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National speaking tour: Septer Manufandu, West Papua
Wednesday, 28 May to Wednesday, 4 June 2008

May 2008

Septer Manufandu is the leader of FOKER: the NGO Cooperation Forum in West Papua - the umbrella agency for 64 NGOs working for cultural and human rights in West Papua, which has partners internationally. He formerly worked for Yalhimo, the Humeibou Environment and Indigenous People Foundation, which has been involved in campaigns to protect indigenous land rights and to combat illegal logging.

Septer brings a first hand perspective on the devastation and suffering caused when tropical forests are logged for their valuable kwila wood. During his national tour he will meet with politicians from different political parties and with government officials to discuss this issue. His visit comes at a time when the Ministry of Forestry is considering its policies concerning illegal logging and the import of kwila, and of growing public concern about deforestation and its impact on climate change.

Septer will be speaking at public meetings in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland and Whangarei (see details below), illustrating his talks with a documentary compilation 'Save the People and Forests of Papua' made by local NGOs. Indonesia closely restricts the visit of journalists and humanitarian workers to West Papua so this visit offers a window of information about a 'hidden' region which has been subject to political conflict and human rights violations. The speaking tour is hosted by the Indonesia Human Rights Committee and Pax Christi.

  • Christchurch on Wednesday, 28 May
  • Public meeting: 7.30pm at the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church lounge, on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Madras Street. Organised by Christian World Service and Arena, for more information contact Gillian Southey, tel (03) 365 2919, email

  • Wellington on Thursday, 29 May
  • Public Meeting: 5.30pm at St Johnís in the City hall, corner Willis and Dixon Streets. Organised by Caritas, for more information contact Martin de Jong, tel (04) 496 1782, email

  • Wellington on Friday, 30 May
  • Meeting with development / NGO community: 1pm, please RSVP if you are planning on attending to Martin de Jong, tel (04) 496 1782, email and he will provide you with the venue

  • Auckland on Tuesday, 3 June
  • Public Meeting: 7.30pm at St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby. For more information contact Maire Leadbeater, tel 0274 436 957, email

  • Whangarei on Wednesday, June 4
  • Public meeting: 7.30pm, Manaia PHO Rooms, corner Grey and Norfolk Streets (behind the KFC on Bank Street). For more information contact Tim Howard, email

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