The New Zealand government today [Tue 03-05-2016] blocked a motion moved without notice by New Zealand Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty on West Papua.
The New Zealand government on Tuesday blocked a motion moved without notice by New Zealand Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty on West Papua.
The motion was to have asked New Zealand’s parliament to support the call by the International Parliamentarians for West Papua for a referendum on self-determination in Indonesia’s Papua region.
The IPWP is currently meeting in London where the various MPs and leaders from across the world are discussing strategies to push for a West Papua referendum by the end of the decade.
Ms Delahunty says the New Zealand government has a history of ignoring the call of West Papuan’s for self-determination.
New Zealand has always recognised Indonesia’s territorial integrity with regard to the Papuan region.
Catherine Delahunty spoke with Koroi Hawkins ahead of the parliament sitting.
CATHERINE DELAHUNTY: Basically we are putting up a motion to support a meeting that is being held in London as we speak by international parliamentarians for West Papua and we are asking the house to support the call by the international parliamentarians for a referendum that is independently supervised in West Papua by the end of the decade. So that the people of West Papua can have a vote on their independence.
KOROI HAWKINS: And this is quite a sensitive issue and one that is usually put under the rug so to speak in the region. How much support do your think you will get for this?
CD: The New Zealand government’s track record on West Papua has been to deny their Melanesian separate identity and independence and focus on colluding with Indonesia. So I don’t expect that policy to change in the short term but I think it is very important particularly with the many arrests that have taken place in Papua in the last 48 hours that some of us at least in the New Zealand parliament show some solidarity with the people of West Papua and parliamentarians all over the world who are saying enough human rights abuses and that independence is an issue. After all in the Pacific we see the French and Papua New Guinea being willing to consider referenda for places such as Kanaky and Bougainville, there is no reason why Indonesia should not have pressure put on it and it would be great if the New Zealand parliament would step up to this but I am not at all sure how it is going to go.
KH: Just a little bit more about the meeting in London when did that start how is it happening and what is going to come out of it?
CD: Well the meeting in London would have started last night and goes for a couple of days and it is a gathering of those people who are members of International Parliamentarians for West Papua. I am a member as are a number of members of the New Zealand parliament but none of us were able to attend. But some people from the Pacific have gone over including MP Ralph Regenvanu from Vanuatu and others and what they are doing is planning over there how to support the call for a referendum and how it might be independently supervised because everybody knows that as parliamentarians we have the ability to stand up for the rights of people in this region and that a referendum would need an external independent auditing it couldn’t be something conducted by Indonesia because the whole problem for West Papua was created by a fake referendum in the late 1960’s whereby United States and Indonesia colluded and so did United Nations to make sure that Indonesia got control of West Papua. So it is really important that we actually stand up for a different process and the right of the people of West Papua. The indigenous people of West Papua to determine their destiny.