By Ruci Farrell - firstname.lastname@example.org
A new hub launched in Auckland this week will become a base for the West Papuan independence movement in New Zealand.
Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson opened the West Papua Desk in Onehunga with the support of fellow Green MP Golriz Ghahraman and and human rights activist Catherine Delahunty.
Green MPs Golriz Gharaman (centre) and Marama Davidson (second from right) with former MP Catherine Delahunty (third from right) and human rights activists. Photo/ Twitter.
The Desk aims to raise public awareness in the region and around the country about the ongoing military occupation and human rights violations in West Papua.
Davidson says it's a huge step forward for Aotearoa's West Papua solidarity movement.
"New Zealand has a responsibility as a leader in the Asia-Pacific region to stand up for peace, human right and self-determination," she says.
"It's time our Government did the right thing and challenged Indonesia on its continued abuse of human rights and political repression in West Papua."
Davidson says Indonesia should also be supporting West Papua's campaign to be a member of the Pacific Island Forum.
"As Maori we also have a duty to stand in solidarity with our indigenous whanaunga of the Pacific as they face their own struggle against violent accusations."
Meanwhile, the author of a new book on West Papua says her work exposes the failings of the New Zealand Government to stand by the people of West Papua.
See No Evil: New Zealand's betrayal of West Papua claims Indonesia took control of West Papua by fraudulent means, with the support of the international community.
Indonesia took over the ruling of West Papua in 1969 from the Dutch.
Author Maire Leadbeater says she's disappointed the New Zealand Government didn't address self-determination for West Papua when Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited earlier this year.
"All the evidence says that the way in which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia was by way of a fraudulent referendum in 1969, so the people have never given their assent to being controlled by Indonesia."
"I'm incredibly disappointed that our new Government is still not doing the right thing by the people of West Papua."
Leadbeater's book launches in Auckland next month.