Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson has opened a West Papua Desk in Onehunga to serve as a base for the West Papuan independence movement in New Zealand.
Hosted by FIRST Union in Onehunga and run by former Green MP Catherine Delahunty, the desk will be a hub for organising events, hosting international guests and raising public awareness about the ongoing military occupation and human rights violations in West Papua.
“I’m so proud to have been invited to open the West Papua Desk, which represents a huge step forward for Aotearoa’s West Papua solidarity movement,” says Davidson.
The West Papuan independence movement seeks liberation from Indonesian rule. Indonesia inherited the resource-rich region from Dutch colonists and has been criticised for its violent political repression of West Papua's Melanesian inhabitants.
“Human rights abuses and attacks on press freedom continue in West Papua. New Zealand has a responsibility as a leader in the Asia-Pacific region to stand up for peace, human rights, and self-determination."
“As Māori we also have a duty to stand in solidarity with our indigenous whanaunga of the Pacific as they face their own struggle against violent colonisation,” says Davidson.