About The Peace Foundation

The Foundation for Peace Studies Aotearoa/New Zealand Inc, a registered charitable society with operating name of The Peace Foundation was formed in 1975 with the vision of building peaceful local, national and global communities.

The Peace Foundation is an educational organisation that offers innovative programmes, services and resources that are used in schools, homes, businesses and communities throughout New Zealand and overseas. Our programmes help to establish and maintain peaceful relationships by teaching skills that encourage better communication, co-operation, respect and conflict resolution.

Core Programmes

  • Cool Schools – Peer mediation for primary schools.
  • Leadership through Peer Mediation (LtPM) – Peer mediation for secondary schools.
  • Mindful Communications for Wellbeing – Improving communication skills for families and family support workers.
  • Disarmament Education/REACT – Disarmament education presentation in schools.
  • Peace Ambassador Programme – Community activism for student 15 years and older.

MISSION

To build peaceful relationships among people of all ages and cultures – from personal to global – through education, research and action.

VISION

Peaceful local, national and global communities.

VALUES

In pursuing this mission we are committed to honour Te Tiriti O Waitangi, human rights and the peaceful resolution of conflict and to modelling peace-making values within the Foundation and beyond.

Inspire

To inspire people of all ages and cultures to build peaceful relationships on a personal to global scale.

Empower

To empower our communities by offering practical tools for peaceful living.

Support

To support individuals in our communities with programmes that help build positive, safe, respectful relationships, especially in times of conflict.

A brief history of The Peace Foundation

Origins

The Peace Foundation was formed in 1975 with a vision of building peaceful communities on the inter-personal, local, national and global levels. The initiative came from a small group of people concerned about the growing instances of violence worldwide, who had realised the need for research, education and action for the peaceful resolution of conflict. A number of the original group were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), who were inspired by Quaker initiatives overseas, such as the establishment of a Chair of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. At the time of the Foundation’s establishment, ‘peace’ was far from fashionable. This meant that in order to promote the role that peace would play in our collective future, the Peace Foundation needed to educate the public and government about what peace means – that it is not just the absence of war or violence but is the broader promotion of conflict resolution, positive relationships and social justice, including respect for Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Peace Foundation held the Annual Peace Lectures featuring prominent local and international speakers, with some of whom making significant contributions to peace advocacy and policy. One such example is Dr Helen Caldicott, whom the Peace Foundation brought to New Zealand in 1983. She was featured on prime time TV news, which then brought thousands of people to her public talks around the country about the dangers of nuclear war, and helped stimulate the establishment of over 300 local peace groups. These groups provided much of the key education and policy action on nuclear disarmament that led to New Zealand banning nuclear weapons and passing the Nuclear Free Zone Act in 1987.

Peace Education

One of the inaugural aims of the Foundation was to sponsor the establishment of a Chair of Peace Studies at one of New Zealand’s universities, as some of the founders had witnessed being done in the UK. This aim has been achieved many times over. With the help of Kate Dewes, Peace Studies courses were established at the University of Canterbury. The Foundation helped facilitate the introduction of Conflict Resolution courses at the Auckland University of Technology. It also helped found the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago.

Another element of the Foundation’s contribution to education has been publishing resource books for parents and teachers. In collaboration with the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), the Foundation published Learning Peaceful Relationships. In 1986, as a contribution to the United Nations’ International Year of Peace, the Foundation published the following book in the series, Extending Peaceful Relationships. In 1994, the first series of books for parents and teachers to help children handle their anger in constructive and non-violent ways – A Volcano in My Tummy – was published. Further resources in this series have been produced subsequently – Little Volcanoes, Adolescent Volcanoes and Volcanoes: Handling Anger. In 2000, the Foundation published Thanks not Spanks, a book designed to give parents and caregivers ideas on how to raise children without resorting to violence. In 2006, it published Happier Parenting, Happier Children. The series of parenting books has been popular worldwide and translated into different languages for different countries.

Beyond the realm of academia and research, the Peace Foundation is at the forefront of peace education in schools and communities in New Zealand and extends its services to countries abroad.

Ministry of Education Peace Studies Guidelines

During the late 1970s and early 1980s the Peace Foundation lobbied the government to include peace education in the New Zealand school curriculum, citing the agreement of all member countries
of UNESCO that peace education should take place at all levels of society. In 1985 we succeeded. The government established an advisory group for the development of peace studies guidelines, and a number of Peace Foundation experts were appointed to the group (Alyn Ware, John Buckland, Yvonne Duncan, and Kate Dewes). The Ministry of Education adopted Peace Studies Guidelines in 1986, applicable to pre-school, primary school and secondary school levels. The Peace Foundation helped educate New Zealand teachers and parents about the guidelines through events and educational materials (brochures) we developed in cooperation with the Ministry.

Cool Schools

In line with the Foundation’s peace education focus, in 1991, the Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme was established with the help of Yvonne Duncan from Students and Teachers Educating for Peace (STEP) and Alyn Ware from the Mobile Peace Van. The programme was first written by Alyn Ware as he toured New Zealand schools in the Mobile Peace Van and then trialled under Yvonne while she worked at Tamaki Teachers Centre. Ten Auckland schools participated in the trial and it was funded by the Peace Foundation. By the time Yvonne was employed by the Foundation in 1994, Cool Schools had already gone nationwide. This outstandingly successful programme has been termed “an idea whose time has come”, and Yvonne Duncan, as the Cool Schools’ National coordinator and trainer from 1994 to 2006, grew the programme. Cool Schools is a proactive programme that teaches the skills required for peaceful conflict resolution, and establishes pupil-run mediation teams to resolve conflicts that arise in the school environment. Such skills empower both teachers and students to build positive, caring relationships with others, especially in times of conflict. It has been introduced to over 2000 schools around the country.

The programme is currently managed by Christina Barruel, who has led the revision of its training resources to align with the revised New Zealand curriculum and, more recently, to be more culturally responsive. The programme provides effective learning to help develop the key competencies behind ‘Managing Self and Relationships with Others’ that can be easily incorporated into a school’s health curriculum. The Cool Schools programme has also been internationally recognised and implemented. Following a two day workshop in Suva held by Yvonne Duncan, Fiji requested the programme be implemented in their schools. Between 2007 and 2009, twelve primary and secondary schools received a trial version of the programme, funded by New Zealand Aid. The trial was a great success and both Fiji and other Pacific countries expressed continued interest but a change of government saw New Zealand Aid funding cancelled. Brisbane schools were trained on the programme under a franchise system. In 2008, the programme was introduced in Hong Kong at Discovery Bay International School. In 2012, it was introduced in Iceland through the Peace Conference organised by the Scouts Association. In 2013 it was brought to South Bay Junior Academy in Los Angeles and, in 2015, to Karachi, Pakistan.

The Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme was recognised as one of the 18 international community level activities contributing to sustainable peace in the International Peacebuilding Approaches Catalogue in 2008. The success of Cool Schools was further recognised by two Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowships. The first to Yvonne Duncan in 1997 and the second to Christina Barruel in 2013. These fellowships enabled Yvonne and Christina to spend three weeks in overseas organisations and schools researching strategies and ideas to enhance the programme’s development. In 2007, Yvonne Duncan was also awarded a Queens Service Medal for her services to New Zealand children.

Leadership through Peer Mediation & Cool Schools Parents Programme

1994 was the year the Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme took its first major step in expanding its reach. After proving it could be successful as a “whole school” programme in primary schools, it was time to introduce the same concept in a secondary school context. Here, the Cool Schools Secondary Peer Mediation Programme was born. Adapted from its primary school counterpart, Yvonne Duncan and Margaret Stanners took the conflict resolution focus and transformed the programme for its more mature audience. The fundamental and unique element of this version of the programme was its attempt to empower students to become ambassadors of social justice, giving them a powerful sense of responsibility and an opportunity to become student leaders. This included the provision of a peer mediation service; students working in the role of ‘peer mediator’ trained in conflict resolution skills and then available to support their peers in conflict, to reach peaceful agreements through a mediation process. The first secondary school to implement the programme was Mt Roskill Grammar School under the guidance of their Peer Mediation Coordinator, Donna Hourigan-Johnston. Mt Roskill, through the contributions of Donna, has become the leading exemplar of the secondary programme. School coordinators from around the country frequently contact Mt Roskill to discuss the successful model of implementation they have established.

In 2015, at the request of secondary student mediators who desired a clear distinction between the primary and secondary programmes, the programme’s name was changed to Leadership through Peer Mediation or LtPM.

1994 proved to be an important year for peace education, as it was the year of the secondary programme and the year the parent counterpart to Cool Schools was developed. Knowing the critical role that parents play in their children’s education and the support they can provide for in-school programmes, it was always the intention of Yvonne Duncan to implement a parent focused version of the programme. Just like in the case of the secondary programme, the Peace Foundation needed to prove it could be successful before it justified expansion. In 1994, Yvonne wrote and implemented the Cool Schools Parents Programme. The programme taught effective communication and conflict resolution skills for adults and teens who are often faced with challenging family relationship issues. The programme has been adapted several times over the years, with the closest relation to the programme today called the “Peaceful Family Communication Programme”, written by Louise Belcher. The current iteration focuses on neuro-linguistic programme skills adopted from the work of Dr Richard Bolstad and is managed by Lisa Gibson.

Mayors and Cities for Peace

Thirty-three New Zealand cities have joined Mayors for Peace, a global network of cities led by Hiroshima City, to promote peace and nuclear abolition globally. The Peace Foundation has served as New Zealand coordinator for Mayors for Peace. Various New Zealand mayors have played key roles in Mayors for Peace events and initiatives at the United Nations and around the world, including Bob Harvey (former President of the Peace Foundation and Mayor of Waitakere, 1992-2010), Kerry Prendergast (Mayor of Wellington, 2001-2010), and Garry Moore (Mayor of Christchurch, 1998-2007).

A number of New Zealand cities have taken an additional step to declare themselves a City for Peace and establish a city peace program. Through the efforts of Kate Dewes and to mark the 20th anniversary of becoming the first nuclear-free city in 2002, Christchurch became New Zealand’s first City for Peace. In 2011, Caroline Ongleo led a team of Peace Foundation representatives, including the creator of the Cool Schools programme, Yvonne Duncan, to establish Auckland as a City for Peace. Our representatives worked alongside members of other organisations, such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, to form the “Auckland Peace City Committee”, who went on to petition local councils to agree to the resolution. The campaign was successful, and on 15 December 2011, Mayor Len Brown declared Auckland as a City for Peace.

In 2005, the Peace Foundation and some of the New Zealand peace cities commissioned Te Korowai Rangimarie – The Cloak of Peace, a sculpture that we then gifted to the city of Nagasaki in commemoration of the nuclear bombing of their city. It was installed in the Peace Park and unveiled in 2006 in a ceremony involving Phil Goff the New Zealand Minister for Disarmament, Iccoh Itoh the Nagasaki Mayor, Peace Foundation reps Kate Dewes and Alyn Ware, and Hibakusha (survivors of the nuclear bombing). Since 2011, there have been a number of milestones that have reaffirmed Auckland’s status as a City for Peace, in line with the goal of becoming a more peaceful city. On 12 June 2013, The Dalai Lama endorsed the Auckland City for Peace Declaration, and thanks to the suggestion and a personal relationship of Yvonne Duncan’s, The Peace Foundation was afforded a private audience with His Holiness. In November 2013, the Foundation launched the “Auckland City for Peace Toolkit”, researched and written by Claire Speedy. This toolkit is a practical guide for Local boards and communities on how to be a City for Peace. It was created as a living resource that Local Boards could continue to develop through engagement with their communities. On the same day of the toolkit’s release, the inaugural Auckland City for Peace Youth Awards was held, which aimed to recognise and encourage the contributions of young people to peace service and leadership in their community.

Schools’ Peace Week

Schools’ Peace Week, established by the Peace Foundation for the first time in 2000, and officially recognised by the government in 2003, has been offered to primary and secondary schools in New Zealand as one of the Foundation’s most extensive campaigns and contributions to the UN Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. It is a national week designed to help schools promote peace education, educate people on the consequences of nuclear war, and campaign for a world free from nuclear weapons. School’s Peace Week commemorates the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August, respectively, as well as the International Day for Indigenous Peoples (also August 9) and the International Day for Youth which is August 12. Every year under a theme focus, students create their activities and projects to understand and manage peace in their own lives and, from a greater perspective, learn how peace is fostered both nationally and internationally. In 2017, “Schools’ Peace Week” was renamed “Youth Peace Week”. This was done to include students from tertiary institutions and youth centres around New Zealand.

Mobile Peace Van and Schools Outreach Programme for the UN Decade of Peace

From 1984 until 1992 the Peace Foundation’s Mobile Peace Van visited primary and secondary schools around the country virtually non-stop through the school year,
leading peace lessons in the classroom and assisting teachers to further implement peace education in their schools. The Mobile Peace Van, which was launched by the Minister of Education, Russel Marshall, and managed mostly by Alyn Ware, received the UN International Year for Peace Award in 1986. The Peace Van also managed the Peace Foundation’s Our Planet in Every Classroom project which distributed over 5000 posters of planet earth and a global education handbook to schools around Aotearoa. These programs were followed up from 2000-2009 by the Peace Foundation’s School’s Outreach Programme for the UN Decade of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World, directed by Alyn Ware.

Funds for Peace

In its formative years, the Foundation received no government funding and depended solely on grants, fundraising, subscriptions and donations from its members. From 1988 onwards, it received grants from the Peace and Disarmament Education Trust (PADET) and the Disarmament Education United Nations Implementation Fund (DEUNIF). DEUNIF was established with compensation money from the French government following the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985. From the mid-1990s, The Peace Foundation has been supported by the Ministry of Education (1994 – 2008) and the Ministry of Health (1994 – present) for its school programmes, and from 2009 by the Ministry of Social Development for its family programme.

In late 2009, government funding cuts saw the Foundation forced to reduce its staff and go through significant organisational changes in order to keep the engine running on limited resources. The Auckland office reduced its staff from 11 to 4 while managing to retain its range of programmes under the leadership of Caroline Ongleo. The Foundation’s South Island office, run by Dr Kate Dewes and her husband Commander Robert Green, was established as a separate legal entity and still operates under the name “Disarmament Security Centre”. The Wellington branch, headed by Alyn Ware, was closed in 2011 as Alyn relocated to Europe.

It was around this time that the Foundation was met with a crossroads. Until this point, it had been able to focus on both peace education and activism. However, now faced with potentially ruinous consequences, difficult decisions had to be made. Whilst an emphasis on global peace had been extremely politically powerful following the conclusion of the Cold War era, in the years post-2010, governments were a lot more hesitant to fund what they considered activism. Fortunately, this did not mean the end of the Peace Foundation, as the funding of peace education, whilst still not a number one priority, was far more palatable for the government of the day. The Peace Foundation has done all it can to hold on to its activist roots, but since then, peace education has remained the dominant element of day-to-day operations.

Kia Tau Te Rangimārie

Kia Tau Te Rangimārie (KTRM), the Māori Conflict Resolution Programme, was first introduced by Jonnie Black in 2010, branching out from Cool Schools as its Te Ao Māori counterpart. Jonnie was of Māori descent; he had been a senior peer mediator during his time at Mount Roskill Grammar School, studied conflict resolution at AUT, graduated with a degree in primary teaching and had a strong connection with the local Māori community. Jonnie specially designed the programme for Kura Kaupapa Māori and schools with a high population of Māori students. Its values are aligned with Te Aho Matua (the philosophical base of Māori education) and Te Whare Tapa Whā (the four cornerstones of Māori health). It aimed to teach life skills, enhance self-esteem, and promote cooperation and communication.

In 2014, as a result of Jonnie stepping into a full time teaching position at Gladstone Primary, Tania Te Whenua took over the role of Māori Programme Coordinator. Tania showed renewed vigour to inspire the next generation of Māori. Her goal was to encourage Māori youth to seek enlightenment, education and the skills necessary to give them a voice in conflict resolution. During her time, Tania delivered peaceful conflict resolution training to schools with demographics of almost one hundred per cent Māori. She supported the writing and translation of the programme manual: Kia Tau Te Rangimārie – Te Hohou Rongo Peaceful Conflict Resolution funded by Rotary North Harbour. This ensured the programme was as effective as possible for the tamariki and rangitahi it aimed to assist.

In the years following, the role of Māori Programme Coordinator was found to have consistently high turnover; no one person was able to remain in the position for longer than one year. In 2017, Renei Ngawati conducted an extensive review of Kia Tau Te Rangimārie. She found various concerns around programme content, delivery, and poor staff retention associated with the programme. Renei recommended that the programme be redesigned to reflect the current literature on Māori education, health and broader social development. Upon considering these recommendations, the Peace Foundation decided it would discontinue the programme until it had the funding necessary to produce a culturally appropriate programme for Māori by Māori.

ProPeaceWork

ProPeaceWork stands for Positive Relationship Options for Peace at Work. Running during 2013 as a pilot programme, it was developed by Aly Roberts, Simone Maus and Christina Barruel using existing training modules from the Cool Schools, LtPM and Peaceful Family Communication programmes. It aimed to provide life skills to those looking for work and, once employed, develop interpersonal skills required to deal with conflict and maintain positive relationships in the workplace environment. All participants who completed the workshop would receive a certificate recognising their newly obtained skills and adding value to their resumes. Workshops were tailored to the specific needs of each organisation or employer. In 2013, in partnership with One Big Voice, four workshops were held for staff and refugees at RYAN (Refugee Youth Action Network) and ARMS (Auckland Regional Migrant Services). ProPeaceWork supported local communities, with a particular focus on refugees and migrants looking to rebuild their lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

At the pilot programme’s conclusion, Simone Maus wrote and submitted an evaluation report to the Peace Foundation. The report concluded that the pilot was a valuable learning experience. The majority of participants were members of either refugee or migrant populations. This meant that through these workshops, participants were not only being trained in conflict resolution but also to better understand the New Zealand workplace environment. This experience left open the exciting possibility of tailoring the programme to specifically target groups who are newly entering the New Zealand employment market.

However, due to a lack of funding and human resources, the programme did not progress past its pilot stage. To transform the programme into a more targeted, comprehensive experience, significant time and resources would be required. Beyond this, as this programme would have been entering the market as a new product, an enthusiastic and therefore expensive marketing campaign would have been necessary.

World Without War: Actions for Peace Conference

The brainchild of former Peace Foundation president John Hinchcliffe, the 2015 World Without War conference was an international gathering of peace activists who all shared the goal of ending global warfare. The event attracted speakers including politicians such as Phil Goff, Richard Northey, and Celia Wade-Brown, senior academics from AUT, the University of Auckland and Waikato University, experts on war and violence from Sweden and NZ, critics concerned with high tech weaponry, and leaders representing NZ youth, the UN, Maoridom, education and religion. In all, 42 presenters shared their ideas on exactly how peace could be promoted. They then proposed actions that specifically New Zealand could take on board. These actions involved harnessing the influence of educational, religious and political institutions. The fundamental takeaway was that peace was not receiving anywhere near the required attention on the global stage, therefore leading to the question, “How can we motivate people to get involved?”

International Peace Education and Disarmament

Over the years, the Peace Foundation has played a lead role in a number of international peace education and disarmament initiatives. We co founded the Global Campaign for Peace Education in 1999, and arranged for the United Nations launch of the campaign by Prime Minister Helen Clark in New York during the UN Millennium Summit. We co-founded Abolition 2000, the global civil society network of over 2000 organisations working for the global elimination of nuclear weapons. We also co-founded the World Court Project which achieved an historic decision from the International Court of Justice in 1996 that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally illegal and that there is an obligation to eliminate nuclear weapons. Through our International Affairs and Disarmament Committee, chaired by Richard Northey, and our international representative, currently Alyn Ware, we continue to engage directly and take leadership in numerous other United Nations processes and international civil society initiatives.

References

  • Peace Foundation Annual Report 2012-2013
  • Peace Foundation Annual Report 2013-2014
  • Peace Foundation Annual Report 2014-2015
  • Peaceworks newsletter March 2014
  • Peaceworks newsletter September 2014
  • Peaceworks newsletter December 2014
  • MediationWorks newsletter 2015 Winter Edition
  • MediationWorks newsletter 2015 Summer Edition
  • MediationWorks newsletter 2016 Winter Edition
  • MediationWorks newsletter 2017-2018 Summer Edition
  • Schools Programmes National Survey 2017
  • Auckland City for Peace Toolkit
  • Interview with Yvonne Duncan
  • Interview with Caroline Ongleo
  • Written contributions of Alyn Ware
  • Written contributions of Yvonne Duncan
  • Written contributions of Christina Barruel
  • action4peaceww100.org.nz/
  • legacy.peace.net.nz
  • legacy.peace.net.nz/history-of-the-peace-foundation
  • legacy.peace.net.nz/kiora/events/auckland-city-for-peace-youth-awards
  • www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/tribute-to-the-1945-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-atomic-bombing-victims/MD4ZS27CEK65JK4W24MMHYIK7Y/
  • www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1706/S00132/30th-anniversary-of-nuclear-free-new-zealand.htm
  • www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/

Researched and compiled by Jack Leonard