this noble
ideal. NZ was blackmailed!
One big question for the MSM - Main Stream Media - why do they relegate ‘Peace & Love’ as being basically ‘dirty’ or even obscene words when in fact
they most probably are the highest words in the human lexicon?
Listen to this very passionate interview with high ideals, that will inspire those who want to be the change in the world we want to see.