Peacemonger – a tribute to peace researcher Owen Wilkes out soon

Owen Wilkes
Revered New Zealand peace researcher and archaeologist Owen Wilkes overlooking his beloved Kawhia harbour. Image: David Robie/Pacific Scoop

Raekaihau Press

Owen Wilkes (1940–2005) was known throughout the Pacific and across the world as an outstanding researcher on peace and disarmament.

His work:

• exposed plans to build a US Navy satellite tracking station in the Southern Alps
• identified a foreign spy base at Tangimoana (near Bulls)
• led to job offers from leading peace research institutes in Norway and Sweden — and an espionage charge for taking photographs during a cycling holiday, and
• supported local campaigns against foreign military activity in the Philippines, and for a nuclear-free Pacific.

Born in Christchurch, Owen Wilkes was an internationalist and a dedicated New Zealander — a subsistence farmer on the West Coast (where his self-built eco-home was demolished by the local council), an archaeologist, tramper and yachtsman.

In this forthcoming book, edited by historian Mark Derby and Wilkes’ former partner May Bass, experts in their own fields who knew and worked with him reflect on his achievements and his legacy. The contributors include:

Peacemonger cover
Peacemonger . . . the first full-length account of peace researcher Owen Wilkes’ life and work. Image: Raekaihau Press

Ingvar Botnen
Nils Petter Gleditsch
Nicky Hager
Di Hooper
Murray Horton
Maire Leadbeater
Robert Mann
Neville Ritchie
David Robie
Ken Ross
Peter Wills

The book, published by Raekaihau Press in association with Steele Roberts Aotearoa, has a timeline, a bibliography of Owen’s publications in several languages, and an index.

The book is being published on November 23.

The Owen Wilkes book order flyer.
The Owen Wilkes book order flyer.
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