Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Asia Pacific Report

Toktok 35 / Winter 2017
Pacific Media Centre
ISBN/code: ISSN 1175-0472
Publication date: Thursday, August 31, 2017
Publisher: Pacific Media Centre

A lifelong campaigner for a free and independent West Papua issued a stark warning to New Zealand politicians when he visited the country recently.

Benny Wenda, a tribal chief of West Papua exiled to the United Kingdom by Indonesia, told the Pacific Media Centre’s Asia Pacific Report that time was running out for West Papua if governments such as New Zealand did not act.

“If we live with Indonesia for another 50 years, we will not be safe. We will not be safe with Indonesia.”

He said the purpose of his visit to New Zealand was to highlight the importance of West Papua returning to its Melanesian family.

“We really need Pacific Islanders, our sisters and brothers across the Pacific – particularly New Zealand and Australia – to bring West Papua back to its Pacific family. Then we can survive. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to survive with Indonesia,” he said.

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