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May 29, 2017 | by  | in Politics |
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The Party Line

On May 10, following a visit by the founder of the Free West Papua Campaign Benny Wenda, 11 MPs from across the political spectrum signed a declaration from the International Parliamentarians for West Papua calling for an internationally supervised referendum on independence. However, according to a spokesperson from MFAT, “successive New Zealand governments have recognised Papua as a part of Indonesia.” Do you support the International Parliamentarians call for an internationally supervised referendum on independence for West Papua?


Young Nats — Lower North Island

The Young Nats generally do not take official stances on matters of foreign affairs. We believe these issues are non-partisan and should not be politicised. We trust MFAT and the Ministers responsible to make the correct decisions based on the detailed information in front of them.

We’re proud to support successive governments running pragmatic, principled, and independent foreign policy, which is why New Zealand is respected across the globe as a true world leader. This is evident in New Zealand’s election to the UN security council in 2015 and the prominence of past Kiwi politicians in world affairs.

On issues of international relations, the Young Nats choose to not politicise but believe in the system that has made us respected on the world stage.

— Sam Stead

Greens at Vic

Indonesia’s imperial regime in West Papua is, unquestionably, genocide. It has occurred as cold genocide through structural violence: the process of “Indonesianisation” sustained low-intensity killings and the same assimilation techniques employed in other colonies like Aotearoa. It has also occurred as hot genocide with mass murder, torture, and human rights atrocities such as Operation Clean Sweep where the families of rebels were raped and stabbed and their bodies left to rot. Further, the West Papuan people are having their lands destroyed by resource extraction.

Inevitably the same countries that could be called upon, principally Australia and the US, have economic interest in the destruction of West Papua, and thus its people.

Greens at Vic firmly hold that the West Papuan people must have self-determination. The act of signing the referendum is a small step towards this goal. Not signing it, however, means being complicit in genocide.

— Hugo Robinson


Vic Labour

New Zealand is rightly proud of our independent foreign policy, a part of our heritage that only Labour governments have built. Whether it be the nuclear free policy of the Lange government, or Helen Clark’s refusal to go into Iraq; Labour governments stand up for what is right, both at home and abroad.

West Papua deserves the chance to speak for itself about its identity as an independent nation, just as Timor-Leste did in 1999. The fact that MFAT officials state that Papua is currently recognised as a part of Indonesia is not a legitimate reason to not act — public servants are just that, and in this instance some real political leadership is needed. New Zealand should be unafraid of supporting this cause and should call for an internationally supervised vote on self-determination as set out in the recent petition.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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