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The 15th anniversary of the Ikeda Hall Peace Garden in Rotorua was celebrated on Sunday 27-September with a ceremony and presentation of over 16,000 signatures for the Marshall Islands Nuclear Zero campaign.
The cherry blossoms were in stunning full bloom on a perfect day. Speaking to the close to 300 people in attendance were former Rotorua Mayor Graham Hall, whom the garden is half named after (and who MC’d the event), current Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick (who also attended the opening 15 years ago),
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade Brown (attending in her capacity as Executive Leader for Mayors for Peace), Hon Phil Goff Member of Parliament (in his capacity as current Chair of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)) and SGINZ General Director Ian Gordon. Laurie Ross, a pioneer of the nuclear free NZ movement who is also a member of SGINZ, also participated.
The peace garden was gifted to the people of Rotorua on 8 September 2000 by SGI President Ikeda and dedicated to a culture of peace. The land and care of the garden is provided by the Rotorua District Council.
Kimiaki Kawai, Director of Peace Affairs at SGI Tokyo, attended the “World Without War, Actions for Peace” Conference in the Sir Paul Reeves Building at Auckland University of Technology on 19-20 September.
He participated as a speaker on the inter-religious panel discussion “Establishing Peace Through Religion” and spoke about SGI’s international efforts to achieve a nuclear free world.
Tūmanako! (Hope!)—Children’s Artworks for a Peaceful World exhibition opened at the Wellington City Library mezzanine level on Sunday 2 August 2015.
The exhibition of artworks from children all over Wellington, plus four special guest artists from Auckland, was held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.