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NZ Politicians urged to sign West Papua Register

22 July 2002

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee has approached candidates from all parties to ask them to sign the "West Papua Register". Those who sign the register have made a personal pledge that if elected they will "work publicly to promote a United Nations review of the 1969 "Act of Free Choice" and will urge the New Zealand Government to promote the review at the next meeting of the UN General Assembly and the Pacific Islands Forum." 77 candidates from Act, Christian Heritage, Greens, Alliance and Labour have signed and are listed below.

"Most politicians now like to like to bask in the warm glow of East Timor's liberation but it is time now to support the people of West Papua who have long been denied their right to self-determination. West Papuan people have suffered more than 30 years of bitter conflict which has caused the deaths of 100,000 people," said Maire Leadbeater speaking for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee."

"The UN Review of the "Act of Free Choice" is a key demand of West Papuan leaders as fears intensify of renewed violence. A new command of Indonesian special forces arrived recently as well as some hundreds of Laksar Jihad militiamen. "

The Review call is endorsed internationally by church, human rights, indigenous and legal groups. The Campaign was launched at the United Nations earlier this year, and also has the support of British, Irish and Australian politicians. The fraudulent nature of the 1969 "Act of No Choice" is now widely acknowledged, especially since the frank admission of Mr Narasimhan (a senior UN official in West Papua at the time), that the Act was a "Whitewash".

Those on the Register as at 18/7/2002: ( responses still being received)

Act :John Waugh, Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie, Ted Erskine-Legget.

Labour: Ola Kamel, Yani Johanson.

Christian Heritage: Matthew Bartlett, Robin Corner, Gavin Hockly, Vic Jarvis, Ruth Jarvis, McGregor Simpson.

Alliance: Maxine Boag, Andrew Buchanan, Tricia Cutforth, Julie Fairey, Jim Flynn, Ravaani Ghaemmaghamy, Gerard Hehir, Paula Henderson, Sam Huggard, Margaret Jeune, Moira Lawler, Dion Martin, Matt McCarten, Gavin Maclean, Fiona McLaren, Anna McMartin, Janine Ovens, Carolyn Payne-Harker, Paul Piesse, Colin Pounder, Julie Poupard, Joseph Randall, Robert Reid, Len Richards, Robert van Ruyssevelt, Anna Sutherland, Gerald Tait, Vernon Tile, Mike Treen, Peter Wheeler, Craig Wills, Justin Wilson.

Green Party: Steve Abel, Nick Barber, Peter Sven Berger, Steffan Browning, Paul Bruce, Fliss Butcher, John Carapiet, Terry Creighton, Catherine Delahunty, Charles Drace, Rod Donald, Ian Douglas, Don Fairley, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Richard Green, Lois Griffiths, Perce Harpham, Caro Henckels, Keith Locke, Rachel Mackintosh, Janine McVeagh, Debs Martin, Sarah Millington, Olivia Mitchell, David Musgrave, Russell Norman, Chris Norton-Brown, Cathy Olsen, Di Pennell, David Rose, Nandor Tanczos, Metiria Turei, Celia Wade-Brown, Meriel Watts.

A letter received from Matt Robson (Progressive Coalition) says that the party supports self-determination for all peoples. "As a political party, the progressive Coalition has to reserve the right to determine the best way to work with like-minded people towards that goal. With an eye on the outcome the forthcoming general election, our prospective coalition party is Labour. This means that we anticipate negotiating on this issue with our coalition partner after the election"

IHRC is publicising the results of this Register through its newsletter, the media, the internet and human rights networks. After the election we will approach successful candidates again, and of course ensure that those who have signed live up to their pledge.

Indonesia Human Rights Committee Media Release © IHRC
For further information contact Maire Leadbeater 09 815 9000

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